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Designing a logo can be a long and complicated process, doing things in a well organised and structured manner can save you hours…

Take the brief from the client and create a list of words describing the look and feel of the logo design. You should also research images relating to the company / create a mood board / or brainstorm ideas and words. Tsi are a data centre company so the look and feel needed to be business focused, but also to provide a strong icon that they are able to use elsewhere in their site or in branding material. This icon should reflect the data centre business through its look and feel – transfer, globe, worldwide, movement etc.

An important factor is finding out if the client would like an icon that they can separate from the word mark if they wish, as many companies request this further down the line. The earlier you can find out their exact needs the better, or it might mean going back to the drawing board.

It is a good idea to begin to some very quick sketches of ideas in your head that are itching to get out, they will inevitable look bad as they are just sketches, but they will help you once you start to digitally create the logo. Research competitor logos if you wish, but make sure you don’t sub consciously end up copying them.

Where to start?
Once you have taken everything into consideration and drawn a few sketches its time to start experimenting…
The Tsi logo I am creating requires a strong icon as part of the design, this means I will initially focus on creating the icon and the text afterwards. If it was not icon driven I would normally begin with the text.

• Create a new document
I use Adobe Illustrator as you can easily create high quality vector logos that will scale up to any size. I make my document 4000 x 4000 so you have plenty of space to experiment.

• From you sketches start mapping out quick shapes and designs to get them onto the screen quickly. From this stage you should start to see which ones will work and which ones are weaker. You might also base some of the designs on images you found during your research: The top left icons were initially based on a data centre room – the rectangles are individual servers.

• At this stage its very important to create as many different quick shapes / variations as possible in a short space of time. Once you can see which ones are providing the most potential you can narrow them down. Save the first page of initial ideas.

Tsi initial logo designs

Tsi initial logo designs

• Create a new document.
Copy and paste just a few of you favourite initial logos to the new document and begin refining them. At this point you may want to include the text to see how they will look together.

• Searching for appropriate fonts
Type the name of the company logo you are designing – if they have not specified if it should be upper case of lower case then test all options.
Copy and paste the alternative words across the page:

The font you use in a logo is very important and must reflect the company personality.

If the company is very corporate and public facing then a handwritten or calligraphy style would not be appropriate unless in very special circumstances; a plain sans-serif or elegant serif font should be applied. Equally if it is a logo for a light-hearted or quirky company then you are more likely to choose a fun sans serif font.

You can download a number of free fonts on the internet, but choose wisely; free fonts  are over used, look unprofessional, and sometimes will miss out certain characters that you might need.

• After narrowing down the fonts you like you can begin to place them with the icon.
Once you have a nice selection you are ready to put your initial logo ideas to the client.
It is generally good to do this at this stage if you want to check you are heading in the right direction before spending too long developing the logo to perfection.

Tsi logos and text

Tsi logos with text

• Create a new A4 document and neatly place your chosen logos, I would recommend between three and five logos as you want to give them choice but not to overwhelm. Deep breath and… submit your designs to the client.

Submit logos to client

Submitted logos to client

• Liase with the client to choose their preferred logo, take on their comments and refine away! Keep refining the logo until the client is happy. You may want to give them examples of the logo on their website as sometimes it helps show it in context.

Refining Tsi logos

The refining process can be long

• Once the client is happy you can play with different colour options, normally I would design in black/white/grey then introduce some colour at this stage; this is so the client doesn’t get overwhelmed with too may logos and colours at once. This in not always the way I work, it completely depends on the nature of the logo. If you already know what colours should be used there is no harm in introducing them sooner.

Hey presto the finished logo!

The Tsi logo

The finished Tsi logo!

My top tip for logo designing
When your eyes start melting into the screen, take a break. If you look at it for too long it won’t look normal anymore, sometimes you might need 5 minutes, and other times maybe a good nights sleep. It always helps to have a different set of eyes look over it too.

Happy designing!

If you would like help with your logo branding or company branding, contact
[email protected]

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