I actually started my career in Milwaukee Wisconsin and my dad’s commercial art studio. I worked for him all during high school in college and I eventually took over his design firm and then I moved to Atlanta and kind of kept it going. I’ve been a freelancer, I’ve been independent for about the last ten years. I work in both print and web design and I’m kind of a logo fanatic.
I do a fair amount of logo design. I’m glad to see you guys here today, I’m hoping this will give you a lot of useful tips. I’m going to ask that you hold questions till the end of my schpeel and then we’ll talk, and then I have a handy handout for you all. So thank you. So I’m going to start off with kind of an existential question, which is: why have a logo anyway, we’re going to talk a little bit about logo versus branding versus brand identity and what that all means? Okay, basically, a logo is a graphic symbol that represents the essence of a person, company or organization when people say crisp, clear and professional logo on your website.
It conveys credibility and authority. It establishes your business or organization as a high-quality, trustworthy entity, and it offers nonverbal reassurance that visiting your site is going to be worthwhile. Brand identity is a combination of how you define and promote yourself and how others see you. Your logo is just one very important element of your organization’s brand identity. Everything you do is to build awareness and reputation around your company and its product or services, and that creates branding brand identity is the collection of your business assets that includes your logo print materials.
Your vehicle signage pens, your website, header, your social media, icons that helps to create your brand image, so here’s an example of a consistent and well-planned brand entity that I’m sure is familiar to most people. Mercedes-Benz is a brand identity that exudes elegance style and quality and definitely a certain price point. So it’s really important for your logo to be consistent. It’s really important because if your logo gets distorted, if it’s reproduced in a hodgepodge of random colors, if it loses its original typeface, that all will dilute your brand, it weakens your brand recognition and makes you look unprofessional when you’re trying to build brand recognition.
It can be confusing to your audience if you use a lot of different versions of the logo, so consistent, colors, typefaces and shapes help. Your potential client remember your business and that helps to forge a connection. People are more likely to choose brands that are familiar because they seem known established and therefore trustworthy. Your brand identity gets delivered through all of your assets, from your business card to your website to social media sites, to the branded holiday gift that you give to clients.
So a strong logo should do the following. I’m just checking my slide numbers here. It should embody your brand, be instantly recognizable, be versatile and be timeless, and by that I mean just not so trendy that in two years time it looks really dated the FedEx logo. Is a really good example of a strong, consistent logo, it embodies its brand and you can see the the white arrow that’s in between the E and the X.
It’s kind of a little subliminal, very strong little element that they have it’s recognizable, versatile and timeless. It has a consistent look through all media when you, when you see a FedEx van or FedEx envelope, it all has the same look even though there are different iterations of this logo, as you can see here, the three different versions. So let’s talk about the key elements of an effective logo and, let’s start off with typography there we go, a logo can be purely typographic or it can include a visual element.
A logo is called the logo type or word marked, when only the letters of the name make up the logo and there’s no symbol. The lettering itself becomes the visual a text only word mark logo is fine, but only when you do it with styling and sophistication. You certainly don’t want to design that logo in Microsoft. Word using x, roman, really don’t be doing that. Here’s a few examples of some very recognizable word marks and then there’s one that I did for a client recently on the upper right, she’s an event planner and it was just type only but kind of the whimsical feeling and the colors it all kind of contributed.
It worked well on her website and she was able to use it easily on social media. A logo mark includes a visual element or an icon, along with the business name. Here’s some examples. These are some examples. I’ve designed for clients in the past, taking into account their desired brand message and their color preferences, your choice of typeface and the visual element needs to be distinctive and speak clearly to the world.
It’s sort of a an atmosphere that you create you’ll notice, the different typefaces, the different colors. Each of these clients had a little different objective in mind in the case of the one on the lower left Anna Mae’s pantry, that shape became sort of the iconic element of her restaurant and her website and everything associated with it. It had sort of a homey, down-home country feeling, and she showed me a shape similar to this.
