Logo design considerations

Company logos convey brand, style, strength and represent your company to the world.

The most effective logos are the simplest and are remembered easily and quickly. The best example of this is the half eaten apple on the back of iPhones and iPads. Simple logos will also reduce well to small print sizes. Simple coloured logos will be easy to reproduce across media.

Company names included in the logo tend to look stronger with bold fonts and tight kerning  (the adjustment of space between characters).

You must also consider how the logo will look on a white page, as most documents are printed on white paper.

If you do design an intense, complex, colorful or 3D logo, always consider creating a simpler equivalent as well, as you will find many situations where it will print better.

You will find Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop indispensable in creating your logo. Use Illustrator to create the logo with “vector” graphics. Vector graphics resolution is infinite and fundamentally consist of basic shapes and bézier curves. Bézier curves give you ultimate control in creating the accurate logo shape, manipulating points along the bézier curve. You SHOULD design your logo with vector graphics to ensure the logo can be scaled without degradation. A vector designed logo can be sized to fit on a billboard with absolute clarity.

Vector graphics should not be confused with “bitmap” graphics. Bitmap graphics are images such as photos, etc, where the resolution is predefined. Bitmap images prepared for the web are usually 72 dots per inch (dpi), and prepared for print usually 300dpi. A bitmap image will degrade as it is scaled larger because the resolution is fixed.

Any fonts that you use in your logo must be “outlined” in your Illustrator document before sending to the commercial printer. Select all the text in your document, then select “outline type”. This ensures all the fonts that you have used will maintain their shape integrity, otherwise you will have to package all the fonts used and pass them to your commercial printer as well.

All Illustrator documents are in CMYK color model. C=cyan, M=magenta, Y=yellow, K=black (b would be confused with blue). CMYK is a subtractive color model and is the correct color model when printing. RGB is an additive color model and is used for web and electronic images. Always design logos in CMYK ready for print, as it is easy to change the color model to RGB for web in Photoshop.

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