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Logo Design Tips & Interview with LoGoBoom

Logo Design Tips & Interview with LoGoBoom

LoGoBoom

So, who is LoGoBoom and what is his story?

LoGoBoom is Glen Hobbs of Highlands Ranch, Colorado. I define myself first as a husband and father. Of course, to be good at that, you’re pretty much obligated to provide a roof over their heads, food on their plates and trips to Chucky Cheese. There’s where design comes in.

As a teen approaching high school graduation back in the same year that George Michael’s “Faith” topped the Billboard 100 (that’s as close as I’m getting to giving you my age) I had zero idea what I wanted to do for a career. It’s not that I was stupid. I was a straight A student with a lot of options. It’s just that none of them was of any interest to me.

One of my older brothers, who was gainfully employed, asked me “So what do you want to do?” We were sitting in our parents’ den watching television. I remember it well. I replied with a confident “I dunno.” He probably said something back or slapped me in the back of the head. I don’t remember that. But at that moment the logo graphics for the television show we were watching animated on. “That. I want to do that.” I said. He simply replied “Well that’s graphic design. There are schools for that.” I don’t think I ever thanked him. Thanks bro! And five bucks to anybody who emails me a correct guess at the name of the show.

What? This is a business? People get paid to do stuff like that? And there I was. Headed down the path. I did no research at all regarding the industry. Knew nothing about what I was getting into. I just enrolled and showed up for the first day of classes knowing absolutely nothing about the world of graphic design. So maybe I was stupid after all. But I remember on that first day thinking to myself “this feels right.” I also met my wife while attending that school. Boy was it ever right. Hi Trish!

Before I fast-forward to modern day… a shout out to a couple of my instructors: to Tony Gresham for challenging me to challenge everything and to James McCullough for encouraging me to trust my instincts. Moving on…

Buginners

What is your typical design process?

See this is tricky. Do I “clean up” the description of my process so I come across as a consummate professional? Or do I lay it on you all candid and raw like? Raw it is. Warning: I am not a good example.

I don’t have a formal process. I don’t have a client questionnaire. I don’t have a contract. We agree on a fee and schedule and then I just listen. I listen to the client (whether in person or via email) describe who they are. What they want. What they need. What they like. What they don’t like. Who they are trying to attracts as an audience. What their challenges are. It’s all there. You know it’s like the old adage that the sculpture already exists in the block of marble…it’s just the sculptor’s job to take away the excess.

My mom used to ask me how I could keep coming up with new ideas. I explained that every client has a unique need. It’s like a math. You never run out of answers because every problem has it’s own solution. But then again, not so rigid as math because with design, every problem can have a million solutions. I just have to find one of them that works.

So here’s what I do. And I even tell my clients this so my ugly habits have already been outed. If I have a set amount of time to work on a logo, I do absolutely nothing with it for the majority of that time. I just go about my business of eating, sleeping, watching the tube, playing with the kids. But it’s in there. In the dusty corners of my mind. Percolating. Some of my best logo designs have happened when I’m driving or showering. Sorry for the visual. But yeah. It just happens. Then once I’ve procrastinated to the point I can’t procrastinate any further, I throw a collection of quick sketches down on whatever paper is handy and dive to Illustrator.

Intex

I don’t peruse references for inspiration. I don’t do much research (unless unfamiliar with the industry I’m designing for). I was always that way with illustration as well. I hated looking at references. A while back I heard an interview with the designers of the new Dodge Challenger. They said, and I paraphrase, that they didn’t want to build a line for line replica of the ‘68 Challenger but rather they wanted to build a car inspired by how we remember the car in our mind’s eye. The audience could relate. It didn’t have to be literal. It just had to make a connection in the mind. Brilliant. I approach things the same way. I trust my instincts of what I think will make that connection for the intended audience rather than getting bogged down in the literal. Of course I was always a terrible illustrator so… whatever.

DocVault Logo

What makes a good logo in your opinion?

I think a good client makes a good logo. You know? I mean a good client will recognize it’s not just their subjective tastes that should shape the design. A good client will let the logo do what it needs to do. A good logo serves business goals. A good logo represents well. A good logo stands the test of time. A good logo is quite often the front door to the company so it should send out the appropriate message. And again, the appropriateness of it is shaped by all kinds of factors that must be considered. So what makes a good logo? I do. I make a good logo. Ok, that’s way over the top shameless self-promotion.

Seville

What makes a good logo designer?

A healthy ego. Emphasis on “healthy”. We have to have an ego to survive in this business. And we have to have an ego to put ourselves out there on a daily basis. Here…look at what I made and critique it unabashedly. It takes self-confidence to do that. But that ego can’t get in the way. We can’t be arrogant. The client isn’t always right…but they are always the client. A designer with a healthy ego will have conviction for his choices but at the same time be open to the thoughts of others. It’s a fine line but ultimately one that determines our success.

Paulien And Associates

What are your main methods of finding new clients and which of those methods work best?