So when we created this logo, we started with a text-only version and then we embedded it in this shape and the shape kind of became the holder. So it became very much part of her whole identity she’s all over Instagram. If you want to check her out, you’ll see a lot of pretty things and they all incorporate that logo and she’s actually started using this logo to sell branded items kind of like a Martha Stewart situation where she’s got like cutting boards and utensils, and they all Incorporate that logo, because that worked well for her.
So how about, if you have no typography at all, just imagery recognized brands like Nike and Starbucks, don’t really need to show their name because their symbols are so iconic. We’re so used to seeing them that over time, they’ve stripped away the name of their company, the symbol is recognizable people just kind of fill it in in their head, because you’ve seen it over and over most small businesses or startup businesses can’t get away with that.
You kind of need their name and possibly a tagline explaining what they do, but in the case of these Giants you all are used to seeing this. So a logo can tell a memorable story. I’m going to talk for a minute about NBC, which was originally known as the peacock Network. They used an illustration of a stylized peacock. In 1956, the peacock itself became a marketing tool with the tagline brought to you in living color.
This was at the very start of color television. Nbc was hoping that people tuning in to the state and to NBC stations would be motivated to purchase color TV sets to see the Living Color and they used the peacock. As that example, and over the years the peacock has evolved into this newer, digitized kind of shape, and it has a certain logic to it. Now it has a six colored tail, which represents the six different departments of NBC.
The peacock is facing right and that’s supposed to show that the network has a bird’s eye view of the future. So let’s talk about the next big element in logo, design, which is color. I always recommend creating a distinctive color palette that you’ll use consistently on all materials, and that includes accent colors on your website. You have to find out if your client has existing colors or possibly a branding guide that you need to follow, or are you starting from scratch? This will definitely have an impact on the work you need to do on your website and other media color choice should reflect what works for your audience.
Color is a subjective factor, but it always should serve a business purpose. It needs to be determined objectively. There should be a thoughtful strategy for color selection and you need to think of the various formats and and media it’s going to be used in, and you need to make sure it’s always going to be legible and reproducible. A recent University study concluded that color can boost brand recognition by 80 percent.
A lot of memorable logos use a single color scheme, but if you plan to use more than one color make sure the end result isn’t a logo that was confusing or busy. So here’s an example of a very simple branding guidelines. It’s just a one-pager that I did for my company some time. Larger businesses or corporations will have a multi-page PDF they’ll have files and Dropbox for vendors and and internal people that download.
This is just a very simple, showing different options and it’s a good reminder for myself: you’ll notice that I have the different color breakdowns. The first line is for color process. The next color is a hex code for web and the next color talks about PMS color. So I’m going to get to that in just a minute. Those different breakdowns. One thing to keep in mind is that color tends very certain color schemes look dated today, but we’re hip and trendy when they first came out, so you can think about the harvest.
Gold and avocado colors that were really big for appliances back in the 70s and 80s. So you need to always keep in mind that what’s really cool today, it might look really dated tomorrow. So this is an example on the right. The Tiffany logo is a timeless trademark, color and actually, interestingly enough, the Pantone PMS color for this fertility 18:37 is the PMS color and that’s the year that Tiffany was founded.
So when your big guns, like Tiffany, you get to have your own Pantone color, let’s move on so talking just touching very briefly, you could do a whole page seminar, all about color psychology, but just remember that color is subjective. It can have different effects on readers. Colors that might work well in our North American culture might convey something completely different to Japanese, South American or Middle Eastern users.
Even though we’re in a global economy, color associations and preferences will vary so you’re going to want to do a little research. If you have an international brand, so talking a little bit about color psychology, red implies passion, energy danger or aggression, warmth or heat. It’s also been found to stimulate appetite, which explains why it’s used in so many restaurants and food product logos.
