Logo Design Tips – Avoid getting Intimidated

Be Yourself

In my previous Logo Design Tips post, in the introduction, I touched on the likely issues with comparing your designs to those displayed in the many logo design galleries on the net.

I think this point is worthy of some further reflection as I feel it can be quite disheartening for newer logo designers to get motivated when faced with these other ideas and designs. These sites, as well as inspiring, can also uninspire and create a lack of self confidence, myself included. To the degree that I actually don’t often visit these sites too often.

For sure, I still see many logo designs that make me wonder if I am any good myself. It’s a dangerous mind game that can take hold if you are not careful. I keep going off on mental one way roads when I see a logo design that is just outstanding.

I’ll often think, “man, that guy is so talented, I could have never come up with a design like that.

I guess it’s human nature, and for more seasoned logo designers they can reflect and look upon their own portfolio for reassurance. They can reflect on the many successful projects that clients were supremely pleased with. Friends, family, colleagues can reassure them because they have seen the proof of past projects.

For new logo designers, I fear it can lead to a lack of confidence that can become crippling. To quote from the last post:

Try to refrain from measuring your logo designs against the many ‘exceptional’ logo designs submitted to the many galleries on the web. Many, not all, of these logos are conceptual, based around made up names, themes and subjects. The ingredients are specifically crafted to create the ‘perfect’ blend of company name and icon. For the most part, the typical logo project is not like this. These sites are great for inspiration, for admiring the many talented logo designers out there. If you find yourself struggling to come up with a cool unique logo for the local waste disposal company who’s name has at least 8 words in it, then you are surely not alone.

Time and self exploration

It does take time, patience, a great deal of learning from mistakes before you can feel comfortable with what you are doing, the service you are providing. There is no two ways about it, being a logo designer is a very important job and requires personal dedication to ensure you give your client the best logo for their needs. You are providing them with the identity, the means to which the public will notice or not notice them.

Being a Logo Designer is an epic responsibility.

So don’t rush into doing projects that you may feel uncomfortable doing. I still turn down the odd job because the style of logo they need is not one I am comfortable doing. Not saying I don’t need the money, I do more than I would care to admit but there is a balance to consider. I have realised that it is best to be honest with oneself and the client if you feel this is not a project for you.

There is a difference between a job being challenging and a job you just can’t do through lack of skill or experience.

Some designers are very adaptable and can do pretty much anything, others have a certain style, like myself. I used to think it was a huge limiting factor for me, but I now see it as a skill, one that I am constantly honing. You just need to see how many photographers, artists, designers stick to one specific area. The one they enjoy and the one they are ultimately skilled at. Enjoying it is crucial

An example

I hate doing enclosed logos, logos that have to be in banners or round badges. Any logo that has to look like a emblem or is forced to be circular then I run a mile.

See ya, wouldnt want to be ya.

I personally don’t like these types of logos, and because of that, I can’t put my heart into designing them. It’s not a strong point and it’s not really my style. So now I don’t do them. Simple.

Comfortable with my style

My own style is usually of simplicity. I try not to allow myself to get intimidated by other designs that are more detailed, complex etc. Each to there own. I have realised that my own style is a style that is desired by many people, clients and other designers, so it is having faith and confidence to stick to what you do best and are most comfortable with.

Even my own logo, designed two years ago now is what is called a logotype. A logo or brandmark made from just letters, characters, type etc. I am planning on updating it soon, but it will still remain a clear and readable logo design, just with a new font style.

In the end

In the end, it can take a while to find your feet. Explore, experiment, practice. But I would say that being honest with your own skills, your own limitations is important when dealing with something as crucial as a possible brand identity.

If you feel uncomfortable taking on a job, then listen to the inner self and consider other options.

And most importantly, just  try to be aware of always comparing and judging your own logo designs against those you see in galleries etc. It’s not easy for some of us, but being aware of what I have said here, that it happens to many people, I hope will not make you feel so alone.



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Written by Graham Smith: The Logo Smith| First Posted on: 2010/05/26 & Post Updated on: 2014/02/13 Filed In Categories: Brand Identity, Inspiration, Opinion, Portfolio

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