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Logostack - Real World Logo & Brand Identity Design Inspiration

Real World Logo & Brand Identity Design Inspiration

LogoStack is about showing real world logo and brand identity design inspiration; not the conceptual, or the make believe. Every logo design you see on LogoStack is used, or has been used, in the real world.

LogoStacka collection of real-world (no concept, or fake logos here) logo & brand identity designs.  Logo design inspiration created by you; acquired and hoarded by

It's also worth noting that LogoStack is a reflection of the type and variety of logo and brand identity design that inspires me. LogoStack is a personal collection of real world logo designs that I am collecting, hoarding and sharing.

All projects on #LogoStack are indexed by Client & Designer; easy to view other works’

Proper Attribution

The intro text for each logo clearly describes the brand name. We also have the name and link to what: graphic designer, studio, agency etc, were responsible for the overall project, both of which are filterable, so you can easily search for other projects by designer and/or client.

I usually include a few words about the design, with a few supporting images, to the show the logo in context if I feel like it. :)

Submissions

If you see any logo and brand identity projects that you feel would be a good fit for LogoStack (if you think you 'get' my aesthetic), then feel free to give me a shout on Twitter:

 




If you have a logo design problem

Logo Design Advice from The Logo Smith [AQfG]

"A Question for Grahamis a Logo Design Advice & Help feature that is focused on providing help for any: logo & brand identity; freelancing; graphic design; marketing & advertising, questions you might have. You might have a problem that you could do with sharing, or simply need some advice.

I get a fair number of emails each week, with questions about one aspect, or another, relating to freelancing as a logo and graphic designer. Due to work commitments etc, I have often struggled to even send back a basic reply in some cases.

A Question for Graham [AQfG] is a way for me to create some form, structure and usefulness out of this particular aspect of my day.

Answers Turned to Blog Posts

If you ask me a question, and I feel it's also a question that other people would find the answer of use, I will write the answer as a regular blog post. The idea is that you get your answer in a format that is useful as well as providing me a platform to share the answer with everyone else.

I can't promise that all questions asked will be replied in this format as this comes down to both my own time as well as relevancy, but also if the question is something a reasonable blog post can be created from.

Here are a few questions already answered: A Question for Graham

Have a Question?

If you have any kind of question relating to: logo and brand identity, freelancing, accounts, client woes etc, then please feel free to email me at: [email protected] or visit my contact page and use the form.

I will reply to all questions so you will know promptly if a blog post will be in the works or not. If the latter then I still may answer in a personal email if time permits.

Please ensure you add "I have a question for Graham" in the email Subject field.




When a Client Loves Your Logo Design

When a client 'loves your logo', hearing those words can make all the difference to your day, your feeling of self, your confidence and just providing a general sense of work satisfaction.

 

Loves Your Logo Design

 

Yesterday this email just flew into my Inbox, and although it's short, it's incredibly sweet, and it just hit-the-spot.

In particular just the, "I LOVE THE LOGO!!!!", all in upper-case and multiple exclamation marks really stoked me.

This email from Andrea really made my day.

 

Hi Graham,

I am writing from the new chemav e-mail account and you can use it now on.

I LOVE THE LOGO!!! So, I'd like you to proceed with the next stage including colours evaluation.

Many thanks, I love it

Have a nice evening

Andrea

Dr. Andrea Volpato Chemav Consulting

Logo Design Concept and letterhead




I received this question, as part of my A Question for Graham the other day, and although it: Logo Design Naming, Copyright and Ownership Problems, sounds, at least on the surface, reasonably straightforward, there are some possible hidden dangers, complications etc. I don't have an awful lot to go on, so my responses are little bit of advice, or general insights, and should definitely not be taken as legally sound, as I am not a lawyer.

All I can do is answer based on the information I have, and hopefully, at the very least, provide some useful insight and suggestions to take the issue forward:

"I designed for a client. The client is a good friend of mine and I did a logo for free for her. I also named the company. Friend's partner, who I don't know, registered the corporate name and purchased the website with the name but failed to register the logo. The partnership is now breaking up and I want my friend to be able to use the logo and name in her new venture.

What's you opinion?"

Right then. First things first. You maintain full rights and ownership over the logo design until you say otherwise, and you can transfer that to whoever you want. The name, however, looks like it’s been taken off-your hands, and now registered by this 'partner'. As you probably had no agreement in place, pretty sure there is not much you can do with getting the name back, but your friend (for what it’s worth), is free to use your logo design.

One solution then is to cut your losses with the name you came up with, and try come up with a different name. You may want to word it so it works with your logo design, or at the very least, adjust the logo to work with a new name. Then you can make a clean break from this other ‘partner’, and have no risk of treading on each others toes.

