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Logo Design Books Calling For Entries

Logo Design Books Calling For Entries

Phone - Photo by StephenMitchell

Getting your work published in logo design books is a great way to get international exposure and recognition for your work. Below are three logo design books calling for your logos to be submitted! The deadlines are very soon so act fast.

Graphic Recycling: Logos

Rockport Publishers – USA
Deadline Extended: 15 June 2009
No entry fees charged

Wolda ‘09

Eulda Books – Italy
Deadline: 30 June 2009 (logos designed in 2008)
Deadline: 31 January 2010 (logos designed in 2009)
Entry fees charged however you receive a copy of the book for free.

Logo Lounge 6

Rockport Publishers – USA
Deadline: 30 June 2009
$99 membership required to submit however that includes a years membership to the site which I highly recommend.

For more design competitons & call for entries, I recommend following Jeff Fisher’s Blog as he regularly publishes call for entries. I also recommend bookmarking IcoGrada’s Calender page and Design Taxi’s Design Competitions page.

Posted in Logo Design AwardsComments (6)

Insider Logo Design Tips: Mike Erickson (Logomotive)

Insider Logo Design Tips: Mike Erickson (Logomotive)

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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)

Logo Of The Month: May 2009

Logo Of The Month: May 2009

Coffee Logo

The winner of Logo Of The Month for May 2009 (from the Logo Of The Day website) is the logo for Coffee CUP.

“Logo for coffee house Coffee CUP where high quality coffee is served. Notice that logo of coffee cup is made of letters “CUP”.” See it in use here.

Congratulations to the designer Jan Zabransky.

What are your thoughts on this logo?

Posted in Logo DiscussionComments (20)

Bad Logo Designs

Bad Logo Designs

Sponsor-



Logo design in today’s world is totally under rated. People do not understand how important a good logo is and how valuable it is to their business and this is why I am highlighting some of the worst logo designs out there.

By outlining these bad logo designs (in my opinion) I hope to raise awareness of how important it is to have a strong brand & identity for your business or product. If you are after examples of high quality logos be sure to check out some logo design inspiration galleries.

Further suggested reading:

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What was your favourite ugly / bad / horrible / phallic logo design?

Sources: ArtistMike | YourLogoMakesMeBarf | WebDesignIdeas

Posted in Logo HumourComments (443)

Baseball, Football, and Basketball Logo Evolutions

Baseball, Football, and Basketball Logo Evolutions

Sports Logos

I love sports, they are probably my favourite thing to do other then design and the internet. I was trying to come up with an idea on how I could talk about sports and design. I thought I would analyze the logos of teams in different sports. I only analyzed the main logo’s used, and I picked the logo’s that showed major change. I am aware there are many secondary logo’s designed for most clubs, I was concentrating on the main brand of each team.

Here are my conclusions of sports brands;

Simple Modifications: Some logos are just slightly updated to fit with the respected time. A simple colour difference, bolder strokes, size, or detail.

Simplify the logo: Some logos are designed with extreme detail, or are very informative. Later on those logos are simplified, the illustrations and information have been removed and usually a simple icon that represents the brand is used.

Complete overhaul: Some logos go through a totally different look, not keeping any design element from the last. This can be dangerous as you are introducing a new logo, it might not get the thumbs up from the fans and the brand will lack. This is a risky move, but if some teams like to completely refresh their brand or if the franchise isn’t making any money on that brand it might be a successful bargain.

World Series, All Star Games, Super-bowls, Playoffs: These special event logos are usually branded to fit the location. This showcases the growth of a logo as it goes through its annual change. This being said there is always some elements that stay the same in the end.

Major League Baseball Logos

1908_sox Red Sox 09 Rede Sox

Boston Red Sox: As you can see the Red Sox have kept with the team history and colours. From the first logo in 1908 with a simple but yet effective logo design, the Red Sox then moved on to a much more detailed logo between 1979-2008. Just recently the 2009 logo returned to the teams original idea.

Braves BravesBraves

Atlanta Braves: Their 1967-1971 logo is more of an obvious logo. When looking at the logo you know everything about the team except for that they play baseball. The best logos are the ones where they leave something for the imagination. This is shown better in 1971 – 1986 when they dropped the location, probably due to the fact that they situated themselves in the league and they are recognized as the Braves. Moving to 1990, the infamous tomahawk takes centre stage. I personally like the most recent logo.

