The graphic symbol is the most important visual attribute of the brand
Let’s think for a moment what makes one logo design gain our attention, it is deeply remembered, and the other disappears in a multitude of multi-colored forms. Of course, as is well known, many logotypes have become iconic mainly thanks to the great product they sign and proper marketing built over the years. I would like to focus on the situation when the logo debuts on the market, and look at the aesthetic and technical qualities that I think should have a good logo. I intentionally omit NAMING or corporate names and CI or visual identification because I will talk about them in the next articles in the series of brief thoughts on branding topics.
Therefore, a good logo and adequate to the industry are the result of several key elements. The most important of them are idea, typography, symbolism and colors. When designing a logo, I start with an analysis of the industry, the area of activity of a given company or institution and competitive products that should protect us from being secondary, and most importantly by being accused of plagiarism. The image search function in google search is helpful. It is also certain that the illustrative character of the sign does not have such problems as the simplest geometrically graphic forms that in a given situation come to the mind of the designer first.
I am looking for keywords with certain features that will help me choose the right means of expression. Words such as experience, prestige, modernity, classic, reliability, entertainment, pleasure, etc. are examples that will become the starting point of the logo design process.
Symbols and colors appear in my head that remind me of the features I want to display. A good logo designer must know the color psychology (we will also write about it) and use it skillfully, and check the cultural connotations in these matters (e.g. white in China is associated with mourning and sadness to avoid unnecessary problems. It is recommended to start working on the logo from brainstorming in a sketchbook, it is good to create a digital moodboard that is a collection of photos and graphics resulting from the climate (style) we want to get. From sketch to ready logo.
The process of creating a logo
We already have some ideas and visions of stylistics, so it’s time for a brainstorm in a sketchbook, or on the screen (I recommend traditional media for starters). If I create a logo, I experiment with the form of a signet and typography, I am looking for the second bottom, I try to avoid clichés like the signet from the first letters of the name (popular in the fashion industry sometimes passes the exam, Chanel, Yves Saint Larent, Louis Vuittton, etc.) I am checking the possibility of smuggling some content in negative space (see arrow in FedEx logo, C in Carrefour etc.).
When I have a favorite among sketches, I start the vector graphics program, grab a feather and get on Bezier curves. It is important that all logo elements have a minimum number of curve editing points to obtain perfect lines. I try to maintain consistency in form, i.e. choose corners or curves, abstractions or realism, etc. The signet ring is ready, so it’s time for the right typography. I believe that this is the most difficult stage in the logo design process and requires from the designer a lot of knowledge in the field of typography, lettering and great sense.
Difficulties encountered when designing the logo
There is nothing worse than a law firm or a hotel with traditions adorned with an experimental futuristic typeface, or an IT company with antique baroque or decorative Easter eggs. An adequate font will give the right character and bring to mind the right associations. We’ve worked so far on an achromatic scale. Our logo in black and white (it’s best to start designing in achromaticity) is already great, it’s time to give it a color. There are situations when raw black reflects the whole brand philosophy, often accompanies luxury goods, but we usually need more colors for the sign to convey the emotions and associations we care about.
Color psychology in the logo
Of course, knowledge of color psychology is key here and it is advisable to use a complementary color wheel. Schemes built according to the triad, analogy, shades give the most interesting harmonious color palettes. We try to match the colors (do not overdo it with their number, a maximum of 3) to harmoniously harmonize with the logo and reflect its character.
A good logo is the first step to effective communication with the environment that will emphasize our uniqueness and bring us many new customers.