Rules to Effective Logo Design
Logo Design Rules by Bennet Holzworth
1. Get as much information as possible before you start on the project.
2. Make sure you are working with the decision makers.
3. Get inspiration outside of the logo books. Try an art museum or the local scrap yard.
4. Don’t use gradients. Well… If you do, just make sure the mark looks great without the gradients as well.
5. Committees can’t commit. Have a very direct and transparent plan if you do agree to work with a committee (never agree to work when there is more than one committee involved in the approval process).
6. Don’t just ask questions of the client, but work to figure out what lies underneath their answers.
7. Keep animation in the back of your mind, even if you don’t see the client needing it immediately.
8. Don’t leave “fine tuning” for after the client approval. Most of the time, after a logo is approved, the client wants it “ASAP”. If you do leave “fine tuning” for after the client gives final approval, make sure you follow through.
9. Work to appear current without being too trendy. More Sprint. Less at&t. Traveling/bouncing circles, droplets and or “canted” logos are becoming as trendy as the ubiquitous swoosh.
10. As much as you love the symbol you created, make sure it is balanced with the type (if they are separate). Don’t make a symbol that will completely overpower the company name and vice versa.
11. Have an Idea!
13. Make sure it is recognizable at a quarter inch.14. Make the overall shape unique. Think of the Coke bottle.
15. When you are creating shapes in Illustrator, use as few points as possible. Mess around. Play Play Play in illustrator, use pathfinder, combine, build, destroy. You can get some interesting shapes and ideas from happy mistakes, and places you weren’t looking.
16. Start with some sort of sketch. Even if you are not a full-on thumbnail person, rough sketches on lined paper is better than nothing at all. Remember: the logo has to look good even when it’s embroided in white on a black shirt. Or printed on the side of a 10-ton truck.17. Start in black & white. Present that to the client before color becomes a factor (I am talking to myself here as well).
18. Strive to create a mark that would only work for your client, while allowing room for the company to expand and grow.
19. Don’t lose site of the overall picture. I find myself getting caught up in fine tuning details on a mark that, when looked at objectively, doesn’t fit within the client’s needs.
20. Don’t present a logo option to the client that you are not fully confident in. They WILL pick your least favorite.
21. Don’t forget that the logo is just one element in the larger scheme of the identity and brand... Yet it is the most important. The larger scheme will fall into place only when your logo stands true at the top.