This is important: You, or your friend, must make sure that this ‘partner’ is fully aware they cannot use your logo design without your express permission, and have a written transfer of ownership from you. If they are using it, then you’ll need to find a way to explain to them that the logo you created does not belong to them, and they are certainly not permitted to use it in any form.

Hopefully, you have some form of correspondence between you and your friend that shows the 'paper trail' regarding the intended use and purpose of both the name and logo design.

This should also then make it quite clear that this 'partner' wasn't part of this arrangement, and they cannot effectively argue that it belongs to them, more so if they have no proof that the ownership of the rights etc, having been transferred from you to this partner, as well as any money exchanging hands.

Trademarking a Design that Is Not Yours

There is one tricky scenario that comes to mind: if this 'partner' has managed to register the logo design, or part of it, as a Trademark/Registered Trademark, then this could be a whole different problem for you/your friend. Something I can't really advise on, as this really needs to become a legal matter.

Technically, I believe, you still own the logo, so you'd need to contact this 'partner', and carefully explain they have in fact registered a design that they had no rights to register, mostly because it's not theirs to register. If this 'partner' is reasonable, then hopefully you can come to some sort of financial solution, but this would probably mean you no longer have a name, OR a logo design.

However, not so good for your friend.

If they are not so reasonable, then you still need to start creating a digital 'paper trail' of correspondence, at the very least, showing you have made attempts to explain to this 'partner' that they are using a logo design that does not belong to them.

You can ask them to provide proof of hiring you to design them a logo, proof that they paid for it, proof that you signed over your Ownership of the design to them, all of which they won't be able to do. Maybe, just maybe, once that realisation hits them, you might be able to negotiation some form of financial compromise/settlement.





Master Client Logo Sheet Template for Download

Download Master Client Logo Sheet Template.zip

The above link will download a ZIP archive of an: Adobe Illustrator CC7 file (without embedded fonts) and a PDF (with embedded fonts), all ready for you to present those finished master logo files nicely to your client.

Client Logo Sheet

I have settled on this style of Client Logo Sheet for providing, and presenting, my own clients with the finished logo files. Each one has a few bits of useful information, such as: the colour mode used in Illustrator, either RGB or CMYK and list of the actual colours used in the logo.

I've locked all the elements other than the logo itself, so it's easy for a client to select and copy without picking up surrounding elements etc. On my example I have 4 different colour variations, but you could adjust it to show just one colour, or even add more rows/columns depending on how many colour versions are to be used. Probably best not to cram say 6 different logos on one sheet, as part of this logo sheet is to present the logo in a nice clear way.

The Client Logo Sheets are not replacing the more detailed Logo Guidelines/Logo Specification sheets as not all clients opt to have these developed, but all clients will get the Client Logo Sheet at the end of each project.

Feel free to use the Master Client Logo Sheet Template as is, or change the layout/contents as you see fit (obviously remove all instance of my name and details). Hope you find it useful. 

Download Master Client Logo Sheet Template.zip

Another Logo Sheet Example

Here's a version of the Client Logo Sheet I have just done for my latest finished logo redesign project, for Codestag.

Master-Logo-Client-Sheet-Codestag-Template




This post is just a little primer on Logo Design Copyright, I'll cover it in more detail in a forthcoming post.

The topic of Copyright seems to leave some folk quite baffled, but in actuality, the important basics are pretty straightforward.

Not to say copyright in general is straightforward, but it can be a nasty messy business when designs clash, ideas are borrowed etc.

The very action of designing something/anything unique means the creator has the copyright; an exception to this is if you copy, steal or plagiarise a design! On it's most basic level, copyright of unique visual design is automatic, and originates with the designer.

Thus, any unique logo that I designed for a client will have automatically had copyright assigned to it, and to me. Everyone of my unique logo designs and more detail brand identity projects, in my portfolio, started off with it's copyright belonging to your's truly. I didn't need to register it with any fancy office, I didn't need to sign any documents, or use my blood to create an unbreakable moral seal.

One can help define Logo Design Copyright (ownership), by adding the immortal words: All Logo Designs © Copyright 2014 The Logo Smith, or something along those lines.

This simply helps advertise the fact you are claiming, staking your ownership, of anything that is appended with that text. It's a way of clarifying when a unique design was created, and who is taking ownership, in the case of a dispute: such as someone stealing, or simply accidentally coming up with a very similar design.

This is when blogging (then quickly submitting it to Google and Bing etc) about that cool new logo design, and submitting that logo to various popular online portfolios, all help define who and when something was created, and greatly aids in any possible copyright clash as they all provide times, dates and clarity on who was there with that design first.

