Archive for December, 2008

Logo Design Basics

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

The very basics of logo design can be broken down into a list of elements from which you can choose to use all of or a combination of for your final design.

 

1. Company or product name

2. A symbol, illustration or icon

3. A strap line or slogan

 

1. Company or product name

The most basic element of any logo design has to be the company of product name. This can be presented in a variety of different ways. The two fundamental decisions that have to be made are: What type face or combination of typeface will be used, and will the name be set in all capital letters, with only initial capital letters or a combination of both. 

There are many different type faces to choose from, but your choice is essentially limited to those that project the feelings that you want to associate with your company or product. It is best to avoid a font that imitates child’s hand writing if you are a bank. Once you have decided the type of font for your logo that matches the feelings that you want to associate with your company, it is then a good idea to modify that font slightly to make it ‘your own’. This can be achieved by modifying the look of one of the letters to make your logo more distinctive and different to the effect you would get if you were to just type your company name with your chosen typeface.

 

2. A symbol, illustration or icon

Along with your company or product name in your logo, it is very common to include a symbol, illustration or icon. The choice is normally to go with an abstract symbol, for example a lines representing momentum, or a stylised representation of something real, for example an illustration of an apple. The choice is yours, but remember that the simpler you make this symbol the better. Often your logo will have to work at a very small size, and a complicated symbol will only be confusing.

 

3. A strap line or slogan

In many cases the message conveyed by your logo can be strengthen and literally underlined by using a strap line or slogan running underneath the main logo image. Using a strap line or slogan can help to connect the essence of your offering to your audience, but a badly thought through strap line can sometimes take away from what you have achieved with the rest of your logo. The best advice is, if you think that the other elements in your logo need more explaining use a strap line, other wise you can probably live without one. 

 

A logo can be a combination of all of the above elements or just one or two of them. Nike does very well with just its swoosh, but it is only relatively recently that the swoosh has appeared on its own. To begin with the swoosh always appeared with the name of the company Nike, but as brand awareness increased, the name of the company slowly disappeared from the logo leaving only the swoosh. Unless you have an advertising budget on a par with nike, the only element of your logo that can be used in isolation is probably the company product or name.