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Logo Design 101

Lesson 6 of 22

Logo Design Research

Tim Frame

Logo Design 101

Tim Frame

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Lesson Info

6. Logo Design Research

Lesson Info

Logo Design Research

First phase of the project is going to be your research uncle's research should be to gain understanding in sight to the client's business organizations culture the target market, our target markets who were their clients who that who were the people that they're trying to reach your market too um also generate a little and then another goal is to generate a list of key words that reflect the character and attributes of their particular organization and that's our actually use some key words you know exercise this afternoon and tryingto concept comes and then also um identified different ways or or what is unique about the client what differentiates them uh themselves from others that are in the same similar market that has similar products and services um maybe direct competitors are in direct competitors um this might not necessarily be your job but it's one of things that you can leverage uh possibly lovers into design into design concept um sometimes you know and, uh I work for a b...

igger firms where the research component is you know, they're they're interviewing everyone from the ceo down to the you know, the person that cleans the bathrooms and you know I mean the lowest man on the totem pole so it's uh it's very different in a lot of times you get a lot of answers, you know, from top to bottom but you you know, a lot of times, it's just a thing where and I think golf ball into this in some area of our lives or whatever, it's like we're just on autopilot and we can't see the forest for the trees because we we we're just we're just in the, you know, we're in the groove, so sometimes they say, you know, these things kind of stand out in this way that you can add values, your services, you know, they even not just someone who who is going to make graphics, but who can help formulate thinking that, you know, your graphics should be, you know, an execution of the formulation of your of your thinking and, you know, all the clean from, uh, from the research process. Um, first step would be to review the current identity if they have one again, if it's ah, you know, if it's a starting to start up a new business, there might not be anything existing there, but this will help you familiars eyes yourself with the company. Um, I want scofield list local applications so anything that they've applied the logo too and again, one of the reasons you want to see that you will help determine what like their most important application is because sometimes I can actually impact the design uhm you know if it's a process where there are like limit like embroider if it's the most important thing is employee uniforms and it's like an embroidered version of the lovable there's only somebody thread colors you know that you can use so you can't you know you can't create something in a color that this can't be embroidered and also you can't do you know you can't get a tremendous amount of detail in a three inch embroidered patch so you can't like six point type or you know, whatever marking materials, mission statements, press releases any type of publication newsletters on going through those not only help you familiarize er with a company but we'll help you identify some of those key words that were looking for that again can be leveraged as possible to ride design directions and logo concepts I'm also any reports that they might have um first step would be kind of review the category landscape so this could be related businesses um just see what else is out there. Um it is for a couple of reasons one of you will ensure that you know you're not going to come with my idea that's already been you know, that's already been done by one into by somebody else in the same industry um so that could help eliminate that before you actually go through the process of designing something and finding you can't use it um you also it also help you sort of see what's you know what our common like what our common themes are things that you know are cliches that air used over and over again that you need to stay away from just for a second not being you know you can't be unique if you doing something similar that's been used a lot um and then um also looking at um related industries um so review like not only similar businesses on competitors but related categories so on you'll see an example that we're going to use the class so for today's class again we don't have you know we don't have the luxury of having a lying and being able to go through, you know, two week process or, you know, whatever info we were trying to cram a lot into a full into a full day so it's gonna be a logo for an institution that conducts rigorous intellectual and physical training for dogs? I figured whenever a chance to do something you know something personal I'd like to do something fun but like stuff that I like to do is like, you know, like vintage cars and stuff that is very male male oriented, so I figured this is, you know, everybody likes dogs and so I thought this would be a good one that everybody could relate to especially if you had a dog that misbehaves all right, so let's look at uh we'll call it you can call it your city or state who's actually is a california canine academy so there's the name isn't necessarily unique um but but again when I looked at examples of um what exists there is nothing there's nothing right now unless I feel like one good lago after just like, you know, going through the whole google search until I ran out of images so um and you want to look what's out there to make sure that you're not going to do anything that's too somewhere what's all party thing done um and I'm not gonna spend a lot of time here but look at this and notice what the cliches r because we're going to use we're gonna use those to some degree in our exercise or at least be aware of them and then um like related categories so for instance, if we're you know we're doing a drug dog training thing um we might look at like dog food, other other products that are marketed to dog owners, other products or services that are marketed to dog owners what's going on what's going on there so something that might be just something that's like a different approach that you know that's very different from dog training but it relates so there might just you know there might be something that would spark an idea there our approach that you know is relevant um or you know, maybe a dog park si on to new things I could think of, you know, dog food dog park that were in that maybe like veterinarian service you know, like a veterinarian service or something um but again just look beyond the category and even, you know, even look beyond dog related stuff this's an opportunity just to look uh you know, just to look att all kinds of stuff I um I like looking at um you know, pinterest and instagram like I file of sign painters and like people take photos of vintage signs and packaging and stuff like that and um I think you know, really analyze it for a long time, but I think what I really like about that is that they had somebody like during the thirties and forties fifties they had so many limitations because they had limited colors you know, they didn't didn't have digital type, you know, usually if you design something, you do the illustration you letter the type and you came up with a layout layout it was like one person did