Q&A With Tam – Essential Principles of Logo Design

Category: Design

Logo design is something that is very often underestimated. A powerful logo creates instant brand recognition, helping to establish a brand identity that is carried across all marketing materials. And yet, logos are all too often treated as a useful extra in the overall design process. Logos are either made up on the fly, or worse, created with little to no thought of the bigger picture.

In order to understand the importance of logo design, you first need to understand the basic principles that go into the design and creation of a logo. In this Q&A, we talk to Coffee Creative Studio designer par excellence, Tam, to learn more about effective logo development and design.

Everything You Need to Know About Logo Design

What is logo design?

The logo is what people see first. Logo design in essence is taking a business in its entirety – the way it is run, what it does and what values it represents – and trying to summarise it into a recognisable symbol that will become the face of the brand.

A logo can consist of just text, just an icon or a combination of text and an icon.

What are the unwavering commandments of effective logo design?

An effective logo needs to be simple, balanced, legible, scalable and ultimately attractive.

Why is professional logo design essential?

The first encounter people will have with your company, the packaging that surrounds what you are offering the consumer, is your logo. This is why it is essential to have a professional logo design as opposed to a DIY logo made in MS Word. If the logo is sloppy, skew or out-dated, it will make your company appear to be those things, and you won’t even have the chance to convince the consumer otherwise. When you go to meet a client, you want to put your best foot forward. You want to ‘dress to impress’ and the same should apply to your logo: dress your company name to impress/attract. They will see a professional logo and assume the company this logo represents is professional, trustworthy and established. An unprofessional logo often looks cheap, making the company seem like a start-up, inexperienced and slap-dash.

Longevity is another reason to have a professional logo. When I think of all the classic logos (Coca-Cola for instance), the logo is simple, legible and timeless. It therefore can, and has, become a recognisable icon with even just the ‘C’ of the logo being recognisable, as it has been around for decades. You don’t want a logo that you will have to update every couple of years as a costly solution to stay relevant and avoid looking out-dated.

How does logo design assist with overall brand recognition and marketing?

I did mention before that the brand becomes recognisable over time. I think of the Nike tick or the McDonald’s ‘M’ – these symbols are synonymous with the brands they represent. This is because an image/icon (or even just text) is easier to remember than just ordinary text as it is unique and different.

There is more frequent and overt marketing than ever before, largely due to the accessibly of information, the development of technology and the growing usage of social media. Adverts are thrown at us as we scroll through social media and drive along the streets. There is a fear of over exposure. However with all this said, it has become even more crucial than ever before to become recognisable and attractive. With the fleeting moment of advertising, the logo needs to be unique so that the client can recognise it, and attractive enough to entice the client to engage with the company. It becomes a form of marketing in itself, because if it is attractive, it is far more likely to interest a customer to look further at the company and buy the product or service.

By becoming more recognisable, you have to chance to build a reputation, so that when they see your logo, it will bring about emotions and a connection to the brand. This helps build brand loyalty and trust.

My creative design process involves…

  1. Finding out about the company – what they do, what they’re about, what personality the company has, who they are, and what they want to portray.
  2. Finding out what they like, and whether there are any styles/logos/colours that they want as a company.
  3. Researching the company and the field they’re in, to find out what competitors have done, and get a good sense of what is appropriate for the field. (This step is often overlooked.)
  4. Beginning with some rough ideas, playing with imagery and text. I always design in black and white first (a logo has to work in its simplest form) and come up with a variety of different (and I mean different, not just same icon different text) options.
  5. When I think I have done enough, I do one more. It is good as a designer to constantly push yourself to be more conceptual and to force yourself to think of another way of representing the company. I always try to have various options, with icons, with no icons etc.
  6. Ideally, I like to create a primary and secondary version for the logo (this is not always possible however), so if one is text and icon stacked, then there needs to be one with them next to one another.
  7. I then add a couple of colour options, and lay it out for the client to choose.

The biggest logo mistakes to avoid:

Never use Microsoft Word to design a logo, create a vector logo initially, and avoid overused fonts e.g. Comic Sans. Avoid becoming too conceptual so that it becomes illegible, making fonts too small, being too ‘on-trend’ and making clichés.

Make sure you create a CMYK & RGB web version of the logo, as a RGB logo will print differently to how it appears on a screen. On that note, avoid neon colours (unless it is a purely web logo) as they are extremely difficult and costly to print to look the same.

As a designer, I avoid becoming too attached to the logo. Above all, it is about what the client wants and they may go for a design that is not your favourite, but it is their brand. However, this does not mean you cannot give your professional input.

To learn more about tailored logo design solutions at Coffee Creative Studio, contact us today and let us know how we can help you get started.