A logo is an element of identity. A simple apple is associated with a multinational organization like Apple Inc. and a small tick mark is the logo of a big brand like Nike – a small logo is the factor that brings to mind an entire brand.
There are graphic designers who design all kinds of things for clients, and then there are designers who make logos. The reason why logo designers are a different and unique class is that logos are much more than just mere designs – they bring a lot of information to the world. A logo is what comes to mind when a person thinks of the company behind it, and vice versa. Thus logos are a very important part of the marketing industry, and the people who are behind such an important creation need to be very careful while doing their job – a logo is most likely going to be with a company for its lifetime, so it better be good.
So what makes one logo designer better than his counterparts? What are the qualities and habits that lead to a designer being great at his work? Here is an insight into the fifteen most popular habits and ways of work of professional logo designers.
1 Learn everything about the company!
The first and foremost thing that you need to do to become a successful logo designer is to know your client inside out – and we mean each and every detail, no matter how small or trivial. It is only by being aware of this that you can actually be in tune with what they want, and how you can successfully reflect the company’s values, mission and vision in the logo. This often forms the most crucial part of the logo, as the final product has to be a delicate balance of all things for which the company stands.
2 Who is the audience?
Knowing your audience includes analyzing who will be seeing your logo – is it going to be an international audience or a local one, is it going to be targeted towards a specific age group or is it going to be general, and similar things. Since the audience is a key component of the logo branding and selling process, it is imperative to know your audience, or you will have a logo that does not serve any purpose at all.
3 Keep all your work!
Although this might seem a bit silly to some, saving all your work, including drafts and sketches you have moved beyond, is a good move. Many times, you may discard really good designs simply because the client does not care for them. But you just never know when your sketches might come in handy. You could look into your old versions of the logo for improvements and inspiration, and work on from there. Whatever the reason, it does not hurt to save your old work.
4 Time Management
This is a crucial aspect where many designers fail – and not due to lack of trying. Time management is not something many people are good at, and this is a skill that logo designers, in particular, need to perfect. The nature of the business is such that whenever the client needs some work done at short notice, the designer needs to be able to step up and deliver, no questions asked. This not only builds up the reputation of the designer, but can also bring in potential customers.
5 Simplicity is the key
Believe us or not, the most famous logos are the ones that have been kept simple. Sure, when you are just beginning out and have managed to get a client, the only thought that’s going to be in your mind is that you need to please your client. In this over-eagerness, you can end up making a really complicated logo that not only needs complex decoding skills to understand, but is also too loud or garish for many to look at. This will end up dissatisfying the client; so try to keep your logo as simple as you possibly can, while not compromising on any of the other factors or the client’s expectations and vision, of course.
6 Do not get distracted – ever
Another crucial aspect of being a successful logo designer is not getting distracted. Often, it has been observed that when designers are quietly and efficiently working on their logos, the client seems to have a change of mind and all of a sudden, has a completely new idea. Now, he wants the designer to implement the same. While the designer has to keep what the client wants in mind, the point to remember here is that since the designer has already begun work, he/she can actually give suggestions on how the old scheme will work and make more sense, instead of simply getting distracted by the client’s new ideas. After all, as a designer, you will understand the effectiveness of a logo best while a client can be influenced by factors that may result in a logo that is not so effective or meaningful in the long run.
7 Prototype Testing
When you are done with the initial draft, try to test the logo on a small group of people – these might be from the company, or your family or friends, or just random strangers. Whoever the people may be, you need to make sure to take feedback from each and every one of them. The most important part of testing is getting feedback, and depending on the type of response you get, and specific feedback, you can decide your next course of action. This gives you an assurance that the logo will work in the larger market and you will not end up with all your hard work going to waste because the target audience did not like the logo. Testing, therefore, is very important.
8 Make sure the letters are clear and legible
The problem with some really good-looking logos is that the text on them is really illegible, and the average person who looks at the logo, sees a different word each time. This can prove to be a bad mistake, as what makes the entire logo work for the company and brand is the simplicity of the text, and the ease of readability. It is thus very important to make sure that the letters, numbers, or symbols that are used in the logo are very clear, legible, and if possible, large enough in size to create the best impression.
9 Remember that you are working with your client, not for them
A logo design process is an intricate one that is built on a professional relationship between the designer and the client company. Some people put self respect aside in the hurry to please their clients, but this should not be the case. You are not working for them, but working with them. This needs to be remembered and valued at the same time. Sometimes the client may make obscene demands that just can’t be met. In such occasions, the designer needs to stand up for himself and be as polite as he can while suggesting how some changes are not for the better or how you cannot be rushed any more than you are already working. After all, the designer is the expert and that is the reason he is called in. A client’s desires need to be met, but not at the cost of quality.
10 Be Different
You must be willing to refuse to go along with any enticement to mimic. Keep reminding yourself that you may fail, but there is always scope for you to give it another try. Be well informed, look around, imbibe, and have a firm and calm mind set while you go about your work. Do not let yourself be flooded with too much so that you do not know how to move ahead. Before you proceed, make sure that you research about similar companies in the same line and what their logo is and its significance. This will ensure that originality and inspiration can hit the highest point.
11 Remain Updated
Top achievers make it a point to read. Reading keeps you informed. Make sure you read about the culture of different countries, what is acceptable and unacceptable in certain nations, how the mindsets of the people of different nations vary and also about companies and what they do. This will ensure that you design your logos lucratively, without hurting the sentiments of your audience. Additionally, you will also ensure that the client does not face any problem on account of a logo that is not acceptable in any culture of the global market to which your client caters. Reading also helps you to keep yourself updated with the latest trends in the market that will help you in the process of designing a logo.
12 Learning to Handle Criticism
Successful logo designers must be able to handle criticism. If somebody says that your work is not up to the mark, it does not mean the end of the world. It simply means that there is so much more you can do with the logo in order to make it effective. Different clients have different requirements and they may act and react differently in similar situations. So if you want to be a successful designer you must learn to take all criticism in good spirits and be motivated to learn from the criticism and to do your best.
13 Choosing your font and colors
Choose your fonts and colors with a calm mind. Do not be carried away when you find eye-catching fonts online. You must always keep in mind what the client requires and the positioning of the brand –who is the target audience, what kind of product it is, and other such concerns. One must choose the typeface that is most appropriate to the client’s business. When choosing colors for the logo, consider the various media on which the logo is to be used, including both dark and light backgrounds. The logo must work on any background. For example, the logo of Google Plus is clear on both light and dark backgrounds. A logo designer always ensures that this basic requirements is met. Compare, contrast, and choose the best.
14 Be passionate
Being passionate will make one love the job he is doing and also take him to greater heights by nurturing his imagination. Procrastination, or being kept out of the loop, can upset the client. A successful logo designer must never get weary to recreate any work that he has already done. Being passionate about your job will hone your creativity and this in turn will help you present a better logo to the client.
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