Hello! A quick intro before we begin?
I’m Simon, a ‘new to it’ Logo Designer (& Photographer).
Born in Southern England, I grew up around a large, close family and a decent handful of good friends in a village called Langley. Located on the outskirts of the M25 ring in a county called Berkshire.
Three fantastic years of my childhood were spent in Ao Nang. Now, at age 30, I enjoy exploring the world, meeting new people and enjoying new cultures along the way. I travel to Europe often with my partner and do my best to see my very good friend Luciel in Spain whenever funds allow!..
Below is my account into the world of Logo Design, as seen from a newcomers perspective. Links to as many resources I could remember are embedded. I hope you enjoy the read!
What Prior Knowledge?
It turns out I initially believed my knowledge of Photoshop and eye for detail would suffice. I thought it would give me the tools needed to design great logos. I mean, I could create all manner of ok-ish designs in Photoshop.. That was my initial thought, at least until learning that illustrator is the software of choice for logo design, duh. Oh and also that most of what I’d learnt through Photoshop was now somewhat redundant as the two pieces of software are not too similar, are they?
Resources I’ve Read & Found Useful
After surrounding myself with logo design related material for a little more than six months, various blogs have been read (which I’ve listed below). Many a YouTube tutorial followed (also below) and a specific design software subscription service licenced. See a short list below, unintentionally it seems I was gearing myself up for business as opposed to learning general theory of logo design.
Before the list begins however, I’d like to share with you the single most impressionable guy I’ve come across online when it comes to tutorials on SKillshare, chats on youtube and tbh any content I could find anywhere that was fre.. (I know, cheap of me.. Ah who cares)
He is the one and only, Arron James Draplin, founder of his studio DDC, Draplin Design Co. This guy has given me so much inspiration it’s unreal. Like, his videos are filled with passion and accidental ambition, he’s great to watch and is very easy to pick up and remember later when you’re trying to recreate the work he talked about in that last video, four videos ago..
Check him out on YouTube here: Arron James Draplin on YouTube, I’ve even pre-filled his name into the search, just hit the link, you won’t regret it!
- The Professional Association for Design, Resources Page
- LinkedIn Learning – Progressive Subtraction
- A Guide to Creating Professional Quality Logo Designs
- Trends to Follow in 2017 when Creating a Logo for your Business
- The Logo Design Process: A Complete Guide for Your Business
- How to Sell the Heck Out of Your Design Services… In the Coolest, Non-Sleaziest Way
- The Logo Design Process: A Complete Guide for Your Business
- How much should I charge for a logo?
- How To Explain Raster vs. Vector To Your Clients
- How Many Logo Concepts Do You Present Your Clients?
- Reasons Why You Should Never Opt For a Cheap Logo Design
There are honestly sooo many more that I have, feel free to comment and ask for the HTML files of my bookmarks, I have over 50 useful bookmarks from all different areas of Logo Design that I’m sure any new starter would fine useful along with or on top of your own research.
Beautiful Colors, Everywhere!
So far I have learnt that color is a vital part of logo design. I already knew this however had no prior knowledge of how colors work with each other and how they affect onlookers.
Reading up on the way color affects the human senses (which I read about in Computer Arts issue #266) hit home with how much color plays in our everyday lives. Advertisers focus on color almost as much as how they word their adverts!..
I use a fantastic android app called Colorgrab by Loomatix, this app is basically a digital color collector and allows you to collect any color you see through your phone camera. It’s remarkably accurate and a joy to use. I literally love it!
You can see a couple of my color palettes in the gallery to the right, the exploration of color and how it can be used is definitely a side to logo design I would think about investing some time in understanding. I am glad I’ve read the little I have and will continue to read more.
There’s this great set of infographics you should take a look at, it describes how various colors affect us, definitely worth a read.
There’s also this blog post from CreativeBloq which is similar to the above just not so detailed.
Files, Files & more Files!
So I’m learning a lot, doing a lot, following tutorials, making the future me you know, scraps of logos and design shit here and field notes filled with sketches there ‘n all that good stuff. Inevitably, as well as my computer desk, my computer desktop constantly needs tidying, keeping everything just so you know? Easily identifiable and without duplicates (something I’m absolutely terrible for).
To aid with this level of tidiness that I crave and the level of untidiness that actually was, I bought Stardock’s Fences software, it’s a great piece of kit, and I also got my act together and remembered what I was like before getting into Logo Design, before I found this fantastic world of creativity. I do not keep a tidy computer desktop. The desk is still somewhere in between.
Typography, Ooh Those Curves
What I learnt in a nutshell is, well, it can’t be put in a nutshell.
I have always enjoyed letterforms, ever since I was a little guy shop banners and street signs would catch my eye as I walked past them on the way to school. This hasn’t stopped, all that has changed is that I now have more of an idea into how important that nice looking type actually is and how it was made to be so appealing.
For a logotype, or even a tagline for a logo icon, the font chosen has to fit well. You can select a horrid comic sans typeface anywhere and it looks dreadful, apart from on a child’s party invitation, however even then it’s still sorta horrid in my opinion.. Comic Sans is basically something you should use to gauge how far from it the font you’re looking at is. If it’s almost the opposite you’re in a good place!
So I learnt a good font needs to fit the emotion you want the logo to convey. There are certain fonts that will convey a striking, elegant & timeless effect, take Bauer Bodoni, Perpetua Italic & Felix Titling as a few examples.
You can portray as much emotion through the correct font choice as you can with the logo design itself, hence the use of logotypes so heavily. Not to be confused with logomarks.
Take a read of some typography blogs, I found this one particularly useful: Typography Tutorial for Beginners: Everything You Need to Learn Typography Basics
If you don’t have the time, here are a few pointers for manipulating type..
Leading, (the gap between the descender of the line above, and the ascender of the line below) which in logo design, usually for the business name or tagline isn’t too important as there is rarely two lines of text.
Kerning, which is extremely important in logo design as it defines the gap that sits between your letters and thus gives you the perfectly equal or purposefully spaced lettering.
Tracking, which I understand as basically kerning a whole word, at once. Somewhat messy but allows you to adjust the spacing quickly over a full sentence to then go back and kern to more detail etc.
For a great visual reference to logotypes, purchase Logotype By Michael Evamy, it’s full of great info over the first 10 or so pages and more importantly showcases hundreds of exceptional logotype designs from around the world. Whilst we’re on the subject that is Michael Evamy, he has also released Logo, you can figure out what’s in that one?! Both are also available in large hardback copies for your viewing pleasure.)
Industry Trend Knowledge
It seems that, as well as needing to know many new terms and phrases, being up to date with current trends and knowing the trends thoroughly is something you’ll have to get used to.
For this I only leave you with this one link. You’ll thank me for it: https://www.logolounge.com/trend-reports
At The End of the Day
In order to create this first blog post I had to know that a logo, for many businesses, is the first piece of visual marketing a prospective customer will see. For that matter alone, that customer needs to feel the emotion the business wants to portray with the logo.. Visually expressing a number of emotions is not an easy feat and I take my hat off to all logo designers who are currently working on a project for a passionate client.
To be able to portray a business brand through logo design there must be a clear level of understanding. You need to hear from your client about how their brand values are to be portrayed, the manner they want them received in and how they want the customer to feel when they see it. For that to happen, as a designer, we need to learn to represent all of these sets of emotions, at once.
Logo design is fantastic, it’s enjoyable and thrilling. It is not as easy as I had once thought. There is a real talent behind finishing a logo that is exactly what your client is after. They take time and genius, and if done well your client will be over the goddamn moon!