I always think ketchup. You know Heinz, but you can see there’s different, there’s different kinds of companies that use red and, and not all of them are food-related. It’s just interesting when you’re out and you’re buying products just kind of pay attention to the colors that trigger you. What impulse it causes to make you want to buy so the color green is often used when a competent when a company wants to emphasize natural or ethical credentials, especially with products like organic and vegetarian foods.
Green also implies growth and freshness, and it’s very popular with financial products. Also, the implication of growth. Blue is one of the most widely used colors and corporate logos. It implies professionalism, trust, integrity, sincerity and calm. Blue is associated with authority and success and for this reason it’s popular with both financial and government websites, so remember for maximum impact.
It’s always good to stick with a single color or two color palette when creating a logo. However, there are some very successful multicolored logos, so the implication of multiple colors in the logos you see here is that these companies are offering a wide variety of products and services for the Olympic rings. The multiple colors sort of give a message of diversity and inclusivity, and now we’re going to go to imagery a little bit and how to select imagery for your logo.
So it’s really important that your imagery is non generic memorable and communicate your business personality. That doesn’t mean you have to buy expensive customized illustration every time, but it does mean that you want to avoid generic overused. You know banal images that you’ve seen in a lot of places. Readability is really important. You always want to make sure there’s proper contrast between the logo and its text and the background that it’s going to be against recognition and clarity are huge.
A pale logo type face against a pale background. It will be hard to read and very confusing, keep in mind that icon type images very simple flat color are great for social media, so current trends and logo design our unusual typefaces but readable, geometric shapes social media, ready like flat iconic images, bright flat, colors and Gradient colors and overlays you’ve seen these like feathered, colors gradient.
I think I have some examples we’ll get to that in a minute. So here’s a like three logos that people are pretty familiar with that have been redesigned in the last couple years to look great on social media. These are the before versions and here’s the after, so you can see how things got simpler. Popular effects like you, look at Instagram sort of the realistic and the kind of shadowy edge, and all that everything kind of stripped out now and kind of today when people are viewing things on social media on a mobile device.
These are a lot more effective. A lot cleaner, clearer to read the master card. One is also another good and you can see that it doesn’t look like a big change, but it’s pretty pretty major. So, just a quick not to be negative but overused clipart be careful, be very careful of free I’ll get to that in a minute. Poor quality or illegible typefaces, like my personal pet peeve, all caps italic with a black outline and a drop shadow in regards to free art, clipart included, always always always check on copyright limitations.
There’s so many royalty-free image sites now online you can go and for very small amounts of money. You can purchase something and then in if you buy vector art, you can manipulate that in Adobe Illustrator or you can hire an illustrator to help you cand logos from stock sites. I see this a lot in real estate where somebody essentially bought. It was a house with some fake type underneath and they fixed it.
That has a really cheap unprofessional effect, and I would avoid it at all costs and just remember that people have really short attention spans and your logo needs to speak to them and kind of convey a feeling and be instantly understandable in a matter of seconds and Most of all, don’t use clipart that your client found in Microsoft Word because that’s not a logo. I’ve been there and just pretty scary.
So here’s a few tips how to help your logo work for you and work hard for you on the web. It’s a good idea to take the colors and typeface that you’ve been using in your logo and kind of echo it in the website, so everything’s kind of cohesive and belongs together. You want to connect visually and also use your logos, colors on your social media sites and, of course, on print materials. Make sure that your logo, colors and typefaces are consistent.
I just I’m a little obsessed with this, because sometimes you’ll have vendors, who will tweak things to fit the embroidery method they have for the baseball cap or the silkscreen that they’re doing on the t-shirt, and you really kind of have to be the logo police. For that, because it will affect your brand recognition, your logo also needs to support the general vibe of your site. What’s appropriate, I mean clearly a logo for a funeral or a corporate law.
Firm isn’t going to be the right kind of feel for a logo that you’re going to do for a nightclub or a florist. Next, I’m going to talk a little bit about. Where should the logo appear on your website, so the header of any website? That’s where your visitors likely will first see your logo, it’s a strategic part of real estate and it’s a great interaction starting point for your website. Users are 89 percent, more likely to remember logos that are in the traditional top left position than logos that are on the right and there aren’t you don’t see that too much anymore logos on the right.
