9 common secrets of all the best logo designers you may not know

Last Updated on June 13th, 2020

Taking a leaf out of the books of great logo designers!

Ever laid eyes on a logo that made you wonder as a designer: well why couldn’t I design something that would gain worldwide recognition or at least fall under the category of “best logo designs?” Now even though this realization might push you to work harder, at times it may even lead to a phase where you’re bewildered and are probably thinking: anyone could have made that!

Well, then why didn’t you?

That’s because most of us are unaware of the key steps to designing a logo that has a great future! Truth be told some of us might have a great logo designer in us just waiting for the right opportunity, but ask yourself, am I ready?

Allow me to be of some assistance by unraveling 9 common secrets of great logo designers worldwide!

1. Knowing the client like the back of your hand!

Knowing the client like the back of your hand

Knowing the client like the back of your hand

Of course, you know your client, or do you? You may know who your client is (obviously) but is it enough? You need to have an in-depth knowledge of two things:

  • Your client’s brand
  • Your client’s mindset

Only after mastering this art can any creative designer deliver what the client expects and even convince him/her to adopt a different approach.

A great designer learns to make peace with the fact that his/her client isn’t usually “smart” when it comes to aesthetic sense or other creative aspects of the design field. That’s because that client may be very remotely or not related at all to the field of art: isn’t that the reason they require your services in the first place?

Moving on, as mentioned above a well-informed logo designer knows how to exactly lure the client into accepting a logo that would give the brand an impactful identity rather than gripping tight to what they had in mind.

Great logo creators will steer the client towards the right direction that’s because the client has the map but doesn’t know which route to take. Guidance is key once a designer accomplishes the task of “knowing” the client.

2. Knowing the competition aka RESEARCH

As mentioned above, knowing your clients, the brand’s vision, and their thought process is crucial to developing a great logo, but did you think that was the last chapter on essential knowledge about the client?

Before getting further carried away with famous logo designs, let me cut to the chase. You need to know your client’s competition just as well! Ever heard “keep your friends close and your enemies closer?” Unless you’re aware of who your competitors are, their history, and their positioning in the industry, your logo might lack the X-Factor which makes it stand out.

Knowing the competition aka RESEARCH

Knowing the competition aka RESEARCH

3. Getting the RIGHT brief

Getting the RIGHT brief

Getting the RIGHT brief

I know what you’re thinking: “Well duh! Of course, the client gives me a brief”. Don’t shun away the memory that just popped up simultaneous to your former thought where the client thinks that’s the appropriate brief and you’re trying to act cool! Been there done that.

However, do you know that amidst the building blocks of a great logo design is a great brief and YOU need to extract that from the client yourself?

“I’ve never had a problem with a dumb client. There is no such thing as a bad client. Part of our job is to do good work and get the client to accept it.” – Bob Gill (magazine illustrator for Esquire, Fortune and Glamor)

Now we’ve all been first-timers regarding a trip to the BANK, which is ironically one of the most dreadful experiences that any artist has to go through! Numbers everywhere. God save us!

Coming back to the analogy I’ve been trying to create, that even though you know what you’re there for, the fact is that you require all the assistance you can get from a professional banker regarding which bank account is suitable for you, how can you invest, etc.

The secret formula to begin brewing a great logo loses its prime ingredient without an elaborate yet crisp brief. The A-grade logo maker will always ask, ask, and ask some more questions about the expected logo and the brand itself till he/she can finally visualize the outcome. In a nutshell: great logo designers will never hesitate to bother the client, bombarding them with queries, to ensure a perfectly crafted logo.

4. Seeking inspiration

We all want to be innovative, but seeking inspiration is always allowed and TBH, is an essential part of designing a great logo. Through extensive research on popular logos, you are steering yourself towards a focused direction. You may find elements you like and some which you may think could have been a lot better hence clearing the clouds on the personality you need your logo to adopt. Furthermore, this also eliminates the chances of plagiarism because sometimes “your” logo might already exist!

Seeking inspiration

Seeking inspiration

5. Storytelling

Did you ever tell a story? Rephrase that: did your  ? Every brilliant designer is a storyteller and every great logo tells an incredible story.

Your logo could be visually simple yet it should convey a message to the experts. That’s where your logo achieves a position amongst the greatest logo rankings.

So if your client is a sports brand, and you’ve already followed the above-mentioned research tips, you may know for instance that the brand represents speed and energy. Add a pinch of creativity to it. Give your client a new BIG IDEA. The logo may indicate that this brand is for the winners or the people with a vision. It’s your field, play in any way you can just play well!

6. The initial sketch

The initial sketch

The initial sketch

Before putting creativity into the illustrator, every great designer will put pen to paper! An initial sketch of how the logo should look, the ratios and possible variations are necessary in order to make a logo that’s almost perfect. Like Salvador Dali, the great artist says “Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it”.

This is also the stage where you try to insert creativity in the design itself, trying to play with the aesthetics in order to convey the brand’s purpose or what it delivers.

Still, confused? Take a look below:

Concept: Amazon shows you everything, from A to Z, it’s all here!

Amazon

Amazon

Concept: 5 interlaced rings represent the 5 continents of the world, united by the Olympic Games!

Olympic

Olympic

Concept: The famous Ice cream brand has 31 flavors! Can you spot the number in the design?

Baskin Robbins

Baskin Robbins

7. Attention to detail

Time to bring your sketch to life! After all the necessary research, thought processes, and sketches, every great logo designer seeks to make a masterpiece that can become the face of a brand.

Here are a few elements which all experts consider while creating the final version:

  1. Ratio: even though a logo may seem like an abstract or a few scribbles, a mere font or some shapes, balance is key to make the logo look pleasing to the human eye. 
  2. Colors: depending on which industry brand belongs to, the personality which the client needs the brand to develop, and the impression it should create, a great designer knows his/her color wheel and hot utilize it according to the answers to these questions.
    Always know your primary and secondary colors and make a complete draft on how the logo might look on the basics: black and white.
    Once again pay attention to your Target audience and the brand personality. For instance, purple is used to usually convey a message of class, royalty, or business.
  3. Placements and variations in size: a logo expert will also ensure that the logo is flexible enough to fit other advertising designs conveniently without getting distorted in any way and it even works on small scale.

8. Taking breaks

Taking breaks

Taking breaks

Creative minds need more breaks! Let your mind wander elsewhere for a while when you feel overwhelmed by working on a design for hours! Fresh air helps but so does watching a good tutorial unless you simply want to regain your eyesight in which case there’s nothing better than plenty of power naps.

Working tirelessly may drain you out and even summon a creative block or creative fatigue! “Creativity is nothing but a mind set free.” – Torrie T. Asai

Physical activity often means that your mind is at peace (depending on the activity of course). Take a stroll, catch up with your routine exercises, and resume your creative thoughts from where they left you (pun intended).

9. Great foresight

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” –Steve Jobs

Great designers are greater predictors. They know how their design will work and not just in the near future but in the distant one as well.

Ever seen the greatest logos evolve from time to time with variations without losing the primary design? That’s the brilliance of a creative logo designer: keeping their design alive across centuries.

So then, found this information useful? Can’t wait to see you in the A-list of best logo designers then!

Great foresight

Great foresight

  • A Picture of Waqas D.

    Waqas D.

Waqas D. is the co-founder of the branding and website agency, FullStop™. He supercharges brands by crafting memorable logos, brand identities and engaging websites. Besides thousands of startups and medium-size businesses, FullStop has worked with likes of Microsoft & L’Oréal. View our portfolio or get in touch.

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