I have had a shelf of graphic/art related books for some time now and I have used them often for reference reasons in my studies. Well I was thinking to myself the other day, when am I actually going to READ them rather than flick through looking at the pretty pictures. Yes, design is pretty much all visual and you do tend to “judge a book by its cover” but I thought its about time I read behind the images that I’m so fond of.
So to start off my self-initiated educational reading, I picked up this book. Logo-art, Innovation in Logo Design by Charlotte Rivers. As most of my work is observational drawing rather than clean cut graphics I thought this would be the perfect start to broaden my horizons. I started reading this on the train just to pass by the time but I found it really interesting and managed to finish it in two reading sessions.
Throughout the book, are miniature interviews with well-known designers. They are all asked the same questions and so as a task I shall answer those same questions myself to try and get those creative juices flowing academically rather than just visually. So here are the questions and my responding answers:
What do you think makes a good logo?
To me a good logo must be memorable, bold, informative but simple. Simple logos tend to be the most effective, if there’s too much going on the client won’t bother to try and ‘decode’ the imagery and just look over it rather than look at it. If the logo is understood instantly then the client is more likely to remember it for future use.
What are your three favourite logos?
My top three logos are pretty recognizable and that is one of the main reasons I have chosen them. First of the three: the “Tongue and Lip Design” logo for The Rolling Stones was created in 1971 by John Pasche, I just love this image purely for the aesthetics, everything about it works and screams the attitude the band was famous for. Another favourite of mine is the “FedEx” logo which was designed in 1994, by who I cannot remember. Yet again its simple, bold and clean but my main reason for liking this logo so much is the hidden symbolism it contains. I was amazed to find out that there is an arrow hidden in the text, this took me and embarrassingly long time to find, how long is it taking you? I love how it is done, the designer has used the void space around the text to add to this design, which just adds mystery to this well-known text. My all time favourite logo is the “I Heart NY” logo designed by Milton Glaser, its simplistic and yet iconic. This was designed as advertisement for New York, Glaser designed this thinking that it would only be used for a couple of months, little did he know that it would become world-known and continue to be just as popular 30-years down the line.
When approaching the design of a logo, what inspires you?
As mentioned above logo design is not something that I do very often but I would approach it in the same way I would approach any kind of brief. I would write down key elements such as the name of the company, will it be image or text based? Or perhaps have both? Things like this I would jot down all on the same piece of paper, then I would read it over and highlight things I think a crucial and work from there.
In some cases there are many places a logo may need to be applied – how much of a consideration is that when designing a logo?
Logos these days are used not only in print but on screen, this is the modern way of design and therefore not to get left behind, it is important to stay up to date in these matters. Ideally you would like a logo that can be used in any media. A key element of this would be scale, does the logo look just as aesthetically pleasing 10ft tall as it would at 100px? Things like this are important to consider if your client intends to advertise on the internet, magazines and bill-boards.
What is the most important job for a logo to do?
The most important job of a logo is to inform the public what it is trying to represent. What is the point of having a logo that does not have any connection to what it was designed for? It is also very important that the logo is memorable, if people remember the logo 90% of the time they will remember the company it’s for.