The most common design position for logos on a web page is the top left corner and it serves as a landmark that Orient’s users, when they first land on the page it helps them, identify the website they’re visiting and they’re, more likely to recall the brand name. When the logos on the Left versus center or right apparently from my research, centered logos on the website might slightly negatively affect usability, but not as much as a right aligned.
Logo. The location of a centered logo is not, as far removed from the expected left position than a right-hand logo and centered logos. I think you’re, seeing that more and more now, because of responsive web design, the mobile first designs that people are doing now very typically you’ll have a non mobile view. You’ll have the hamburger or the menu kind of appear in one corner and then the logos in the middle, so that’s kind of driving, where the logos position also on the desktop version.
The Warby Parker great company for glasses. It used to appear on the left side of the website header. I think I showed you that there it is, and then, when you see it on the mobile view, it’s now centered we’re so used to the upper left or centered logo positioning that is kind of jarring to see it on the right. I saw that this is like a, I think, a fiend demo, and it just looked strange to me. I guess you know just not accustomed to that, so the dreaded requests as a graphic designer I’ve been living with this for many years can we make the logo bigger, guess what bigger is not better? A lot of clients like to see their logo really really big, but in truth, smaller logos are most commonly seen and expected on the web.
Bigger is not better and guess what users aren’t browsing your website to become familiar with your logo. It’s just a landmark. It’s just a guidepost they’re, coming there to check out your services. So if your message appears halfway down the page because of the giant logo, there’s a chance, you could lose the potential customer and an overly large logo could make your website look kind of amateurish.
Make sure your logo is flexible, that you can use it in various formats, including social media and mobile. Viewing a lot of companies will take a single letter or their graphic element from their logo and use that for their social media, icon an uncomplicated logo with just a few colors stands out best online and again, you need to keep in mind when you’re designing a Logo or you have a client logo that you may need to do different versions for different usages, for example, if your logo is really horizontal, it works great on your website header.
You might want to adapt it into a square shape, or maybe vertical, for a business card or for social media usage. It’s good to keep that in mind up front. So again, just using me my company as an example, we have a few versions of the logo on the upper left. You can see we have the complete logo with our tagline, so this tagline goes away as you see on the lower left. If it’s used really small and that could be in print or online like if I use, if I did this like on a pen or on a tiny post-it up, I don’t need to include that tagline.
This would be minuscule, nobody will be able to read it at the upper right is the background we use for our Twitter kind of landscape image and that’s using our asterisk icon of our logo and a tenth of the color that the attempt of the aqua color Against the solid aqua color and that’s just part of the color branding for my company and at the lower right, is the coral color asterisk that I use full-on for emphasis for bullets for accents on different materials.
So I it makes it a little more versatile and a little more playful here. This is from our packages page on our website. Just shows how we use the asterisk icon and actually these little icons when you first get to the page they kind of move. They look like little dancing like jacks from that you know from the game. This is where we describe different service packages and again just trying to be a little more whimsical and colorful, and here’s how we use it on the business card and again, the asterisk is pale.
It’s used as a watermark against a solid background and we’re going to talk just a little bit here about favicons. So pelicans are small 16 pixels square icon files that are displayed next to the URL of your site in a browsers address bar they’re, usually except they will be displayed next to the name of your site in the users list of open tabs and bookmark listings, and That makes it easier for the user to identify your site.
Well-Designed favicons are styled to match the logo or theme of your website, and that way, once again, users have a quick and easy way to recognize your website and here’s the nimble design, team favicon. So the favicon is small but mighty. It plays a subtle role in building the brand on your website and when visitors see it, they know, they’ve come to the right place a little bit here about logo file creation.
