4 signs of a great logo design

Posted by Kellie Williams on 13 June 2014
4 signs of a great logo design

Make It Unique

Your logo should stand out and be recognized among others in the same market place. And keep in mind that a logo doesn't necessarily need to say what a company does. "The Mercedes logo isn't a car. The Virgin Atlantic logo isn't an aeroplane. The Apple logo isn't a computer," writes graphic designer David Airey on the popular logo design site Logo Design Love. So don't feel like your coffee shop's logo needs to show coffee beans.

Starbucks logo

Make It Adaptable

Strong logos translate well across different mediums. Will your logo have the same meaning on a business card as it will on a billboard? "Keeping the design simple allows for flexibility in size," writes Airey. "Ideally, your design should work at a minimum of around one inch without loss of detail." When a logo does not reproduce well on a small scale it causes problems for your brand's clarity and value. Also keep in mind that it should reproduce well when faxed in black and white, and when embroidered on your work shirts.

Target logo

Make It Appropriate

Who is your target audience? A logo needs to accurately reflect a company's culture and values: the company's essence. "Designing for a lawyer? Ditch the fun approach. Designing for a kid’s TV show? Nothing too serious," writes Airey. Doing some market research is critical, too. Colour can be a major attribute in determining the appropriateness of a logo design. We all know that different colors are associated with different meanings in different cultures. It's important to think about how the colors in your logo reflect your brand values and the services or products you sell.

Nickelodeon logo

Make It Timeless

In 1971 graphic design student Carolyn Davidson designed Nike's 'swoosh' logo. In 1995, Nike began using the stand-alone Swoosh (without the lettering) as its corporate logo, and continues to use it that way today. It's the neutrality of a design that makes a logo timeless - clean lines, modernist structure and neutrality.

Nike logo

Posted in: Logo Design  

New flat logo for Google

Posted by Kellie Williams on 7 October 2013

Keeping inline with the new 'flat is cool' design trend, Google finally released an update to their logo along with a cleaner home page for most users.

It's new flattened logo is cleaner, which is a much needed attribute when using a serif typeface and many colors.

The shadows and bevelling have been removed from the primary coloured lettering of the logo for a flatter appearance, while the colours are slightly more muted to give a more modern look.

 

Here's an excerpt from an interesting blog I read on this new trend of flat design:

No more “eye-popping” gradients or shadows

The term “Flat Design” gets its origins from the fact that it removes most if not all traces of drop-shadows, flashy gradients and extraneous textures from the visual design. Everything looks “flat”, rather than beveled, bulged, clickable, or inset.

On one hand this is a good thing, because it forces designers to focus on the content as the most central part of our design. It forces us to think about how to present the content in such a simple and compelling way that really gets to the heart of the issues and needs of our users.

Where it can turn ugly is when a designer takes this style to an extreme and removes all user-guides and suggestions from an element. You can see this on some websites where it’s hard to tell what is a button, or a clickable link.

The worst example would be a button to buy a product, except there’s no way to tell it’s a button unless you actually start clicking around. When you hover or “press” the button, nothing happens – there is no visual indication that something is happening or will happen in response to your action.

This is very frustrating to users – it’s just all around bad usability.

 

Strong focus on color

Another important aspect of the Flat Design style is a strong focus on color. Rather than limiting colors to the long-overused tones of “business blue” and “metallic chrome”, designers are experimenting with newer shades like web green, peachy red, and lilac purple.

As you know, colors are very powerful, and can mean the difference between an engaging design and something that offends or puts off your users.

The one thing to remember here is to not use a color just because you see it on another “cool” site. You really need to think about the company or product you are designing for, and what their message is.

So don’t simply grab the hex value of the latest and greatest “web green” design and plug it into your design. Do some research, find out what you want to portray with your visual design and then choose your colors accordingly.

Your color guide should be a lot different if you are working with say JCP or Vogue verses a large construction or demolition firm.

 

Beautiful Typography

Good typography is a key foundation of Flat Design. Because you have stripped away all the extra visual “fluff and shine”, there is a lot of room for really good typography to shine.

Webfonts have been around for several years, but we are only beginning to scratch the surface of what can be accomplished with them. More and more web designers are beginning to look to print for typographic inspiration. Web typography is getting better, but we still have a long way to go.

Typography is one of those things that when done well really exemplifies the message of the site. Instead of drawing attention to the fonts, you are drawn to the content and purpose of the article or app.

The disturbing fact about many websites is that good typography is often undervalued and tacked-on after the fact. Designers and clients alike have not given much attention to typography and taken advantage of its power.

In order to effectively communicate your message, as much time and effort must be spent on the typography as you spend on picking colors, and pushing-pixels to get things looking just right.

 

You can read the whole blog by Caleb Mellas here.

