Archive for June, 2012
July 4th is a special holiday in the US, as millions of Americans celebrate Independence Day (also known as the 4th of July). It is a day of promise and accomplishment, when proud Americans look towards the future with hope and reflect on their sacrifices with a great pride and perseverance.
Red, white and blue colors are very symbolic to Americans and can be seen everywhere in the days and weeks leading up to Independence Day. From coffee shops to online stores – everyone adds a touch of these colors wherever they can. Some companies even alter their websites and logos during this time to show their American pride. Red, white and blue are the colors of the American flag, but do you know what these colors stand for?
Since the 4th of July is just around the corner, I compiled a collection of logos that utilize the American flag and its colors. I like to call this my American logo collection. Given below is the meaning of each color and some important symbols used in American logos.
Red – Power & Bravery
Some people think the color red in the American flag represents the Native Americans. In truth, red symbolizes mental and physical strength and courage. It is meant to remind Americans that they are tough and their bravery is only surpassed by their ability to stay strong. In more general terms, red is seen as a color of power but it also tends to represent passion, love and attraction.
White – Purity & Innocence
White symbolizes innocence and purity in the American flag. This representation is common amongst most outlets.
Blue – Awareness & Perseverance
In the American flag, blue represents a lot of qualities efficiently and effortlessly. It represents perseverance and a never say never attitude, which translates into the American people’s persistence to ensure justice for all. It’s a commonly liked color and also is seen to symbolize authority, loyalty and professionalism.
Popular Symbols Used In American Logos
The bald eagle is the national bird of the United States of America; it represents the soul of America and its freedom. It is a common image used not only for its symbolism, but also its majestic look and immense strength. Many government organizations, sports teams, national companies and political parties use the American colors and bald eagle in their logos in order to emulate these attributes along with patriotism.
A hawk is also another bird whose symbol is used in many American logos. It has similar qualities as the symbol of the bald eagle. Another common symbol is a bull. A bull represents raw power, strength and loyalty, which is why you see many sports teams and financial companies using it.
The American Flag’s colors and its symbols ultimately represent multiple attributes and features that are also reflected in American logos. They represent USA’s history, its present and can even attempt to predict the future.
We wish you all a very happy 4th of July! Enjoy your celebrations and be safe.
June 29th, 2012
Symbolism is a standard design features that will set an extraordinary logo apart from an ordinary one. They say actions speak louder than words, but when it comes to logos, symbolism speaks volumes.
Today we’ll go over a few symbols, decipher their meaning and see how they were made into a commercial success. We will talk about how symbolism helps a logo stand out as it is an integral component of many famous logo designs.
Distinction Between Symbols & Symbolism
Many people make the mistake of thinking a symbol is the logo itself; that’s not always correct. In fact, a logo is actually a collection of symbols merged together to form a graphic shape. This shape then becomes the symbol for a company (or what it’s representing). You can see how this may be easily confused.
Symbols Impact Humans Visually
The human mind is curious by nature. Our history is full of ancient symbols that we have spent decades deciphering in order to understand the message behind it. Using symbols in a logo design has a similar effect. It invokes the need to determine what the logo symbolizes and stands for.
Utilizing Symbols In Logo Design
A symbol can be anything, but a good symbol will be easily associated with a specific company. The meaning of the symbol will also be easily conveyed. Animals are a great example of symbols within logos.
Take the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) logo for instance. The organization uses the image of a panda to stand for its message of peace and preserving life. People can easily look at the logo and understand the relation of the company to animal welfare. A panda, being a loving and rare animal, also gives the feel of welfare and safety. In the same way, objects can be used in logos to convey a theme and a message. Another example of this is the table lamp in the Pixar logo.
The Target logo utilizes the symbol of a target, including the bulls-eye. The symbol represents a variety of things including precision, aim, goal and win.
Most are familiar with Nike’s logo. Even without the text, the swoosh alone is instantly recognized. The swoosh design has many meanings such as accuracy and speed. The most important meaning being ‘right’ or ‘correct’ as in the right choice, or the right way.
Apple’s logo is another great example of symbolism in logo design. Today this logo symbolizes sleek and innovative Apple products. The apple is a slightly controversial symbol. Many associate it with Newton’s Apple, the forbidden fruit from the ‘Garden of Eden’ or the fruit from the tree of knowledge and so on. Some may see Apple’s logo in a different light, but in the end it stands for knowledge.
The E!TV logo is one of my favorites. It is so simple and unique and its symbolism speaks volumes. The logo is a simple exclamation point and can be taken in a literal sense. Symbolizing excitement, importance and urgency of the news the channel spreads. Gossip and celebrity news tends to be exciting, don’t you think?
