Logo design is something you should get better at throughout your career, just by doing it. But if you’re looking to create truly great logo designs, practice alone won’t always be enough.
In this post, we suggest six areas you can work on to help improve your logo design. So if you’re serious about bringing your logo design skills to the next level, keep reading...
01. Do better research
Logo design is all about conveying what the brand stands for Logo design isn’t about making something that looks pretty; it’s about serving a business need and reflecting what a brand stands for. So before you start sketching out ideas, you need to do some solid research into your client and what they’re about.
In the same way that you’d prepare for a job interview, then, you need to thoroughly research the company and its brand. Read what it has to say about itself, on its website and other official sources, as well as what industry blogs and other commentators have written about it, and what people have posted about it on social media.
All this will give you a head start in your initial discussions with the client. Your logo design ideas will be far more likely to be accepted, because you’ll be able to explain them in terms of how they can help the business. An example of this principle in action can be seen in Design Bridge’s 2016 redesign of the Guinness logo (above), which drew on extensive research into the company’s heritage to tell the brand's story.
02. Ask better questions
The initial research you do into a company is only the first step in understanding it. The next is to dig deep; taking advantage of your access to its leaders, and asking some penetrating questions.
Questions will normally include things like: Who is your target audience? How do you plan to grow the business? Who are your main rivals? What’s your mission statement? What are your long-term goals? These may sound irrelevant to the discipline of logo design... but they couldn’t be more central.
For example, if the target audience turns out to be the over-50s then you probably won’t want to give your design a youthful, funky vibe. If their main rival’s logo uses a distinctive font, you’ll probably want to use a different one (for legal reasons alone). It’s also worth asking the obvious question: “Why do you need a new logo?” The answer, or lack of one, can often be quite enlightening.
03. Focus on mobile first
Instagram’s new logo (right) is much more scalable for reading on small screens than its skeuomorphic predecessor (left) If you’ve been paying attention to Creative Bloq this year, you’ll have noticed a number of big brands who’ve simplified and flattened their logos (check out the new logos from BT, Subway, Mastercard, Instagram, HP, Bing and Gumtree and you’ll see what we mean).
They’re only continuing a trend that’s been evident throughout the decade, with the likes of Facebook, eBay, Microsoft and Yahoo leading the way in making their designs super-minimal. It’s no accident that these firms are all tech giants, because it’s largely a tech-driven phenomenon – but it’s one that increasingly affects ALL brands.
In short, as more and more people start accessing the web via mobile rather than desktop, the more logo designers lose control of the size their creations are reproduced at. When it comes down to a tiny number pixels, an overly fussy logo is just going to look like a splodge, whereas a flat, minimal design with a simple colour palette is still going to be recognisable.
Whether you like it or not, then, the future of logo design will be simplified. So you may as well jump on board now and start thinking ‘mobile first’ when you start designing your logo.
04. Exit your font comfort zone
One part of creating a distinctive looking logo can be to use a distinctive looking font. There are new fonts coming out all the time that could give you that bolt of inspiration; a good place to find them is our constantly updated 100 best fonts post, while we’ve gathered together some great logo fonts too.
You don’t have to necessarily spend a lot of money to take advantage of new fonts, either. These days, Adobe Illustrator lets you play around with Typekit fonts, directly within the software, without having to purchase them, plus there are a range of other try before you buy font services too. So don’t hold back from experimenting with different fonts, and hopefully inspiration will strike.
05. Study the masters