Well I’ve been fortunate enough that clients tend to find me. I have a lot of repeat and referral business locally, nationally and internationally. And I’ve established long-term relationships with a number of agencies and design firms across the country from them seeing my portfolio on-line. I owe a debt of gratitude to sites like this one and LogoPond.com, as many designers do, for evangelizing our talents. Having been in this industry for quite some time, I’m still amazed at the opportunity to work with companies from around the world as if they were just next door. This internet thing just might catch on.

Vende Diamonds

How do you present your concepts to your clients and how many do you usually provide? What final files do you deliver to your client?

Well, as I said above, this internet thing is a game changer. Back in the day I was always able to sit down with a client and present face to face. Today is the age of the pdf. But I do miss some of that direct interaction. I remember when I first started working for a local design firm here in Denver. I was hired specifically for my logo design experience. The owner asked me how many logos I typically presented. I said anywhere from a few to 10ish depending on budget etc. He didn’t say much. So I asked, “How many do you guys typically present?” He said “Usually around 40.” He had a great process. Very informal. We’d present a huge amount of ideas. Some very fleshed out…some quite rough. But we’d just lay them all out on a table. Without fail the client would always react with the thought that there was no way they could decide. The owner would say, “You know, just start by turning over the ones you just absolutely don’t like.” Without fail they would very quickly narrow the focus down to about five concepts making extremely valuable comments along the way.

Asian Pacific Logo

To those of us listening, what they said about the ones they didn’t like was just as important as what they said about the ones they did. We’d then take that narrowed selection and do another study on those. Of course those were pretty large budgets. But it was a great experience in recognizing that initially there are no bad ideas. It’s just that the better ideas will rise up. And it really pushed me to forge ahead once you hit that designer block.

Clearly budget dictates the number of concepts that I present. That’s where the onus is on us as designers to think it through before we design. I think Paul Rand when presenting the UPS logo said he only brought one because it was the right one. It only takes one.

Amory Ross

What final files do you deliver to your client?

Vector files (eps) and raster files (hi and lo res psd/jpg) in cmyk, pms, rgb and b&w. Really whatever the client needs. And I always tell them that I keep files archived so if they ever need a specific format down the road they can hit me up and I’ll get it to them at no charge.

Colony Apartments

Has there ever been a case when the client was not fully satisfied with the suggested logo designs? If yes, how did you handle that? Did you charge extra for the additional designs? How often does this happen?

Absolutely not! Ok, ok. We’ve all encountered this. And really it depends on the circumstances. There are certainly times where the client didn’t like anything and after hearing their comments I could see where I fell short on how I translated their direction. Other times it seems like the client gave inaccurate direction to begin with. I usually tell a client that if they just don’t like anything from my first presentation, I’ll go back to the drawing board at no extra charge. This gives them a level of comfort. And I feel if I miss that badly, it can’t be all their fault. Beyond that, I consider progressive tweaks and revisions to be within scope. But the client can’t contradict themselves or change horses in mid-stream. That will affect the budget.

Colorado Trust Logo

What are your most favorite design resources? What gives you inspiration and where can we find it? How do you deal with creative blocks?

I think I covered this with the discussion of all my bad habits above. But I do very much like sites like this and LogoPond.com. LogoPond is a great community and you will get honest critique so be prepared. But to make it this long in this business I’ve developed a pretty tough skin. As for my inspiration? Every thing and everywhere. I just look around. And if I get blocked… I take a walk and do something completely unassociated with design. Then I come back fresh.

Cafe Papillon

What are your plans for the near future and where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

Well for the near future I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. I’m pretty fortunate to be where I’m at and surrounded by people who love me. It ain’t broke so I ain’t fixin’ it. Oh but I really do need to build myself a website to feature my portfolio. I’m a little behind the curve on that one. Did I mention that I think this whole web thing is really about to catch on?

And in ten years? I can’t say. I plan about 2 weeks ahead. Beyond that…it’s a surprise for all of us.

Riverboyne

Lastly, what advice would you give to an aspiring logo designer? And any last words?

Any last words?

Yeah. I’d just like to share a little story. My daughter, Lindy, always offers to help me with logos. She’ll come in my office and ask, “What logo are you working on Dad? Want some help?” She has good ideas. Believe me. A couple of years ago after asking what I was working on she was clearly not interested in the subject matter so she said “I’m going to design a logo for Opal” her little sister who at the time was just crawling. Ok. Fine. You do that.

She goes away with her pencil and paper and comes back in about 10 minutes with this:

Opal

Lindy was six at the time. A six year old was able to connect the letterforms of her sister’s name, Opal, into a personal logo that captured a specific phase of development. I KNOW! CRAZY!

How is that possible? I know for a fact that I would not have come up with that idea were I tasked to do so. There’s no way. But a six year old did. I was humbled. And, of course, extremely proud as I showed the sketch to my designer friends and random strangers.

So what’s the take away from this little story? I don’t know. Maybe it’s that we should never take ourselves too seriously. We’re some of the lucky few that get paid to use our imaginations. My daughters don’t get paid to use their imaginations but they do it every day anyway because it’s fun. It’s fun. We get to work at a job that’s fun. Don’t forget that.

