Completing logo projects means providing my clients all the files they will need going forward. It’s not just sending a jpeg of the finalized logo. You have to take into account all the possible ways the logo will be applied. Will this logo be used only in the digital space or will there be print elements? Will it work on light and dark backgrounds? Will all the elements of the logo translate well on multiple backgrounds and platforms? Because of these questions and more, I like to provide multiple files for my clients in the final stage.
Many discussions and revisions have led us to this point. We have arrived at the solution the brand needed. Delivery of that solution may need to be in various parts. The logo and its variations are sent in multiple formats, for web and for print. The logo is the centerpiece of their visual brand identity so it needs to be prepared to work.
First, the main logo in full color. Alternate files will include variations of the logo for it to work on light backgrounds and dark backgrounds. For more involved logos, a one-color option can also be handy to have in the future. The one-color option is very versatile. Its uses include letterhead, stamps, or even laser-cut products. For example, the Nike swoosh logo is an extremely versatile, one-color logo that can be used on various products in a variety of colors.
For combination logos (with typography and an icon), you’ll need to think how those will translate horizontally and vertically. Each element will need to be isolated and maneuvered. The results will vary depending on whether you need a banner/sign or a Facebook cover photo.
The needs of the client may require multiple components to be satisfied. Delivering for the client means providing as much value as possible. The more problems you solve preemptively in the delivery stage, the greater the value and the longer it will last.
The intersection of sports and design is a beautiful place. My favorite sport to watch is football yet this season was the first year I had ever participated in Fantasy Football. Fantasy Football is where you are the general manager / owner of a virtual gridiron football franchise . You draft players and manage your lineup from week to week, trying to best other virtual teams in your league. But first and foremost, you have make a name for your team – literally.
Figuring out how to visually interpret strolling in a logo presented a challenge. Also, designing a mascot logo in general presents a challenge for me. I usually like to create more minimalistic, symbol type brands. I don’t consider myself a particularly talented illustrator but I do like to push myself when I can. I took a photo of myself mid-stroll (“throwing a K” as we call it) and put it in Adobe Illustrator. The pen tool and I went through the photo and created vectors of the most essential parts with some creative license. I chose to use various shades of blue to highlight certain features and shadows.
The first pass of the logo and the second pass of the logo differ mainly in the text used. I posted the initial version in the Makers of Sport Slack community for feedback. Who better to get feedback from on my fictional franchise’s branding than designers who work with actual school athletic departments and professional teams. I was given some tips, including giving my wordmark more weight. I revisited the text, choosing a new font and altered it to give it some personality.
Huge salute to Brandon Moore, whose Staubachs Coffee team social media graphics served as inspiration for me to create some for Stroll City.
My favorite projects tend to be the ones where I can design for non-profits. Branding matters for non-profits. It brings me great joy to be able to use my gifts to help advance the efforts of an organization or company trying to provide assistance to a community. Continue reading “Case Study: The Next Step, LLC”
When you reveal the logo you have been slaving over for days, weeks, months to the general public, someone somewhere will hate it. This is what we call an irrefutable fact. In 2017, it’s easier than ever to provide your personal opinion of others work.
You are never suppose to judge a book by its cover, but we do it all the time. As humans, with what we choose to cover our bodies can say a lot about us. If you are seen frequently wearing a certain brand, it is assumed you are loyal to that brand of clothing. Wearing apparel with your alma mater’s logo shows your pride in the school you graduated from. Fans of sports teams frequently are seen rocking team hats, shirts, jerseys, etc. You are a living, walking, breathing billboard for whatever brand you choose to showcase with your clothing choices. So, this must be taken into consideration when designing the insignia of your brand as well as the overall identity.
Every logo you’ve ever seen started with a series of questions being answered about its purpose and the entity it represents. Research is highly important to properly design anything. No sense creating before you know why you are creating. For example, a lot of college logos pull from the essential visual cues found on the campus of the institution itself. You have research and observe to know what makes the entity you are designing for unique. What is the main identifier? When I see THIS, I think of THIS! Know the message or image you want to communicate through the logo. Learn the market and the audience that will see the results of this project. Your knowledge of the brand combined with your creative skillset will yield great results if you put in the work ahead of time. Have the conversations and delve deep into the thought process of those who are approaching you to work on this project.
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.