DNA • DATA _from ©10dier 10dier Art, drawing, creativity City Life compose, montage, double exposure, eyeem, dna, data, future, human, saturated, design, paint, modern, tech cover data dna dna, modern, future Double Exposure future graphic design graphicdesign illuminated Light Lighting equipment Modern Montage Photography multi colored night nightlife photooftheday saturated Tech trendy Typography — in Paris, France
Photo by @anteneo
Last time I found some brochures of my work 10 years before! Amazing. I know a lot of designers and also HR people will “recommend” to show always the latest works… Well they don’t know What is design…
Design is alive. And when it’s on the web, it’s double alive! It has his own “life”, and will grow without you, everywhere, anywhere; people will copy it, transform it, keep it for reference, use it. Design is alive and it’s good. Good to keep a trace of what you have done too. Because there is always a before and an after, it’s (at least for me) always interesting to see evolution of trends. It’s culture, design culture. 10 years before in France color trends was this kind of Orange, almost fluorescent one. People was also using a lot Pantone metallic ink. That’s very funny. And funnier is to see how all this design is a kind of outdated. So what is the recipe of eternal design then? What made the success of Gutenberg in 1455…? What about the Bauhaus?
Well, I don’t have all the answers… But one idea is that simplicity is one of the key… Minimalistic design. It’s like cars in a movie, you can guess easily which time a movie has been shoot in looking for the cars in it; more difficult if you DON’T have any car right? Same for design… If you want your design to be kind of “famousForEver”, use a minimum of elements. “Intemporel“. No flashy colors, no fancy fonts! Use Helvetica Neue, (love it) or Swiss 721 Thin font, forget Comic Sans.
I will try to follow this advice… ; )
Ok. Now you will have an idea what French call the “Second degré“…
Made this crazy video, made the music and “lyrics”, part with my iPhone and also the Mac (of course).
What is the idea?
Errr… Well, let’s say the non-communication between creative candidates and the world of HR. I think, sometimes, they are on different planets each of them. Like Aliens.
Who are you? Graphic designer? Creative director? Artistic director? What does this mean? What is your job exactly? What do You Want??
AIGA, the professional association for design, stimulates thinking about design, demonstrates the value of design and empowers the success of designers at each stage of their careers. AIGA’s mission is to advance designing as a professional craft, strategic tool and vital cultural force. Founded in 1914, AIGA remains the oldest and largest professional membership organization for design, and is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) educational institution.
What is graphic design?
Article from AIGA Career Guide
Suppose you want to announce or sell something, amuse or persuade someone, explain a complicated system or demonstrate a process. In other words, you have a message you want to communicate. How do you “send” it? You could tell people one by one or broadcast by radio or loudspeaker. That’s verbal communication. But if you use any visual medium at all—if you make a poster; type a letter; create a business logo, a magazine ad, or an album cover; even make a computer printout—you are using a form of visual communication called graphic design.
Graphic designers work with drawn, painted, photographed, or computer-generated images (pictures), but they also design the letterforms that make up various typefaces found in movie credits and TV ads; in books, magazines, and menus; and even on computer screens. Designers create, choose, and organize these elements—typography, images, and the so-called “white space” around them—to communicate a message. Graphic design is a part of your daily life. From humble things like gum wrappers to huge things like billboards to the T-shirt you’re wearing, graphic design informs, persuades, organizes, stimulates, locates, identifies, attracts attention and provides pleasure.
Graphic design is a creative process that combines art and technology to communicate ideas. The designer works with a variety of communication tools in order to convey a message from a client to a particular audience. The main tools are image and typography.
Designers develop images to represent the ideas their clients want to communicate. Images can be incredibly powerful and compelling tools of communication, conveying not only information but also moods and emotions. People respond to images instinctively based on their personalities, associations, and previous experience. For example, you know that a chili pepper is hot, and this knowledge in combination with the image creates a visual pun.
In the case of image-based design, the images must carry the entire message; there are few if any words to help. These images may be photographic, painted, drawn, or graphically rendered in many different ways. Image-based design is employed when the designer determines that, in a particular case, a picture is indeed worth a thousand words.