I always recommend that logos be created in vector art in adobe illustrator that way vector art allows you to enlarge things like ginormously or shrink it down really tiny without losing the integrity or the resolution of the image. If something is made up in Photoshop, it’s a JPEG or raster file, it’s made up of pixels and if you blow it up really huge like put on a billboard to the side of the building, it’s going to end up looking fuzzy.
So sometimes people will come to me and all they have is a gif or JPEG and typically will read R. I will just redo it as vector art, because that’s kind of the the base for everything else you’re going to be doing in the future. When you create your original file in Adobe Illustrator, you also set up colors for various file formats and usages. Here’s just a window showing you this is in Photoshop.
You can see I just kind of circled the CMYK down here that cyan magenta, yellow black. That’s a typical printing kind of, or digital output for print, the Pantone color selection would be shown in the color libraries area. You would click on that and that would take you to Pantone and Pantone has both coated and uncoated versions, depending on what kind of paper you’re printing it. Sometimes you have to be a little bit creative with color conversions, because it’s not a complete things that look perfect and to PMS colors printed on a business card may not interpret directly to the web.
The web uses hex colors, which means it’s hexagonal hexadecimal means it’s a six digit combination of numbers and letters. There are a lot of free online conversion tools. You can look around that will help you figure out how to convert from one color format to another. You can also do it inside a Photoshop and illustrator. Rgb is a color profile, that’s used in digital design and it represents the colors used on computer screens, TVs and mobile devices.
I typically when I create a logo in Adobe, Illustrator I’ll start in CMYK or Pantone and then later we’ll play with the hex colors on the website, and I think that’s kind of it except I’ll, take questions in a minute. If any of you would like to do a quickie logo review with me or you’d like to talk to me about anything, wordpress related or logo or graphic design related I’ll, be at the happiness bar right after here until lunchtime, I also have a really great little Handout, you say: Do It Yourself, branding audit checklist and it’s kind of fun, so stop up here afterwards and I’ll hand.
One to you also, if you visit my website, please sign up for my email newsletter. I send something out every month, not necessarily logo or graphic design related. Typically, it’s a wordpress related and here’s. My contact info I’ll be happy to take questions. Thank you, yeah, Karen. Yes, where am I oh yeah, so I oh here we go so, for example, yeah. So I yeah I’m still I to be honest when I I used that very sparingly, because that script is not the most readable, but it’s kind of fun.
It may change in the future. This was my. This was a huge just to give some background about a year and a half ago I was not nimble design team. I was, I had a name for my design company that was based on my previous husband’s name, and I had sort of this revelation sitting in a parking lot on a rainy Sunday afternoon, and I decided to change my business name, my logo, my colors. We are in the middle of a website class of judy night and I was going to change my web and I called Judy – and I said I I’m freaked out.
I need to change everything and she said you know what go for it. So being a logo designer you know at heart I went home that night and on a Saturday evening I just did the logo colors got it all going and then we started playing on the website. So to me my website and most the websites, I’m working on. That’s like a work in progress. What I love about the web, it’s not like carved in stone! It’s not a print brochure that got printed last week and the client called you up on a Sunday night at ten o’clock that there’s a typo.
In the second paragraph you can change you, can you can get feedback? You can alter things. I like it. Is it the most readable thing for headings? That’s about the most amount of words. I would ever use with that typeface to me it’s more of a headline kind of font. I think it looks great for the word nimble. The colors for me were kind of a riff on Fiestaware kind of 1950s. And again, if you go to my website on my blog, I’ve got posts and those are all from my MailChimp email newsletters and I talked about the color.
Their color is super suggestive, so subjective, sorry subjective. So a person my age might react differently than somebody who’s. Like twenty-two, but I did some kind of some like random casual testing and it got a good reaction. Many times when I’m working with a client on a logo, they have a committee, they have a board, they have corporate branding guidelines you really are held in. I worked on something not long ago actually for Emory hospital in Atlanta.
