Design Logos Like a Pro | #4 Use Your Tools

Design tools

I’m assuming you do have the tools and know how to use them. Most likely you use Adobe products like myself and I’d like to stress that these are just tools, though very powerful ones. Of course there are other programs too and you know the equivalent. But I’ll say this first, if the concepts you came up with from the Scribble and Sketch session aren’t strong enough, then no amount of gradients or drop shadows will redeem your logo.

I won’t be telling you how to use Illustrator or Photoshop (that’s a post for another day if I ever get around to writing tutorials), just what to use them for. So here goes.

a. For rendering…

use Illustrator or any vector program. Don’t, don’t, don’t use Photoshop. It’s called Photoshop for a reason. Learn to use Illustrator, it’s really not all that difficult. Anyway, recreate your scribbled logo in Illustrator. This way, you can scale to any size without losing quality. Do the logo in black and white first before adding color.

Tip: I’m sure you did your research but better to be sure and spare you possible embarrassment and waste of time. Save that logo you just did as an image and do a Google image search. Upload your freshly created logo by clicking on the camera icon. You may or may not find similar logos as yours, hopefully not. Just so, you want your client’s logo to be unique, not something another designer will later comment on or blog about as looking strikingly familiar.

b. For context…

use Photoshop or any image manipulation program. I love reading about identity projects featured on sites like Identity Designed. One can’t truly appreciate a logo without seeing how it’s used. Sometimes a logo makes you go, “what were they thinking?!” but as you go scrolling over the images or watching an accompanying video, you start to go “aaaah, now that is clever.” So before you send your creations (note plural: at least two best options) to your client, apply them on something it’s likely to be used on by doing some image manipulation. A logo works best in context, not alone.

Tip: Make it look real.

c. For presentation…

use InDesign or any page layout program. Fine, you can use Illustrator too but it’s better to use tools  for what they were made for. Anyway, this is where you lay out your proposals,  i.e.,

Option 1
Black and white
Rationale (yes, do explain)
Option 2

and afterwards save into one PDF file.

Tip: In InDesign, you can easily set your headers/footers with your own branding (keep it minimal) on the master pages and use this template for presenting future designs.

So here ends step four. Your heart starts to beat faster in excitement (and nerves) as you now prepare yourself to face (or should I say, email) the client and present your proposals. But before we go about doing that, I’d love to hear what you think so please go ahead and share in the comments. I also appreciate you sharing this post with others. The buttons below are clickable 🙂

  • February 24th, 2012 /