In some cases, designers rely on words to convey a message, but they use words differently from the ways writers do. To designers, what the words look like is as important as their meaning. The visual forms, whether typography (communication designed by means of the printed word) or handmade lettering, perform many communication functions. They can arrest your attention on a poster, identify the product name on a package or a truck, and present running text as the typography in a book does. Designers are experts at presenting information in a visual form in print or on film, packaging, or signs.
When you look at an “ordinary” printed page of running text, what is involved in designing such a seemingly simple page? Think about what you would do if you were asked to redesign the page. Would you change the typeface or type size? Would you divide the text into two narrower columns? What about the margins and the spacing between the paragraphs and lines? Would you indent the paragraphs or begin them with decorative lettering? What other kinds of treatment might you give the page number? Would you change the boldface terms, perhaps using italic or underlining? What other changes might you consider, and how would they affect the way the reader reacts to the content? Designers evaluate the message and the audience for type-based design in order to make these kinds of decisions.
Image and type
Designers often combine images and typography to communicate a client’s message to an audience. They explore the creative possibilities presented by words (typography) and images (photography, illustration, and fine art). It is up to the designer not only to find or create appropriate letterforms and images but also to establish the best balance between them.
Designers are the link between the client and the audience. On the one hand, a client is often too close to the message to understand various ways in which it can be presented. The audience, on the other hand, is often too broad to have any direct impact on how a communication is presented. What’s more, it is usually difficult to make the audience a part of the creative process. Unlike client and audience, graphic designers learn how to construct a message and how to present it successfully. They work with the client to understand the content and the purpose of the message. They often collaborate with market researchers and other specialists to understand the nature of the audience. Once a design concept is chosen, the designers work with illustrators and photographers as well as with typesetters and printers or other production specialists to create the final design product.
Symbols, logos and logotypes
Symbols and logos are special, highly condensed information forms or identifiers. Symbols are abstract representation of a particular idea or identity. The CBS “eye” and the active “television” are symbolic forms, which we learn to recognize as representing a particular concept or company. Logotypes are corporate identifications based on a special typographical word treatment. Some identifiers are hybrid, or combinations of symbol and logotype. In order to create these identifiers, the designer must have a clear vision of the corporation or idea to be represented and of the audience to which the message is directed.
Graphic Design: A Career Guide and Education Directory
Edited by Sharon Helmer Poggenpohl
The American Institute of Graphic Arts
In this article, we’ll get down to the nitty gritty of what makes an effective logo design and we’ll also guide you through the principles and best practices of how to create an iconic brand identity.
You may be interested in the following related posts:
- 10 Common Mistakes In Logo Design
- Do You Want Fries With That Logo?
- 60 Logo Design Tutorials and Resources
- Drawing Inspiration From Creative Logos
What Is A Logo?
To understand what a logo is, we first must understand what the main purpose of logos is. The design process must aim to make the logo immediately recognizable, inspiring trust, admiration, loyalty and an implied superiority. The logo is one aspect of a company’s commercial brand or economic entity, and its shapes, colors, fonts, and images usually are strikingly different from other logo in the same market niche.Logos are used to identify.
Paul Rand, one of the world’s greatest designers states that “a logo is a flag, a signature, an escutcheon, a street sign. A logo does not sell (directly), it identifies. A logo is rarely a description of a business. A logo derives meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, not the other way around. A logo is less important than the product it signifies; what it represents is more important than what it looks like. The subject matter of a logo can be almost anything.”
For more on Paul Rand, consider reading the book Design, Form & Chaos.
What Makes A Good Logo?
A good logo is distinctive, appropriate, practical, graphic and simple in form, and it conveys the owner’s intended message. A concept or “meaning” is usually behind an effective logo, and it communicates the intended message. A logo should be able to be printed at any size and, in most cases, be effective without color. A great logo essentially boils down to two things: great concept and great execution.
Logo Design Process
“Some wonder what’s so difficult about creating a good logo. They’re small, they look easy to do, so no problem, right? When you only see the result of a designer’s efforts, the logo creation can look like it was a simple task. But it’s not. A logo takes thought and creativity, and many elements combine to make a good one.” (via Harrison Mcleod)
When creating a logo, follow a process that ensures the final design meets the needs of the clients. Below, we have listed the typical process that professional logo designers follow. With practice, you will no doubt develop your own.
Conduct a questionnaire or interview with the client to get the design brief.