I’m going to go play with my kids now. That’s the best idea I’ve had today.

You can get in contact with Glen on Logo Pond:

More Logo Designer Interviews:

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Creating A Logotype – Tips & Case Study

Creating A Logotype – Tips & Case Study

Beolchi-Rangel

A general rule of thumb in logo design is that when you have an original business / product name (ie. Sony, Kodak or Sega) you should keep the design very simple (like all logo designs) and in some cases, this means having no logo at all.

The definition of a logo without a mark / symbol, is a logotype and with a few small, appropriate modifications to a typeface (in this case Gotham Black) you can create a powerful brand identity.

Below you will find a diagram of a logotype designed for a recent client of mine – a business management consulting firm based in Brazil.

In this case, I modified the letters E & L to have angled slopes and to keep consistency, the angles are parallel with the angles found in the letter A , which also has a slight modification.

Beolchi Rangel Logotype

I am in the process of designing the rest of Beolchi Rangel’s marketing material but below you can see how another element has been brought into the design to help create the whole identity.

BusinessCard

Have you ever designed a logotype? Did you find it difficult selling the idea to the client?

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Insider Logo Design Tips: Mike Erickson (Logomotive)

Insider Logo Design Tips: Mike Erickson (Logomotive)

Image

So, who is Mike Erickson?

I’m 40 year old father of four, professional logo designer ,typographer and illustrator, AKA Logomotive. I have been designing professionally online since 1998 under the name Logo Motive Designs. I would consider myself pretty good at designing strong marks with complimenting type. I have done half a dozen professional typefaces on the market for Letterheadfonts. I am very passionate about my work and enjoy doing my own thing. My beginning work started out to be more illustrative, but found through my experience that I really enjoy designing strong memorable marks and custom type. Most of my newer work can be seen here at Logopond, where I am a featured artist.

Ken Luallen Photography

Logo name: Kenluallen Client: Ken Luallen

What makes a good logo in your opinion?

I think a good logo design is one that WORKS for the company. A good logo design should be:

1. Good concept. You don’t always have to be overly clever, but make sure the concept has solid meaning and makes sense. Nothing better than a rock solid concept.

2. Distinctive and Memorable. A good logo can easily be understood and explained to others in a few words.

3. Adaptable. I think many designers forget the importance of Adaptability in their design work. Make sure the design can work in different environments such as horizontal and vertical layouts and be able to be reversed out. The logo should be able to work in print, digital, embroidery and signage. Consider the design being used in the largest and smallest of sizes.

4. It $ells. If the logo does not sell to the target audience, then I guess it can be considered as a fail.

Prepare for these these things and I think you will have a GREAT logo.

Thrive DC Logo

Logo name: Thrive DC Agency: Logo Motive Designs Designer: Mike Erickson Client: Thrive DC

What makes a good logo designer?

One that can Adapt, Adjust and Overcome whatever project is thrown at them. I think a good logo designer has to be a good listener and visual interpreter. Your the creative one and the client is coming to you for your creativity and skills and knowledge. I mean who really wants to be just a “button pusher”. Be creative and sell your idea. A good logo designer feels pressure, pressure to perform and satisfy the client. A good logo designer is one who follows the guidelines to question number 2.

There is so much more involved in being a good logo designer .. I think skill, knowledge in the field and a good eye are equally important.

What are your main methods of finding new clients and which of those methods work best?

Interesting and most appropriate question considering I have done very little marketing in the past oh.. 10 years or so. Most of my client base is repeat clients or referrals from my clients, however I do see a stronger need for personal promotion these days. I do receive some inquiries through my online portfolios from logo sites such as logopond, Logofaves, Logomooose, Logofi and of course Letterheadfonts. So with that said, I think building a good solid client base is priceless, however people come and go so marketing is equally as important. Blogging seems a good way to go these days. =) I’ve gotta get on that.

City Direct

Logo name: City Direct Client: Conceptual

What is your typical design process when designing a logo for a new client?

Contact. I have found over the past few years that if you do not make contact with someone as soon as possible they look elsewhere or move on. I make my best effort to make immediate contact to let them know how interested and enthused I am.

Questions. I go over many questions with my clients picking their brain about their business and asking many questions like how they started? Who is their competition? How is the logo going to be used? Where they intend to go? What they want to convey? Who is their target audience? ( key question in logo design).

Brainstorming. I start brainstorming ideas with my clients and many times they are excited to hear my initial ideas even before they are put to paper. I write down things relevant to the business to get the creative juices going. Many ideas have come from the initial contact with the client just doodling and sketching while talking to them over the phone. Creativity to me is like adrenaline, when it’s flowing you don’t want to stop.

Sketching. I STRONGLY BELIEVE IN THIS. Brainstorming and sketching kind of go hand in hand. I get so much creative juice out of the pencil, however sometimes it leads me into other brilliant ideas =) I highly recommend sketching ideas out, many of them. ” The pencil is mightier than the mouse.” ME

Presenting. Once I have sketched out some good solid concepts and ideas, I will clean up, vectorize and present to the client a couple good ones. I have found that clients tend to look at the imperfect detail in sketches and it’s sometimes too hard to explain how it will be cleaned up. However I do have some clients that I can present rough sketches to, I appreciate those clients.

