Over the past 12 years as a self-taught brand identity designer, I’ve learned some mind-blowing tips and tricks that make the Logo Design process so much easier and more enjoyable.
The First Tip is to Make Connections
Most likely you’ve been taught that when you’re making a logo you should think literally about it. For example, Apple incorporates its name is Apple. So create an Apple icon well yes and no anyone can be literal in their idea. However, professional logo designers can be more figurative in their approach, in an industry where there’s so much competition. Where twenty percent get, eighty percent of the work you need to stand out more than you think. So I use my node to make good connections for my Concepts.
Making connections through mind mapping helps not only you but your clients as well. They’re able to see your thoughts it shows how you got the information to translate to visuals. My maps have given me accidental ideas, looking at the Fibonacci security logo for an example.
I found that fingerprint identification could be a key visual to illustrate security and the Fibonacci sequence. Without mind mapping and making intentional connections this would have been more difficult to do if not impossible for me.
The Next Step is to Trace & Refine
You’ve all seen those amazing minimalist animal logos. They just all look clean and professional. You ask yourself how on Earth did they manage to make this animal look so professional and clean. The answer is the trace and refines the method. This method is all about using an image from anywhere like Google and tracing over the design using simplistic shapes.
The best way to do this is to restrict yourself to drawing geometric shapes when tracing. Then all you need to do is repeat the process simplifying the original shapes you see on the photo. When you do this enough you’ll start to see that automatically you’re designing a simple logo. Because you’ve applied these restrictions to the design. The best way to design logos based on real objects is to trace and refine them.
The trace and refine method works well for a lot of different styles of logos. However, animal logos are one of the styles that are harder just to eyeball proportions of animals can be hard to keep when simplifying the design. So make sure that you always refer back to the original image and take a break. So you can see your progress with fresh eyes.
Tip Number Three is Squint, Flip, Blur, and Destroy
It’s so important to make sure that the logos we make are one scalable two memorable and three appropriate. And the only way we can make sure that we get all three of these things in our design. Is through testing I’ve shared many different ways of testing your logo designs out in the past, but today is slightly different.
I think I’ve cracked the Enigma in logo design testing once and for all. The first test is the squid test. Squinting distorts the logo in a way that can help us see balancing issues and other errors within the design. It’s a quick test that you can do throughout all stages of design and with any sort of design work. There have been many times where I’ve squinted and it’s held to be spotting proper kerning or out-of-balance visual elements in my design.
The second test is to flip and mirror. This test is especially useful for logotype design as it enables you to stop reading the logotype and start viewing it. Shapes we’re so used to reading that when viewing typography it could be difficult to see major errors if we don’t have a method of viewing it differently. When mirroring my logotypes I either print the logo out.
So I can annotate the design and make notes of changes. Making notes directly onto the logo really helps keep the changes in perspective. But if I don’t have the ability to print the design I just use red circles in illustrator to show errors that need changing. This is also a great way to show you the depth of your knowledge and the amount of time you’ve spent on the design when presented to the client.
The next one is to destroy. Well, you don’t actually have to destroy it, you can just distort it enough. it sounds mad but it really does help to know when a design isn’t recognizable and doesn’t work. It helps Give A New Perspective on the functionality of the design. when I destroy slash and distort a logo it helps identify key components that are out of whack for instance take this logo.
It looks good right now. when you’re viewing it undistorted, but when you distort the design you can see a huge balancing issue on the top right. Some of you could probably see the issue before I destroyed the design but you get the point.
Tip Number Four is Reverse Image Search
The next tip is all about making sure that your logo has never been seen before. Google has an amazing feature where you can reverse search with an image for the logo design that you’re working on. You’ll be surprised how accurate Google Image Search is when reversing the search with your design. Yes, this is not full proof by any means but it can help you see whether your logo has been used somewhere else without you even knowing it. this also shows designs that are very similar to.
Tip Number Five is Visual Double Entender
The net-next tip is to use a visual double entender, but not the definition you’re thinking of. Double entender has two definitions who would have thought. For example, you can jam two images together or two connecting visuals together to create a unique design, like this one.
I know this seems so basic but it actually works really well. This is formerly known as a double entender. so the next time you’re out of ideas go to your mind Map and find two key visuals and try to jam them together and see what you come up with.
Tip Number Six is Sketch Small
The next tip is to sketch small. The biggest mistake I see for many designers is the logo that’s aren’t consistent and the negative space in between the designs is out of proportion. An easy and effective way to fix this is to draw really small. I use a Grove-made brass notepad on my desk for taking notes and drawing small ideas whenever I have them. You can also use a sketch pad like field notes to force yourself to draw small. This doesn’t just help you keep the design consistent when it’s scaled up. but helps you decide whether the logo is scalable at the size that you’re drawing it. If it works small then it should work big.