The Essential Art of Logo Design

I will venture to say that anyone can create a logo. Now, since I am a logo designer, you might think this is a BB-gun shot to the foot (ouch.), but I cannot deny the truth. We are all creative, we all have artistic potential in some form or another, and I have to say that if you can draw an original shape then you can make a logo. Here’s the “However”… however, we can also admit that some logos seem to carry more power than others, more attraction, more recognition. If there is some magic in logo design, it is the ability of a designer to convey this magical meaning from her client’s corporate office all the way to the other side of the world, where someone who speaks a different language, has been born and raised in a totally different environment, can still connect with this logo and receive its initial meaning.

Go to Google and search “logo design” (in quotations so you’ll see only results for that search term) and you will be faced with 8 million search results and pelted with ads claiming “6 logos for $50!” and “Build your own logo using our software!”  Some claims are worthwhile, of course, such as “unlimited revisions” and “money back guarantee”, claims that are needed to create that initial trust and confidence to choose that design company.
So how much should a logo cost your company? First define cost:

  • A logo is made to represent your company and its philosophy and spirit, so what worth is your first impression?
  • The style of a logo is best made as timeless as possible, so trendy styles are okay, but the very essence of the logo needs to be able to be seen and interpreted in plain black and white – from there effects and styles, colours and positioning can be changed.
  • How transferable is the logo design? Will it transfer well from one medium to another? From business card to golf shirt to vehicle signage to newspaper ads to TV and travel mugs? If your logo is not built to be transferable then you’ve wasted a lot of time and money on a design that will continue to take more time and money to make work across different media.
  • Cost is also defined by originality of the design since there are obviously logos everywhere, so having a logo designed from scratch for a singular purpose brings out a unique perspective and a new, valuable identity.

So cost is less about how much money it cost initially to create the logo, but more importantly, is the cost of NOT getting the logo made properly the first time. Some of the most powerful and recognizable logos are also the simplest in design – they allow for space, for imagination, for communication to flow between the intender and the intendee. A logo is needed if you want a single vision for your company. A logo is needed if you want your company to grow and prosper because we (humans, consumers) all need focal points to help each other find the way through life. The ones that help the most will prosper the most.

Perhaps anyone can create a logo because all logos are already created and we simply unveil them through the creative process and then tag them with “TM” and claim them as “ours.” But the more you can define the nature of your own life’s purpose and that of your company’s the more you will see its creative nature becomes realized. Is a logo ever a finished product? No, because it is always being defined by what it represents, it is always being projected upon and used to project on others and what that projection is will, in some degree, continue to shift. This is not bad, nor good, but a logo needs to maintain the paradox of a fluctuating fixture – a constant for change.

BlindDrop Design Inc. offers full creative media development for Corporate Identities (yes, including logos), Graphic Design services, Web Video production, along with Web design, development and  managed WordPress hosting. Please contact us if you would like more information about any of these professional services.