Fine Tuning Your Design Skills
“If you have ideas and imagery, technique will follow.”
The ideas and imagery are the best place to start. This is why you are an artist. The techniques are things that can be fine tuned and developed. There are a few techniques and guidelines that you can follow, that will enhance your designs and create more long lasting logos for your design clients.
Many logos feature both an icon and text. If you choose to do this, be sure to disconnect the icon and text. This will allow you to use one or the other, when appropriate without destroying the integrity of your logo. Graphics with text overlapping or intertwined, are not as versatile as would a logo that features both, but in the format of 2 different images.
Size matters. As mentioned before, in the “scalable” section, the size matters. Your logo needs to be reproduced in many different sizes. Your company logo will be on everything associated with the business, for example, letterhead, company pens, marketing information, signs, business cards, etc. When creating your logo, keep in mind that if your logo is overly complex, it may be difficult to print on small objects, and you may lose the true integrity of the graphic or logo when it is reproduced.
Production cost is almost always relevant when designing your logo. Whether your logo is a two spot color logo or four color process logo, reproduction costs will be greatly affected by your choice.
Colors may be changed. While this should not be done in the midst of a heavy branding campaign, it can be done. The actual design is the vital piece of your logo and the color can be changed at any point in the process. Work in black first. By doing this, you focus on creating a quality design. Then add color.
The colors chosen should be consistent with the colors of the company. Do you have publications with a particular color scheme? While it doesn’t need to be the exact same, the overall color scheme of your business, including business cards, signs, and even office décor should all be in harmony with the colors chosen for your logo design.
Not all colors are available outside of your computer. When choosing a color spot for your logo, be sure to research the color to see if it is able to be reproduced. Some web colors are beyond a CMYK range and thus you are limited in reproduction. Although converting these colors can be done, this adds to your time and cost and it may be a better choice to choose a different color.
You may have one of the best-designed logos ever made, however if the colors don’t suit the design the logo may not be as effective in your branding. There are 7 primary colors (Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet) however, there are an infinite number of colors in the entire spectrum. To make sure you choose the correct colors for your next logo design make sure you keep in mind the 4 different groups of colors.
Cool Colors (Blue, Green, Turquoise, Silver)
These colors typically have some sort of calming effect on the viewer’s eyes. These are considered cool colors because of the relationship with nature. Blue represents water & green can symbolize plants and natural life. Adding a warm color such as red or orange can overpower these natural shades and can potentially ruin the design. However, there are ways around this. When using cool & warm colors together, try using a darker shade of a cool color to ensure that one part of the design does not get overshadowed unless you are going for that effect.
Warm Colors (Red, Pink, Yellow, Orange)
Warm colors can sometimes overpower cool colors in a design if used together, and this is because warm colors reflect excitement. Typically, warm colors are used in a logo when you want to display a sense of excitement or anger. In nature, warm colors signify a change, such as a changing of the seasons, or climate. To ensure your logo is not too overpowering be sure to use a mixture of cool & warm colors to help them complement each other.
Mixed Colors (Purple, Lavender, Green, Goldenrod)
These colors contain both cool and warm aspects. When used as a primary color in a logo design, it can both calm and excite the viewer’s eye. It should be noted however, that overuse of too many mixed colors in a logo can cause the colors to clash and possibly ruin a design.
Neutral Colors (Brown, Gray, Black, White)
Browns, grays, blacks and whites are classified as neutral colors. Some colors that fit in this category may also be considered warm and cool colors; however they are often used to help put focus on other colors to accommodate the design. That is not to say these colors cannot be used independently, because they can. Sometimes neutral colors can make a more compelling design compared to their counterparts.
While colors play an important part in the logo design, the placement of each color in the logo must be meticulously considered as well. There are various websites such as colorcombos.com and colourlovers.com dedicated to help you chose the exact color pallets that help complement each other and should be bookmarked by all designers.