Posted in: Logo Design  

My top 5 really cool wine labels

Posted by Kellie Williams on 20 May 2013
There's thousands of varieties of wine and usually, when you’re looking down the aisles at the supermarket, very few of the labels really stand out. They’re usually quite generic and uninspiring.

However, there are a handful of wine companies who really go that extra mile when it comes to designing and printing labels for their bottles. Here are some of my favourites.

1. Boarding Pass Shiraz

Many people indulge in a bottle of wine during a long flight and this exceptionally creative label design makes that experience even more fun. The wine label is essentially designed in the style of a boarding pass with essential boarding information replaced with wine information. It looks great and no doubt goes down well onboard.

2. B Frank Wine

This label is only half designed for you; you have to do the other half yourself. B Frank Wine allows you to fill in the label yourself and let your co-drinker know why you’re drinking with them. For example, “I’m only drinking with you because…I’m about to fire you and you don’t know it yet”. The design is minimal and makes drinking a great wine even more fun!

3. Neil Ashmead GTS

Elderton Wines of Australia has bottled a wine in tribute to auto (and wine) enthusiast Neil Ashmead. The Neil Ashmead GTS, or “Grand Tourer Shiraz” features a racing-styled label bearing Ashmead’s signature. The bottle's coolest attribute, however, is its’ six-speed stick shift screw-on cap. It just makes you want to grab it like a gear shift and pretend to drive!

4. Honey Moon Wine

Lauren Golembiewski created the Honey Moon Wine concept as an annual gift to past and prospective clients in celebration of a budding summer. The “honey moon” is the first full moon of the month of June, known as the perfect moment to begin the harvest of honey. While the bottle is certainly an achievement of its own, Golembiewski also created the honey moon font to go with the label.

5. Laughing Stock Wine

The designers at Laughing Stock Wine took a literal approach to designing their label. A stock ticker twists and wraps around the bottle, displaying the basic details of the wine contained within - very quirky. The name of the wine is displayed as a stock symbol, “LFNG”, with the vintage year below it. In all, the design does an excellent job of conveying the character of the brand.

Do you have a favourite label?

Posted in: Marketing Package design  

Pick a Font - Car Signage

Posted by Kellie Williams on 24 March 2013
Pick a Font - Car Signage

Be terrific in the traffic!

Have some fun with your car signage and get noticed

Some businesses spend serious amounts of money having their vehicles sign-written, and in some cases fully vinyl wrapped, but just put the business name, logo and phone number, with absolutely NO information about what they do, or any reason why you should call them!

BORING!

Look at your work vehicles today and ask yourself: If a passer-by didn’t know anything about this business would they:

  1. Know what our business does?
  2. Remember the business name, phone number or web address well enough to look it up later?
  3. See a compelling reason to call the business?

I’ve seen vehicles with logos on all sides, but the business name doesn’t give the first clue to what the business does or what problems it solves, and there was no tagline or mission statement to give any hints.

Others do have a tagline...but the tagline was “Serving the local community” Umm...serving them by doing WHAT?!

Here’s a thought – if your tagline could apply to any business, not just yours, (even worse, if it could apply to a completely different industry) then it’s POINTLESS. Ditch it immediately and think of something that expresses your USP – Unique Selling Point.

So, is your business missing a massive mobile marketing opportunity to get more business?

Here’s some questions if you’ve got a business vehicle of any description:

  • Is it signwritten? If not, why not?
  • If yes, does it actually tell people what you do? (Hint: a company name like “ABC Plastering” doesn’t count!)
  • Does it give people a compelling reason to call you?  (“Established whenever”, “For all your whatever needs” don’t count!)
  • Does it convey professional contact information? (Yet another hint: email addresses like plastering1969@yahoo.com absolutely scream “AMATEUR!” – register a domain name and get a proper email address!)

One last thing – don’t make any text so small that you need to be too close to the back of the vehicle to read it. Remember, traffic is doing 60+ km/hr  – you do not want them to get 1 metre from your bumper to find out if your business might be worth contacting!

Posted in: Signage Marketing Car Signage USP  

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LATEST NEWS

4 signs of a great logo design

Posted by Kellie Williams on 13 June 2014
4 signs of a great logo design
Make It Unique Your logo should stand out and be recognized among others in the same market place. And keep in...
Posted in: Logo Design  

New flat logo for Google

Posted by Kellie Williams on 7 October 2013
Keeping inline with the new 'flat is cool' design trend, Google finally released an update to their l...
Posted in: Logo Design  

My top 5 really cool wine labels

Posted by Kellie Williams on 20 May 2013
There's thousands of varieties of wine and usually, when you’re looking down the aisles at the supermarket,...
Posted in: Marketing Package design  
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