Padres Padres Padres

San Diego Padres: This is interesting as you can see from the images above all the logos are completely different. The only element that is consistent is the name of the team. The first logo 1969 – 1984 is dominant by character illustration. Seven years later the padres dropped the character and colour scheme and went with a traditional baseball typography logo. Again in 2004 the Padres, created a new colour scheme and logo.

World Series

World Series World Series

World Series World Series

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The World Series: The series going back to 1974 and 1975 the logos are nothing more than basic text. Jumping to 1985-87 the logos have taken on more of a design role. The MLB logo has been inserted, and there is more attention on baseball elements. In 1992 – 1999 the logos were given depth, adding shadows, stronger strokes and bolder lines. The logos were contained inside the diamond, which is used in baseball logos often. A globe has been inserted and as you can see the differences are in the colour schemes and in 1999 they have added a different perspective. In 2000-2003 the logos received a much more detailed look. The logos were styled around the team that held the world series, this continued in 04-07 as well. The logos were condensed significantly as the diamond shape was thrown out the window. 2008 was the year of the “Fall Classic” MLB trying to throw back their logo with a much more creditable, mature logo.

MLB All Star Game

Baseball All Star Baseball All Star

Baseball All Star

Baseball All Star Baseball All Star

MLB All Star Game: An annual event showcasing the best players in the league. The one obvious trend in the All Star Logo design is that each team holding the All Star Game brands the logo to fit with their club. As you can see from 1938 to 2009 the logos are all different in almost every aspect. I personally like the 1984 Giants and the 2008 NYC logos.

NBA (National Basketball Association) Logos

Knicks Knicks

New York Knicks: The 1965 – 1976 logo offered a picture-esq logo. The basketball looks very realistic, especially considering its time. Keeping with the same theme, in 1996 the Knicks changed their logo to be more modern by adding a more simplified colour scheme, shaper and bolder lines. The perspective is key for the Knicks logo.

Cavaliers Cavaliers

Cavaliers Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavaliers: The Cavs have gone through a bunch of different logos in the past 60+ years. The first logo through 1947 – 1964, a great character illustration and it leaves a lot to the imagination. Moving to 1971 – 1983 the logo took on a more college basketball look. 1984 – 1994 the logo was simplified to the more popular team name. The current logo is much more aggressive, and bold if you ask me. The orange colours in the others logos feels to soft, the dark red, blue, with the gold and white highlights is bold and tough.

Celtics Celtics

Celtics Celtics

Boston Celtics: The most successful teams in the NBA, one of the most recognizable brands in the history of sports. 1947 – 1950 button like logo with the name and simple clover icon. Moving to 1961 -1968 the Celtic character was introduced, maybe not successfully but it paved the way for 1969-1978 introduction into the more interesting character. 1997’s logo still stands strong and as it should its a great reflection on what a character can do for your brand. The character is fantastic, very iconic, the logo is timeless, again we see the red basketball and cane.

Bulls

Chicago Bulls: I am going to go on record and say this could be the best sports logo of all time. Designed in 1967 by Theodore W. Drake the logo still has not changed since. That would make the design 42 years old. The logo is strong, bold, powerful and aggressive, a great reflection of the bull. The typography sits all so nice between the bulls red tipped horns. Do you agree that this could be the sports logo of all time?

National Football League Logos

Bills Bills Bills

Buffalo Bills: Not sure what happened in 1960-1969, these logo’s are horrible. I don’t know if you can call them logo’s they look like they placed a football player over top of an image of a bull contained in a football. Thankfully in 1974 the Bills had the blue and red charging bison, it’s a great improvement.

Browns Browns

Browns Browns

Cleveland Browns: This is an interesting brand starting 1950-1960 the character logo was a cute little elf illustration. Starting in 1975 – 1995 and then again in 2006 the logo’s have been a football helmet. The fans have been pleading for a new logo, let’s say that again not a new logo but a different logo. Recently the fans have broke out with dog masks and the “Dog pound” has been flying around. So I am very surprised that the franchise hasn’t swung that way. Yeah they have some secondary logo’s but their main logo is still falling short.