To get a better understanding of symbols, graphic designers should browse through brand logos that are internationally recognized. Understanding the client’s niche and industry is also a very vital component of logo design. It can help you create a symbol that the audience can relate to. Symbols are one of the most dynamic tools available to logo designers today. They should be used to create a brand identity for a company, since they go a long way in capturing a target audience with their depth, message and theme.
June 24th, 2012
When it comes to graphic design, it can be safely said that if you don’t know your tools, you will not last long in this field. While creativity and vision are two of the most valuable attributes for any designer, if you aren’t familiar with the latest tools you will not be able to achieve the designs you want.
With that being said, we’ve put together a list of five productive design tools that every designer should master before embarking on any projects. These tools have been tested in the field and are guaranteed to boost your productivity.
We might as well start with the basics. Mastering Adobe Photoshop should be the very first thing on any designer’s list. Photoshop allows designers to create website templates, new or modified graphics and also to edit pictures. These features make Photoshop an invaluable tool. For the technically inclined, some of the advanced features of this software include layering, color correction and more.
What you can’t do with Photoshop, you can easily do with Illustrator. This is the bread and butter for designers today and an absolute must when it comes to boosting graphic design productivity. Using Adobe Illustrator, you can tackle large-scale complex projects that rely heavily on cool nifty graphics, make amazing graphical reports and create logos.
If you are a web designer than you should already be using this tool. It’s easy to use and since its release it has become the primary tool for web design. Fireworks allows users to work with a variety of images, giving them a blend of vector and bitmap tools, safe file import options and built-in prototyping options. Designers can use the full range of options for creating beautiful designs.
Adobe InDesign is a versatile page designing and publishing application. It gives graphic designers complete control over graphic design, whether its print or digital. Its close integration with Flash Professional has helped simplify making web versions of documents and its latest versions help create e-books and adapt content for tablets. InDesign has simplified exporting and supporting various image files, adjusting resolution and image sizes, and tagging audio and video files for e-publishing.
Creating, modifying and altering images are some of the tasks that come as second nature to designers. Shrink-O-Matic is a great tool that enables resizing an image as you see fit. This tool has an extremely simple UI and can handle many of the popular image formats such as GIFs, JPEGs and PNGs.
If you ever find yourself working on 3D animation projects, this should be the first design tool that you get your hands on. It has a number of features that helps designers create breathtaking 3D animations. By default, the software comes with a node-based compositor, stimulation tools, textures and much more. Blender has a very user friendly UI and best of all, it’s completely free!
Dropbox may not be a graphic design tool but nevertheless, almost every designer uses it. This cloud-based data storage service can sync multiple hard drives at multiple locations. This makes it easy for designers to carry their work around. It saves time and time is money.
We hope that you will find the above tools to be useful and beneficial to you. There are dozens more to list, however for new and experienced designers these design tools will provide a multitude of help.
June 21st, 2012
Graphic design is a field that is always changing and evolving. The constant changes require graphic designers to stay up-to-date on the latest graphic news, trends and developments. This prompts novice and expert designers to visit online blogs and forums quite frequently.
CSS, as you may already know, has become an integral component of web design. CSS has helped to make websites more visually appealing and has contributed to making them more interactive and user friendly.
Stepping Into the Realm of Programming
So, should graphic designers take up CSS? For those designers that want to be versatile and work in web design, the answer is yes. We have recently seen a new trend emerge; designers have presented their graphic design portfolio to include web design. This is great news for companies looking for brand identity design and a new (redesign an existing) website to match. Having both designs assigned to one designer makes the entire project seamless and cohesive. This also helps to make the communication from client to designer much easier.
What Can You Learn In CSS?
CSS is designed to make web design more efficient, fast and smooth. Designers have a plethora of tools and features that allows them to create special effects, 3D animations and amazing graphics without needing different platforms like Flash.
With CSS software like Dreamweaver, graphic designers don’t necessarily need to know how to code in order to make an amazing graphic. Dreamweaver allows you to code a web design by using its design tools. At the very least, designers should get familiar with these tools in order to help them with projects.
Learning CSS – Is It Worth It?
There is always the question of whether the whole effort is worth it. Some experts believe that a graphic designer should stick to one field and master it. That can help establish a designer as the go-to person for specific projects, but it does not make them versatile. Adding anything extra to your list of knowledge is always a gain. Expertise in CSS makes you a good web designer, but as a graphic designer you can also suffice on basic CSS know-how.
Becoming a good graphic designer requires hard work. Becoming a great designer demands more time, devotion and dedication. You may have to work twice as hard, but the extra reward will be worth it.
