The lovely Lola London, an LA-based photographer recently commissioned me to design a one-color logo for her business. She wanted a logo that was clean, modern, and easy to drop onto a variety of surfaces (most importantly, as a watermark for her photos).
*Logo copyright 2007 Lola London Photography.
When developing a logo, there’s nothing wrong with keeping things simple; if anything, take out anything and everything that’s not really needed. Some of the most popular logos are super minimal. Think of the McDonald’s golden arches, the Nike swoosh, or the Apple…apple. A good logo should stand out without ‘screaming,’ it should be timeless, and it should be legible at varying percentages of the original size. Is the logo still defined and easy to read at 50% of its original size or blown up to 200%?
When I design a logo, I try to keep the following concepts in mind:
1. Can the logo be repeated to create a pattern?
This can be useful for the back of a business card, related packaging, wrapping / tissue papers, and textile patterns. Even though the final outcome Lola needed was one color, she can easily use her L’s in fun patterns and play with varying hues:
2. Are the shapes of the logo simple enough that it’s easy to interchange colors?
Consider the eventual possibility of branding different parts of your company with the same logo in differing colors. (For instance, a photographer might have a division of art editions and a division of stock photography.)
3. If there’s text accompanying the logo, does it have the potential to look dated really fast?
Stick with classic Serifs and very basic, clean Sans Serifs (yes, Helvetica is a viable option!) Corporations are constantly tweaking their logos.
4. All those so-called rules that were covered in art school can help with a logo design.
Think about repetition, harmony and balance. Don’t be afraid to have fun with gradients and pops of color. Experiment and create a variety shapes.
In closing: A logo is always a sound investment; think of a it as a way of defining and differentiating yourself from your competition.