Sitting in a coffee shop with tunes from my favorite “zone out” playlist playing through my headphones, I sketch away in my graph composition book. I am loving life. Sketching is an absolute must. This pencil and paper record of all the ideas is a visual record of the evolution in my design thinking. Concept discovery is such an important stage for your development. You avoid a lot of future frustration by putting in as much work as possible in your sketchbook.
Some of the most powerful logos are the most simplistic in nature. McDonalds, Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola are all worldwide brands that are recognized around the world. The execution of the brand message combined with the relative simplicity of the logo makes it easy to inhabit the consumer mind. The amount of people that have your logo memorized is an indication of your brand’s reach. (I touch on this in Episode 49 of my Instagram video series, Touch of Gold. Hehe. I see what I did there.)
I’m a fan of minimalistic logos that manage to convey a concept’s message with no filler. They are also easily reproduced on various products at various sizes. These logos can be more easily memorable and more subtle in communication. It doesn’t demand too much attention (or confusion) and acts as your stamp of authentication.
Have you ever selected a team to support based on the quality of their logo? Well I have.
I’m relatively new to watching hockey. This southern boy has spent most of his sports fan life screaming at various televisions over football and basketball. But after some Kappa Kappa Psi brothers from the cold, cold north introduced and explained hockey to me, I decided to give it a shot. Once I paid attention and starting watching games, I became very interested. However, I can’t give a sport my all until I tether myself to a team. I skipped all the “What team should you support” quizzes and went straight to looking at logos.
Once I saw the Minnesota Wild logo, the decision was made!
With my 32nd birthday coming up, I decided to do something for the occasion. From June 9th through July 10th, I am designing and posting a new logo on my Instagram. I’ve done a few daily projects and have learned that they force me to practice my craft and help build discipline. The more I work, the more I learn.
Succeeding in any crowded market means bringing something unique to the table. Instagram is littered with self-proclaimed fitness and health experts promising to have the solution. You need more than pictures of your perfect abs and muscles to create a new, memorable brand.
When I’m asked what logos are my favorite, I usually mention the Apple logo and the Nike logo. I am a lover of intricate logos as well as minimalistic logos. But I do have a special place in my heart for brands that can convey their personality with simple shapes. However, it is more about how those logos are used and what they are associated with. If those logos were attached to terrible products or services, they wouldn’t be looked upon as fondly as they are. A great logo alone does not a great brand make.
Mastering the expression of emotions is very valuable, when trying to communicate to an audience. When I produce content for Kappa Kappa Psi & Tau Beta Sigma, I try to include as many smiling faces as possible. On social media, promotional material, and in our national publication The Podium, we want to speak to the value we bring college & university band programs. We also want to showcase the value the brotherhood and sisterhood has on active and alumni members of the organizations. Showing the effects of our service is best done through showcasing our members and their joy.
In the early days of my graphic design career, I wanted people to just let me do all the work. I did not want anyone putting any parameters or requirements on me. It felt good to have complete and utter creative freedom on projects. Now do not get me wrong. Creative freedom is a great thing. However, it can also be a trap that will send you into a black hole of revisions and frustrating back-and-forth discussions that pull you further into the darkness.
On my Instagram, I post daily* episodes of “Touch of Gold IG.TV”. I was empowered by Instagram’s decision to extended the length of video uploads from 15 to 60 seconds and inspired to take full advantage with an Instagram video show.
Topics I’ve touched (hehe) on include (but are not limited to):
– Creating visual brand identities
– How to create a video show for your brand
– Reason to create sitemaps before designing websites
– The importance of sketching in creating logos
Touch of Gold IG.TV is a deposit I’m making into the creative community.
This past week, the Instagram episode of “Famous Brand Reveals New Logo And Everyone Freaks Out” debuted – and it was glorious. I’ve already outlined, in what will probably is the most evergreen piece of content I’ve ever written, how we tend to react to new logos that brands reveal with varying degrees of fanfare. The comments, the tweets, the redesigns, the outrage – I love it. It ranges from thought-provoking to downright ridiculous. Now I’m not saying that we shouldn’t voice our opinions. Most of the people I follow and I agree on our impression of the new Instagram logo. We aren’t up in arms like many others but we aren’t completely in love with it either. However, I submit to you that it doesn’t matter in this particular case for a few reasons.