Eightyone Design Logo

Logo Design Rules!

Favourite part of the design process

Yes logo design rules! But there are also some actual rules (guidelines) that must be adhered to when creating a logo design that ‘rules’ (is cool). Enough of my pathetic attempt at word play. This is a serious post with an important message. If you are thinking of commissioning a logo design then this article is for you.

I’m not going to go over old ground, we all understand the importance of a good logo design to your business. We all know that your logo design should be lovingly researched and developed alongside your companies objectives and messages, it reflects what you do and how you do it and it should appeal to your target market.

We never deter clients from browsing other graphic designers portfolios as it makes them more aware of who’s in the industry and (hopefully) more confident in choosing us as their logo designer. But when you view a graphic design portfolio, do you know what makes a good logo design? It’s not just about how appealing it is, it must also be versatile and usable on a range of media. Here’s a run down of rules (guidelines) we use when designing a logo:

1. Where will the logo look its absolute worst?

This is normally a photocopied / faxed / laser printed document. All of these have one thing in common… they will display your logo in black and white. When designing your logo options we supply a black and white version for your perusal as well as a colour version. This enables you to focus on the shape of your logo without being swayed by the colour. If, for example, you were given a logo design concept in red and you do not like that colour then it is much harder to look objectively at the design. The logo design should work in a single colour before any colour options are explored.

Our Weigh Logo design - Eightyone Design, Paignton, Devon

2. Use a limited colour palette

A good logo design rarely uses more than 2 colours. If you think of all the iconic corporate logos we see in our everyday life, there are few examples that use more than 2 colours (Coca Cola), with the majority making use of just one (Apple, Nike, Adidas). In fact, the last 3 I mention do not even have a specific colour attached to their brand.

DLP Logo design - Eightyone Design, Paignton, Devon

3. Large and small, big and tall!

All logos should be clear and readable and work at any size. A good rule to ask yourself is ‘would my logo design still convey the desired message work when reduced to the size of a postage stamp?’. Marks are regularly used as avatars and favicons and again need to work at a small size.

SDS Logo design - Eightyone Design Paignton, Devon

4. Gradients and shadows don’t necessarily make a good logo design

Gradients can be costly to reproduce in print and are all too often used to the detriment of a design. The same rules apply, a logo design using gradients should also work in single colour. Many web based companies are now using gradients, multiple colours and shadows to add depth to their logo designs. This is fine as a logo should be designed to work to it’s target market. If you know your logo will mostly be used online then feel free to experiment with gradients and shadows… but remember the golden rule, it should always work in single colour first and should not rely on the gradients to convey its main message.

WBR Logo design - Eightyone Design, Paignton, Devon

5. Avoid using photography

Faces of people or detailed images and patterns can reduce the recognition value of a logo design and they certainly degrade in quality when it come to reproducing them. Your logo design should be vector based which can be re-scaled to any size without loosing quality. Whereas raster based photography relies on PPI (pixels per inch) which can degrade in quality when used at multiple sizes..

WBR Logo design - Eightyone Design, Paignton, Devon

6. Avoid decoration and cheap Photoshop effects

Avoid using ‘out of the box’ effects on your logo design. Whether its embossing and beveling or texture effects, if it is obvious that these effects have been used ‘because you can’ rather than because they are needed then they should not feature in your logo design.

Eightyone Logo Design gone wrong

You want your logo design to have longevity as well as presence. It needs to work well on a range of media as well as appealing to your market and should convey your message as simply as possible.

So… does your logo meet all the requirements above?

Posted by Lu

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Posted on Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 at 11:01 am
Posted In Graphic Design, Logo Design, Tutorials and Tips | Tags: ,

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