Here is a practical and handy list of the best logo design tips and advice as well as thoughts and observations, collected over my 25 years working in graphic design, print and advertising. They have served me well, I hope they work for you as well.
*See note at end of list.
The essential list of logo design tips and advice
- Always use default system for your typeface choices. For example : Arial and Times. Bonus points if you use Times for the logotype and Arial for the tag-line.
- Feel proud when using the most obvious and cliché visual associations because no one likes a hard logo to decipher.
- Put your new client logo project on 99Designs because you haven’t got time to design it yourself.
- Put your new client logo project on 99Designs because you don’t like designing logos.
- Copy one of your clients competitors logo in the hope they don’t notice.
- Don’t ask the client for a brief because you don’t know what to ask.
- You set up a online quote form using Google Doc’s to streamline your logo design business. That’s just how you roll. However, you forget to specify a notification email address when potential clients fill in the form. Three weeks later you wonder why no new work is coming in. Three weeks later you lose 10 clients.
- The client requests a ‘cutting edge’ logo. You design a logo that says ‘Cutting Edge’… with the top edges cut off the letters because you are so damn original. The company is called Diamond Consultants.
- Use Microsoft Powerpoint to design your logos. It makes sense. You can then use Powerpoint to present these ideas to the client. Great time saving tip.
- Don’t research the clients competition because you have a great idea for a logo but don’t want to be upset if you see it’s already being used. What you don’t know won’t hurt you. Anyway, seemed to work for Nike.
- What happens if a client doesn’t like your logo design? No problem. Name and shame them on Twitter, that should even things up nicely.
- Copy your clients competitors tag line because it seems to work for them.
- Use a very ‘old’ logo inspiration book to see if there is a old logo you can copy.
- Specifying colours for your logo? Ensure you ‘only’ use RGB or Index values. When you are presenting your ideas to the client on your iPad, the colours will look so pretty. CMYK is ‘sooo’ yesterday.
- If you did get a brief, ignore it anyway as your client clearly has no idea what they are doing. You are the logo designer, ergo you know more than your client.
- Recycling is so ‘now’, so when you design a great new logo, a design that has everyone talking, keep that dream alive. Change the colour and use the design for another client.
- Research phase. If the logo doesn’t show up in Google ‘image search’, then it just doesn’t exist anywhere. You are now free to proceed with that great new original idea, mindful that your logo will not be like anything else out there.
- When presenting the logo idea to your client, you have to make the logo the full width of the A4 sheet. It’s the only way anyone can make out the company name.
- Feel free to change your clients unique brand colour if you don’t like it.
- Advise your client that their company name sucks and should be changed, even though they have been around for 20 years and are hugely successful. The reason being is the name is hard for you to design a logo around, but mostly, it just sounds cack.
- Ignore the clients one stipulation that their brand name remains in lowercase. It has an awkward descender in the middle of the name, and it makes the placing of the new tag line awkward for you.
- You’re chronically colour blind and don’t care. You’re new client is Pantone.
- Change aspects of the brief to make it more interesting to design around.
- Been informed that your logo design infringes on an existing Trademark? It’s OK. You can change the colour and horizontally flip it.
- You realise that many logo designs on Brandstack are mostly conceptual and not yet used in the real world. This means you can copy them for your client and get your foot in first.
- Looking to save time and increase your profit margin? Buy a cheap logo on Brandstack, change the colour and add your clients name. Job done.
- Your client doesn’t understand that a logo design doesn’t make a brand. You therefore promise your client that with your ‘mad logo dezign skillz‘, you will turn their dull boring company into a famous and popular brand.
- Your client stipulates that a new commercial font should be used for the logotype. The client even suggests possibility of creating a custom font. The client will foot the cost. You head to Dafont.
- What’s typography?
- Company name too short for the tag-line you have just come up with? Add ‘.com’ to the end of the company name to help you add a longer tag line. However, not helpful if they are ‘.co.uk’.
- Post a new logo concept on Dribbble after signing an NDA.
- A prestigious new logo job comes in and your logo designer is on holiday. You hear great things about 99Designs.
- Fire your logo designer because you have now found 99Designs. FTW.
- An Apple Mac helps you create better looking logos than a PC.
- Logo design sizing advice. Need to design a small logo for a business card? Use a 13″ laptop. Need to design a logo for a poster? Use a 27″ iMac. Or better still, hook up your laptop to your 50″ Plasma TV for really big f**k off logos.
- Need some Intellectual Property advice? Well, it’s tricky, depends on how intellectual you are.
- Don’t have time to create your own logo design portfolio? Or just don’t have the talent and too ashamed to show your own work? Hey, don’t sweat it. Find a logo designer whose logos you like and borrow theirs.
- The client refuses to pay. Likely a result of you not fully understanding sarcasm and humour. See above.
* This list ‘SHOULD NOT be taken seriously. Except 34 :)