Collaborative Logo Design Principles

For some, getting a logo design just means walking into Fast Signs, giving an idea and getting a clip art type of design that someone spent 2 hours on a version of a logo, and they are fine with that.  If this is you, you may want to stop reading this, because this is not for you.  For others, their business or organization is more than that, it’s a family. It turns into a living breathing thing with moving parts.  Branding, in essence, is taking this and making it memorable.  Logo design is the visual foundation to these memories.

This type of logo design takes a collaborative effort. For instance, take the logo I  finished for the Lonestar Cowboy Cookers Rodeo Cook-off Team.  Designing this logo was a collaborative effort between Hughbanks Design, the point of contact within the team and the cook off team itself.  Main members of the team had a say in the design process.  This allowed a finished product that the whole team can feel they have their essence in.

It is very important to keep the idea of collaborative logo design in mind when more than one person will be presenting it and so forth. Why? Well, when you feel you had a hand in something you feel proud of it and can feel like part of the team. That makes selling or showing of product or item much more believable.  Even though I am the designer they are entrusting their logo design too, at the end of the day, they are the ones who have to live with it.

That being said, it is our job as designers to educate the included company members about the principles of a good logo.   These logo design principles are :

Keep It Simple

Nike is a great example of how simplicity can get a logo further than you’d imagine. A simple stroke can portray a lot about their business and leave a strong impression. The more complicated your logo gets, the more lost the message can get.

Make it Memorable

With thousands of logos out there, yours can get lost in the sea of visual communication. Your logo needs to have that quality that makes it stick out. For example, look at Twitter. Everyone ( who hasn’t lived under a rock ) knows what a solid blue bird means.  Twitter’s bird enacts an immediate thought or action. That is a memorable logo.

Should Be Timeless

Look at Coke’s  or McDonalds logo and you will see the same logo that was there 20 years ago.  Though you may not want to keep the same logo in 20 years from now, you do want to keep it for some time. You confuse your viewer on who you are if you keep changing your logo year after year.

Needs To Be Versatile

Will your logo look good on a mug? What about embroidery for shirts or hats. What about how it looks on a phone screen. Your logo has to flexible to fit the possibilities on its needs.

Needs To Be Appropriate

Your logo has to connect your viewers to the company.  It takes an understanding of who your audience is and what your business is about. Each color, font, and image strike an image or emotion in mind.  With that said, it really is a marriage of designer knowledge and knowledge from the business owner about their business.

With an emphasis on number 5, this just shows how important collaborative designing can be.  As designers, we may have the education, the tools, and the expertise to create a logo the business wants.  Yet we as designers need to remember that the company is the ones married to the design once it’s done.  With this in mind,  I encourage, you, the business owner, to get feedback from your partners, employees, ect.  This may make the process longer, as it will take more than just a couple hours, but the end result is worth it. In bringing company team members insight and ideas, and studying the company it is possible to create a logo that can be loved by all on the team and be happy in showing it off and showing how THEY help create a visual foundation that makes what THEY are doing memorable.