Do you want to establish yourself as an expert and skilled logo designer? Then, you must employ methods that would set you apart as a logo designer and hone your professional logo design skills.
Listed below are 12 ways that can help you up to your game.
Keep analyzing good designs; eventually make you a good designer. When you see thousands of designs you’ll automatically be able to generate new ideas quickly.
This will help you with analyzing the gap. By the GAP I mean you’ll realize what’s the difference between my design and a great identity designer’s design.
There are 1000’s of designers who even don’t understand the difference between a below average and a great design. How on earth can they become a great designer?
Participate in logo design contests, not to win but to learn. I recommend 99designs for practise. You’ll learn a lot when you lose. You actually never lose, you either win or learn and you are on a contest website for learning.
All ideas are important; even the silliest ones. The very first step on the path of establishing yourself as a professional designer is to use a mind-map.
It is a tool that would help you gather and organize your ideas in a visual manner. In fact, even if you are not using any ready-to-use mind map, a simple pencil and paper are enough to. Simply jot down all the ideas that come to your mind. It is your execution of the idea that makes it good or bad – otherwise it is simply an idea.
If you don’t find any charm in using a pen and paper, there are many tools available online that can help you record your ideas instantly anywhere any time. For instance, you can use mindmeister.com. Getting the whole gang together for ideas is also not a bad idea – whether it is your team or friends or even family members. Get everyone on board and brainstorm for ideas. Just get all the ideas onboard, no matter how weird or bizarre or crazy those ideas may be; don’t just stick to the ones that seem excellent and practical.
Even if you are not a fan of pen and paper, to enhance your professional logo design skills, you will have to befriend pen and paper. It is important to see your ideas on a hard copy in the form of paper before you illustrate the idea visually.
Going digitally directly is not recommended because instead of the validation of your ideas, you may lose yourself in all the minute details and miss out on the bigger picture. When you sketch your ideas, you will have a clear picture of how your logo design will actually look. You don’t need to make things look beautiful. This is the stage where your focus should be to express the quintessence of your ideas. Sketching is an extremely important tool in the creative process so use it frequently. Bring out your sense of creativity in the form of doodling – no degree required for that, right?
One of the biggest debates – Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop? What are your guesses? To tell you the truth, no professional designer uses Photoshop for designing logos. Your logo design should be scalable and it should be in vector format. Adobe Illustrator allows you to do it.
Don’t waste your time on Photoshop. Compared to Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator allows you to navigate easily with the controls of shapes and paths. To put it simply, Photoshop is equal to pixels and Adobe Illustrator is equal to Vector.
Mood Board is another very essential tool in the life of a professional logo designer. So, what is the purpose of a mood board creation? Well, the core idea is to create a visual map; not for the ideas only but here you collect the styles, colors and even the words that define the brand’s vision. With the help of a mood board, you can have your patterns, textures, colors, fonts, product images, people associated with it, all in one place. However, unlike mind-map, a mood board should only have elements that connect with your client’s brief. Don’t deviate from the main path and sometimes even crop everything down to focus on the core idea.
Once you have made your selections, organize every image and let go of anything that does not align with the brief given by the client. Ten to 15 images are usually enough to have a comprehensive visual board. There are many effective tools like Pinterest or Invision to help you create and curate a mood board. Bonus tip: Keep your boards private on such public platforms.
Do you know what makes a really good logo designer? When dealing with a custom logo design, these experts analyze each design from each angle until they are satisfied.
You must always reflect a logo vertically or horizontally to catch any inconsistencies or kerning issues. However, mainly it would help you in focusing your brain to perceive the shapes applicable to both shapes and word marks. It allows you to study the symbol as well, so it is recommended to flip and reflect your logo every now and then.
The size of a logo and its adaptability on different mediums matters a lot. Your client wouldn’t get a logo designed just for one medium. Of course it will be used across a number of mediums including webpage, desktop screens, mobile screens, merchandise and many other channels.
So, how to determine the logo’s adaptability? Professional logo designers always print the logo in different sizes to see how it looks before finalizing anything. A rule of thumb is, logos must work in small sizes.
If you really want to master the game of logo design, don’t just stick to the looks. A good logo is not only pretty to look at; it carries a lot of meaning too. People’s emotions, brand’s story, values and feelings, everything needs to be considered. Even behind the prettiest logos is a story that you need to bring forward.
It is only by expressing this story can you make an actual impact on your client.
Keeping it simple and minimal works! Don’t complicate the logo by trying to define various things in one small design. Get inspired from Apple Inc, Disney, and Nike. Focus on a singular concept and work around it.
While you are focusing on a single concept, one more thing that you can do is not to start with colors. When you are keeping it simple, also keep it black and white. Safe play is better than the whole thing backfiring.
Your brain is not a reliable source when it comes to ideas and designs. The idea that may seem very unique to you may not be unique at all. In fact, it can be something your brain picked up subconsciously. You may be congratulating yourself on a really brilliant idea and end up disappointed if you come to know that it has already been used.
To avoid such a situation, conduct a reverse image search utilizing Google images to find out its authenticity. There are many other tools similar to this and you can use them too.
A professional logo designer would never hesitate to accept critique. In fact the more experienced and skilled a designer is, the more he or she welcomes the critique. Why? It is obvious! Having critique about your work allows you to polish it and get rid of elements that may not really be clicking. Simply put, use all the comments and bad opinions to your advantage. There is no denying the fact that logo designers, just like any other artist, get attached to their work and are unable to see the flaws in it. Having your work critiqued can help you overcome the flaws if instead of taking it to the heart; you would utilize it to benefit you.
Follow these steps, study more and improve your logo designing skills with practice and cleverness to rank amongst the best.
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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