Final and Prep. The best part right? Not always. I actually enjoy the design part but this is the part that gives you the remaining balance and makes your clients return. Take care of this part. Even though it’s the most tedious part, it’s the most important part. Prep good clean files and only enough to get the job done right. Supplying too many file types will overwhelm the client and cause confusion down the road. I also offer my opinion and eye for clients prior to running prints or publishing work.

EyeHelp Logo

Logo name: eyehelp.org Client: Cosgrove Technology Group.

How do you present your concepts to your clients and how many do you usually provide? What final files do you deliver to your client?

I usually present my initial concepts via PDF . I usually show the logos in black and white with a couple layout options. I say 3 concepts or within a certain allowed timeframe figured into the design contract. I try to give them really good solid and conceptual designs so I put a lot of sweat and effort into my initial designs. This can be a little draining if I do not succeed on the first attempts. The final files delivered are Vectors and high resolution bitmaps and any other relevant file needed for the project.

Has there ever been a case when the client was not fully satisfied with the suggested logo designs? If yes, how did you handle that? Did you charge extra for the additional designs? How often does this happen?

OF course! I would not be human if this has not happened to me. I get told all the time. “I like it, but it is not the same as the ones in your portfolio.” Or “I want it to say WOW like your other stuff”. Building or showcasing a good strong portfolio can increase your clients but on the same token it often puts more pressure on you to WOW your audience. Everyone wants the next WOW factor logo , but sometimes it is just impossible. I just try to work through and deliver a logo that works for the client and one they can be proud of. Most of the time the client understands where I am coming from and understands that perhaps they did not choose or have the best name or business to work with… to have that mind blowing logo. My clients tend to respect my creativity, skills, work and my time so we usually will work things out. I have refunded in the past though.

Flipside Logo

Logo name: FlipSide Client: Flipside Entertainment

How long do you spend on average creating a logo? What are the factors that contribute to how long you spend creating a logo?

On average, I have spent anywhere from 2 hrs. to 1 year. Now how does that average out? Humm.. I have some designs that I have been put on hold for months and had some designs that I have nailed down within minutes. I actually had one logo design that took about 1 1/2 hours from contact to delivery. It is was my Knotheads logo. Client contacted me told me about his business, I had a bandanna around so I tied it it in a knot, sketched it out, vectorized and colored it and sent to him. Within an hour He said “I love it, do no more”. He paid up and I delivered. I don’t think there is a set time on how long it takes, however I respect and do my best to deliver if I have a deadline. I usually quote from 1 to 3 weeks for the average project. Bottom line I just think you design until you get it right, but make sure your being compensated for your valuable time.

How do you choose the right colour and font for each logo design project? Do you have any favourite or most used fonts that you use in your projects? Why?

I really think choosing the right color is pretty self explanatory, yet so difficult to do. I mean your not going to paint a sky red unless your designing Doomsday or RedDawn. Color has always been a challenge for me explaining to my clients a little color theory. If they like blue and hate red perhaps they’ll take purple? Color is so influential. I honestly think that color is one of the toughest parts of logo design (as this is this is where most of my revisions come from). I have had clients not like a logo just because they did not like a certain color. So I always show them in black first. I have found that I’m pretty safe with blues =) Color? Maybe design it in Rainbow colors and your safe?? I ‘m still working on the whole color solution.

Being a typographer I don’t tend to have a favorite font as most of my work is custom type or type treatment. But I would say that in most cases I have used a sans serif font as my base. It all depends on the mark or logotype to me, that is how I determine what typeface to use.

Elefont Logo

Logo name: elefont Client: TBD

Do you have any main influences that affect your work?

I’m influenced by positives and negatives.

What is the most challenging part about logo design and how do you deal with it?

I find one of the most difficult parts in logo design is explaining to the client the integrity of the design as it was designed. I have clients who want me to move things around, change the typeface, color, layout and in the end it would be a complete different design. “We love it but we don’t like the color, font, layout and concept?”

Huh? ok let me explain……..

OK the most difficult part is those head scratching requests.

General Oil Gas Logo

Logo name: General Oil and Gas Client: Mark Bogani

What are your most favorite design resources? ie. What gives you inspiration and where can we find it? How do you deal with creative blocks?

This probably my favorite question you have asked. I find a lot of inspiration from my fellow colleagues such as Von and Steven whom were two of this first that kept my inspiration up and live since I began online.

I also find much inspiration from Gerard and Holly these are just a few of the old schoolers I have been inspired from, but I’m finding new inspiration from all my new friends at Logopond and now of course Twitter.

I actually do not do much online surfing for inspiration, I seem to find it from everything else around me. I try to avoid looking around to get ideas> Look around it’s everywhere and not just there.

If your having a creative block, take a break, take a walk, watch a movie. Don’t force it and waste your time, come back later.

