Improve Your Logo Design Skills & Workflow
There are countless blog posts, videos and tutorials on how to improve your logo design skills - how to do this, how to make that etc. So for variety and to genuinely give you the ability to improve your own process, I will run you through some steps that will further enhance your already existing design process. Truthfully, the last thing I wanna do is share ways on “How a logo should be designed” because that's total bull. Every designer should have their own design style/process that they take and it should always be this way. If we all designed the same way, all logos would look the same and nobody wants that, especially your clients! So be warned, this blog is for those of you with an already existing design process and that are looking for ways to expand upon what you already know is your own.
1. Every Brief Has Its Own Time frame
After being part of so many logo design jobs and design jobs in general, through my experience I know for a fact that upon reading the client brief, I need to determine how long I need to create enough work for the first revision - depending on the style of the job. For example, there are many times that clients approach me to create a logo for them because they really dig my style. When this happens, things are pretty smooth sailing, all I have to do is match my style to whatever the brief is and complement the brand to create a long lasting mark. However, sometimes people approach me to create something a little different. They might have their own ideas or sometimes they just aren’t sure at all what is needed and expect you to figure it out - and so they should, you’re the designer and its your job to do so.
Make sure that when you get a brief, read it and/or verbally discuss with your client what they want, if its something you aren’t usually accustomed to making, make sure you get sufficient time until your first revision. The last thing you wanna do is take on a job you aren’t comfortable with and rush it because that's a short cut to failing the brief, losing the job and more importantly, a great client you might’ve had. The jobs that I was nervous about upon commencing are some of the most gratifying ones I’ve been apart of - because when you nail it, it’s a great feeling that will give you confidence in future jobs.
2. Get Properly Immersed & Inspired
A mistake I’ve made in the past is to underestimate the importance of really getting inspired properly. Rushing this process can lead to not exactly hitting the mark on your first revision (don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the end of the world). You at least want to be very close with a one or a few options you’ve created and that need further development. You are a designer, remember that - its such a cool thing to be, you’re a bad ass and you make art that people use for a living, like WTF! That's so cool.
Get immersed in the brief, if its a project with musical influences, LISTEN TO MUSIC! Don’t be shy, do what makes you get really into it. Look up the brands competitors and pay attention to what they’ve done wrong and also, what they’ve done right so you can set your client apart from them. The more you go deep with inspiration, the bigger your chances are of nailing the brief, creating more options and getting paid!
3. No Money No Honey
Need I say more? The only time you should take a job on that's for zero money is if its something you’re really passionate about and/or its for a loved one who you know you will make so happy by helping them get ahead with their business. Now, if someone comes to you with a big talk about how their brand is so fucking luxury and they make awesome shit - and they don’t really have a budget for a logo tho??? BITCH PLEAAAAASE! Tell someone who cares. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this chant before - countless. You’re a designer, you went to school, you spent hours and hours figuring out how to use the Adobe Creative Suite, all of that was not given to you. You earn’t that - so please, if someone doesn’t have money, make sure you only do it if there is passion involved because otherwise, get lost!
4. The Douche Radar - Tapping Into Your Gut Feeling
The Douche radar will come with experience I’m afraid but rest assured, it will come. Throughout the years, I’ve developed my own way of reading clients personalities and intentions very well. Designing for someone you particularly don’t like is a quick way to hating any work you make them, resulting in poor logo design. As an example, people who are very rude turn out to be - drum roll - you guessed it, they turn out to be rude and most likely don’t respect you or your profession. So when my Douche radar goes off, I politely decline and move on. I’ve had projects drag on and on because certain clients are just fucking hopeless and in some instances - TRY NOT TO PAY! That's right kids, that happens.
So by developing your own Douche radar you’ll have a lot more fun with projects. In the long run, you’ll start taking on jobs that you believe the person to be genuine and your best work will come out, I promise. Having fun means you get paid, your client is happy and your portfolio is bangin.
5. Avoid Being Sluggish
If you follow me on Instagram (@judyispunkco) you might have noticed I create a lot of icons, illustrations and vector art. This may seem obvious but its something a lot of people (including myself in the past) have skipped on. Always sharpen your tools, inspire yourself to be great at what you love - for me, my style is very minimal, so I try to always develop ways to say a lot with as little detail as possible. That's me and always will be. If you’re a typographer, you need to be lettering all the time - no excuses. Being sluggish, inconsistent and rusty will result in poor logo design and this will reflect on you as a freelancer and/or business owner with a shitty, outdated portfolio. Always be on top of your game, there is literally no bad side effects to this, you can only get better, get more work and as I always say - GET PAID.
Words - John Bresciani
Instagram - @judyispunkco
Copyright © 2017 Judy Is Punk ® All Rights Reserved.