You should know up front that I am The Logo Handler rather than a logo designer. I have designed a few logos in past times, but it isn’t my forte. Consumers entrust their logo to me for printing and marketing functions. While I cannot design you a glorious emblem, I can tell you immediately if the logo is going to cause you troubles on the way. I’ve spent the major part of my career dealing with corporate logos. Some logos are great and others certainly are a problem. They might be pleasing to the eye, but they pose an array of printing issues.
One critical mistake people make at the very beginning is to offer their designer little to no direction. They look for a designer, give them the company name and tell them to design a logo. Typically no more direction is given. Perhaps some preferred colors or perhaps a suggestion or two on symbolic that could be used, but that’s it. The business enterprise owner assumes that the artist understands the needs and parameters of company logo. From my experience, about 50% of the logos I encounter are centered on aesthetics only. While a watch pleasing logo is important there are numerous other things to consider that may play an important roll down the road.
SELECTING A DESIGNER
While it may be tempting to use a friend or family member who dabbles in graphic design (and are usually very cheap or even free) the logo usually ends up costing you later on. You are more likely to encounter issues with design egos and have to cope with time delays. They could also not have the technical know-how (bitmaps vs. vector, bleeds etc.). That is less of an issue for logo design but could cause major issues on other projects. However, don’t discredit these people. I’ve seen some great work come from aspiring designers and those who design as a hobby.
Regardless of where you discover your logo designer, ensure you review their portfolio and confirm these two criteria:
1. Find a designer that may supply you with a vector logo. If they can’t, get another designer. If they don’t know just what a vector graphic is, usually do not hire them!
2. Make sure they will give you the following files:
– The initial (vector) file from this program the company logo was designed in.
– A (vector).pdf of the company logo logo design .
– A (vector).eps of the company logo.
– Three high res.jpg’s of the logo design, one 2″ wide, one 12″ wide and something 24″ wide.
While your computer probably does not have a program that may open the first three files, make sure you have them on a disc in your workplace and stored away on your computer. Future printers and designers will need these files. See Images 101 for additional information on vector vs bitmap.
LOGO DESIGN GUIDELINES
In addition to a logo that looks good and makes sense for your business, ensure that your designer follows these suggestions. You also should run their designs through these considerations (color, size and shape):
Colors play an important role in a logo. Preferably you should keep colors to a minimum, avoid shading and keep colors separated. When printing color digital graphics you probably won’t come across any issues. Digital printers print graphics just like your color inkjet or laser beam printer. Generally, digital printing is pricey and is not always designed for non-paper items.
Keeping colors to the very least can cut costs. Printing applications for outfits, signage and promotional products will definitely cost more for every color. Promotional products generally have a set-up fee and a run demand per color. Screen printing will also cost more for each color. Design a logo design with a couple of colors or have a edition which you can use as a single color.
Tight color registration could cause issues. If your colorings are touching that’s considered restricted registration. Text that has an outline around it is just a good example. Promotional items that are silk screened or pad printed can’t always achieve this. Tight registration can also become a problem in case you are photocopying something in monochrome. Two very different colors can look like the same color and end up being a big black blob when photocopied. Avoid restricted registration or have a type of the logo it doesn’t have tight registration for these circumstances.
Color fading/shading can’t always be printed. Most non-digital printing programs print solid colors. Assuming you have a solid color that fades or tones right into a darker color or another shade you will need a modified version of one’s logo.