everything and so there's just a lot of creativity with the limit with the limitations that they had even like praying processes and things like that so you know, don't limit yourself to this but that's a good place to start so since it's an academy might make sense just to look at it like educational academies and artist. What? One level? Um, charter schools now almost all called academies. So there's, you know, since it is an academy there's something that you know, even though it's for dogs, maybe there's something can be leveraged from, uh, imagery that used for academies, or even like universal logo's, um, it's probably motifs and shapes and things that might be relevant to incorporate their, um, all right client interview. Um, after doing some visual research. Um, next thing is to is to interview the client and again, you've already gotten sort of the basics of information and some of that you can use certainly going through the materials will help making filming with them, but probably also raised some questions. Then part of research we'll talk about is actually, like looking at competitors to and doing an analysis between the client that you're working for their competitors. Questions to ask in the initial interview and again, you want to tail of these according to you know what? Maybe we've already learned or what type of, you know what type of client it is? Um and it's it's best to do this like in a conference call I mean, that might be a thing where they're just you know you have to email them and then they send you the answers back and then you follow up with a conference call but it's good to get these it's always best to get information first hand um first is they're significant significance in the company's history can we not relevant if it's a start up some companies you know, pregnant ones have been around for a while sometimes it interesting like an interesting heritage story uh that can be leveraged what are the company's most important goals? This will help define you know, uh, who they are and you're in your mind have you better understanding? Um what is your company's greatest asset? What words best describe your company so you know, even if it's three words and if you're going with more than one person you're probably in again, you know you're gonna get a couple of the same words but you'll have different words. Why would someone change your company over a competitor or somebody off who offers the same products or services? So is there something that you'd do better also something to be better than anyone is their competitors either director indirect or brand that you admire and why? What is it about them that you admire and why um also it's really important because you're you are designing for your client because you're tryingto design something that fits with their corporate culture and the people in the company you want them to, you know, to embrace it and feel like they're part of it too, but ultimately you're designing also, you know, because there won't be a company if they don't have, you know, if they don't have customers, there won't be a company, so ultimately you their success lies in reaching their target audience or audiences. Um, and that usually on you get depends on the size of the company, but like the larger the company them or demographic research, they torment they normally d'oh, as far as finding out capturing information about their customers to know who's, buying their products and services. Eso you think, like a gender, education, income, ethnicity, anything else that's unique or anything else that's unique about their customer base? Um, and then, you know, what are the most critical applications of the logo? Um, two reasons for this later on, we'll talk about presentations. Um, you're going to use an application of the logo to push the concept that you want to see them go forward with, um, so help help them visualize, you know, how the local allies you design and you like looks for for them, uh, really help them help them solidify what? How it's gonna look an application but also again for the thing that I just mentioned, you know, if their primary iss of ah of the logo is something is very low tech and as you know, has limitations that's actually going to affect your that's gonna affect your design. You're gonna have to simple. You have to keep it, you know, keep it simple. Um, are there any non negotiable items or issues? So, I mean, you know, sometimes I really think that I like, you know, you cannot use the color blue or I don't want that I don't what it is or easily it has something to do with, you know, they want to disown, disassociate themselves from a competitor or something, and competitive does, um, you know, or there might maybe nonnegotiable ofyou have to, you know, you have to use this typeface or you have to use, you know, especially with the rebrand it's like, well, we want to keep our colors or at least we want to keep one of our colors are we want to keep in the same, you know, sort of in the same, uh, range of hughes or something. It's always good to find that stuff out of the front rather than once you present something and it's like now you know you're not allowed to do that we forgot to tell you that um nothing are there any any trends or significant changes in your industry that could impact your business on actually sometimes this is this is actually a reason could be a reason that they're doing the rebrand in the first place and then lastly is there any other information that is important or relative to the project um and then if time allows and again you should you know budget this uh budget this into your budget if you can is to do a site visit because I'll see an undercover boss or at least from my seen part of it um it's going you do gain insight you know from actually like going through you know going through the process and you may not do the actual work or whatever but you can really get a good sense of what they do and how they do it and what there you know what their employees cultures like and so forth by doing it like doing a site visit um you know or if they have a store shopping us or whatever it is is this uh you know immersed herself in the client's world to whatever degree you can yeah not everything can be discerned from research on the internet firsthand uh so again, if there's any way possible, I would recommend that you experience you would experience the company through the eyes of your client or their customer. Um, competitive analysis um so you can do the same thing you did for your client is gathered whatever market materials you can from competitors and then actually compare them like individually if they're assures compare brochures the language of the use, the silent imagery and then kind of the goal is to find identified both similarities and differences again, this might help you solve identify appointed differentiation between your company, their clients or at least be ableto, you know, be able to suggest something based on what you say. Okay, so what, you want to come away so the minimum things you want to come away with from the research is, uh, list of factors that differentiate the client fact or factors that different help differentiate your client from others who have the same offer and then, uh definitely a list of key words words that you have come across the or that maybe the client has given to you are expressed in interviews that reflect the character and attributes of the organization again, we're going to use those in an exercise this afternoon that's actually, one of the exercises were generating a list of key