Here are the so far definitive laws of logo design that I practice. Are these and industry standard? Hardly. Should they be? Perhaps. As I have over 15 years of professional logo and design experience, there is a lot of thought and effort that has gone in to defining these rules. That being said, I am still doing my best to refine them and I would love to get your help and input to assist in that refinement.
The fact is, as every logo is supposed to be unique and memorable, so too are the rules that guide their creation. The goal here is a general set of foundational axioms that, depending on a given project, should be applied with various weight. In other words, the importance of each of these rules is specific to each unique logo. A logo that is heavily dependent on text, for example, might find that the most important rule is one related to letter space and kerning. A logo that is more iconic may very well find its foundational aspects to be more color or line-weight specific.
When designing logos the important thing to always remember is simple: A truly unique mark requires a unique approach.
here are the laws of logo and brand identity as I have so far refined them:
1. THERE SHOULD BE A REASON FOR EVERYTHING. – The line widths and thicknesses, the colors, the font styles the shapes, the spacing the overall ’shape of occupied space’, the negative space – all of this needs to have a reason.
2. EVERY ELEMENT EXISTS IN RELATION TO EVERY OTHER. THEY NEED TO BE CREATED WITHIN CONTEXT. - we have to think beyond the context of the logo itself here – we have to co0nsider its current and future usage, its various potential applications, etc., etc..
3. CREATE A SET OF RULES THAT GUIDE THE GENERATION OF EVERY LOGO. FOLLOW THEM PRECISELY. - As each logo is unique, each requires a specific approach. Create guidelines that will help you get to your final destination in a strategic, organized manner.
4. IF THE RULES COMPROMISE THE EFFECTIVENESS OR READABILITY OF THE LOGO, CHANGE THE RULES. - Sometimes, as we go through the process of development, new question and/or concerns arise. DO NOT IGNORE THESE! Embrace them, and alter your design strategy accordingly.
5. EMBRACE THE CLIENT’S PERSPECTIVE AS ANOTHER CHALLENGE TO THE FINAL DESIGN – NOT AS A ROADBLOCK TO YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS – this one is often the most difficult to embrace. However, if you do in fact have a strategy and a reason for all aspects of what you are doing, you can easily and effectively justify the choices you are making. In doing so you educate the client in the process, the result of which is at least better rapport with a better educated client. The more important results of this is a better educated client – a client that will make informed decisions rather then emotional subjective ones.
6. THE RESULT SHOULD BE A FINISHED PRODUCT. - What I mean by this is, the final logo should address all the questions and concerns of the client, the designer and the marketplace. As this blog has readily suggested, there are a lot of good ideas and good directions that are not taken through the important steps of refinement and finalization. The unfortunate result of this is potentially less impact on a exponential scale. If the final details are left incomplete, then you have not finished your job and have done a disservice to both your own integrity and your client.