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Logos, psychology and negative space

July 2, 2014
Ekaterina Moustafina

A few weeks ago I started a conversation about logos and promised to get more detailed on the art of logo design. As one would suspect multiple resources are available online for the new designer to get some tips & for the veterans to stay updated on where the industry is headed. Below I listed a couple of websites that I found particularly interesting and resourceful. Before that however, I wanted to share with you what I learned during my research on logo design. Naturally the veterans know all this and much more, so this post is intended for those of you just starting out and for others who want to understand why the job of a graphic designer is not as easy as it looks.

The title of the article “The Makings of a Great Logo” speaks for itself, its author is a successful designer Min Ming Lo. He advises the designer to ask himself a couple of powerful questions before delivering the logo to the client, or even better, before you start the design process. To summarize, Lo advises to design a logo that evokes the right emotion that is aligned with the company's values. He advises achieving this via the use of the right typeface. Canva's The Ultimate Guide to Font Pairing has some technical tips to help you do that. However Lo emphasizes that designers need not only know typeface and when best to apply it, but they need to understand what effect, what emotions each font and color generates. By knowing these, the designer will then be able to evoke the right feel in the viewer's eye. Not forgetting that before starting the creative process, the designer needs to know enough about the company to understand its values and the feeling the logo needs to evoke. Basically, a logo's purpose is to tell the story of the company behind it, what it stands for. Clearly one cannot do too much research about its customer to deliver the best logo design possible.

As mentioned in the first blog, a logo can become outdated. This is why Lo advises opting for a design that will stay relevant for the longest time possible. He suggests simplicity of design versus one that might end up looking tacky in a couple of years. For the best result possible, start your logo in black and white and have its shape be the most memorable aspect and not its colors which might end up looking "old" in the near future.

Usama Nasir in his article “Designing a Logo – From Inspiration to Execution” shares his technique on using the same design and modifying it in accordance with the company's needs, industry, culture. Who knew you could make so many logos with a single circle.

Is it only me who has never noticed the bear in the Toblerone logo, or the biker in the Tour De France logo? Learn about the power of negative space and more in Christopher Jackson's article “Why Logos With Hidden Meanings Work So Well”.

Min Ming Lo regularly shares some great tips and advice. You can find his content on dribbble.

Speckyboy Design Magazine is one of my favorite sites for designer advice, with numerous professionals writing for them, they always have inspiring and informative articles.

And some others full of useful designer content:

David Airey Subscribe to his newsletter to receive some good stuff on a regular basis.

The Design Observer Group

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