How important do you think research should be in the logo creation process?
As we already established in Part 1, logos are an incredibly important part of any business. Dating back thousands of years, they are an effective means of identification as well as being a potent symbol of the reputation of the company in question. However, before setting out to create a logo certain groundwork must be laid, perhaps the most important part of this being research. But what sort of things should you be looking to find out in your pre-design research, and is there anything in particular you should try to avoid?
This is one of the most important things to bear in mind before starting designing any logo. What does the company do? What products do they sell (if any)? What sort of image do they wish to present? While not all aspects of a company might be discernible from a single glance at its logo, viewers should be able to get at least some sense of what they’re about.
Another incredibly important aspect of custom logo design: who exactly is it meant to appeal to? For example, a logo in bright primary colours with a teddy bear motif, while perfectly suitable for a day care centre, would probably not be very well received if it was commissioned for an upmarket restaurant chain. Additionally, if we continue with the brightly coloured teddy bear example, would such a logo appeal more to the children or the fee paying parents?
There are a number of logos around that bear remarkable similarities to each other. Not only can this result in customer confusion, but you also run the risk of inciting lawsuits (and of course intentional plagiarism is never okay). Sufficient research into other existing logos will hopefully allow you to avoid such issues.
Awareness of what looks good is a must. After all, a logo has to be eye-catching. Imagine your logo in amongst a sea of others; what’s going to make a passerby pick it out from the crowd? It also pays to remember that your logo may be depicted in black and white at some point, so avoiding designs that rely solely on colour is a good idea.
Although this should be a no-brainer to any good logo designer, the matter of overall quality can often end up being neglected. Logos must be able to withstand resizing without a perceptible reduction in quality (so vector graphics software as opposed to bitmap), not contain any stock or clip art and use a fond that looks good as well as being legible. In short, it doesn’t hurt to do some research in order to find the best tools and resources to design and make your logo.
As with any project, initial research is vital to ensure that you start out – and stay – on the right track. However, ensuring that you’ve done sufficient research is but one aspect of the successful logo design process. In Part 3, we will be looking at the drafting process, a vital step in the creation of any good logo.