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Adobe Illustrator is my weapon of choice.

 

Much better to do a logo that is vector based so therefore doesn't lose quality when scaled.

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Photoshop can do vector.

 

Important things to note:

 

1) Vector = like a cad drawing... it can scale to ANY size (very important this) - then it can go on t-shirts, vans, posters etc etc.

 

2) Bitmap = just a fixed set of dots (like a photo) - as soon as you try to scale it up, it will lose clarity and look crap. NEVER EVER do a logo this way.

 

3) Simple is key

Very few professional logos are complicated. They need to be used on clothing, boxes, cars, vans, posters, keyrings etc etc. The only way this can work is by keeping it simple.

 

4) Alternative colours / orientations

Many (but not all) companies will have a few different approved colour ways for their logo (ie Adidas on a white shirt might will usually be black, but on a black shirt, it will be white etc) So if you design a gorgeous red logo... that's not going to work well on a red background, so you need to have a couple of colour ways at least.

Also, some companies will have a orientations too... again, it might be the Adidas logo side by side with the Adidas text, or it might be the logo above the text... allowing for maximum flexibility.

 

 

Adobe Photoshop can do vector graphics, but Adobe Illustrator is the de-facto tool (its not quite as nice to use as Photoshop though).

 

If you're not experienced in either of them... get someone who is to help you. I can't tell you the number of clients that fuck this up and regret it later.

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Photoshop can do vector but i just prefer the layout, tools and guides of Illustrator.

 

Whenever I'm doing a logo its nearly always in Illustrator (although i sometimes use Photoshop alongside it).

 

The pathfinder tool alone makes using Illustrator the program to use and is a huge timesaver.

 

Things have changed with logos in that you used to always trying to use as little amount of colour as possible (sometimes asked to only use two, three colours or purely black and white).

 

You also had to bear in mind it would be used on clothing, business cards etc but now companies are becoming online only and the logo is only ever seen on a website which changes the guidelines to work with.

 

I always avoid using gradients in a logo but with online only becoming more common it means as a designer I get more creative freedom.

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Photoshop can do vector but i just prefer the layout, tools and guides of Illustrator.

 

Whenever I'm doing a logo its nearly always in Illustrator (although i sometimes use Photoshop alongside it).

 

The pathfinder tool alone makes using Illustrator the program to use and is a huge timesaver.

 

Things have changed with logos in that you used to always trying to use as little amount of colour as possible (sometimes asked to only use two, three colours or purely black and white).

 

You also had to bear in mind it would be used on clothing, business cards etc but now companies are becoming online only and the logo is only ever seen on a website which changes the guidelines to work with.

 

I always avoid using gradients in a logo but with online only becoming more common it means as a designer I get more creative freedom.

 

I think most design agencies will now consider a progressively enhanced logo... i.e. a little bit of shading / gradient in the right environment, and a traditional / flat style.

 

I've had clients using photos in their logo! absolute disaster zone, even had them with misplaced apostrophes - which they refuse to change!

 

Even 'online only' businesses end up having to go to print etc (Amazon being a very good example). Sooner or later if they are successful, they'll end up marketing themselves in print, or on a van etc.

 

I used to to think the limited number of colours was related to the print process, and it was just cheaper and easier to go with limited colours, but now I just think "if it works in black and white' it'll work anywhere. Almost like an acid test for if something is working because it's fundamentally right, or simply because it's full of gimmicks. There was a craze for 3D embossed stuff many years ago that looks so dated now.

 

Fantastic subject though.... I was only recently made away of the FedEx logo with the 'hidden' arrow in it (between the E and x) so simple, a lot (including me) completely miss it!

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The FedEx logo is known as negative space and is currently one of the big trends.

 

Probably out of 10 logos I do 4 tend to ask for negative space, 2 will ask for logo only and not use the company name, 2 will be for only a couple of colours and 2 for my to use as many colours as I want.

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The FedEx logo is known as negative space and is currently one of the big trends.

 

Probably out of 10 logos I do 4 tend to ask for negative space, 2 will ask for logo only and not use the company name, 2 will be for only a couple of colours and 2 for my to use as many colours as I want.

 

Trouble with negative space is, there's a fair likelihood many will completely miss it. It's the old optical illusion thing... once you know it's there, you'll see it, but before knowing, it's a bit of a gamble. It's clever, and can be a talking point (which some would argue is worth it alone), but on the other hand (depending on your philosphy) a logo should first and foremost be almost instantly recognisable as yours, and then, secondly convey a message.

 

e.g. the Umbro logo is pretty recognisable, but there's no obvious symbolism there (not to me), whereas the vodafone logo does have the speech symbolism.

 

Interesting about not asking for the company name. Obviously Nike and Adidas etc don't need the name - the logo is enough, but that's only because they are so recognisable NOW... in the early days you probably need the logo and the name.

 

I remember about 20 years ago, there was a massive wave of negativity about nouns without a capital letter (loads of logos / text using all lower case) and of course, omitting spaces between words (just using different colours). You see it all the time now, but there was a real load of grief from the grammar police over that stuff! I think Adidas had been doing that for donkey's years!

 

It would make a great thread on it's own this... trend setting and clever logos!... not least your namesake's logo! (the old one, with the 2x2 letters in a square arrangement).

