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Design Your Logo Like a Pro
By: Developer Shed
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    Design Your Logo Like a Pro
    by Eileen Turtle Parzek

    A logo is the image which represents a company or its
    product. Its function is to create a memorable, recognizable
    impression on the mind of a potential client or customer.
    A logo is essentially at the heart of a corporate identity.

    So what makes a "good" logo? Most people would answer "I
    just know it when I see it!" and this isn't so far from the
    truth. A good logo catches the eye - it makes the observer
    curious or engaged, if only for a short moment… a moment in
    which an image and the existence of your company is embedded
    in the mind rather than filtered out with a million other
    daily stimuli. But even if a good logo 'just is', there are
    elements for making it happen … and we will look at some of
    those. I will also discuss some of the issues designing logos
    which work in two distinct worlds - print and online.

    There are three basic types of logos, which can be used
    alone or combined within one design:

    * illustrative logos (a logo which clearly illustrates what
    your company does),

    * graphic logos (a logo that includes a graphic, often an
    abstraction, of what your company does), and

    * font-based logos (a text treatment which represents your

    Creating a logo is always a process - though different
    designers have their own methods. Many designers will begin
    by sketching thumbnails or playing with shapes on the
    computer screen, until something "clicks" and they follow
    that path to see where it leads. One way to start is to
    select a shape which represents the concept of the company,
    and begin playing with it. The idea is to come up with
    something interesting or clever, whether a viewpoint which
    is different, or an unusual combination of shapes. Perhaps
    it will be something which will require some guesswork on
    the part of the viewer, but then be crystal clear when they
    look at it another way.

    Many designers prefer to developing logos beginning with, or
    consisting entirely of text. By experimenting with fonts,
    size, shapes they seek to find an interesting way to
    represent the company using the form of letters. Again,
    simplicity is extremely important - this is not the time to
    use fancy decorative fonts. Whether alone or combined with
    graphic elements, the text in a logo must be easily readable
    at small sizes

    Once a form for the logo has been defined, color needs to be
    considered. Again, color for a logo should remain simple.
    You can always get fancy with the web version, but a good
    logo must work well in one color and gradients of that
    color. The color should enhance and support the form of the
    logo - for example, various shades of blue on the sides of
    a 3D box should be the same as they would in real life.
    Contrast is another powerful concept in the creation of
    logos - you can contrast size, color, fonts, textures - to
    create visual interest. A logo should be simple and abstract,
    not be complicated or confusing, and again, all elements must
    be discernible when reproduced in small sizes.

    A good logo works in the simplest form. With the advent of
    the Web, it is common to see logos which contain gradients,
    3D effects, animation, and other visual effects. But if the
    logo can not also be reduced to a simple one color flat
    version for use on faxes, your checks and photocopied
    documents, it is functionally useless. As tempting as it
    might be to create a whiz-bang logo, a designer must always
    consider all the ways your companies identity will be
    disseminated. Once this is successfully accomplished, you can
    always jazz up your logo later for the web!

    As mentioned before, size is a critical issue when having a
    logo designed. A good rule of thumb is that if the logo works
    well in a business card size, it will scale up nicely to
    other sizes. Always make sure your logo looks pleasing on
    paper and in a wide range of sizes before committing to it.

    Web and print are two entirely different mediums. If you are
    having a logo designed for the first time, it is essential
    that you be aware that your logo must be designed for print
    FIRST and web second. Without getting into the intricacies
    of print and web resolutions, suffice it to say they are
    very different. What might look great on your computer
    screen will likely print out at the size of a postage
    stamp and be entirely muddled. If the logo is designed to
    look great online, depending on the graphics format, it
    might not scale easily up to a printable version, so it is
    best to create it in a way that can be downscaled.

    When choosing a color for your logo, you might want to
    consider using those in the universal 216 color palette
    supported by all web browsers. This will ensure that the
    colors of your corporate identity can be used online without
    a hitch.

    On the flip side, the web will allow you to take your simple
    1-2 color logo and do great things with it - and it won't
    cost you thousands of extra dollars to add colors to it,
    make it 3D or animate it, like it would in the print medium.
    Once your logo is created for the lowest common denominator,
    the same form can be enhanced in a myriad of ways to look
    more exciting for your web site. Just be sure you don't get
    carried away with the possibilities until you have a logo
    which will present a strong image for your company on a
    simple business card!

    Eileen 'Turtle' Parzek (c) 2003 All Rights Reserved


    Eileen 'Turtle' Parzek is a veteran web design and marketing design consultant who has been
    working from home and virtually since 1995. You can
    subscribe to her free monthly newsletter called
    Increase Your Reach: Infuse Your Marketing with Technology

    NOTE: You’re welcome to “reprint” this article online as
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    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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