Dolphins Dolphins Dolphins

Miami Dolphins: This is a great example of keeping with the same logo and just enhancing it. 1966 was the first year the logo was introduced, a cute dolphin with a Miami football helmet. The logo wasn’t modified until 1974 when it was given a warmer colour scheme and more detail. Not until 1997 did we see a fully enhanced dolphin illustration. The present logo has much more detail, as you can see the emotion and expression of the dolphin. The logo is much more bold, the size, weight of the strokes and highlights have all been enhanced.

Cardinals Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals: An example on how simple change can provide different emotions. The Arizona Cardinals original logo from 1994 – 2004 is a solid logo, simple and easy to understand. In 2005 the logo was slightly modified to fit with a faster, and stronger NFL. The Cardinal was tilted slightly, designed more streamlined, and the elements and strokes are sharp.

Cowboys Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys: Some people might argue that this should be alongside the Chicago Bulls logo. The star has been around since 1960, the logo was then slightly changed 4 years later. The star still stands strong for the Cowboys. It’s simple and iconic, I wonder if anyone ever thought that they were called the Dallas Stars, interesting seeing there is a Dallas Stars NHL team.

Patriots Patriots

New England Patriots: This is another example of a detailed logo being simplified. The 1971-1992 logo is a fantastic illustration, I love it… The 2000 logo is totally different, the logo is much more streamlined, but I think the original logo feels stronger and more powerful. I like the new colour scheme, and I would like to see a throwback logo with the current colour scheme.

Super-bowl Logos

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The Super-bowl: the biggest TV event of the year. As you can see it’s come a long way since 1967. The logos have used the powerful roman numeral system. The roman numerals bring the emotion and history of this epic game. Similar to the MLB All Star Games, the logos are branded where the Super Bowl is taking place. In the early years the logos were very basic typography. Top priority was getting the message across showing the roman numeral as the main point of the logo. In recent years, design elements have been added to create the scene. The logos still use the roman numerals as the main focal point, and by adding football elements or city trademarks the logos pull together nicely.

Logo Source: Chris Creamer’s Sport Page
Sponsor’s message: Find deals on the best baseball gloves and accessories.

Posted in Logo Design Evolution, ShowcaseComments (13)

The Power and Meaning Behind Bank Logos

The Power and Meaning Behind Bank Logos




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Any business that is consistently working with other people’s money should convey professionalism, trust, commitment, and establish a level of confidence in their capabilities to manage money. A bank logo should instantly communicate with an audience and reflect it’s business division as well as it’s trusting personality. This is why it is extremely important for banks to have a well-designed identity. Many bank logos are designed with similar elements such as patriotic icons and colors. It is always a challenge to create original logos for companies offering similar services in a world where designers are finding inspiration in the same places.

How do banks effectively communicate with their audience through their logo? Fortunately, financial and banking services advertise everywhere! We see banking identities on retail branch signs on every street corner, TV commercials, bumper sticks, even on our writing utensils! By using a logo as their main marketing tool, banks possess the power to make you want to bank with them.

The following banks have well-known logos, but do we actually know how and what these logos are telling us?

Citibank, designed by Paula Scher

citibank

The Citibank logo offers security. By incorporating an arc over the lowercase ‘t’ in Citibank you have strong and powerful red umbrella sheltering and taking care of it’s trustworthy patrons.

SunTrust, designed by siegel+gale

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“The new logo is a beacon that reflects the warmth, energy, and diverse range of the SunTrust organization.”-siegel+gale. The use of warm colors express the feeling of internal warmth for the SunTrust brand and it’s local, tight-knit community.

Chase Manhattan Bank, designed by Chermayeff & Geismar

chase

Chase Manhattan Bank has merged with JPMorgan, yet its original abstract symbol still remains the same. By using the same shape over and over again, this logo reinforces trust. The repetitive symbol establishes a sense of familiarity which makes us feel comfortable trusting them with our money.

Bank of New Zealand, designed by DNA Design Auckland

bankofnewzealand

Through the use of the color blue alone this logo represents confidence, trust, and loyalty. The typeface, Serrano which was designed specifically for Bank of New Zealand has a very friendly italicized font which is used in their logo. Modern, friendly, and trustworthy, everything you look for in a bank.

