Logo design tips from leading designers

Caleb Owen Everitt

Visual designer

“Observe; approach naively; research thoroughly; stay open; embrace mistakes; channel both your inner caveman and scholar; stop when you think you know the answer and let your subconscious work on it; listen to your intuition; stay playful; and seek satisfaction from the work alone – it will be obvious in the end result.” caleboweneveritt.com

The Gentleman’s Race icon for Stag Provisions for Men, by Caleb Owen Everitt

Bill Gardner

President, Gardner Design

“More logos live in an RGB environment than ever before. This mean a surge of identities crafted with technical gradations and transparencies. These can be beautiful and effective when paired with the right client, but this slickness can also strip the soul from a logo that needs a measure of the human touch. Gardner Design has created a library of naturally stippled textures that we’ve converted to vector. On an appropriate project, the subtle layering of these can create beautiful gradations that convey a personal connection usually lost by the digital tools of a design program.” gardnerdesign.com

SeaWorld Cares, by Gardner Design. A whale’s tail fins are cradled in a pair of hands, with a subtle gradation that gives the impression of them rising from the water

Robin Garton

Creative director, Maher Bird Associates

“You will never get a logo to say everything you want it to. The key is to keep it simple. It is its association with the brand and brand messages over time that then imbue it with meaning.” mba.co.uk

Everest (2010), by Maher Bird Associates

Sagi Haviv

Partner, Chermayeff & Geismar

“Understand clearly what the visual identity has to address and understand what makes the brand special. In terms of the design, always take the long-term view so it can endure and have a chance to gain substantial public and/or industry recognition. If your design relies on trends or the latest technology it will become dated and need to be changed. Use the form of the mark to convey an idea, while keeping it simple yet distinctive enough to be memorable.” cgstudionyc.com

National Broadcasting Company (1985), by Chermayeff & Geismar. NBC’s existing peacock symbol was reworked to make what has become one of the world’s most recognised trademarks

Richard Holman

Founder and lead creative director, Devilfish

“The logo is the objective correlative of a brand; it’s the soul of a brand made flesh. Its form should be as pure as possible, with no unnecessary adornment or frippery. It should be worked on as a craftsman works a piece of wood. Touched, trimmed and smoothed. For as we know, the simpler something appears, the longer it takes to create.” devilfishcreative.com

Studiocanal (2011), by Devilfish

Elsewhere on IDG sites

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