Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Your Logo Here

I maintain a website for Montana artists. Each artist has a profile page and one of the graphics on the profile page is the artist’s logo. I’m amazed how many artists do not have a logo. When this happens, I use a photo of a piece of their work, which in my mind causes confusion to site visitors. Perhaps a logo should have been a requirement for the site?

Here are some logos from artists who did submit a logo. I grouped them in frames. I made each one the same height, so you can compare them for negative space and frame.

Take a look and see which ones you like and which ones leave you cold or confused. If you study the logos, you can come up with your own logo criteria. Here are a few tips for starters.

  • For a time, obsess over logos. Look at logos on each URL you visit. Look at the logos of PMC artists and jewelers. Analyze each one as to what’s working and what’s not. For sure, do not copy or imitate any.
  • Match your logo to your audience, leaving your clients with the emotional personal experience you want them to have.
  • Make your logo active, not passive. A flying bird might be better than a perched one.
  • Be consistent with your brand. If I’m an impressionist painter, why would my logo be black and white block letters? A good resource for your brand-consistent logo is your sketchbook or journal.
  • Think about the space around your logo, which is empty of content, and your logo’s frame. A line? Empty space? A frame of some sort? 
  • Draft and sketch many versions. Make yourself do yet another sketch and another. Try different layouts, shapes, words, etc. Eventually something will grab you, but this is not the end of the journey.
  • If you get one part that you like, print out a bunch of copies and keep drawing versions.
  • Fonts and typefaces—you’ll likely use one. If you must use two, the general rule is to contrast a sans serif font with a serif (a slight finishing-off stroke on each letter) font. Make sure your font matches your brand. Know that if you use an esoteric font, you’ll have to use it online in a graphic file such as a .jpg, .png, or .gif. The Internet automatically changes odd fonts to a common one. Do avoid frilly and gimmicky fonts.

  • Negative space is critical. Check out FedEx’s logo for an example of negative space. I never saw the arrow created by the E and x until just now. Have you noticed it? 
  • Build your logo so it works in black and white, as well as color. This might lead you to consider tones instead of simply colors. Experiment with contrast. Similarly, it would be best if your logo worked on light and dark backgrounds.
  • Try different sizes and versions - print, computer-screen, and mobile-device versions.
  • Show your logo design around and get feedback.

Do you think it's worth it, putting a little creative time and effort into your logo? If you have one (awesome), is it time to revisit and revise it?

1 comment:

atik logo said...

Wow financial crisis logo..
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