June 14th, 2012
The graphic design market continues to grow with new designers and keeps becoming highly competitive with each passing year. This is both good and bad news for the new designers. It is good because it assures designers that their skills are in demand. On the other hand, this can be seen as bad news because the competition is full of well-versed and experienced designers.
Today we’ll focus on a few survival tips that will help new graphic designers. We suggest you start utilizing these tips in order to effectively prepare yourself for the competitive graphic design market.
1. Stay up-to-date on All Graphic Design Topics
This may seem straightforward, however this tip is the easiest to overlook. The graphic design industry is always changing and designers must educate themselves regarding every graphic design evolution. Fortunately, this is much easier to do now that it was a decade ago.
Thanks to the internet, you now have access to a global library that can be easily accessed at any time. Start by following popular graphic design blogs and forums; there are dozens out there to choose from. Stay active on social media platforms like Twitter and follow prominent graphic designers. You will gain a lot of knowledge from their experience and personal blogs.
2. Learn to Manage your Time
Time management is one skill that every graphic designer should master before undertaking any project. If you are not deadline oriented from the start, you will have a tough time succeeding. This industry revolves around strict deadlines and quick turnarounds. Some companies even demand design revisions in the same day. So, be prepared to change your schedule around at the last minute (sometimes) to accommodate a client.
3. Think: Run Faster & Jump Higher
You may need to change your mind set in order to properly establish yourself in this field. Understand that the field is competitive … it can be cut-throat but also provides good opportunities. With that in mind, new graphic designers must realize that in the beginning of their career they will have to run a little faster and jump a little higher to get ahead. Establishing yourself will take time, hard work, patience and perseverance. The first few years are extremely crucial and brutal, but the payoff is well worth in the long run.
4. Know your Tools well
New graphic designers should have a firm grasp and knowledge of the technical tools used by designers. Graphic design software and tools will make your job easier, allowing it to be completed faster. New designers should master software and have a good understanding of which tools works where. For example, as a graphic designer you should know that Adobe Photoshop works well for web design while Adobe Illustrator is best for logo design, not vice versa. Your software skills will reflect in your design drafts. Create a good impression. Master your design tools!
5. Use Symbols in your Designs
A symbol in the graphic design business is a collection of graphical elements merged together to form one shape that people can relate to. It has the potential of becoming unforgettable. Some of the most popular and easily recognizable logos today use symbols and are recognizable even without the company name. Make a note of using symbols in your designs (unless your client requests something different).
Aside from these five tips, every new designer should also know what to avoid in order to survive in the graphic design industry. For example, copying designs is a big no-no and can give you a bad reputation quickly.
While these tips are very simple to follow, new graphic designers must make sure they do not overlook them and actually implement these in their work. This will help them approach any design project with confidence. A strong and confident designer is definitely something every client will love and appreciate!
June 8th, 2012
Today’s logo design collection is all about clouds. Yes, the white and fluffy clouds which inspired us as children and continue to do so even as adults. Remember looking at the clouds and creating imaginative shapes as kids? I think graphic designers do something similar when they create inspiring designs based on clouds. What they perceive is what they create.
What can a Cloud Logo Possibly Mean?
Clouds have now become one of the latest trending symbols in graphic design along with circles. Various businesses are using clouds in their brand images and, depending on the industry they represent, they can come to mean a variety of things. Clouds generally denote dreams, imagination and creativity. This is why cloud based designs work well for creative companies like design studios and kids products.
Religious organizations also prefer cloud based logos most of the times as it helps portray the image of heaven, other worldliness or to literally symbolize something God sent. Using sun rays behind a cloud symbolizes hope while it can also stand for happiness as suggested in the term cloud number 9. Clouds are also manipulated as speech bubbles sometimes and used for blog logos. They can symbolize big web communities or a group of like minded people which is why hosting companies, web security companies, communication businesses and social media networks like using it in their logos.
Businesses that Prefer to Employ the Cloud Symbol
These can vary from baby products to cloud computing, social media sites, online communities, studios, non-profit organizations to children foundations, hosting services, companies related to communication and businesses dealing in mobile apps or technology. The cloud symbol is most commonly used by large groups and companies that cater to the masses which is why it is trending with hosting services and online communities these days. And of course the weather new channels and websites can make a good use of the cloud symbol by incorporating it in their logo or web design.
Now that you understand what this symbol can mean, here is a collection of forty cloud based designs for inspiration.
Have you created any cloud based logos recently? Do share your designs with us.
Image Sources: BrandStack.com, LogoPond.com, MycroBurst.com, BrandCrowd.com
June 5th, 2012