1. Sketch it out!
It’s always best to sketch out ideas. Sometimes I will sketch 50+ concepts and pick out the strongest sketches to use for a semi-composition. Sketching will get your juices flowing and you’ll notice the design concepts will gradually change and progress where a first and last sketch comparison will be completely different. Sketches are also beneficial because they save time before moving to a computer to start the identity illustration. Plus, you can trace the best sketches – an added bonus to sketching ideas first. Why not check out the blog article why it’s important to create thumbnail designs outlining some other benefits of sketching.
2. Make it simple, don’t complicate the design
I have to admit, I’m a minimalist when designing identities. Have you ever heard the saying “less is more”? Well this expression applies when designing a logo too. By no means am I bashing intricate logos because with proper execution they are beautiful, but after studying iconic identities you’ll notice the symbols are simple. Keeping it simples allows you to easily reproduce the identity on any medium – paper, screen, t-shirts, jackets, hats or even pens.
3. Perfect the logo in black and white
I get excited when I get to pick the colour swatches for an identity, and if you share the same excitement as I do, be careful not to rush into colour selections before you have perfected the identity in black and white. If your design doesn’t work in black and white, then it’s not going to look much better in colour, even if you think it will. Sometimes your logo will have to be used in black and white colour because printing in colour won’t be an option. So it’s best to make sure you have a solid design that works in black and white.
4. Make it big and small
Scale the logo down and scale it up. The reason for this is you’ll see how rendering details get lost if the logo is scaled down to a super duper tiny size or if the rendering is poor because of a monstrous size. Keep this in mind when a logo may be reproduced on different mediums. I know for sure when anything is embroidered the little details get lost and look mangled together.
5. Don’t overkill with colour
The more colours you add the more expensive that logo becomes. If you’re printing with PMS (Pantone Matching System) swatches remind the client of printing costs. If a client wants a six or seven colour logo and you can’t convince them to simplify the colour scheme, then run with it. But if you do have creative control with the colour scheme keep it to a maximum of three. Again, less is more.
Well, there you have it folks! 5 easy and simple tips to consider when designing an iconic identity. If you want to read more about logos then check out some of our blogs that showcase various iconic identities.
Let us know your tips for designing an identity. Leave your comments below.