Logo design tips from leading designers

Tim Holmes

Design director, 1HQ

“Being aware of all of the competitors, and the way they are positioning themselves within the market, is key to finding a unique positioning. Try to create an identity that people can relate to, and instantly recognise. Think of what captures both the key emotional feeling and functional benefit and bring the two together. Finally ask yourself, can it be copied?” 1hq.co.uk

Arden & Amici by 1HQ. Arden & Amici sells Italian-made biscuits in the UK. Friendship is shown via the entwined ‘A’s and the English oak and Italian olive branch

Gareth Howat

Director, Hat-trick design

“When designing logos, one thing we have found really useful, is to run the prospective logo design out onto A4 paper and then mail it to yourself in the post. That way it turns up a couple of days later, and you open it while not thinking about it – it gives you a chance to put some perspective on the design and helps you decide if it’s any good.” hat-trickdesign.co.uk

Horniman Museum & Gardens (2011) by Hat-trick

Michael Johnson

Co-founder, johnson banks

“There’s a duty for every designer to look for the hidden ‘gift’ in a logo design. We were lucky enough to find it in our logos for Shelter (with its embedded ‘h’) and More Th>n (with its ‘more than’ symbol). It may not be there, you may not find it but you have to at least try. Otherwise it may come back to haunt you. johnsonbanks.co.uk

Science Museum by johnson banks

Justin Thomas Kay

Creative director and graphic designer

“Trust your gut as both a creative individual and a consumer. I gravitate towards product design that is both type-driven and bold or colourful. So, naturally, it seems to make sense to brand things as such. Be your own best customer. It is important for me to not lose sight of the fact that the work I create becomes a part of people’s lives, and they deserve to have something nice to look at.” justinthomaskay.com

One One Nine, by Justin Thomas Kay

Tom Muller

Design director, helloMuller

“Any logo designer should know to design in black and white. Colour(s) can be added later, as long as the basics work. If your logo needs a colour or any kind of effect to transmit its message, the message is lost. It’s easy to get lost in the glossy world of bevels, gradients and textures. But the best logos are always presented in pure black and white. Clarity is key.” hellomuller.com

ECE Architecture (2011), by helloMuller and New Studio London 

Elsewhere on IDG sites

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