Logo Design Tips

I’ve been designing logos for a while now, and I see a lot of logos designed by other people. I must say most of the logos I have been seeing lately have been awful. By no means, and I the only person that thinks that way, nor am I the God of logos. However, I have a few suggestions on how to make a good logo for a client.

Budget

Of Course, there is the first thing to find out; what is your client’s budget. I don’t mean find out what your client is willing to pay you, I mean how much they are willing to spend on printing. If a client comes to you and wants a galaxy with a shooting star in full color, he better have some cash to fork out to the printers. Most new clients don’t have a clue about things like that, and it is your job to inform them.

Colors

The Next Step is to find out how many colors they can afford to print. Find out what they plan to print the logo on in the immediate future, and suggest to them 1 to 2 colors if they plan on printing the logo on a large amount of items. Most of the big companies, have a one color logo, so they can print it on everything they want to. If you have a five color logo, you can’t really afford to pay that much unless you are a billion dollar industry. Next time you buy something in a box at the grocery store, take a look at the folds of the box(cases of beer are the easiest to find). You usually will find a CMYK registration along the folds, along with spot color additions.

A quick lesson on colors. Spot color is when part of the logo uses an exact ink color that you specify(sometimes called a Pantone) Each color must have an exact color number to be printed. Printers will have books of colors that you can specify what colors you want to use. The printer will create a plate for that color and other plates for other colors. SO, each color you choose will be a plate. The other way to print something is process. CMYK, cyan, magenta, yellow and black. That is four plates, but things like photographs and complex colors are printed in CMYK. They make up all the colors except metallics. The colors are not as true as spot colors. You can always mix the two.

Once you find out what you have to work with. Most people will want a one or two color logo. The easiest way to make sure your client is concentrating on the design and not the colors, is to design it in grayscale. I use Adobe Illustrator to create the logo, then I take it into Photoshop, convert it to grayscale and then show it to the client. I use variations of grays for each color so that the client knows that it is multi colored. Try to give your client a few variations of each design. This will give them the idea that you can always manipulate the design you have created.

Know your thing

Make suuuure that you know what you are doing before you take on this kind of project. Ask around before diving into print and corporate identity. Unless you are doing it free of course, and don’t mind arguing with printers for long hours. Try taking charge and finding a printer that you can work with on the project. They may be able to help you avoid mistakes. Remember, keep the design simple, make sure it can be resized under 1 inch without losing resolution. Print it out on a laser printer and make sure it is clean and not pixilated. You also want to make sure it isn’t cluttered. Look at the big boys logos, Intel, Microsoft, Adobe, Lucent, etc. Their logos are quite simple, and they can be recognized easier because of it.

Author: Gina Hutchings
Copyright Lunar Media Inc
Chicago Web Design

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