Website design has always been considered as a science – and a science shrouded in myth and complicated code! But if you’re going to survive as a modern-day website designer, you’re going to have to look past the traditional-looking reams of HTML and consider the actual branding of your website before you start adding in all that fancy functionality.
Clients want more bang for their buck these days and as a designer you will also be expected to suggest ways of branding the new website for the target audience. Your clients will want a site that communicates their business properly, and their logo is an important part of the layout. But how do you go about creating a logo that fits in with the company you’re trying to promote?
Points To Consider
The first thing to remember is that your logo says a lot about the organisation it’s going to represent. Consumers will associate the logo with everything the company stands for – this means that its design will have to inspire confidence and trust in the brand and an underlying sense of authority and presence. Before you start, do a little investigation into the logos of famous brands, as these have obviously stood the test of time!
What Should My Logo Look Like?
Your logo needs to look strong and simple if it’s going to have the desired effect. Create something that makes a statement without losing its relevancy. Make sure that it has a ‘classic’ look about it rather than let it succumb to the latest design fashions, as it will quickly begin to look dated.
Above all else, your design also needs to be practical. Speak to your client about how the logo will be used – is it being designed uniquely for the website or will it have to be scaled up and down for use on banners and business cards simultaneously? To make sure that the logo is multi-functional, we always recommend that you create the design in a vector application such as Adobe Illustrator rather than a raster application such as Photoshop. Vector graphics are made up of paths (straight or curved lines) that can be scaled quickly and easily, whereas the pixels and colours used to form the impression of an image in Photoshop lose their quality when the size of the logo is adjusted.
Choose your colours wisely. If the client uses a limited palate of corporate-looking colours, stick with these, as they will be associated with the business. If you’re starting completely from scratch, stick to a maximum of three colours and, as a rule of thumb, avoid shades that are too bold or intrusive.
Companies want a logo that still looks professional when printed in black and white. Don’t rely too heavily on block shading and test it out before you sign the project off.
The fonts you decide to use must look contemporary and, of course, legible. Make sure that any wording (ie subheadings) will still be readable if scaled down to tiny proportions.
Your Individual Logo Design Process
As with any web design work, it’s important to have a process in place that suits you. Develop your own unique logo design procedure and stick to it. While you can adjust it as and when you need to, here’s a good example of a basic logo design process:
- Study your design brief in detail to develop a good understanding of what the client wants. Take their needs into consideration above all else.
- Do some research into similar logos. Check out the logos of your client’s competitors and work out why they’ve been successful (or not!)
- Brainstorm your ideas and start your initial sketches. If you’re stuck for inspiration, stop worrying about time constraints and let your imagination run wild. Remember, the best designers have allocated weeks and sometimes even months for their logo design process, and added pressure will stem your creativity even further.
- Once you’ve finalised your idea, learn how to use your software according to your requirements. Choose an application that you feel comfortable with or that you have already used to produce great results.
- Send your first draft to the client and ask for feedback and recommendations.
- Make any adjustments if needs be. Part of offering great customer service as a web designer is being able to take criticism on the chin and change your designs if the client isn’t 100% satisfied.
- Finally, make sure that the logo is available in all necessary file formats for the client. You don’t want your customer to be chasing you for a file in a few months’ time!
Don’t Undercharge For Your Logo Design Service
A commonly asked question is ‘how much should I charge for my logo design service’? Well, your fee depends entirely on the amount of labour that went into the project. If you designed your logo as part of a wider branding job, it’s best to round up the costs for the entire piece of work rather than charging for individual components. The one thing you have to remember is that you need to charge an honest rate for your logo design – it can turn out to be a complicated process
Make sure you charge an honest rate for logo design – it can turn out to be a complicated process and if it’s good enough it will be of great value to the company anyway!