Logos...A Symbol of Your Business

In case you hadn’t noticed. . . we have designed a lot of logos over the years.

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Written by Emma O'Rourke and Jonathan Hodgson

29 October 2020 | 8 Minute(s) to read



In case you hadn’t noticed... we have designed a lot of logos over the years. Around Taranaki, New Zealand, and the world; logos which have been designed by Smokeylemon are used every day online, in storefronts, point of sale, menus, staff uniforms, van decals, invoices, letterheads, product packaging, to name but a few of their endless uses. 

A business’s logo is a pretty big deal. It is the stamp with which you want to imprint on your customer’s brain, a mark of your quality and assurance and a badge of honour to highlight what your business stands for. Fundamentally, your logo is your organisation’s symbol and we as humans have been using symbols as a visual language for a pretty long time. 

As a creative business, we often see logos which fail to truly highlight what makes a company unique. You can tell when the logo is the last thought. Often, something has been mocked up by a designer halfway across the world that you found on a freelance site who doesn’t know you, your brand or your business. The other scenario is you have attempted it yourself using Canva or worse, Word! Another key indicator is when standard font styles are used such as Times New Roman or Arial, c’mon you & your brand are better than that. 

The problem with a rushed D.I.Y approach is that little or no design consideration is given to the multiple uses where the logo might be used, the different format, background colour that the logo might be placed on, font size or boldness. But, ultimately how it will grab your target audience's eye and make you stand out from the competition. 

 

The Basic Elements of Logo Design 

Let us give you some expertise to save you from the difficulties of living with awkward logo syndrome. Below we have outlined the key visual elements which we consider when designing a logo.

Colour 

Colour can have a major impact on how we feel with often light and brighter colours giving an uplifting feeling while darker hues can give a more demure or serious impression. Colour can also be used to pull out elements of your brand or itself may be a key aspect of it 

Below you will find an example of how we used colour in designing a logo. This design was created for the local Taranaki Regional Council. The logo itself was used to showcase a range of theater and art shows throughout the New Plymouth CBD over the course of months. The smokey purples & pinks used in the graphics adds motion, while the colour pink gives a sense of creativity, the dark blue is contemplative and light blue gives a feeling of energy. 


See It In The City Logo By Smokeylemon

 

Typeface  

The text in a logo communicates more than just your company name. When creating the text for a logo we stay away from the cookie cutter font styles. Often we will pick a unique font or create font from scratch which will be completely yours. Some elements we consider with regards to typeface is letter spacing, size, boldness, serifs and alignment. 

Below highlight a couple of examples where we created unique typeface styles using the elements above. This gives you a flavour of the impact that typeface can have on a logo design and why it goes further than just stating your company's name. 

Hel Rimu Logo Design By SmokeylemonNKL Logo by Smokeylemon

 

 

Graphics & Illustration

Logo graphics & illustration can become a powerful and easily recognisable element of your brand, allowing your brand to be identified without the accompanying name. You just need to think of some of the major worldwide brands such as Nike, Apple & Disney who need no introduction other than a graphic symbol. Graphics can be a simple detail within a logo or a major element of the final design. 

 

   Level Up logo by Smokeylemon

Composition 

The final element, composition, is a pretty important one. This is where spacing, depth and shading are reviewed. Simply put, composition is how all the individual elements of a logo are tied together to create a pleasing harmonious balance which is easy on the eye.

Taranaki Steelformers logo by Smokeylemon

 

Smokeylemon Logo Design Process

When designing a logo with the Smokeylemon team we have a simple tried and tested process which we follow. This process we find helps us create logos in an efficient manner and delivers or often surpasses the expectations of the client. Often, when we start a logo project we are able to review what the client initially thinks they want and deliver something which truly makes them stand out through a well planned research and design process. 

 

1 - We Have A Natter

This is the most important part of the design process. Clients will often not know what they want, the correct questions need to be asked, and a lot of listening is required to extract all the info we need to start.  

 

2 - Research & Further Insight 

Following the initial chat we undertake our own research looking at competitors in the market, the business and target audience. This allows us to understand more about the business and often helps us draw inspiration. 

Furthermore, when designing a logo for a large company we need to gather insight from all key stakeholders. In these instances we often send a questionnaire or hold a brand workshop with the stakeholders which allows us to draw information and opinions. This allows us to take these various points into consideration when designing the final logo. 

 

3 - Consolidate & Confirm 

All the feedback from the previous step is consolidated into a bulleted list, this is easily digestible for the client, and gives them something to physically sign off on so we can proceed with the initial design.

 

4 - Create a Moodboard 

As the initial concept is developed we provide the client with a Moodboard. This is just a loose visual collage, it gives us something to refer to throughout the design process. It also lets the client know you've listened to their requirements by giving them an overall 'theme' that you will use to design the logo. 

 

5 - The Initial Designs 

We are pretty old school in some way because the initial concepts are all done with pencil & paper, the idea here is to concept lots of ideas quickly, good ideas will naturally come to the surface and be developed, bad ideas will be left behind. 

Weeding out what works & doesn’t is all part of good design. It's important to delve into this without compromising the design process with preconceived ideas from other logos. It's important to draw inspiration from various places, but not to copy what you see.

Once we finalise a few concepts that we wish to take forward we then refine them using online graphics software such as adobe illustrator & photoshop. 

 

6 - Listen to You 

This is a crucial step and often a nail biting one for us. The concepts are presented to the client with our fingers-crossed that we have achieved the brief. However, by following the steps above and keeping the client engaged in the process we often mitigate any surprises. We chat with the client about our thought process for the chosen concepts and a final design is chosen to move forward to be refined further based on the clients feedback.  

 

7 - Final Revision 

There are usually some final tweaks to be made here, colour, font spacing & composition which need to be done before the logo is finalised by the client. We work with you to review these changes and provide guided feedback based on experience and the principles of logo design. 

 

8 - Brand Guidelines

Following the final approved logo we create you a basic logo brand guidelines document. This highlights how your logo should or should not be used in situ. This is important to protect your brand’s logo and give it the prowess it deserves. This can then be used as a reference for any future design projects that will use the logo.  

 

9 - Delivery 

Finally, we send you the finalised logo files in various formats, layouts and colour versions as well as the brand guideline documents. This will contain everything you need to use your logo across various formats & will act as a guide for any future design work using the logo. 

Want to Know More About our Logo Design Process?

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