Railroad Days Logo

Logo name: RailRoad Days Client: Selma, North Carolina

What are your plans for the near future and where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

Well hopefully in ten years I will still be a designer. I would like to offer more to the design community and expand my skills. I plan to have more typefaces on the market and pondering the idea of an identity consulting business. I’m always open to new ideas and adventures though.

Lastly, what advice would you give to an aspiring logo designer? And any last words?

Yes, find your own style and do your own thing. Don’t be afraid to step out of the circle and try new things and experiment. Listen to what your elders have said though. They have been there before you and design is ART and SCIENCE and SOME rules should not be changed but don’t be afraid to try and invent new rules. Be a trend setter not a trend follower. Enjoy what you do but grow thick skin.

MANY thanks to Jacob and his awesome, inspiring blog!

Posted in Interviews, Logo Design TipsComments (48)

Insider Tips From Professional Logo Designer: Von Glitschka

Insider Tips From Professional Logo Designer: Von Glitschka

gs mark

So, who is Von Glitschka?

I’m going to assume you mean from an existential view point. ;)

I’m a 22 year veteran of communication arts. I do both design and illustration but my niche is a good mix of both, a symbiotic relationship between design and illustration if you will, hence my coined title of “Illustrative Designer.”

For the past seven years I’ve operated Glitschka Studios a multi-disciplinary creative agency. The studio shines as a hired creative gun for both in-house art departments and medium to large creative agencies working on projects for such clients as Adobe, Microsoft, Pepsi, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Major League Baseball, John Wayne Foundation, Disney, Lifetime Television and HGTV.

That said I still enjoy working with small business owners. After all their companies exist in a marketplace driven by multi-national brands, so I enjoy equipping them to visually compete on the same level to be successful.

gs1logo

Logo name: Fly Agency: Templin Brink Designer: Von Glitschka Client: Leap Frog

What makes a good logo in your opinion?

Many people think using terms like “Good” or “Bad” in relation to anything creative is merely subjective. For me personally there is an inner criteria as to what constitutes a “Good”, “Marginal”, “Bad”, or even a “Great” logo design.

I’m sure many will disagree with me, but it’s how I process a logos success from a creative point of view. Now obviously a logo can quantify as great in my perspective but the company can end up being a complete and total failure because they didn’t run it well despite how nice their identity was handled. So the below is only in reference to the visual mark itself and not the total brand marketing context in which it exists, nor how well that marketing is carried out.

When ever I look at a logo there are “5″ specific attributes I critique it from.

1. Is there a core concept? Great designers should be great thinkers.
2. Is the style appropriate for the given client? It’s commercial art, not fine art.
3. Is the artwork well executed and precise? It should have quality craftsmanship.
4. Is it unique? Avoid being another drop in the sea of marginal design.
5. Is it inspiring? Does the mark contain a clever visual twist or metaphor?

How these attributes break down for me.

Good Design: Must contain attributes 1, 2 and 3. Most often will have attribute number 4 as well.
Great Design: Contains all five attributes but is very rare.
Marginal Design: Contains at least two attributes but fails at the rest.
Bad Design: Most manage to avoid all five attributes.

I’ve designed hundreds of logos, but in all honesty I’d only consider a handful of them as being great logos. Not all companies need great logos, not all logos will need a clever twist, thus why they are so rare.

gs2logo

Logo name: Color Lab Agency: Glitschka Studios Designer: Von Glitschka Client: The Color Lab

What makes a good logo designer?

You heard the saying “Practice makes perfect.” Well, I prefer to say “Process makes perfect.” instead. Within a well defined and methodical systematic creative process you’ll naturally improve your skills with daily practice but it’s in the greater context of the creative process.

How do you initially approach your projects? How do you formulate both creative and pragmatic strategies to meet your clients commercial needs? How do you harness an ethereal idea in your head and practically draw it out into a graphic design on a consistent basis? How do you visually problem solve non-literal concepts? How do you stay relevant graphically in the age of the digital lifestyle?

A good logo designer should know these answers about themselves so they can be proficient and effective creatively speaking.

gs3logo

Logo name: Skrumps Agency: Gel Communications Designer: Von Glitschka Client: Disney / Jim Henson

What are your main methods of finding new clients and which of those methods work best?

A very practical method is to know what you like to do, the genre of design that most compliments your style or interests, know your strengths and then seek out that type of work. Seek and you will find.

At this point in my career I don’t really go looking for clients. Word of mouth brings me most of my current clientele. I work with one creative director, they move on to a new job and use me again later. They may tell another creative director in the same firm and I’ll get work from them as well. So it’s kind of like that old shampoo commercial “And They’ll Tell Two Friends… And So On… And So On… And…”

Word of mouth is viral and it works both positively and negatively. So I guess the moral of this story is when you do get a gig, make sure you do the best job you possibly can, try to exceed your clients expectations, avoid being the stereotypical temperamental artist and more than likely it’ll create a new potential revenue node for you in the future.
What information do you gather from a client before starting a logo? Do you have some form of questionnaire? (Please share if you wish to do so)
For agency work I’m usually provided a creative brief defining the specifics from the agencies creative director or art director. And I just read through it before I begin working. They manage the client and I just focus on purely creative work.

