Sunday, September 23, 2012

How to create a logo?

Yeah, well I haven't been super good at updating this blog in the past few weeks. I have done it, but you know life keeps getting in the way.

Today I want to toot my own horn as it were. I am currently working on a gig. I am designing a logo for a business who works with seafood. It's not exactly what I usually do, but I have done it before on occasion. I'm getting into it more and more. It's an art unto itself to actually create a good logo that properly conveys the business behind it. I do however find it to be way easier to create logos for others instead of making one for myself. I think it has something to do with distance and perspective. Being on the outside I find it easier to pinpoint exactly what is special about another person or their respective business.

In the spirit of my new gig I thought I would give you all some pointers on how you should approach the process of creating a logo. My pointers is a mix of personal experience, the advice of other professionals or other sources as the interwebnets ;)

How to create a logo:

1. What do they want?
When you create a logo for someone it is always best to start with a meeting where you can discuss with your client, and get to know what it is they want. Sometimes a client doesn't know what they want at all, it then falls to you to figure out what that may be by asking questions about the business in question. what is it they need? How does the business want to be perceived? Do they want a logo with a symbol or do they just want one that is font based(just text)? What kind of colors do they want in their logo? The more details you can squeeze out of your clients the better.

2. Do the research!At this point you should research other logos that already exist out there. Specifically logos that are in the same field as the one you are about to design. By doing this you will get a clear idea of what is out there. You can see what others have thought about when faced with a similar challenge, and you can choose to be inspired by that or go in a completely different direction. One important point is that you can also avoid plagiarizing someones else's work by accident. After all great minds think alike!

3. Start sketching
After having met with your client and having looked at other logos you should have more than enough inspiration and concepts swimming around in your head. Now it's time to get them down on paper. You don't have to be very refined right now. The important thing is to get your ideas down on paper and not get too attached to any one given idea.

4. Develop!Ok, so you've developed some neat ideas now. You should choose some of the ideas you think stand out as the best concepts and develop them a bit more. Draw them cleanly, add some color and create a sense of what the logos would look like as a finished product.

5. Reviews and revisions
Once you are satisfied that your prototype logos are communicating your ideas properly you can send them to your clients for review. Let the client look at the logos and choose their favorites. If they are satisfied you can continue forwards in your process. It is much more common however that the client has some revisions in mind, like changing the colors, adding some details, using a different font, and so on. Based on the feedback given you revise your ideas. In the rare and frustrating event of the client not liking any of the suggestions you've made, you go back to the sketching process and start over or show them some of the ideas you scrapped earlier in the process. Hopefully the client will be satisfied the second time around.

6. Finishing up!
At this point both you and your client should be happy with the look of the logo. Now what you need to do is finish it up. Make the final product. Simple as that. Send the files to your clients and be sure to offer them help and customer service if it seems like they need it. A lot of small companies may be in need of some extra help when it comes to the use of their logo, copyrights and so on as they usually don't have a graphic design department or PR - rep. Helping your client like this leaves your client with a positive impression of you and this will make it more likely that they will recommend you to others.

Ok, so that was my quick guide to logo creation. It's a very general guide and you may find that you run into problems or specific terms that are unique to your specific assignment, but I believe that this is a good all purpose guide for those of you who want to take a stab at this specific field of illustration and design.

For more on this subject feel free to visit these pages:

Until next time!
Anita K. Olsen


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