words, or at least expand upon some key words questions? We do have some questions now I know that was a good introduction what we're doing we're gonna be covering a lot in our session now I want to ask any questions here from yu guys I saw a lot of furious note taking we covered a time we looked at so many examples before we wrap up the segment. Any questions from our students in here first if so yeah grab grab a mic and go ahead and ask your questions my question is more about the process and how you work you mostly working vector are for for the final well yes and no for everything is everything is digital now it has to be in digital format so the final are yes um you wouldn't use anything other than a vector program because victor's not resolution dependent so it's completely scaleable um and you can also say that you know, illustrator um what you save it out in all kinds of different you know you can save it out for a cad file if you want um it's very flexible all the different types of image miles you can just go around and say if you go to export and exported you khun you know set the resolutions of the resolution and equality and so forth but yes, it needs to be victor thank you most vendors like once you get beyond just printing like fabricators for like sign ege or cutting vinyl or they almost all use you know actually use illustrator or the vector file of a lot of actually have to have the vector file itself to your clients when you're starting out do you generally send all those questions in a form and do you collect them and it's like a database or just right take notes and free again? I mean I have ah I have a general list and then I sort of start with that and then taylor those questions to the client uh I may need add you know, I mean, did it mean add a few or you know, a couple of may not be appropriate for that type of client or whatever or there may be additional once that air needed that's more tailored that's uh it is but there's basically tailoring you know, some general questions and then adding expanding on that for that particular you know, for that particular client or questions that come up when you're doing your initial research, I think it's a long time to use know nothing about you know, you know, a general sense of what they do, what you until you get into it, you really don't have a good understanding of who they are and what they do and how they do it I've got some questions from our online audience as well people have submitted I'll start off with this one. Shelly posted this and had five people vote on this, so people were curious, but you had mentioned when you were going through some of the examples logo's thatyou were really proud of our favorite logos you had worked on and shelley's question says they're wondering what makes you have a soft spot in your heart for certain projects. Now, why was something a favorite logo that you've done? Was it because of the final product? Was it more about the experience or the process with it? How do you decide on what you think are your favorites? Um, I think, you know, when you can, when you can kind of hit on all cylinders where you come up with a solution that's, not on ly like great from an aesthetic design standpoint, but really aggressive, you know, it was like the perfect solution to resonate with the client in their audience and who they are, you know, and who they are just, you know, there's it's just, you know, it's like the perfect solution, which is, you know, uh, heart it's difficult to achieve, but, uh, and then it sometimes I just think, it's, when you kind of push yourself on dh, you know, and force yourself to do something that you're not comfortable with and you know, maybe tto learn something you didn't know you know that's going to take you longer making more invest more time and then you know, there's actually a big payoff from that we'll wrap up with one more question but we had several different takes on this question but they're all kind of similar topic and you mentioned about kind of looking to see if it's something you created was original and seeing the goat okay, no one else had had created this before but a few people at similar questions and they want to know specifically what methods do you use to find out if if they are original? Um just I actually I use uh local launch site I don't have any money with that it's basic a big database of nothing but logo designs that uh uh started by bill gardner gardner design uhm so for a subscription you can post your work on their basically cheese I think the best three thousand logo's every year and published them in an annual so it's it's probably one of the first places I go to make sure that you know because, um there are some there it's a database and it's searchable by searchable by subject or by design firm or whatever and then you know a general internet search but there's other other site there's also other sites that have a lot of logo content, pinterest and uh dribble and things like that so I trying to hit as many as you know trying his many as I can um we're gonna talk about this a bit later on but um obviously a trademark search if um that's not not that big a deal for like a small business you know or a mom and pop shop or you know even just like a local on a local medium sized business but it's something that could you know that this a person's ideas to take this nationally and you know kind of anyone that's on the you know you sort of our international business if you're on the way you know if you think about it here on the web um so you can do what you can do trademark search that's that's actually um well there's two things you can do you can hire a lawyer to do like extensive search which will cost just on unbelievable amount of money or you can actually search the government's database ah the trademark its patent and trademark office so you can put in just you know you can put in the name and it will uh it will come up with anybody that's registered trademark with that name and what they do uh it's um so you can you can you can definitely probably if there is something out there that's in you know that's in use and been registered you'll definitely will definitely find that um yeah I think it's like you probably would encourage your your client teo actually trademark registered trademark we're gonna talk about that later on there's definitely advantages even though we have rights when you use us when you use a little go for goods and services you have trademark rights once you start doing that you don't have all the benefits of being registered a za registered trademark there's definitely advantage with that but that's something you want and tried mentions it again we'll talk about contracts you know you want to state somewhere in your contract that the client is responsible for trademark sir you know for trademark searching for trademark services and put that responsibility on them because again there's all different levels you can you know there's all different levels that you can do but that also you know I mean you can you can incidentally you know easy that we're all working the same type fonts and colors and programs and uh we have similar you know we have similarity is we use similar motifs and so forth so it's totally possible to create something unknowingly that's very much like something that's already out there um yeah you do you do what you can you do your research um and then you know basically encouraged the client you know before they roll this thing out before they roll this thing out your trademark surfer and or apply for trademark registration

