LOGO LOVE: THE 4 MUST-HAVES WHEN DESIGNING A LOGO
It appears that DIYing your logo is becoming the next big thing in the online entrepreneurial world. It would also appear that people with a knack for design, but no formal training, are also starting to design logos for unsuspecting clients.
Both scenarios are wrought with issues, either immediately or down the line.
> When you design your own logo without the proper software or know-how, it may only work for use online.
> When you design any aspect of the logo using as-is stock art (ex. An icon you found on Creative Market), your logo or the logo you are creating runs the risk of not being unique to you or the client.
> When you use a photo in your logo. Just... NO. Please no.
Before starting on a logo design, you should ask yourself or your client these important questions:
> Where will the logo be used, now and in the future?
> Will you or your client ever want a sign or banner made, have t-shirts or a brochure printed, or need to provide the logo for being a sponsor or speaker at an event?
When you create your own logo, these issues and setbacks are your own to deal with. However, if you are designing logos for clients and accepting money to do so, you need to ask your clients how and where they would like to use their logo in the future, and you should use the proper software to design it. Chances are, they do not want to limit themselves to having a logo that only ever works online.
If the logo should ever need to be printed, turned into a banner or a sign, or used anywhere else aside from online, it NEEDS to follow these 4 important guidelines, just to name a few:
All logos should be created as vector. This means using software like Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw (if it's still alive and kicking) or Inkscape, which is a free open-source program that functions similar to Illustrator. There are also other platforms to create vector artwork but those are among the most popular. This means you should not create a logo in Photoshop, and certainly not Picmonkey or Canva. For more info on vector artwork & file types explained, read this most popular post on the subject here.
Do not use photos, images, or clipart (this is called raster art) that is not vectorized in any part of your design. Most important reason, aside from it not looking professional, is that a raster image will not reproduce well. If you try to print it, embroider it, enlarge it, or turn it into a sign, it will become grainy and pixelated as it gets larger. Plus, you can not embroider a photo.
Stay away from stock art. This is kind of a big deal. If you do this, other people will have access to elements in your logo design and can potentially use it in places that can devalue your business. Your logo and all elements in it, should be unique to you and your business.
"This mistake is often made by business owners who design their own logo or by amateur designers who are not clued in to the laws on copyright. Downloading stock vector imagery is not a crime, but it could possibly get you in trouble if you incorporate it in a logo.
A logo should be unique and original, and the licensing agreement should be exclusive to the client: using stock art breaks both of these rules. Chances are, if you are using a stock vector image, it is also being used by someone somewhere else in the world, so yours is no longer unique. You can pretty easily spot stock vectors in logos because they are usually familiar shapes, such as globes and silhouettes." - Smashing Magazine
Get some feedback. Sometimes people can see the errors, issues or possible hidden innuendos that you or the designer don't see. But be advised - there's getting feedback and then there's posting it in a facebook group where hundreds of people can chime in. Limit your feedback to some key people in your life and business, or you can even request a Design Assessment from me. Too many opinions can be detrimental to choosing a final design. If you'd like to read further, I wrote a blog post about crowdsourcing for logo feedback.
Designing a #logo should never be exchanged as a service for money if you are not trained in the proper how-to. #design
I only touched on 4 main issues in creating a logo, which is really only the half of it. You need to consider fonts, legibility, complexity, and be aware of relying on current trends - which I do not advise - glitter, gold & super girly floral are the hottest trend in logos and websites right now but what happens when that fades? And don't you want to stand out?
Have a comment or question? I'd love to hear it!
With design always in mind,
ps. If you are interested in learning more about design, I have created a 6-week course which will consist of:
-Fundamentals of Design: balance, symmetry, white space, etc.
-Fonts & Images
-File Types and Resolutions
-Using a grid/sketching
Please use this link to add your name to the waiting list, where you will have first dibs at early-bird pricing before the course is released to the public.
In the meantime, feel free to sign up for the FREE 10-Day Design Challenge and/or the FREE mini course here: http://www.butterandhoney.net/design-school/