Computer ArtsFeature

Design a killer logo

Seven tips for creating a cracking logo every time, from David Azurdia, creative director at Magpie Studios

1: The first ingredient for successful logo design is a shared vision. Get the brief in place, and agreed by client and creative team alike. Know what you’re trying to cook before you start breaking eggs. Next, you need trust. Behind the most inspired designs, there’s usually a client who’s not only design-literate, but happy to go with the creative. Take the occasional risk. Believe. You’ll also need a bright creative spark, enough time and budget, and a pinch of good humour.

2: Try to understand your client’s business and audience as well as they do. What will they respond to? What makes them tick? Don’t dumb it down, or over-simplify. The answers that you come up with at this point can be put to one side and used later.

3: Every studio has its own approach to the next step. Chewing over the fat, list-making, sketching and collation of source material all play their part. Magpie takes a conceptual approach – that is to say, we aim to communicate a singular idea. We also believe that wit makes design memorable. In an increasingly disjointed and visually crowded environment, it can provide the cut-through that gets you noticed. It connects.

4: The best logos have a craft and simplicity to them. They’ve been through this process, drawn and redrawn until they communicate with clarity.

5: The difference between art and design is the client brief. Design decisions should be informed by what the audience wants to see, rather than personal preference. The brief provides a decision-making toolkit that enables you to look beyond the latest trend or aesthetic. Colour, typography and form all carry different meanings for different people, so it’s important to make choices based on what’s appropriate for a specific audience. At this stage, the answers that you came up with at the beginning of the process can be blended into the mix.

6: The taste test: the late, great, Paul Arden had it right when he prompted us to ask, “How can I make it better?” It’s the most important question in any studio.

7: It’s important to present your concepts in the right way. You need to show the thinking that’s been boiled down to a single mark. Take the client on the journey you’ve just travelled. Show them the dead ends that helped you to find the right direction. With a little luck, they’ll agree that you ended up in the right place.

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