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Posts Categorized: Design
paul
Designer, My Profile

Does a designer need to know how to draw?

I would love some feedback from fellow designers on whether a graphic designer needs the ability to draw in order to be successful. A blog I’ve been reading has an infographic that says that almost all designers say “No”. This goes against everything I’ve seen in my experience.

The act of drawing forces you to think visually. Designing is solving visual problems.

I know a lot of excellent designers, and all of them have some drawing ability. What do you think? Since I started designing, my drawing skills have increased a lot. Both practices help the other.

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Faux-gos

Like these logos? I did all three of them in about an hour. The reason it was so easy is because none of the companies exist as far as I know. I just made the art, then added a company name that fits.

This has been something that’s been a slight pet peeve of mine. I see a lot of logos that look amazing, and fit the company name really well. I think, “How did they ever come up with that?”

Then I find out by doing a little research that the company doesn’t exist.

The designer showed a lot of imagination, but never had to deal with the client request to come up with something unique to brand the company.

We’ve all seen 99% of the time, the client will choose the logo that we would LEAST recommend. This makes logo portfolio sites a graveyard of discarded ideas. I’m fine with that, because at least the designer was working within the bounds of the client’s brief.

But I wonder what percentage of the logos you see in portfolios like Logopond or LogoLounge are for actual companies. I don’t know if that’s ethical or not…on the one hand, it’s a great way to build up a sweet portfolio. Young designers just starting out have a hard time getting a portfolio without experience, and this is an easy workaround for that.

But, on the other hand, it’s showing work that never had boundaries…it’s more like showing a piece of art, rather than design.

What do you all think?

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10 Awesome Examples of Typographic Logos

This post is about the type of logo that some people call a LogoType. It goes by other names as well, but I’m referring to logos that are essentially text with very little graphic elements. Michael Lambert at Fredd Design calls them Alphanumerics. This is what he said on his website about this category of logo. “This type of mark is the most widely-used logo and we are bombarded with them wherever we go on practically whatever we see. An alphanumeric logo is your company or brand spelled out, literally, but the treatment of the typography is usually unique unto the name itself and can therefore be trademarked and be treated as a logo.”

You can probably think of many logotypes off the top of your head, because they’re so popular. Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, Microsoft, and Google’s logos are just a few examples. When done correctly, it can last for many generations and always represent the company quickly and confidently, without distracting the eye with graphics that can get stale over time. Plus, it shows creativity…I mean, look at Red Lobster’s logo…”wow, you’ve put a lobster that’s red above your text…how did you come up with that?”

10. The Ambigram
The Ambigram is my favorite kind of logotype, because it takes a lot of patience and skill to create. It also stays in the mind of the viewer, because the eye has fun reading it in different ways. Ambigrams are words that can be read in more than one way, so it doesn’t have to just be turned upside down. They can also be read from the side differently, or can have words within words.

 

 

 

 

 

9. The “Literal Embodiment”

This style makes use of the company name, turning it into a visual metaphor. It doesn’t work with all names, but when it does, it really works to represent the name. Employing this style also ensures that the logo will be remembered. But you can only use this style with certain names.

 

 

 

 

8. The AlphaGlyph
This is a design using the letters to create art, thus eliminating the need for a graphic. This requires the designer to really get familiar with the shapes of letters, and to explore many different possiblities. When it works, it works, though, and you can get some really elegant designs. It also helps reinforce the name of the company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. The Integrated Graphic
This style works when the graphic is meant to be not subliminal…the comapny really is sure about the product, and wants you to associate them with the leader in that product or service. Amazon does it with the smile that also means A-Z. Creating it takes a lot of thought into something that really represents the company well, and won’t need to be changes if the company shifts directions.

 

 

 

 

6. The Typography Lover’s dream
This is when the text is front and center, and gets a lot of loving attention to each shadow and curve. ANy supporting graphics are incidental, almost unnecessary, because the shapes of the letters have been lovingly massaged until they’re perfect. This may not be a very common kind of logo, but this style is getting more popular every day, based on a quick search on Behance.

 

 

 

 

5. The Monogram
A close cousin to the Alphaglyph, this is where the designer uses an acronym and make the rest of the text very incidental, using visual hierachy techniques. It’s good for companies that WANT be known for their initals, like HP, AOL, and VW. Usually this logo starts out its career as an alphaglpyh accompanied with the explanatory text, and then evolves into just the acronym once brand recognition is established.

 

 

 

 

 

4. The Typographic Crest
Very similar to #6, but this one is text enclosed in a shape. THis makes it good fora ll kinds of backgrounds, and easier to embroider. New York Life’s logo does this, and it’s never seen without it’s enclosure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. The Dangler
This style employs a descender or ascender from one of the letters being put to good use to describe the business. It could be a tail, a moustache, or a piece of food, as long as it’s joined with a simple graphic. A close cousin to the Integrated Graphic style, but it has the graphic apart from the text, so either can be used separately.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. The Hidden Graphic
FedEx did this and did it well with their hidden arrow. They’re fun to find, and I find myself constantly looking for this kind of thing. You can find it in Tostito’s, Staples, and Baskin Robbins. This example isn’t very hidden, but I think it counts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. The Calligraphic Wonder
I am really starting to appreciate this kind, because it takes a designer that loves typography. This style is also good for t-shirts, hoodies, posters, and events. It gives weight to the text, and shows that the company cares enough to take time with their message.

 

 

 

 

 

All of these logos were done by the talented designers at BusinessLogos.com.

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Logo Critique-Apparel US

Patricia sent us her logo to be critiqued. The company is Apparel US and, surprisingly, she is not a designer. It looks like a designer made this, because there’s a measure of restraint. Everything has a purpose. The stars are there to reflect the United States aspect. The colors are simple. If it weren’t for the gradient on the tag, I would say it’s a 2-color job (that doesn’t look like a halftone, it looks like a third color.

One thing makes me grit my teeth a little. Look at the space between the APP and the AREL. If you give it just that extra 10% that designers do before finishing a logo, then you catch things like this.

Other than that, you made a good looking, simple logo design. Good job.

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Logo Critique-NextGen Web Graphics


This logo was submitted by Mani, and it’s for a web design and development company. What does everyone think?

I think this logo needs some work. The custom X is making the logo difficult to read. It needs to be integrated better, perhaps by not using such a condensed font for the rest of the letters. It uses 4 colors, one of the colors being the black for the drop shadow. If anything is used in a logo, it needs to have a reason. Is there a reason for the drop shadow? Not really, and it’s not even consistent with the letters and the X graphic. The Blog text is enclosed in brackets, and I don’t know why. The whole thing looks disjointed and incoherent.

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