For my own clients that are small business owners I usually provide them with a PDF creative brief and a customized list of questions once I have done some research regarding their business and the graphic needs they have.

If they are not use to working with a designer then I also provide them with a PDF flow chart that explains how everything works so as to help them know what to expect from me and how they’ll play a part in the process.

Download both PDF files here: http://snipurl.com/gsforms

gs4logo

Logo name: Bear Bryant Agency: Upper Deck Company Designer: Von Glitschka Client: NFL License

What is your typical design process when designing a logo for a new client?

My creative process is very systematic. I approach every project be it a logo design or another type using the same modus operandi. It’s not a rigid set of rules mind you, my process is pretty fluid, but I’ve worked this way for so long now it is second nature for me.

That said if someone asked me to define where I was at in any given project I could pinpoint it for them within the steps listed below.

1. Project Preparation & Research-A Solid Foundation
- Gauge client expectations.
- Understand the client/project purpose and their target audience.
- Define the client/project personality.
- Use photo references. Know what to draw.

2. Style Selection-Determine an Appropriate Style
- Does the style fit the client/project purpose and target audience?
- Does the style fit the client/project personality?
- Can you pick the wrong style? Yes.

3. Thumbnail Sketching-The Lost Art
- You can never have too many ideas.
- Know what to draw. Develop attribute recognition.
- Work out concepts.
- Isolate your strongest directions.

4. Refinement-Learn to “Art Direct” Yourself
- When in doubt, re-draw it.
- Use the fresh eyes effect.
- Avoid visual tension.
- Think in shapes.
- Work until you have a final refined sketch. Know when you’re done.

5. Building Your Artwork-A Roadmap to Success
- Leave no room for guesswork.
- Become a “Bezier Curve” Jedi Master.
- Symmetry is your friend.
- Pay attention to the details.

6. Final Art and Beyond-Continue Your Growth
- Only show your strongest ideas.
- Stay creatively consistent.
- Have fun.

To get more information regarding my creative process shown above go to: http://snipurl.com/creativeprocess

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Logo name: Divina Agency: Netcom Group Designer: Von Glitschka Client: Divina Properties, Costa Rica

How do you present your concepts to your clients and how many do you usually provide? What final files do you deliver to your client?

I guaranteed my clients at least three concepts. I usually create more ideas than that but I never show volume over quality so I weed down to the three strongest approaches and present those to the client. Sometimes I do more though.

I have a PDF template for presenting logo comps so it’s usually a multi-page PDF with each marks direction on it’s own page. I might show both a horizontal and vertical format with each concept too.

Has there ever been a case when the client was not fully satisfied with the suggested logo designs? If yes, how did you handle that? Did you charge extra for the additional designs? How often does this happen?

I like baseball analogies because they can apply to so many arenas in life. They also work well when it comes to defining aspects of design as well. Such was my inspiration when I wrote a blog post last year called “Design Batting Average” which talked about this very issue.

I can’t explain it any better than my blog post which you can read here: http://snipurl.com/strikingout

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Logo name: Fire Squad Agency: Glitschka Studios Designer: Von Glitschka Client: Friends in Robotic Engineering

How long do you spend on average creating a logo? What are the factors that contribute to how long you spend creating a logo?

My timeline isn’t that ironclad. It usually takes me a good eight days from the time someone approves a quote to when they get to see the logo concepts.

Once someone approves a quote and I’ve gathered all the upfront information I need I tend to then sit on the job for a good five days and just let my mind percolate on the information I’ve taken in. I call this part of my process “Slow Boiling.” Once ideas begin to form I then start sketching them out, writing them down, doing more research spawned from an idea etc. and from that point it goes pretty fast.

But if it’s taking longer than expected I just tell the client it’ll take longer. Some deadlines obviously don’t cater to that methodology so I just do the best I can.

How do you choose the right colour and font for each logo design project? Do you have any favourite or most used fonts that you use in your projects? Why?

In general I tend to prefer sans serif over serif fonts. No particular favorite. Style exploration usually dictates an appropriate direction for both the typography and color choices even before I begin drawing or building.

I don’t worry about colors until I have form worked out in it’s entirety. I have found over the years that keeping the two compartmentalized keeps your focus precise and helps you pay attention to details better without being distracted.

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Logo name: Play Flag Football Agency: Glitschka Studios Designer: Von Glitschka?Client: Play Flag Football

Do you have any main influences that affect your work?

I don’t worry about colors until I have form worked out in it’s entirety. I have found over the years that keeping the two compartmentalized keeps your focus precise and helps you pay attention to details better without being distracted.

What is the most challenging part about logo design and how do you deal with it?

Educating the client. Not so much because I don’t know how to do it but rather it’s the inherent risk involved in doing so. For example a recent client showed a design to a committee and the consensus he got was to make a change to the art that in my opinion would ruin the design.

