As our blog continues we’ll be trying to give you some advice on things we’ve come across as Deadfish Design has grown and continues to develop. This blog is about a few tips on creating your own logo. For this I am presuming that there is a basic level of knowledge in Adobe Illustrator, or Freehand but my weapon of choice is Illustrator, however as vector programs they will both work well. The reason I chose Illustrator is that it is a vector program, so when you enlarge or shrink the logo, there will be no loss in resolution providing you work from the original .ai file.
I think a logo should be two things, Firstly make it as simple as you can, logos are not there to tell people everything about your business. Secondly its needs to be easily recognisable as your company logo.
This is probably the trickiest stage. Sometimes ideas can flow like a river, covering the page in a mass of doodles and typography, sometimes it looks like untouched arctic tundra. So, where to start. I always like to take the name and play with that, make the name into something, play with the initials. Does the name lend its self to an image, sometimes its a shape or groups of shapes arranged in a pattern. If you are going to include an image just make sure that its relevant. Example; Although there are no rules if your creating a logo for a builder, cowboys aren’t the best choice.
Whatever it is, just get it down on paper, any and every idea you have. I usually aim to cover at least an A3 sheet of paper, even more if its going well. Look at what other people have, what the other businesses in your sector have, the last thing you want is to have a logo that looks exactly like everyone else’s.
There now in-front of you should be pages covered in all manner of scribbles. You will have also noticed a couple you think would work quite well. This is where we take those ideas further. You can do this on paper or you could import the images in to Illustrator. Using the pen tool or live trace you can turn the images into paths to create your shapes. Play with any fonts see which work and which don’t, change the proportions, the angle, colour, size, shape. Sometimes you’ll come up against problems but thinking round them you can create a logo you may never have thought of. Adding a gradient, beveled edge, drop shadow or light effect can add
life and interest to the logo. Remember to save your progress often using different files.
3. Finished Final
By now you should have three or four images that would work well as your logo and its time to choose. Remember, having a logo that incorporates your company colours helps give a professional look and helps establish your brand. Look at your logo in context. Print it on a sheet of paper, like you would have it on a letter head. How would it look on a business card or leaflet? Does it look right on your website? To recap, your finished logo should be two things, simple and recognisable. As long as it fulfills these two basic criteria then you should have a logo.
This is only a brief guideline to developing a logo and you could go into far more detail. However as a basic introduction I hope it has been of some use.
Hello and welcome to the DeadFish Design blog.
First off I’ll tell you what we are trying to do. At DeadFish Design we aim to help businesses develop on and off line through tailored individual websites and printed media along with SEO to help get you going and free support for your first year. All with a friendly, personal, direct service that gets the job done.
The idea of starting DeadFish Design was born a year ago whilst Matthew and I were at BrightonSEO. Which proved to be a very useful and informative event, highly recommended if you are in this line of work. This was my first taste of what SEO is and how it works, I knew nothing about it prior to the event. Matthew was already running SEOevents.co.uk and we wanted a project for us both. I had studied graphics and illustration at university, so with my degree and Matthew’s knowledge of SEO and building site, DeadFish Design seemed like the obvious option.
But what makes your company different from everyone else?
This is where we started to think. As web design is already a very competitive sector we needed to make sure we did what everyone should do when starting a new business venture. So here it is, 5 starter steps for creating a brand. (Advanced steps coming soon).
Do your Research.
1. Is there anybody out there?
Simple. You don’t have to spend months or a fortune on a company to do this. Have a look on google, check the telephone book and local directories (remember them?), talk to people. See what other companies, that are doing what you want to do, are in your area and see what they are offering, how much do they charge? What impression do you get from their website? Who do you think would purchase their services?
2. Who is your market?
Is there a market for what you are doing? If so, who is it? What do they want? Who is your/their target market? For example, if you want to run a website advertising local music and there are no venues near to you, this is a bad idea, there is no market for what you are doing. However if you ran a website advertising local heavy metal music and all the venues played Jazz, then this is also a bad idea, you have failed to notice what your target market wants or needs. If you had a website advertising local heavy metal music and all the venues played heavy metal and nobody else had a website doing this, then you’ve found a want in the market, recognised your target market and fulfilled their wants.
Analyse everything you have researched and found. Like in the example above, is it feasible to do what you wanted to do? However just because there’s a a few people already doing what you want to do, doesn’t mean you can’t do it. But now you have your research you can see if there are any holes in the market. You need something that will make you different to everybody else, giving you an edge. This is only achieved through spending some time understanding your market.
This is where you find your edge. This will set you apart from your competition and make you different. Good analysis will help make it clear how you can stand out from the crowd and what you can offer people that would make them want to buy into you. Generate some ideas, don’t just settle on the first thing that comes to you, names, slogans, logos, everything associated with a business. If you end up looking like everybody else then you will probably fade in with the rest and be forgotten, like numerous 90′s boy-bands that now appear on talent shows.
5. Develop a brand
Once you have your logo, name and have started to develop an identity this is where it all starts to come together. If you can develop a strong brand then you will find things such as marketing and sales much easier. Company colours for letter heads and business cards give a professional look and help ties everything together. The strength of the brand is an important thing, the more powerful it is the less you need to use. Companies like Nike for example are recognised from a single Swoosh logo. See how the big companies use their logos, company colours and slogans to make their products instantly recognisable. Large organisations can spend millions on research and development, but hopefully this blog will give you some help doing
it on a much more modest budget. These steps should be repeated every so often, with steps 1,2 and 3 being regular. The better the initial research the easier each of the following steps will be. This should then lead you to having a business and brand that will be original and successful.
Hope this has helped and stay tuned for the next thrilling installment from…
…The DeadFish Design blog.
We hope you enjoy looking at our main website and reading our future blogs.