Logos are everywhere we are, everywhere we look, and on everything we touch. Logos are a part of our daily lives and often times we don’t even realize it. Logos really have nothing to do with the actual value of the product being advertised; it’s more about the value we perceive of the product and the emotion we attach to that particular brand. Brands sometimes even provide a set of experiences and promises. “With the right branding, businesses can increase their product’s perceived value, establish relationships with the customers that span ages and borders, and nurture those relationships into a lifelong bond.”
But what’s really behind the logo? What is the process of design creation? How do you get involved with big clients? How do you present your design sketches for your client’s approval? And how do you stay on top in this vast design industry?
David Airey, a self-employed graphic designer from Northern Ireland, has been sharing his design expertise on his blogs davidairey.com and logodesignlove.com for many years and has attracted thousands of fans and followers. In his book, Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities, Airey brings his blogs to life in the hands of his readers. He share with his fellow designers the importance of logos and the identity they create, the detailed process of logo creation, how to set yourself apart from other designers, how to communicate with clients, and how to think outside the box and to stay motivated in the ever-growing design industry.
In Part I of the book, Airey talks about the importance of logos and brand identity and basic design theory. Logos are seen by millions of people globally and it’s important for designers to understand the intricate elements of logo design. An iconic and successful logo design is simple and relevant, incorporates tradition and aims for distinction, adapts to all sizes, and focuses on a single relevant attribute and commits itself to the public memory.
Part II is all about the groundwork and mechanics for the process of design. Understanding your client is the basis for success. Getting comfortable and being able to dialog openly with your client is key to success. Airey shares the vital role of the design brief and the significance of gathering information. Your client has hired YOU as the design professional! Ask your client questions such as, “How do people learn about your product, organization, or service?” and “What words do you want people to associate with your company?” It’s imperative for designers to have a mission and make time to research the field market. Bring to life your earlier discussions with your client using the exact words they used as their intended expectations and desires from the logo creation.
There is an entire chapter devoted to creating a redesign of an already existing logo, which can be a bit more challenging for both the designer and the established company. Know the reasons behind the rebranding of a logo and make sure they are sound. Focus groups can often provide valuable insight about the risks involved when rebranding a logo. Sometimes rebranding a logo needs an entire new look while other times a simple and subtle change can make all the difference.
Pricing is another question all designers have. Every designer, every client, and every project is different and unique. A number of factors should be considered when formulating your costs – your level of expertise, the project specifications, the expected turnaround time, any additional services or support, the level of demand, and the current economy. Airey also includes how to handle printing fees, down payments, the exchange of money, and the insignificance of spec work.
The last chapter in this section of the book is all about the actual design process. Creative designers are exceptionally passionate about life and see the bigger picture. It’s imperative to collect your thoughts to generate new ideas and spark your inner creativity. The sketchpad (yes, the paper and pencil method!) is just as important at any level of design. Start with black and white presentations to your client and leave color choices for the end of the process. This chapter also includes PDF presentations and incorporating Photoshop.
In Part III, Airey aspires to keep graphic designers motivated and creative. This section includes motivational tips from David Airey himself as well as other successful designers. Designers need to continue their education in the design industry to strengthen their business and encourage design growth. These tips from personal and professional experiences serve to help designers think laterally, improve communication and manage expectations.
The last chapters of the book are devoted to tips and helpful insights. Some are answered in further detail earlier in the book while others are brand new insights. Airey answers 15 critical and popular questions asked on his blogs and offers 25 exclusive tips for designers working in the design field. These last two chapters serve as a quick design course or a swift go-to guide.
The book is chock-full of design examples, from high-end clients to local businesses. There are design examples with positive results and even some with plummeting effects. David Airey clearly writes the book with the sole intent to motivate designers to creating the next big successful logo. His personal opinions and expert advice are truly priceless. This is a wonderful book for any person with a passion for logos and branding design.