So I had not just tell him that their decision was wrong but explain it in such a way that was well-reasoned and defined why it was wrong. Of course doing this no matter how diplomatic your approach runs the risk of offending a client and straining a work relationship.

I think our job is more then just design, it’s also being a good communicator and teaching others. We shouldn’t just know how to design, we should know why we are designing it so we can explain our approach to others and thus gain their trust. Doing so obviously raises the bar in terms of the publics opinion for what we do.

Unfortunately our industry is flooded with legions of “Toolers” those who know the tools, know all the pre-fab pull-down menu fx and spit out marginal design in volume. The public sees this every day and it leads them to think to themselves “I can do that too.”

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Logo name: Mardi Gras World Agency: Phillip Collier Design Designer: Von Glitschka Client: Blaine Kern Studio

What are your most favorite design resources? ie. What gives you inspiration and where can we find it? How do you deal with creative blocks?

Most of what truly inspires me and facilitates my own creativity doesn’t really come from mainstream sources. Many times it’s pretty spontaneous and unexpected. I may see an old barn and marvel at the texture that time and the second law of thermal dynamics has created on it’s side so I’ll go out of my way to take a digital picture of it and use that texture in a project at some point.

A few years back I was watching a TV program about owls. In the midst of watching that I thought “I’ve never illustrated an owl, I need to do that.” I did and it was accepted into the New York Society of Illustrators show. That one illustration has landed me so many projects and it all came from a very unlikely source of inspiration. You can view the owl here: http://snipurl.com/owlillo

Probably my favorite online haunt for all things logo related is http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/ I enjoy the humorous banter between designers and following the latest reaction to new branding in the design community.

One thing I discovered about myself is that I have to physically get out of my studio and go off-site to do concept work. Not sure why but it frees me up mentally and removes the creative blocks. Ironically enough I do some of my best concept sketches on logos during Sunday Church services much to the consternation of my wife. LOL Actually, now she’s so use to it I don’t bug her so much anymore.

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Logo name: Lorain County Agency: Glitschka Studios Designer: Von Glitschka Client: North Central Ohio Tourism Board

What are your plans for the near future and where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

Geographically I’m hoping it’ll be in the southwest.

First thing I thought of though was the last time someone asked me a question like this, so I reviewed what I had said to them and have discovered I’m definitely not Vonstradamus.

Currently though I have another design book in the works, a concept for a cable TV show I plan on pitching to a network I’ve been working with for the past several years, and I’m currently working on a line of licensed products with a firm back east. I always have a lot of irons in the fire, mainly because my mind never stops churning. Sometimes that can be a little tiresome but mostly it’s a a lot of fun.

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Logo name: Tourism Icon System Agency: Glitschka Studios Designer: Von Glitschka Client: North Central Ohio Tourism Board

Lastly, what advice would you give to an aspiring logo designer? And any last words?

- Communication: Make everything clear up front before you start anything. (Deliverables as well as Budget) Gather, research, ask questions, glean, observe so you leave no room for speculation.
- Education: Don’t assume your client knows what you mean. Go out of your way to explain the finite. Avoid industry terms, speak like your client. Don’t assume you know everything, ask them questions, get to know their sub-culture. See the ball, be the ball.
- Dedication: Be prompt on your replies, honest in your answers and promises, true to your convictions and precise in your creative execution. Don’t be a “Tooler.”
- Satisfaction: Enjoy what you do. If you exude passion, your clients will catch your vision and get excited too. If it doesn’t move you don’t expect it to move them.

Be relentless in these matters and success will follow.

Let normal life inspire your creative life. Finding a good balance is important because design isn’t the most important thing in life but good design is inspired by a good life experience. Walk the rice paper with purpose young grasshopper. (If you don’t know that reference ask someone older than you to explain it) Oh yeah, have fun.

Be sure to check out Von’s new website, Glitschka.

Posted in Interviews, Logo Design TipsComments (30)

Logo Design Tips You Can Learn From The World’s Biggest Brands

Logo Design Tips You Can Learn From The World’s Biggest Brands




Logos - Photo © Rob Cubbon

According to the ‘Top 100 Global Brands Scoreboard’ the top 50 brands & logo designs in the world are, in ranking order:

Coca-Cola, Microsoft, IBM, GE, Intel, Nokia, Walt Disney, McDonald’s, Toyota, Marlboro, Mercedes-Benz, Citi, Hewlett-Packard, American Express, Gillette, BMW, Cisco, Louis Vuitton, Honda, Samsung, Dell, Ford, Pepsi, Nescafé, Merrill Lynch, Budweiser, Oracle, Sony, HSBC, Nike, Pfizer, UPS, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Canon, SAP, Goldman Sachs, Google, Kellogg’s, Gap, Apple, Ikea, Novartis, UBS, Siemens, Harley-Davidson, Heinz, MTV, Gucci and Nintendo.

