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The Basics of Logo Design

By REDC Design Advisor Laura Harper Lake

If you’re starting a new business or if you are looking to rebrand, you’re probably going to work with a designer to create a logo. Your graphic designer is going to be thinking about a lot of things when designing your logo, like the 6 Elements of Design and 7 Principles of Design. You may have a vision of what you’d like the designer to create, or perhaps you aren’t even sure where to start. In either case, there are a few things to be aware of, and to think about, as you collaborate on the design process.

How to help your designer.

You may be unsure of where to start when working with a designer but the first step on your end is brainstorming. Dive into the world of Pinterest or Google Images and look at what is already out there in the land of logos. Take notes of what you like and don’t like.

  • What colors are you drawn to and make sense for your business?

  • What fonts represent the vibe of your business?

  • What symbols are used within your industry, and are there any that are overused and should be avoided?

Keep it simple.

By keeping your logo simple, you have a better chance of relaying your brand quickly to the viewer. If a new client saw your logo, how long would it take them to understand your brand? Pairing down the elements with your logo will ensure it is effectively communicating your business. Some things to keep in mind:

  • Keep colors to a minimum.

  • Use a readable font.

  • Make it accessible for all.

Versatile formats for versatile uses.

Your logo is going to be used in so many ways: from websites and social media, to business cards and brochures, to signs and physical products.

Scale is important in making sure your logo is versatile for different uses of your logo. When reviewing concept drafts, think about how the logo would look large and small. Is it clearly communicating your business at the size of a business card and at the size of a billboard sign? Keep that in mind when reviewing logo drafts.

Your logo should also work in color and in black and white. In some cases, you can only use one color when printing a logo on a hat or shirt. Having a logo that can work monochromatically will save you a headache down the line when working with a print shop.

Your logo should always be in a vector format and never a raster format.

Unless you’re a designer, ‘vector’ and ‘raster’ probably are not in your vocabulary. Here is what they mean:

Vector: Vector files use equations to work with points, lines, shapes, and curves within designs. The software, like Adobe Illustrator for example, uses math to ensure your design can be scalable, editable, and it will not lose any quality in the design.

Raster: Raster graphics are created in programs like Adobe Photoshop, and whatever you create within that program is made by coloring in pixels. Photos or digital paintings are often raster based and can only be enlarged up to a certain point before they become blurry or pixilated.

Your designer will know this already, but I like to tell my clients the difference so they understand the correct format used to create a logo. Using a vector format is incredibly important for being able to edit and resize the image, and for working with print shops.

Need a designer?

If you are a New Hampshire Business looking for assistance with logo design, REDC’s Design Advisor may be able to help. Reach out here to set up an initial appointment to chat about your design needs. Here are some examples of logos produced by REDC’s Design Advisor for our small business clients:

1 Comment

Jan 22, 2022

Great info! We have been in the embroidery business for over thirty years both digitizing and embroidering thousands of logos on garments, bags and hats. The point about flexibility and thinking about applications is so important. What works on a letterhead is not often workable on a heart size chest print. Jane

American Threadworks, Inc

603 497- 3586

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