Conduct research on the industry itself, its history and competitors. Problem-solve first, design later.
Conduct research on logo designs that have been successful and on current styles and trends that may relate to the design brief. Follow trends not for their own sake but rather to be aware of them: longevity in logo design is key.
Sketching and conceptualizing.
Develop the logo design concept(s) around the brief and your research. This is the single most important part of the design process. Get creative and be inspired. As Dainis Graveris has written once, “sketching isn’t time-consuming and is a really good way to put ideas in your head right on paper. After that, it’s always easier to actually design it on the computer. Sketching helps to evolve your imagination: once you understand it, you will always start from just white paper.
Image by Panoramas.
Take breaks throughout the design process. This helps your ideas mature, renews your enthusiasm and allows you to solicit feedback. It also gives you a fresh perspective on your work.
Revisions and positioning.
Whether you position yourself as a contractor (i.e. getting instructions from the client) or build a long-lasting relationship (i.e. guiding the client to the best solution), revise and improve the logo as required.
Present only your best logo designs to your client. PDF format usually works best. You may also wish to show the logo in context, which will help the client more clearly visualize the brand identity. Preparing a high-quality presentation is the single most effective way to get your clients to approve your designs.
“Canned presentations have the ring of emptiness. The meaningful presentation is custom designed—for a particular purpose, for a particular person. How to present a new idea is, perhaps, one of the designer’s most difficult tasks. This how is not only a design problem, it also pleads for something novel.
Everything a designer does involves presentation of some kind—not only how to explain (present) a particular design to an interested listener (client, reader, spectator), but how the design may explain itself in the marketplace… A presentation is the musical accompaniment of design. A presentation that lacks an idea cannot hide behind glamorous photos, pizazz, or ballyhoo. If it is full of gibberish, it may fall on deaf ears; if too laid back, it may land a prospect in the arms of Morpheus.” (Paul Rand)
Delivery and support.
Deliver the appropriate files to the client and give all support that is needed. Remember to under-promise and over-deliver. After you’ve finished, have a beer, eat some chocolate and then start your next project.
Logo Design Process Case Studies
For some in-depth examples of how professional logo designers work, check out these logo design process case studies:
5 Principles Of Effective Logo Design
As mentioned, a good logo is distinctive, appropriate, practical, graphic and simple in form, and it conveys the owner’s intended message. You should follow the five principles below to ensure that your design meets all of these criteria:
Simplicity makes a logo design easily recognizable, versatile and memorable. Good logos feature something unexpected or unique, without being “overdrawn.”
While in college in the mid-’70s, an instructor introduced me to the K.I.S.S. Principle of design, which translates as: Keep It Simple, Stupid. It does convey a very important design consideration. Simple logos are often easily recognized, incredibly memorable and the most effective in conveying the requirements of the client.
A refined and distilled identity will also catch the attention of a viewer zipping by signage at 70 miles per hour, on packaging on the crowded shelves of a store, or in any other vehicle used for advertising, marketing and promotion. Remember, the basis of the hugely effective international branding for the world’s largest shoe manufacturer is a very simple graphic swoosh.
On that note, you may find the history of the Nike logo quite interesting.
Following closely on this principle of simplicity is that of memorability. An effective logo design should be memorable, which is achieved by keeping it simple yet appropriate.
Surprising to many, the subject matter of a logo is of relatively little importance, and even appropriateness of content does not always play a significant role.
This does not imply that appropriateness is undesirable. It merely indicates that a one-to-one relationship between a symbol and what it symbolized is very often impossible to achieve and, under certain conditions, objectionable. Ultimately, the only mandate in the design of logos, it seems, is that they be distinctive, memorable, and clear.
An effective logo should be timeless. Will yours stand the test of time? Will it still be effective in 10, 20 or 50 years?
Leave trends to the fashion industry. Trends come and go, and when you’re talking about changing a pair of jeans or buying a new dress, that’s fine, but where your brand identity is concerned, longevity is key. Don’t follow the pack. Stand out.
An effective logo works across a variety of media and applications. For this reason, logos should be designed in vector format, to ensure that they scale to any size.
Ask yourself, is your logo still effective if it is printed…
- In one color?
- In reverse color (i.e. light logo on dark background)?
- The size of a postage stamp?
- As large as a billboard?
