CAPTURING THE ESSENCE OF YOUR BUSINESS
A logo is not just a graphic, not just a picture, not just a typeface. It is the symbol of your vision and business. J Freeman & Son loves capturing that intangible element and ideology and turning it into a logo that is unique in the business landscape. Our goal is that your message has a voice and you feel a little pride each time you see your logo.
WHAT CONSTITUTES GOOD LOGO DESIGN?
Creating an effective visual representation of a your brand requires much more than just graphic design. Like any line of work that involves a set of specific skills, logo design requires plenty of practice and experience for it to be successful; knowledge is definitely power for any qualified graphic designer.
For this reason, I have boiled logo design down into 12 essential rules to follow in order to design an effective logo.
1. Preliminary Work Is a Must
Preliminary sketches are an important first step in designing an effective logo. These can be as simple as paper and pen drawings or drafts made using a vector program, such as Illustrator. The bottom line is that inexperienced "$200 bucks for a logo" designers compromise the final result when they rush, or skip this step.
Good design requires brainstorming, creative jam sessions and 20 to 30 sketches or ideas and that then branch out to create variations of the original ideas. Sometimes you have to scrap a concept and begin again with a new design strategy. An effective graphic designer will spend more time on this preliminary work than any other step in the design process.
2. Create Balance
Balance is important in logo design because our minds naturally perceive a balanced design as being pleasing and appealing. Keep your logo balanced by keeping the “weight” of the graphics, colors, and size equal on each side.
Though the rule of balance can occasionally be broken, remember that your logo will be viewed by the masses, not just those with an eye for great art, so a balanced design is the safest approach.
3. Size Matters
When it comes to logo design, size does matter. A logo has to look good and be legible at all sizes. A logo is not effective if it loses too much definition when scaled down for letterheads, envelopes, and small promotional items. The logo also has to look good when used for larger formats, such as posters, billboards, and electronic formats such as TV and the Web. Experienced designers print logos to see how they work at all sizes before committing to a design.
4. Clever Use of Color
Color theory is complex, but designers like ours who understand the basics are able to use color to their advantage. The basic rules to keep in mind are:
Use colors near to each other on the color wheel (e.g. for a “warm” palette, use red, orange, and yellow hues).
Don’t use colors that are so bright that they are hard on the eyes.
The logo must also look good in black and white, gray-scale, and two colors.
Breaking the rules sometimes is okay; knowing when is why you don't hire inexperienced designers for your brand's logo.
Knowing how colors evoke feelings and moods is also important. For example, red can evoke feelings of aggression, love, passion, and strength. Fortunately at J Freeman & Son we have mastered the psychology of color so you don't have to.
5. Design Style Should Suit the Company
Designing a brand that speaks to your industry takes acumen and experience. A recent trend in logo design is the Web 2.0 style of 3D-looking logos, with “bubbly” graphics, gradients, and drop shadows. This style may work well for a Web 2.0 website or tech company, but may not be effective for other kinds of brands.
We always research our client and its audience before beginning our preliminary work.
6. Typography Matters… a Lot!
Choosing the right font type and size is much more difficult than many beginner designers realize. We have the experience and understanding to select or create the font that best suits your brand and industry.
7. The Goal IS Attention & Recognition
The whole point of creating a logo is to build brand recognition. So, how do you go about doing this? Well, it varies from case to case, but the goal with the logo is for the average person to instantly call the brand to mind.
A few examples of this are the logos for Coca-Cola, Pepsi, McDonald’s, and Nike. Just a glimpse of any of these logos is all you need to recognize the brands. The key to making a popular and recognizable logo is the skill to combine all of the elements discussed in this article: size, style, color, typography, and originality. Overlooking any of these during the design process will impair the quality of any final design.
8. Dare to be Different
To stand out from the competition, you must distinguish yourself. Only an experienced designer can do this as years of experience tend to produce a design style that is unique to that designer.
9. K.I.S.S. (Keep it Super Simple)
The simpler the logo, the more recognizable it will be.
For example, the Nike swoosh is an extremely simple logo and is also one of the most recognizable in the world.
We Follow the K.I.S.S. rule right from the start of the design process, when we are brainstorming ideas and doodling sketches.
Often, we’ll find that we start with a relatively complicated design and end up with a simpler version of it in the end.
We follow a simple rule: Work the design down to its essentials and leave out all unnecessary elements.
10. Go Easy on Effects
Less is more applies to this rule of designing a stand-out logo. Complexity results in people forgetting your design.
11. Develop a Design “Assembly Line”
To produce consistently high-quality logos, we have developed our own design process, or “assembly line.” This includes at least the following steps:
Brainstorm and generate ideas
Develop vector designs
Send to client
Add or remove anything the client wants
Finalize the design and resubmit to client
Although we may tweak the order slightly, we follow these basic steps with each logo design. This streamlines our work, helps us stay organized, maintains focus, and delivers better quality and more consistent results with each job.
12. Use Other Designs for Inspiration Only!
The last rule for designing an effective logo is quite simple: NEVER copy other designers’ work! While there’s nothing wrong with being inspired by other designers, copying another person’s ideas or work is morally and legally wrong.
Gallery websites exist that let you use vector art images free of charge, with proper attribution under the Creative Commons License, but we strongly recommend not going this route as you will be one of thousands of companies who paid a kid to design an original logo only to have them use clip art that has been used over and over.
ALL OF J FREEMAN & SON'S DESIGNS ARE COMPLETELY ORIGINAL (NO TEMPLATES)
WHAT DOES PROFESSIONAL LOGO DESIGN COST?
We have come to understand that a logo's value is directly tied to Brand Awareness. Depending on how disruptive your company is you'll invest more than some and less than others. We are better than most at disseminating your brand identity into a compelling visual powerhouse that works for you while you're sleeping. We don’t charge hourly rates because we get punished for being good at our craft, efficient and faster and design workups than those without 30+ years of experience. So, in this market in 2023 you can expect to invest the following in your brand mark:
$20-50k for a custom tailored brand strategy
$15k-30k Logo & Messaging which includes a detailed usage guide, style guide and design guide.
$10k for Applications (we will have you select 3)
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The logo by itself is based off of revenue and the size of your Brand and may range from as low as $2.5k+ to as much as $1 mil or more depending on your current revenue, brand recognition, targets and future plans for turning your branding assets into money making workhorses.