You would think that an analysis of all of these logo designs would give us some good commercial logo design tips

Well, luckily the website Webson did a bit of an analysis for us…

Top 50 Brands Logos

The % below identifies the percentage of these 50 brands that hold to this view:

  • The name does not describe the product sold (94%) (ie. in most cases a logo is used to identify a company, not describe what it does.)
  • The by-line tag is not included in the logo (90%)
  • The font style is clean and clear (84%)
  • The logo design uses one colour only (74%) (white & black not counted as a colour)
  • The logo design uses letters only without the symbol (74%)
  • The logo design is a made-up name or ACRONYM (72%)
  • The logo design is rectangular in shape (66%)
  • The logo design is one word only (62%)
  • The logo design includes the trademark symbol (54%) and is placed in the top right (48%)
  • The name is 6 letters or less (52%)
  • The name uses upper & lower case (44%) (excluding ACRONYMS)
  • The background is filled and solid. (52%)
  • The pronunciation includes three sounds/syllables (44%)
  • The predominant colour base is blue (40%)

Some interesting findings indeed. Btw, how many logos could you recognise in the header image?

Image credits: Creative Bits

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4 Critical Logo Design Details You May Be Forgetting About

4 Critical Logo Design Details You May Be Forgetting About

Goldfish

You probably have a check list, at least in your mind, of what goes into making a good logo design. You may know how to design a logo and you’ve probably studied some of the greats however are you forgetting these four critical factors when you design your logos?

Below are 4 logo design tips for areas that are often overlooked in logo design:

  • Ownership marks
  • Anchor point clean up
  • Colour functionality
  • The correct files

Does the logo need an ownership mark?

Especially if you’re doing a logo for a product or service that belongs to a particular brand, they may require you to put some kind of mark on it indicating its ownership: a registered mark ®, a trademark ™ or a service mark ?. On that note you may want to read up on copyright issues in logo design.

logo-tm

If the logo you are creating requires one of these, work it into the design as the Multimediums example above, don’t just tack it on at the end. First you have to decide if you want to use the same font as you have for the rest of the logo or would a more plain sans serif be better?

Then kern the mark close to the other text or the image in the logo. Baseline adjust it so that it looks like it belongs in the design. You may even consider knocking it out of a solid color area of the logo, like in the Weaver logo above.

What does the logo look like larger?

You know that you have to make sure the logo will work at smaller sizes, but have you considered that your logo might need to be blown up to fit on a billboard or tradeshow exhibit someday? Creating professional logos isn’t just about how good it looks, it’s also about how functional it is technically.

logo-paths

Zoom in as close as you can and check to make sure there’s no funny stuff going on with anchor points or handles (divots, extraneous points and the like). You may not notice these details when it’s small, but blow the logo up and they’ll be the first things your eye is drawn to.

Will the chosen colors work?

Sometimes the client will tell you what the corporate colors are, but if you get to decide, choose colors that will match a variety of applications. Some colors are too neutral in their value (yes, value, not hue) and either don’t stand out very well or don’t match well with most other colors.

logo-pms300

PMS300, for example, is an often used color for logos, but I’l tell you from personal experience that it is a very difficult color to work with and I end up using the pure black or knockout (white) version of the logo instead! You have to consider how colors work for more applications than just the stationary system you may create to go with the delivery of the logo.

Do you have four high quality files ready to give the client?

Deliver high quality files to your clients includes taking into account all the ways the logo might be used. Create a spot color-based file, a pure CMYK (i.e. no spot colors!) file, a pure black and a pure white (knockout) file. That’s four files total that you should deliver to a client every time. You can tell if you’re using a spot (aka Pantone or PMS) color, a spot color converted to a process (CMYK) color or a pure process color by looking at the Color Swatches palette.

logo-swatches

Clean up these files, too. Go into the Color Swatches palette and delete any extra color, gradient or pattern swatches that weren’t used in the actual logo. You can also delete extra brushes and graphic styles to further clean up the file.

You may want to add this to your check list of what makes a good logo:

  • How is the ownership mark incorporated?
  • Does the logo reduce and enlarge as expected?
  • Will the chosen colors work in most contexts?
  • Do the files have the technical flexiblity for any possible use?

So are these things that you’ve thought about before? Do you have any other logo design tips?

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Only Show Your Best Logo Design Concept(s)

Only Show Your Best Logo Design Concept(s)

Image

I recently came across this great interview with the talented logo designer Luka Pensive, who has an impressive, and quite frankly – massive – logo design portfolio.

Inside this interview I came across a point that I instantly related with and that was to show your clients only your best logo design concept(s)

Quote from Luke Pensive:

I avoid showing off numbers of concepts at once as the client is paying me as a designer to see what’s the best for his business/product identity. My task is to deliver a quality, recognizable and unique logo that conveys the message, not to confuse the client and say “hey, here are your 10 concepts, now pick one” – imagine if you came to a (not computer) hardware shop and said you need a nail and shopkeeper told you “here we have 100 different nail types, choose the one you like and get back to me”. Trust me, even if you picked 10 types, you’d come home with the ones you don’t need.

The point? Only show your best logo design concept(s). You may also find interest in the article how to get your clients to say yes to your designs. Also, have you ever thought about putting your logo on various promotional items?

How many concepts do you usually present to your clients?

Posted in Logo Design TipsComments (21)



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