Bank of America, designed by Bob Wolf

bankofamerica

The icon used in this logo is meant to represent the USA flag, which shows patriotism. Behold the power of 3’s! The best things in life come in 3’s, so they say. The repetition of the double-lined pattern repeating 3 times shows reinforcement and familiarity. The bright red and blue also draw us in by showing strength, power, trust & excitement.

These are just a few of the bank logos used today that follow similar design notions. The beautiful thing about these logos is the way they communicate with an audience and transmit different feelings and meanings. A logo with no power or meaning behind it is simply nothing more than good design.

For many more bank logos check this post.

Posted in Logo Design Discussion, ShowcaseComments (43)

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 (34)

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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Living Proof Packaging

Living Proof Packaging

Frizz Logo

Recently, Wolff Olins, one of the world’s leading brand consultancies (and the agency behind the infamous 2012 London Olympics logo) announced details about their involvement in the concept, strategy, craft and launch of the new beauty brand, Living Proof.

Below you will find the packaging and identity for the new brand along with the Living Proof press release. What do you think? Personally, I love the Frizz logo… visual communication at it’s best.

Frizz

Living Proof Press Release

Living Proof was founded in 2004 by Polaris Venture Partners co-founder Jon Flint on the premise that there have been few true innovations in beauty. He teamed up with fellow Polaris partner, Amir Nashat, MIT scientists Dr. Bob Langer and Dr. Dan Anderson as well as renowned stylists Ward Stegerhoek and Mitch DeRosa to find altogether new solutions to every day beauty frustrations. Today, the company is comprised of leading scientists and beauty veterans and is led by President and CEO Rob Robillard, formerly Worldwide General Manager of Kiehl’s Since 1951and Senior Vice President of Marketing of L’Oreal Paris.

After one year of dedicated research, the team of scientists discovered the PolyfluoroEster molecule, the first new anti-frizz technology in over 30 years. The new molecule is smaller than traditional frizz-fighting ingredients and instantly fills in gaps and blocks each strand’s cuticle, preventing moisture from penetrating the hair shaft. With frizz solved, Living Proof is working on a number of other solutions to common beauty frustrations. Stay tuned.

Throughout the evolution and conception of No Frizz, Wolff Olins worked closely to shape the brand’s development, working on everything from the brand strategy and name, product naming, service approach, identity, packaging, point-of-sale and communications. The branding firm touched nearly every part of the experience.

Image

“Our involvement with Living Proof is a perfect example of the depth of activity and influence we can have with our clients”, said Todd Simmons, Executive Creative Director at Wolff Olins. “Throughout the entire process, we looked at every possible touch point and worked hand in hand with everyone in the business, even engaging the MIT scientists in our process. We’re absolutely thrilled with the result as it reflects a seamless collaboration.”

“We are just as proud of Living Proof’s commitment to efficacy and the way they treat consumers as we are of the way the packaging turned out or anything else. This is true branding”, continued Simmons.

Rob Robillard, President and CEO of Living Proof, commented, “Success in a start-up is about moments and decisions that will change the destiny of the company. We’ve been lucky thus far to have a few of those moments. One major one is having chosen to work with Wolff Olins.”

About Living Proof

Living Proof was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and created for the purpose of solving the toughest beauty challenges by inventing efficient, single-purpose formulas based on entirely new molecules and breakthrough technologies. They are a team of scientists and beauty authorities brought together by a shared aspiration: to challenge the status quo and end the common beauty frustrations of people everywhere – once and for all.

About Wolff Olins

Founded in 1965, Wolff Olins is one of the world’s leading brand consultancies. It has 140 people in London, New York and Dubai. In a world of caution and conservatism, Wolff Olins is ambitious for clients. In a time of anxiety and cynicism, Wolff Olins is extremely optimistic for the world. Wolff Olins works with a vast array of the world’s most recognized brands including Unilever, PwC, Target, Microsoft, (RED), GE, Tate, Sony Ericsson, New York City, Beeline, and London 2012.

Awards Won

  • D&AD Award, Package Design- Living Proof (2009)
  • Art Directors Silver Cube- Living Proof Package Design (2009)
  • The One Show Bronze Pencil Award- Living Proof Package Design (2009)

Further discussion & links over at Brand New.

Posted in Logo Design DiscussionComments (9)



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