Class Description

A logo is a visual representation of a brand. And when you are relying on one single physical identifier to encapsulate a brand - the stakes are high. Find out what you should know in Logo Design 101 with Tim Frame.

Tim has been in the branding business for more than twenty years. He’s designed logos, icons, brand identity systems, and retail graphics for companies of all sizes. In this class, he’ll teach you the complete process for creating an effective logo – from start to finish. 

You’ll learn about:

  • Researching and gathering relevant info
  • Concepting, refining, and rendering a design
  • Producing identity standards and basic style guide
  • Considerations for making color decisions

You’ll learn about the four primary logo types and the strengths of each style. You’ll also explore how to work with Adobe Illustrator to produce a logo that can be used in print and online.

Logos are a core part of every brand identity, learn how the experts conceive, develop, and produce them in Logo Design 101 with Tim Frame.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Client Logo Presentation Format.pdf

Logo Standards Guide.pdf

Manipulating Letterforms.pdf

Manipulating Letterforms by Hand HD.mp4

Manipulating Letterforms by Hand LOW.mp4

Manipulating Letterforms in Adobe Illustrator HD.mp4

Manipulating Letterforms in Adobe Illustrator LOW.mp4

Bonus Materials with Purchase


Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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a Creativelive Student

It's an excellent beginning class, as is stated by the instructor during his introduction. This class has several facets, and only someone with zero knowledge would need them all. There were some really wonderful information shared on how to ferret the needed information on the clint and competition. If you are looking to better serve a client this is a great class. For those looking for an advanced class this would not be a good fit, as this is only a beginner class.

Rajat Shanbhag

It is an excellent class that has all the foundations laid out precisely and concisely. I really appreciate Tim putting in all the effort and simplifying the process for beginners and pro's alike.