Transferring Logo Design Copyright To My Client

Transferring any Logo Design Copyright is simple, and yet I see instances where clients are almost extorted out of further money in order to obtain full Logo Design Copyright copyright of a unique design they have paid a designer to create. I have covered this topic in a previous post: Logo Design Ownership: Make it Easy For Your Client To Own The Logo

As a logo designer: it's an obligation to ensure your client ends up owning the the copyright of the logo you have designed for them, and this includes any additional brand identity elements and visual assets etc.

The transfer of the existing copyright and ownership, as the creator, isn't done automatically, and neither is it a 'given' when invoices are settled, and designer and client part ways. It's a process that has to be initiated by the designer, or suggested by the client.

Transfer Copyright And Ownership To The Client

In order to transfer existing ownership of the logo design, to your client, you simply sign a written statement/contract, that states you are transferring all ownership and copyright to the named party, in this case your client.

For example, I have a Transfer of Copyright form that I sign and send when the project is all completed, and not likely to be subject to any last minute changes.

Once you do this, you no longer have any claim to that design, so if you want to ensure you are safe to showcase the logo and brand identity visuals in your portfolio etc, that this is agreed before signing over ownership.

This is something that actually could be briefly covered in your Logo Design Proposal, so at least the client is made aware of how they can obtain full design copyrights and ownership before proceeding—I think I will a actually update my Logo Design Proposal Template to include this soon!

Conclusion

As previously mentioned, this is a super quick primer on the initial aspects of copyright in logo design, and it's by far the end of the story. However, it should be enough to give you some peace of mind that you don't need to hire a lawyer to simply copyright your own logo design works, and that transfer of copyright and ownership is just as straight forward.

The real challenges come with: Trademarks, Registered Trademarks and aspects of supposed Copyright and Ownership of non-unique works, this is when epic battles are won and lost in the courtroom.

There are various online services, such as: http://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/ and http://www.uktrademarkregistration.co.uk/ that help you to register a particular copyright and/or trademark, but they are often subscribed/premium services that assist you in times of conflict, but they are not compulsory. If a copyright/trademark conflict occurs, these services can help pin-point original ownership, and they can also provide legal advice and other services, but you'd still end up having to hire a lawyer in the worse case scenarios. But if you want extra peace-of-mind, then it does no harm (other than your wallet) to use one of them

 

 






In this post I'll provide some basic, but useful, advice for clients who are looking to find and hire a logo designer on Google, and the Website in General

If there is one thing I know for certain? It's that it must be a complete nightmare to hire a logo designer that 'ticks all the boxes', not because there are so few of us logo designers around: it's actually the complete opposite.

There are gazillions of potential logo designer candidates worldwide: all of varying skill levels, some with years of experience and some none at all; some experienced without any academic qualifications, and some with; some with a unique 'signature' design style, and others who are very adaptable; some that are cheap, mid-priced, and others that pitch higher than usual.

I really don't know what 'the' usual price level is for logo designers given the sheer scope of factors that can and do determine how much a logo designer can, should, does, or doesn't charge

Some are local for a given search, and some will be geographically challenged; some talented logo designers simply don't advertise, or make it easy to be found, whilst some logo designers have the marketing, advertising, social networking savvy that makes it easier for them to be found; some are well-known, and some are not; and so on.

Just to be clear: I am mostly talking about the self-employed/freelance logo designer, not so much the hobbyist, or indeed the larger design studio/agency. 

However, it's certainly a travesty that certain logo design shops tend to dominate Google's (and other search engines) top rankings, as well as completely gobbling up the sponsored ad spots, which must cost them a complete fortune to run day-after-day-after-day (I can barely afford the minimum for one day).

Typical search terms, like: "logo designer", "logo design", "freelance logo designer", "professional logo designer", "I need a logo designer", and so on, are invariably 'taken' for Google 1st page results.

It's Better Than it Was

For sure, things are much better on Google than they were, even just 2 or so years ago. Google has done an incredible job really, when you think about it, of clearing up the no-good-for-nothing-black-hat-gangsters looking to prey on the weak and naive.

I clearly remember thinking how on earth is someone like me will ever be found on Google: the proverbial needle in the haystack, likely at the bottom, in the middle and buried under 5ft of earth.

It's a Daunting Process To Hire a Logo Designer

It's a daunting process trying to locate a suitable logo designer for your needs, made even harder when you have to negotiate and filter out logo design 'battery farms'.  You may be looking for a certain type of designer, or looking for a company local to you.