They just built a gorgeous new, huge addition to the hospital and they were going to have this big fancy kick-off party, and I did these layouts and they’re really happy and we got it like almost to the point of production, and then somebody realized that it looked Too, similar to something their competitor, a different healthcare system like there was some element, there’s some little like rainbow thing or something going on, and they just Nix the whole thing, and it a lot of people saw that including the president of the hospital I mean it Was just there’s things that are sometimes in your head and your memory in your personal database, and you have to be really careful that when you design or when your clients designing that it’s not about your personal expression, I mean graphic design and web design.
It’s all to me: it’s a visual problem solving and communication. So you have to put your ego aside even on your own website, if it’s not speaking to your users or speaking to your defined audience, that’s just not working. You know it might make. You feel good for a couple minutes, but not working. That’s right! Yeah for accidents yeah! I I didn’t set up like Wi-Fi or anything here, but yeah. I I think if you go there, you’ll poke around and you’ll see it’s just to me.
It’s kind of logical that that you’ve you’ve got this color palette. You’ve got sort of a look, and it establishes a branding and identity for yourself that you should carry. You should carry it out. The logo should not be a standalone that just kind of has its own little world everything kind of orbits around this brand that you’re building and it’s really important. If other people are like vendors or other people in your company, they’re playing with it, you need you really need to stay.
On top of, there needs to be a central place where you say: here’s the files for this and by the way, no, you can’t put it on a pink leopard background. You know or neon yellow, because that’s not going to work. So yes right so yeah. So when I’m working on logo projects for clients, I will do versions and sometimes what you think looks great in color and then you just create a grayscale version. It’s like, oh, my god.
It kind of have to recreate it and pick the grays and pick how deep is the black and it’s funny, because so even ten years ago I mean my career goes back way farther than that so gradients back in the day and early versions of Photoshop sprayed Ian’s would go like this, so it was like kissing death. We had a print folder. We did once and had a beautiful like deep teal up to white. It was so hard to get that thing to work, but remember that was back in the day of offset printing and and dots and and it’s everything today is so radically different because of digital, and I think, because a lot of things that you’re seeing now our Online only are in mobile and you don’t have that printing problem and I would say if I had a gradient logo and I wanted – and I was worried about that – I would just kind of gang a bunch of different samples and who’s ever printing it for you.
I would have them just output. Just do a piece of digital output, so we can show the client here’s what it looks like gradient gradient. Here’s what it looks like when I kept it in two PMS colors: here’s where I converted it ahead of time to CMYK. Here’s black only and – and you can make a judgment call – I think gradient – isn’t much less of an issue now than it used to be a lot of things. I mean I’ll tell you like it’s really back in the day, but we used to do everything in like Pantone one Pantone, color and one black color, because that was the most economical to color printing offset printing on a two color press.
Well, nobody’s I mean two color presses. Now are a dusty and dusty backrooms I mean there’s some usage like if you’re an Emory hospital or coca-cola, and you have your designated Pantone color. You are going to print in two colors or three PMS colors, whatever most people today are going to print using digital output, so whatever your, whatever the file, is you’re giving to the printer that digital device, that machine is interpreting your colors into its colors, which are Cmyk and even that think about it, it’s it’s not ink.
It’s it’s like powder, or whatever I mean it’s, not it’s not an offset machine where you read the guy dump the bucket of Pantone 285. You know it’s just it’s radically different. So I like to be cautious – and I like to test and even when I’m showing mock-ups, if client, if the client has a presentation – and it’s really crucial, like in the case with some of my bigger clients like Emery, I’m not going to trust FedEx Office or My own color printer to show a proof: I’m going to go to the printer, whose altom utley doing their work and they’re going to output it and they’re going to output it on the actual paper stock.
Because another thing that happens a lot in the world of printing – some of you may not know this, but the brightness of the paper color can affect the outcome of your color. There used to be a very popular thing, I think. Back in the 90s, everybody was printing on this, like eggshell, ivory, cream stock and a lot of times with, like weird brown ink. I you know, I’m glad that trend is over, but in any case, if you print a color in a CMYK conversion on a beige ivory cream stock, and then you compare it to a bright white radically different and even when you’re picking.
