A one-to-one with a logo designer
It has been 3 years since Amit first designed a logo. Since then, he has not been able to resist himself from this profession he likes to think of as a sport.‘Every new task is like a game for me. I have to research and come up with the best possible logo.’ Amit is currently working with Rabbixel. He speaks about his love for logos with a colleague.
Vidhi: This has to be the first thing I ask. Which is your favourite logo?
Amit: Oh, I have a lot of favorite logos. But to name one or two, Apple and Nike.
Vidhi: I love Nike’s logo too. But I am sure your reasons would be much better than mine.
Amit: Haha..I like them because they are insanely clean and simple.
Vidhi: Well, I was close enough! Could you tell me what is your definition of a logo?
Amit: See, a logo is a representation of the brand. It’s not the brand itself. A brand represents the products and services they give. A logo is just to represent them. For example, whenever you see the McDonald’s logo, you don’t think of the McDonald’s chain or the company. You think of the burger, the taste. That is what the logo represents.
Vidhi: Well, that was insightful. Do you have any recipe on how to make a great logo?
Amit: Uh, well. The recipe is pretty long and extensive, but I can tell you the ingredients for that.
First of all, the logo should be clean, clean as in you can see the thought behind it instantly. For example, the thought could be what the company is about. But that’s not what every logo is supposed to say. Some logos tell a story. For example, the Apple logo doesn’t give away that it is a technology company, but it tells us a story or something about the history of the company.
Secondly, it should be professional. I think that’s pretty self-explanatory. These days, flat and simple logos are trending a lot.
Vidhi: What are you working on these days?
Amit: A lot of projects.
Vidhi: Alright…tell me how you go about when you are given a logo brief. What is your method of approaching it?
Amit: I start with collecting information about the company, like its history, its vision, if it wants to expand or introduce more brands in the future, number of employees, location, everything from A-Z.
Vidhi: Number of employees..why?
Amit: Because if the company has 500 employees and I make a logo using 11 or 12 colors, then they will have to spend a lot on marketing material in the future. It’s actually better to make a logo with a maximum of 3 colors. Deciding the colors and typography for the logo is a crucial process. You know how different colors evoke different emotions, and sometimes even the client has their own color requirements for the logo.
Now, once I have everything about the company in front of me, I start to highlight what is common in all of that, so that I can work on that as the base. The real process is yet to start.
Vidhi: Oh, it sure is a long one!
Amit: Yes, it is. Logo designing is a long process because it is a one-time thing. You do not go about changing your logo every few years. When Tropicana changed their branding, they suffered a huge loss because people couldn’t recognize the brand. They thought it was something else.
Well, after making some sense out of the information, I make a moodboard. Moodboards help a lot to develop a feel and especially, the color palette of the brand’s marketing. All the ideas that I later sketch are according to the moodboard. Now, I finally start to sketch the logo.
Vidhi: Can you explain the sketching process a bit?
Amit: Uh..yeah! So the sketching process has a before, a present and an after. For example, I have to make a logo of rain, I will draw what happens before it rains, like a cloud; then I will draw what happens when it rains like raindrops; and then finally what happens after it rains, so, you know, I will draw some puddles.
There is another kind of process. The process depends on the kind of logo I have to make. For example, I have to design a logo on speed, I will draw the things that indicate speed like a car, lightning etc. And then I will add the text if required. I test and try all kinds of fonts and colors that suit well. The typography and colors of the logo determine every other kind of marketing material that follows. It all starts with the logo. The tone, the look, the feel of the marketing materials whether online or offline should complement the logo, not contradict it.
Finally, I give it to the client for his/her feedback. Then, once the final vector is ready, I prepare a style sheet or a style guide. The style sheet contains the exact colors of the logo, whether it is Pantone or RGB or CMYK. And also the primary and secondary colors which will be used in brochures or Instagram or Web etc.
Primary and secondary typography needs to be mentioned there as well. It also helps if they come up with a tagline later on. Another very important thing is the space to be maintained around the logo in all places. The style guide is the reference point for anything the company wants to make later on, for example, business cards.
Vidhi: Is there any favourite logo artist that you follow or admire?
Amit: Aaron Draplin
Vidhi: Lastly, where do you get your logo inspiration from?
Amit: The best inspiration that I get is from Dribbble. And I also look at Logopond, Instagram and Behance. I find some really good inspiration there.
Check out all the logos Amit has designed for various brands here at Rabbixel.