Though I enjoy doing just about anything I do, I really enjoy doing logo work. Not because it earns me a great deal of money mind you, but more because doing such work often affords me the opportunity to shift my skills into maximum-overdrive, creatively speaking. Once I’ve got the basic research done, gears churn, buttons get pressed, and stick figures get drawn out with the sweep of my mouse. As fit & figure comes more and more together, ideas take shape, eventually realizing themselves in the happy faces of those I do such work for (and me, of course).
Take the logo for this site, for instance.
I originally began with the one you now see in the header, which worked fine while I got caught up sprucing up this new site. Once things cooled down a bit, I began focusing on what I really wanted to accomplish and how I might best represent myself in logo fashion.
Being a bit of an extrovert—the kind that will chat with total strangers on a crowded bus—the “hi” in “high” literally stood out in a rhetorical fashion (no pun intended). So I latched on to that, coupling it with my want to make my mountain climber a bit larger for those who might not have been able to figure out what the smaller version was. Mountain climbers and heights often go hand in hand, of course, and together with the hi in high peaks (where I currently live and work from), the two fit together like those hands and a pair of well-tailored gloves. This train of thought led to the version that resides just above this paragraph. Still, it wasn’t quite “there” yet…
Wanting to be able to use the logo for High Peaks Publishing in all kinds of places, whether this web site, on a business card and stationary, or even on a flyer I might mass produce, I decided it would be best to spell out the full name, then make the whole thing web 2.0 appealing (hence, the reflection). Finishing this work, I came up with the final result, which both represents what I am, the sort of person, as well as the quality and type of work that I do. I also like the idea that the coloring of the logo lends itself readily to adaptation, and that it’ll be easy to stick it just about anywhere:
All this really amounts to is something called branding (for the less knowledgeable), which has a great deal to do with identity (which is not necessarily the same as branding). One’s identity is very important when it comes to the business world, whether we’re referring to my, your, or some giant conglomerate’s. It should speak volumes about who one is, what one does, how well one does it, and create the sort of impression that makes for a lasting one—whether your brand, mine, or theirs, for that matter. And when someone experiences it represented in something like a logo, depending on the sort of experiences they may have had with those associated with it, they’ll hopefully be willing to try out your wares and/or services, and come back for more.
Logo Design Concepts
To ensure you and your stakeholders have a minimum understanding of the attributes which make for a quality logo that speaks your brand, a few basics follow which will come in handy when choosing and working with a logo designer:
- Your logo’s color: The color of your logo is very important, and can impact the way others view your organization and its offerings. For instance, the color blue tends to make us think about the sea/water and often conveys a cooling effect. Red on the other hand can impart a sense of danger or forbidden things, while green can impart a feeling of calm (e.g., grass, nature, etc.), the opposite effect. Using colors in the right context in logos can and often does manipulate people’s thoughts in positive ways.
- Your logo’s complexity and compatibility with a variety of media: The development of new media these past few decades represents an important fact in logo design. Historically, marks, logos and trademarks were used only in print; the quality of color and even style wasn’t as important as it is today. That said, a modern logo can be used in any number of ways, including print, in very high-resolution images, on a web site, a banner, business cards, the sides of a vehicle, and even on T-shirts. Today, the best approach is to keep your logo simple and versatile. A good example of this is Nike Corporations “Nike” logo, which is simply a small black swoosh; it looks the same on all types of media, and when people see it, they think “Nike.”This quality is also called versatility
- Your logo should be easy to remember and understand by everyone: Again, simplicity is the key to good logo design. In the creation of a logo, the human mnemonic value must be considered, as it greatly assists in determining what makes a logo memorable.
- Your logo’s shape: The shape of a logo is also important. A complicated shape can make a logo’s interpretation difficult, making it difficult for others to determine what it is/who you are (especially when sized small) which, in-turn, makes it harder to understand the message you want to convey.
- Your logo should be able to answer the questions who? what? why? A logo doesn’t have to necessarily explain what a company or organization does, but the logo should inspire (potential) clients and other interested parties to think of your services, products, and/or other offerings in ways your organization wants them to. In determining how best to answer these questions, you should keep that in mind.
On Different Types of Material
You can also have your logos added to almost anything, whether screen printed, stamped, etched, or engraved, on all sorts of materials like paper, cardboard, cloth, glass, stone, metal, and what-have-you:
Work I’ve Done
Following are just a few of the logos I’ve done for others, please feel free to browse them:
In Practical Use
Lastly, a simple example of [my] logo in use (as well as one of those QR codes that I blog about here):