Yet, whatever you search for in Google, you are faced with the many number of search results focusing on the latest marketing buzz hook: 'free logo designs', 'logo designers for $5', 'create your own logo for free online', '300% Guarantee', 'professional logo design for £19.99 in under 24 hours', 'bronze package', 'silver package', 'carbon fibre with titanium and moon rock dust package'.

I need to emphasise that not all the 'package deal' options are to be avoided, far from it. But this is part of the problem, some of these package-dealers try hard to look respectable, genuine and honest, and often succeed in doing so.

Being discovered is seemingly the hardest challenge for the: solo, self-employed, small studio logo designer. The genuine, the sincere, the passionate logo designer will likely not have the funds, resources and audacity, needed to prise themselves to top of the 1st page of search results.

Look Past the 1st Page

All these search results seem to take up the first page, you may be lucky and find a respectable and very reputable logo design studio/agency dotted the 1st page of results, but it helps to know what you are looking for, and what specifically one should avoid.

Unless you are familiar with graphic design, and have inside track on the logo design industry, you may find yourself out-manned, and out-gunned, and very quickly out-financed.

You may end up exhausted and frustrated in your search, giving up and opting to go with a logo designer that you just hope will deliver. The promise of that 'Titanium Package with unlimited tweaks, designed in 24 hours and only costing you a fantastically cheap rate of £49.99' seems to good to be true.

If you're needs are small, and you simply don't care much for quality, then you'll be serviced just fine, but if you feel the logo and identity is important to you, then it's unlikely the cheap options, but the ones that you'll be served up on the 1st page, will indeed deliver.

Picking up the Pieces

In recent years, I have found myself, more and more, picking up the pieces for a number of clients who thought they'd try their luck with the cheaper logo design option, or crowd sourcing site, such as 99Designs.

Invariably, after being served up their 3-5 logo ideas, they realise how utterly disappointing the experience has been. Then it's usually a case of having to pay yet more money to now find a more competent, and personable, logo designer.

It's quite gutting for me to see the sort of work they were presented, you can just hear the utter disappointment in the their voices. The realisation of how far behind schedule they are, and now having to pay all over again.

Some General Advice to Hire a Logo Designer

The best advice I can give, without sounding too 'use me, use me' is to not rush any part of this process of finding a logo designer to work with. If you are genuinely short of time, then the first option below could be the life saver you need.

RECOMMENDATIONS
Recommendations are valuable, if you know of someone who had a logo designed, then ask them for a name. Twitter is perfect for this sort of method, as word-of-mouth quickly spreads, and you could have a interesting mix of contacts to check out.

GOOGLE
Ultimately, and this really is the moral and purpose of this post: Don't give up looking on Google once you reach the end of Page 1. I can assure you: if you spend time looking through pages: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and onwards, you'll come across some truly talented logo designers.

Just because a logo designer does not appear on page 1 of your favourite search engine, it certainly does not mean they should be ignored. If anything, it's this reason that they ought to be given more of your time.

"Poor Google rankings, and placement, is by no means a reflection on the integrity, skill and reputation of a logo designer."

I know many talented designers that probably don't come even in the first 5 pages of search results.

A GOOD FIT
And this is the thing, try to find a logo designer that is a good fit for you, not just visually but also from a personality point of view. The more you can 'gel' with a designer, the better the whole process and the more likely you will have a logo designer prepared to bend over backwards for you.

That level of commitment in a designer just can't be bought. It is a partnership.

COMMUNICATION
A designer who is prepared to talk on the phone, who is relatively transparent in the area of communication and contact is a positive sign, but not all designers can or will spend hours on the phone with their client. This is down to you, go for a designer that feels right for you. You may be OK with not needing to talk on the phone to discuss progress, or you may be someone that needs that level of feedback and interaction.

To Conclude

Many logo designers are keen social media junkies, actively contributing to the design community, writing and posting on their own blogs, chatting with other like minded designers on Twitter and Facebook.

You'll find some super talented logo designers on Flickr, just browser through some of the popular Groups, even basic search queries will provide some good results to check out. Dribbble is another major creative platform that should certainly result in finding a suitable designer to work with.

There are heaps of external portfolio sites, such as Behance, Iconify etc, that specialise in showcasing logo and brand identity projects, and these provide a proverbial gold-mine of talented designers to pick from.

Don't rush your search to hire a logo designer, but do try to be a little more selective on where you conduct the search.

If it's Google, then you'll be rewarded if you generally scoot pass the 1st page of results.

Don't ignore the 1st page, as it depends completely on your search term, but do allow yourself time to give the next few pages of results some of your time.

We are everywhere, if you know where to look.