One way to create a versatile logo is to begin designing in black and white. This allows you to focus on the concept and shape, rather than color, which is subjective in nature. Also keep in mind printing costs: the more colors you use, the more expensive it will be for the business over the long term.
I like to work first in black and white to ensure that the logo will look good in its simplest form. Color is very subjective and emotional. This can distract from the overall design – say if you saw your logo in all red, that color may be the first thing that you respond to and not the composition of the design elements. I will not even consider submitting color suggestions to a client for review until they have signed off on a final black and white logo.
Familiarize yourself with the commercial printing process so that you do not encounter printing problems down the line. Know the difference between the CMYK, Pantone and RGB color systems.
How you “position” the logo should be appropriate for its intended audience. For example, a child-like font and color scheme would be appropriate for a logo for a children’s toy store, not so much for a law firm.
A logo doesn’t need to say what a company does. Restaurant logos don’t need to show food, dentist logos don’t need to show teeth, furniture store logos don’t need to show furniture. Just because it’s relevant, doesn’t mean you can’t do better. The Mercedes logo isn’t a car. The Virgin Atlantic logo isn’t an airplane. The Apple logo isn’t a computer. Etc.
Should a logo be self-explanatory? It is only by association with a product, a service, a business, or a corporation that a logo takes on any real meaning. It derives its meaning and usefulness from the quality of that which it symbolizes. If a company is second rate, the logo will eventually be perceived as second rate. It is foolhardy to believe that a logo will do its job immediately, before an audience has been properly conditioned.
How Much Does A Logo Cost?
In my experience, this is the most frequently asked question. It cannot be easily answered because every company has different needs. The best approach is to draw up a customized quote for each client.
You have to take a number of factors into consideration when designing a logo, such as how many logo concepts need to be presented, how many revisions will be needed, how much research is required, how big the business is and so on.
How To Choose A Logo Designer?
Keep an eye out for certain things when choosing a logo designer:
- Experience and proven success
Do they have a proven track record? How experienced are they?
Do they have positive testimonials from previous clients? Ensure you check the validity of testimonials. A quick email to the company should suffice.
- Their design process
Do they follow a logo design process?
- Awards won and published work
Have they won any awards for their work? Is their work published in any books or magazines? How recognized are they in the industry?
- Strength of portfolio
How strong is their portfolio? Have they got 100+ mediocre logo designs or 10 to 30 excellent ones? What is the ratio of real to fake logo designs?
How long would they take to complete your logo? A typical logo design process takes 4 to 15 days, but many can go for months on end. Think of how long your logo design will be used for: would you want it to be designed (much less researched) in less than 24 hours?
The cost of the service usually reflects what you will receive. In most cases, you get what you pay for… but price is not the only indication.
Are they affiliated with any design associations or publications? This is a good indication of how dedicated they are to their craft, though it is not essential.
- Professionalism and communication
How do they present themselves? Do they respond to your emails quickly? How do they communicate? Do they work with a contract (to protect both them and you)?
- Questions asked
How many questions does the designer ask about your business? Questions should revolve around your company’s history, target market, goals, etc.
A big thank you to Sven and Vitaly for the opportunity to write for Smashing Magazine. Much appreciated. If you have any questions, comments or advice to share, please do leave a message in the comments below.
Recommended Logo Design Resources
- Logo Design Tips by Steve at The Logo Factory
A great post outlining some very helpful logo design tips.
- How NOT to design a logo from Web Designer Depot
An article outlining ways not to go about getting your logo designed.
- Iconic Logo Designers by David Airey
A mini-website of some of the world’s most iconic logo designers.
- 45 Rules of Creating A Great Logo Design from Tanner Christensen.
A fairly accurate list of “logo design rules.” Take it as a guide only.
- 80 Beautiful Typefaces for Professional Design
A classic from Smashing Magazine. A thorough list of classic typefaces.
- The Ultimate List of Logo Design Resources by Just Creative Design
If you are looking for logo resources, this is the place to go.
- Top 10 Logo Design Inspiration Galleries by Logo Designer Blog
A list of the top 10 recommended logo design inspiration galleries.
You may be interested in the following related posts:
- 10 Common Mistakes In Logo Design
- Do You Want Fries With That Logo?
- 60 Logo Design Tutorials and Resources
- Drawing Inspiration From Creative Logos