the art of logo design

The art of logo design

Generally speaking a successful company has a quality logo.

What are the components of a quality logo? What makes a logo work or not work? Why is it important?

A logo is often the first impression the world sees of a company. As with people, first impressions count. A logo is a communication tool.  It needs to be unique, it needs to stand out from the crowd, conversely it may need to fit in with perceived standards. It needs to be instantly recognisable. This is so once you’ve seen that logo somewhere, or have an interaction with the company, the next time you see it, you recognize the company’s ‘signature’, and are therefor aware you are with the same company or people. Brand recognition.

It needs to give trust, reassurance, make potential customers want to be part of it, or intrigued to find out more of the company.

It needs to be simple, clean and professional. It needs to work at a small size, or very large size. Ought to work in black and white or colour.

What it doesn’t need to do is describe what the company does. In fact with regard to the actual work of the company it is more likely to aspire to the values the company wishes to stand for, rather than a descriptive image of what the company does.

That’s quite a lot a logo needs to do.

Ultimately like almost all creative endeavors, a logo works or it doesn’t. You can have the best idea in the world, and if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, and you come up with something else. It takes hard work, creative thinking, research, intuition, reworking and reworking of ideas. Returning to earlier designs, and also a little bit of time needs to be spent with a finished design, to live with a design, to test it’s potential longevity.

Iain Cameron logo design

What’s my logo about? (top left) Just a font. No colour. But a memorable word shape always set on white. Minimal, discreet. I’m not selling me, it’s not about me, it’s my work for other clients that is important, that leads to others wishing to use my services. My designs are not about me, I am a facilitator of design for companies.

While a hand written signature was considered, my first name is an issue outside of Scotland. Iain. That first letter is an ‘i’ for ice cream, not an ‘l’ for lettuce, as it may appear. Clarity was important. Hand written would have added to the confusion.

Colour would distract from my portfolio. So in some ways a logo is a system of elimination. There is always a great one there for every company. Unless like me discretion is a deliberate choice. It’s a process of peeling back the layers until you find it.

A picture paints a thousand words.

A detailed case study of one of my logo designs.

My graphic design page which has many logo designs.