If you’re ordering business cards online, you go to like mu or vistaprint or the peppermint printing there’s a lot of good sites. What you see on your computer screen, it’s not what you’re going to get so sometimes it makes it makes a difference. It’s worth the cost to have them actually: output, it and mail. You a physical piece. If it’s crucial to your branding, it will look different. The interpretation of your colors will vary and and kind of a luxury on the web is it’s on the web.
It’s there. No one’s going to print it unless you’ve got a PDF attached to see an annual report and then somebody you don’t know what they’re printing it out on. Maybe they’re printing out on a crappy. You know sixty dollar inkjet printer, it’s not going to be the same. I mean what a client says to you: oh I just printed it out. I love it. Let’s give it to the printer. Well guess what they’re inkjet printing device is? Not the high end digital output, that your printers going to supply and they might end up being disappointed so always in the world of print.
You always want to output and compare and show yes Megan yeah, so yeah right, yeah, so colorblindness is, is something to definitely consider, and I personally need to read out more on that, because there are certain colors that a large part of the population doesn’t see, and So that’s that’s not part of my presentation, but that’s an accessibility issue and definitely worth reading up on. What I like to tell the client is what you’re seeing on your monitor is not what I’m seeing on my monitor and we need.
I mean it’s like the testing that you’ll do want to on a new website you’re looking at different devices, different mobile. You know Android iPhone tablets, PCs Macs. It’s going to look different throughout, so I’ve never had a really tricky issue with like a large corporate client about color, I have a feeling our whole in-house departments dealing with that like if your in-house design at coca-cola, I have a feeling that there’s a very tricky Formulas that are probably shared internally for that.
I am really cautious about making sure the client understands that what they see is not necessarily what their customer will see or that the output will be exactly matching. What I mean I’m just. I try to make that clear because we’re we’re all using different devices now and the kind of proofing we did. You know back in the day, looking at very expensive chrome, illan prints that were output with multiple layers of film and there was a whole art.
I mean ever they’re craftsmen, you know fixing things like pixel by pixel that that’s just gone so most of my clients now don’t even want us. I mean we used to do annual reports and we would make these gorgeous beautifully output. Dummy mock-ups multi-page look just like a printed book and it was very expensive. Now we just sent a multi-page PDF and they’re, probably just looking at it online or printing it out on their cheap printer and they don’t really care.
But when you have something that’s really crucial for color like if there’s a newsletter and there’s pictures of people I had this recently, the client was in a big rush. We did this 20 page newsletter got it done. The photos were crappy. I tweaked it a little bit. There was no time and then the printer out put it, and it was embarrassing because again what I saw in my monitor there wasn’t time to see their proof, their digital proof and if I’d been the client.
I would have been very unhappy with the final output flesh tones people of color shadows a lot of times. You need to have somebody who’s, a professional of Photoshop retouch, or do that kind of work? For you, I mean many times I’ll, be honest with you. A lot of the logos I work on just for inspiration for rough concept, I’ll show the clients something that I will literally kind of trace off of a stock image site just for an idea.
I don’t have it here, but I have a client called Andrew hall living she’s, actually she’s, the lady behind the anime’s pantry that logo, with that kind of funny shape so she’s, a very interesting entrepreneur in Atlanta she’s, an african-american woman and she’s. Creating this personal brand called Andrew Hall living it’s kind of like Martha Stewart Living, so she sent me this sketch that she did on a napkin.
It had this really gross looking like bumble bee and some funny lettering, and I got it. I she wants a queen bee and she wants script lettering and it’s got to be really legible and it’s got to look elegant because she’s probably going to end up like gold, foiling it and using it on all kinds of cool like aprons and tchotchkes. So I redid it for her just using a very simple stock image. I found a butt queen and I purchased this queen bee and I said I think this is the direction you want and actually on one of my blog posts.