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It always makes me laugh when a client gives you a brief saying that they want the logo to be powerful, technical and show what the company does.

 

So off you go giving them 5-6 designs to choose from and they select none so you do something simple like a circle with the company name in the centre and they love it.

 

A logo that takes all of about 2 minutes after you have just spent two weeks trying to think of 5-6 different designs.

 

I have to be honest and say I hate when someone asks me to do a 'negative space' logo because I'm shit at thinking them up.

 

I had a client ask me to do one for a pen that make, a pen, how the bloody hell do you think of a negative space logo for a pen.

 

They ended up getting a design eventually I liked but still a pain in the arse.

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It always makes me laugh when a client gives you a brief saying that they want the logo to be powerful, technical and show what the company does.

 

So off you go giving them 5-6 designs to choose from and they select none so you do something simple like a circle with the company name in the centre and they love it.

 

A logo that takes all of about 2 minutes after you have just spent two weeks trying to think of 5-6 different designs.

 

I have to be honest and say I hate when someone asks me to do a 'negative space' logo because I'm shit at thinking them up.

 

I had a client ask me to do one for a pen that make, a pen, how the bloody hell do you think of a negative space logo for a pen.

 

They ended up getting a design eventually I liked but still a pain in the arse.

 

 

There's some amazing negative spaces ones out there, but like you say, you need a certain mind to think them up... then again, if you're an agency, you might have 30 creatives who might think something up!

 

I'm totally with you in clients asking for stuff... on the one hand, why shouldn't they - they ARE paying, but on the other hand, that's WHY they are paying you! Only they often seem to think you're after an easy life when you suggest a simple font, or a couple of nice squares or circle etc. They want 'wow' (so they think), but when you show them the world's leading brands... very few have particularly fancy logos.

 

Mind you... a company like (say) BIC pens might expect to be around for 50 years, so a timeless design in in order... whilst at Mandy's Bacon Butty Bar, it's only the food that's been on the shelf for 50 years!

I kid you not, you even get stupid requests like "it's called Mandy's Bacon Butty Bar' - but we also do other sandwiches, and snacks - so can you fit that into the logo too?... oh and we sell cans, so can you put that in too, but we don't do McDonalds type stuff with a straw, it's just cans, so make it look like a can"...

 

This is the shit you get!

 

*coughs* followed by... "and we'd like it in purple and mint green because that's how our shop is currently decorated"

 

Makes you want to say "you can shove your logo right up your negative space!"

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I've just set up a new business. We've been mulling over company names for weeks but as soon as we fixed on one, I ran a logo up the same night in photoshop.

 

Just to say, it's the first logo I've ever designed but I inadvertently managed to pick up on several of the key points listed in this thread, which makes me feel quite pleased with myself.

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If you've done it in Photoshop - there are issues to need to be aware of:

 

1) Layer effects won't scale well. If you've stuck to plain colours, you'll be fine

2) Make sure you're using vector shapes and text. Do NOT rasterise them. This is absolutely bloody crucial. If you don't stick to this, you'll have a 'bitmap' logo which is just a disaster.

 

Good luck with the business!

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I have done some really basic logos for my gaming website (Home). They are mostly hugely plagiarised from bits of other logos found on the interweb.

 

I would love to do some vector graphics in Photoshop but I havent got to grips with the pen tool. Also I was thinking of getting a graphics tablet.

 

So two questions:-

Do you know of any good tutorials on vector graphics/pen tool in photoshop

Do you recommend any entry level (but decent) tablet and pen.

 

Thanks for any feedback.

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What do you guys think about 99designs? I was setting up a business last year (and will be later this year) and was wondering whether I should use them. I could try do it myself but I'd rather get it done properly.

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What do you guys think about 99designs? I was setting up a business last year (and will be later this year) and was wondering whether I should use them. I could try do it myself but I'd rather get it done properly.

 

For what are you going to use 99 Designs for, getting a logo ?

 

99 Designs outsource their designs to a community which means you will get a large choice but many of them will not be professionally done.

 

If you need a logo or website etc just drop me an email via the contact form on the website i posted above.

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For what are you going to use 99 Designs for, getting a logo ?

 

99 Designs outsource their designs to a community which means you will get a large choice but many of them will not be professionally done.

 

If you need a logo or website etc just drop me an email via the contact form on the website i posted above.

 

Yeah mate it was to get a logo done - as you said, you'll get a shit load of replies. I think theres disadvantages though in that having iterations etc dont probably is a lot harder.

 

Sure mate, I will do - it will probably be later in the year. I've bookmarked your site though so i'll make sure I give you a shout.

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Yeah mate it was to get a logo done - as you said, you'll get a shit load of replies. I think theres disadvantages though in that having iterations etc dont probably is a lot harder.

 

Sure mate, I will do - it will probably be later in the year. I've bookmarked your site though so i'll make sure I give you a shout.

 

I've been on DesignCrowd a few times and done a few logos for people on there.

 

I found DesignCrowd layout to be better than 99designs.

 

When i did some logos for people on there you were given 6 days to communicate between client and the winning designer to make any changes and then finally to pay the designer.

 

DesignCrowd take 15% of the money which isn't too bad but to be honest I got too busy to be doing logos without having to compete with 2-300 other designers, was like a feeding frenzy.

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