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Old 02-10-2009, 06:12 PM   #1
bumfluff
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Default How you SHOULD Be Making Your Logos (3 of.. more than 3)

K.. so part 1 was about the role of logos, part 2 looked at what you communicate through a logo, and part 3 is going to be about how you communicate it.

So you've decided to make a logo, and you've decided what message you want itto send out - what's next?

First thing is:


STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER

Seriously, there's a bit of thought that goes into conveying any message graphically, and a computer won't do the thinking for you - you do that yourself, and then use the computer to help make the logo. Back in the old days, people would actually (no, this is true) design and create a logo without using a computer at all.

By this stage, you should know who your target market is and now you need to figure out how to get your message across to them. What will appeal to them? Are they going to respond better to a clean, minimalist design or a dark, grungy aesthetic? Rounded or sharp shapes? What sort of company are they most likely to buy from? Do they want cheap and cheerful or top quality? Would they prefer to buy from a mom'n'pop store or a large retailer? Are their particular values that they would want to see associated with the product?

Obviously, you're not going to get everyone agreeing on everything here, but the idea is to be able to get an idea of what will appeal to the broadest segment of the targetted market. If you're not sure, ask - knock up a questionnaire and get people to answer your questions.

How you show these things in a logo (or any design) is a huge subject. We won't be able to do much more than scratch the surface here, but you should be able to get some ideas and pointers of how to go about it here.


Concepts


First off, in any good design, you'll need a concept. Definitions of what a concept is in design can vary, but broadly speaking it's the approach you've decided to take in order to make the viewer associate certain qualities with the product or service. Let's say I'm launching a new range of high-end speakers aimed at audio enthusiasts. The concept might be to use the symbolism of a hallmark (like you get stamped on gold/silver bars) to portray quality. It doesn't actually have to look exactly like a hallmark, but there should be elements that will bring 'hallmark' (and all it's associations of quality etc) to the viewers mind, consciously or unconsciously. Or, to use a more far-fetched example, you might use a chastity belt image to symbolise "faithful reproduction" of sounds. Yeah, there's a lot of reasons that one probably wouldn't work in real life, but it hopefully shows some of the different approaches you could use.

One important thing to remember is that, whatever your concept is, you don't have to portray it exactly. Let's say you decided that a fast animal was a suitable concept for a car logo, you don't have to use a picture of a whole animal (like jaguar have done). Another approach that jaguar could have taken is to just use the flowing lines of a leaping jaguar in their lettering, without any picture of the animal itself - the viewer doesn't have to immediately think of a jagur, they just need to make a mental connection where the lines make them think of a jaguar leaping.

The examples given so far are fairly simple, but concepts can be as complex as you like - so long as the viewer makes the right associations. One last example. A project I worked on a while ago was for a range of products under the brand name of Infinity. The concept for that was pretty in-depth.. amongst other htings, it involved:

* mathematical sequences that go on forever (eg, Pi)
* the infinity loop symbol
* ammonites
* elephants
* perspective/horizons
* the kitchen sink (ok, not really)

It's good to visit the library or hop on the search engines while you do the brainstorming for the concept (I know I said to step away from the computer, but it's allowed as long as you only use a browser and maybe notepad). Make notes. Sketch ideas. You don't need to make perfect drawings, you just need to get thoughts down, you can tidy them up later.


Summary

Any design work needs a concept, otherwise you're basically just throwing random shapes and colours around in the hope that something looks pretty. The concept is how you get your message across, so without a concept, you're basically not going to get your message across. If you're lucky, you'll have a pretty logo, but it won't say anything about your company or product - you might as well use clipart.



Anyhow, this took longer than expected, so I'm stopping there. Or here. However you look at it, I'm stopping anyway. You go get a concept and I'll tell you what you can do with it (heh)... in part 4, whenever that appears.
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Old 03-05-2011, 05:39 AM   #2
swotin
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Default Re: How you SHOULD Be Making Your Logos (3 of.. more than 3)

Great article thanks
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