Logo Design 101 - Part 2 - Transferring Your Ideas to the Computer
by, 13-Jun-11 at 06:00 AM (9757 Views)
Now that you have brainstormed your logo ideas, it's time to learn how to get those ideas recreated digitally on your computer.
Please note that in order for you to commence with this stage of the logo design process, you need to have at least one solid idea down on paper. A rough sketch and an idea of what the final product should look like. This is part 2 of the Logo Design 101 mini-series, if you don't have a solid concept yet or missed the first post entirely, please go back and read Logo Design 101 - Part 1 - Brainstorming.
Get hold of a Vector Program
Now that you have a rough sketch of your ideal logo, you need to recreate it digitally. To do this, we use programs called vector programs. These programs are used to create vector images. Vector images are infinitely scalable so once you have recreated your logo as a vector image you will be able to make it as big or as small as you need to for various purposes, without losing any quality.
Designers use vector programs such as Adobe Illustrator or Freehand.
The above two programs are both commercial versions and don't really come cheap. Freehand does, however, offer a 30 day free trial, which should give you plenty time in which to design your logo.
If you would like to go for a completely free Vector program, you can download Inkscape. I'm sure that any of the three programs would suffice for general logo design.
As stated in my last post, logo design isn't easy, and if you're wanting to design your own logo, you are going to need to take the time to learn the ins and outs of the vector program which you download. It will be a bit of a learning curve, but there are loads of tutorials available on the Internet if the program's built in Help facility isn't, well, helpful.
I guarantee that taking the time to create your logo properly using a Vector program is going to yield far better results than a using MS Paint!
Black and white/greyscale first
In my previous post I wrote that a logo needs to work in black and white before you even start working in colour.
Play around with black and white or greyscale versions of your logo first. Try different variations of your rough, sketched logo. You may find that, once it's recreated neatly as a vector image, you need to tweak it a bit in order to make it perfect. This is all part of the process.
Moving on to colour
Once you have a version of your logo in black and white, it's time to start adding colour. By now you should have decided on your colour scheme, so go ahead and start adding colour using the program.
One thing to note is that there are two different types of colour: CMYK colouring and pantone colouring. CMYK is the most common colouring scheme and is used mostly by smaller printers. The different colours of your logo are recreated by mixing cyan, magenta, yellow and black to try and produce the right colours. There is often variation in the colours printed using CMYK colouring, so it might not be the best option for consistency.
Pantone colouring, on the other hand, is perfect if you're looking for a consistent tone for all your logo prints. It is supported by most of the established and larger printing companies. Pantone colours are a set of internationally recognised colours which will always print the same way.
Although it's generally slightly more expensive, I would always recommend pantone colouring. Whichever you choose, you can use either one in your chosen Vector program.
Once you have got the symbol reproduced digitally, you need to add your business name to it in order to complete the logo.
Really good designers tend to shy away from using generic fonts with their logo designs. Thus, if you want your logo to be one of great quality and design, I suggest you take the time to "develop" a typeface specifically for your business/branding. Here you have two options:Finding the right font for your logo is imperative.
1. Customize a ready made font to suit your business
This is the "easy" way out. If you have found a font that you think fits with your logo and business, then you can download that font and customize it to be a perfect fit.
2. Create your very own font
This is most certainly not easy, but in some instances is the only way to attain the perfect typeface to fit your logo. What you can be sure of is that that typeface will always be unique to your business. Having your own awesome looking font to complete your logo definitely gives you a deeper feeling of satisfaction, despite the hard work involved.
In both instances, you will use the very same Vector program you downloaded to draw up your symbol. You will need to think about the descriptive words you brainstormed. Use these words to adapt/create your font. If you're stuck, try doing a search for fonts that fit your description - note the trends and try to implement them in your font.
Because this is a Logo Design post and not a Typography post, there isn't much room to discuss the lengthy process of creating a typeface. However, for completeness' sake, I'm going to link you to some tutorials for creating a new typeface:
- "So you want to Create a Font" series.
- Creating a new Typeface in Illustrator
- Make your own fonts tutorial
- How to modify a typeface to create a unique logo
Having a unique typeface is great, but in all honesty, it will probably take an inexperienced designer, as you may be, a whole heap of time which you probably just don't have. If you have your heart set on creating your own logo, then my suggestion as a fellow business owner (rather than a designer) is to simply do a long hard search for a font that comes as close as possible to one that fits perfectly with your logo and business. You may need to pay for it, but hey, a good typeface is probably worth every cent.
Chances are this part of the logo design process is going to take you the longest period of time, simply because of the amount of learning involved (Vector programs, Typography creation tuturials). I did warn you that the logo design process is a long and, often, difficult one.
Just stick to your guns with this part. It will take some determination and a weekend or two of your time, but there's no point in giving up now! If you're struggling, feel free to drop me a mail or PM with any questions you may have, I would be happy to help.
Next week, in Part 3 of the Logo Design 101 mini-series, we're going to deal with the final stage of the process, Finalising your logo. Once you have gotten through part 2, part 3 will be a cakewalk! The great thing about it is that you will finally be able to see all your hard work come to fruition, so stick around!
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