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.
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.
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.
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.
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?