I I described the whole thing. I described the process how we did this, so I showed it to her. She said yeah you’re in the right direction. So then I have an illustrator this guy’s, like he’s, not a person who should talk to a client, but he said he’s a great illustrator Photoshop guy. I’m happy to recommend him to anybody here and I sent him my rough layout with. I knew the script I had the typo set up.
I had this kind of crappy be, and I said I need you to clean this up. Here’s the style I need it done in and he came back in like two hours and his beautiful, more customized queen bee and it’s very elegant. And if I was her I’d be using that logo everywhere and eventually just use that be because it’s really distinctive and it it has a really nice feeling with it with a script. I’m sorry, I didn’t include it here.
This slide shows a little older than that logo is, but that is becoming her personal brand, and so you should think about your business, your whatever it is that you’re doing your company if you’re a solopreneur like I am in a way it kind of becomes your Personal brand as well, so you you want to be proud of it. You want to feel like it’s, not something that everyone’s seen before and that same typeface and that same image has been used by thousands of other people.
It’s good to keep that in mind. Yes ma’am, so some logos of clients have had their their logo is kind of complicated and it’s hard to figure out. What are we going to do for that? Little favicon and I might take an element and then tweak it a little like make it solid color. So it’s not gradated, so it’s not sixteen different shapes that have to be jammed into 16 pixel square area. I like to think about that, because I’m always thinking to like, what’s what’s going to look, look good on social media.
You know something that’s recognizable and simple and clean and professional. We have two minutes left. Do you have any more questions? Yes, sir? So I usually do a little research like I’ll Google that online and see what’s all out there and then run in the opposite direction. You know if everybody’s using, like I don’t, know a stethoscope or a heart or a lip bar graph of like a you, know, heartbeat just step away and think of maybe different words, even Google’s different phrases or just you know for me, oddly, what really works the Way my mind thinks is I’ll, be in the shower I’ll, be sleeping I’ll, be driving in my car, and I like to keep a little notepad with me I’ll, take pictures of like wow, that is a cool logo or I’ll pull over to the side of the Road and like yeah, that is really cool and I’ll, take a photo, and it becomes some of my personal little library.
Slash database also run it by people who you respect. It’s it’s so easy to be cliche, because sometimes the client wants you to be cliche because they think that’s what speaks to the customer base and also keep in mind if it’s a local or regional or based in your area. I did something for the Georgia Charter. Schools, Association and we actually ended up incorporating sort of a stylized peach for Georgia.
The peach became part of one of the letters I mean even think about that. If it’s a real specific geographic area that that can work for different types of companies, I hope that helps yes, first of all, first of all, don’t let them drag you down the path of I need to see another 30 versions don’t go there, that’s bad! I think you might need to talk and strategize before you continue showing version after version.
I mean what what’s going on in their head. Is it because their wife likes it? Is it because their kid did it 20 years ago, there’s what’s up with the partner or are they are they new and are they coming from a background where they have this logo? They designed at their previous company, maybe get a little more info. I’ve dig a little bit because sometimes there’s certain colors or typefaces or imagery that trigger a positive or a negative response, and just like you do with website design rather than like leap into we.
You know we designers love our things, our visuals our stuff, but maybe before you go there just step back and do a little strategizing and research with them, questioning otherwise you’re going to go down logo, design, hell and you’re going to be like okay version number 52.8. You know no just and we’re going to wrap now I guess, but just to tell you when I take on a logo project, I will tell them there’s going to be three possibly five initial concept, layouts.
That is a three to five after that narrow it down to your top two after that, okay, you, like that typeface with that that you know you go from like three to five to two to one and then we finesse the one and we’re done. Don’t don’t go there, I mean unless they’re paying you tens of thousands of dollars which probably not likely but anyway, if any of you’d like to talk to about logos or anything else.
WordPress related I’ll I’ll beat the happiness bar till lunchtime and thank you so much.
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