Graphic design is an ever changing, ever evolving arena. Every year pushes the boundaries of creativity and imagination a few steps further. Some become trend setters and introduce new concepts to the world, while others fall into a design trap and end up learning the hard way.
Let’s go through some of these traps to help novice logo designers (and even experienced ones) in becoming safe practitioners of this art and avoid making graphic design mistakes. Designers become victims of these design traps as a result of too much experimentation and imagination, or the lack thereof. While logo designers are always encouraged to be creative and try new things, it should never be done at the cost of losing basic fundamentals.
Design Trap #1 – Redefining the Predefined
This translates to slightly editing a pre-existing logo, created by someone else, with a few unique touches and calling it your own. Some designers create derivative concepts and steal ideas in order to save time.
There are no short cuts in graphic design. The entire concept of creating something unique depends on the designer’s ability. Don’t be remembered for work that was already done by someone else.
Design Trap #2 – Using Graphic Symbols
This is one of the easiest traps to fall into. If you have used any graphic design software, you have come across graphic symbols. These are free tools that come with the design programs. While the software itself is licensed the symbols aren’t, which means that every symbol uses the same brushes. This leaves the window of trademark infringement wide open.
Bottom line – Create your own logo designs and symbols.
Design Trap #3 – Opting For Graphic Brushes
Just like symbols, graphic brushes are tools embedded in most modern day graphic design software. Unlike graphic symbols, logo designers can get away with using graphic brushes if they are applied carefully and are only used as a supporting element.
Never base your designs on these brushes, too many uses can lead to trademark infringement. A good logo designer should only rely on his/her creative instinct to come up with new concepts.
Design Trap #4 – Choosing RGB & CMYK Color Standards
Versatility is one attribute that clients will not hesitate to reward you for. Using RGB or CMYK color schemes, when at times seems like a good option, there limitations. If a client receives a design in RGB or CMYK and wants to change the medium of their design, they will run into issues. The client will either have the designer redo everything from scratch or be forced to pay someone to adjust it.
Using the Pantone color scheme will give the client flexibility to print their logo designs on any medium they see fit. Similarly sending in raster files is a big no-no. You should send your client vector files as these are easily scalable.
Design Trap #5 – Adding Special Effects
Some new logo designers think that adding special effects will make their logo look extra special; this is not the case. Special effects generally make a logo appear childish and cheap. Avoid these effects, unless specifically requested by the client.
If you want to establish yourself as a serious logo designer, you need to stop making these easily overlooked graphic design mistakes. Protect your reputation and don’t fall for a design trap!
Did we miss out on any design trap? Help us add to this list. Send us your feedback.
July 11th, 2012
Do you want to make a career out of graphic designing? Do you want to be a sought after professional of the field? Along with technical studies, there are some essential basic skills that you must master in order to grow as a graphic designer. If you can acquire these skills, you can very well make it to the top.
1. Imagination – Ability to Create a Vision
You must know how to visualize a project before starting to work on it. Have a creative design process that you can follow. Conduct good research, jot down ideas and develop an understanding of the project at hand. It’s only through understanding project demands that you will be able to craft a vision. The more active your imagination is the more creative and unique your designs will be.
2. Sketching – Skill of Drawing Ideas
Sketching has, and always will be, a basic requirement for any designing career. Whether it’s in logo or graphic designing, you must have the ability to sketch your ideas before working on the computer. You must have good knowledge of typographic art and fonts, as most logo and graphic design projects require this.
3. Aesthetic – Eye for Beauty
Graphic designers have a huge responsibility of bringing out the beauty in things that anyone else may otherwise overlook. Your design must be appealing to the client and their target audience. If the audience can relate to the logo, they will most certainly want the services. Colors, patterns and designs used in the project must be pleasant to the beholder’s eye and convey the company’s message effectively.
4. Techie – Handy with Graphic Software
As a graphic designer, you must know how to work on various kinds of graphic software. For instance, logo designers must know how to work on Adobe Illustrator, FreeHand and CorelDraw. For web designers, it doesn’t just stop at Adobe Illustrator – you need to have good knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and other web template design software. Don’t limit your knowledge to only one design program.
5. Knowledge – Know Graphic Concepts
You must know basic concepts regarding color tones, saturation, pixel requirements etc. For example, designs created in Adobe Photoshop are not scalable because they get pixilated when enlarged. You must know what color psychology is for example color according to industry and region. You must also have a good understanding of why overused concepts must be avoided. You also need to know everything about typography, pixel and vector art, including their use in various media platforms be it online, print or digital.
6. Hard Work – Creating from Scratch
There are a lot of easy graphic and logo design solutions available all over the web. From clip art to ready-made designs, everything is there. But these elements are not for graphic designers who value their career. You have to give your clients original work so start from scratch. Every logo, design and template created must be created through a proper process. This typically starts from idea generation then leads to sketching and extends to creation through excellent technical skills. Resorting to low end solutions will easily blow away your chance of becoming a renowned graphic designer – so steer clear!
7. Originality – Do You Have What It Takes?
Anyone who thrives on copied content and calls it inspiration is not a graphic designer. Good copycats don’t smart designers make! Remember that along with creativity, you also need to be ORIGINAL.
8. Being Humble – I’m Not Mr. Know-it-all
This is not a skill, but a quality you must have. There is no such thing as the “best” designer. Graphic designing is an ever learning process and anyone who thinks that they know-it-all are sadly mistaken. The minute you think you are the best you become redundant and stop striving to learn. Be humble and don’t let pride get the best of you.
9. Positive Attitude – Ability to Take Criticism
Every art field has its own critics. Artists everywhere are bound to face criticism about their artwork. Criticism is not the problem, negative attitude to criticism is. They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, therefore everyone who perceives a work of art might cater a different opinion. Your clients might have their own opinion or demands for a particular design. Perhaps what you create is not what they anticipated. Remember, don’t take criticism negatively. It’s just another person’s opinion, so ask them how you can make it better.
10. Take a Chill Pill – When to Let Go
Stress and being overwhelmed by your work won’t get you anywhere except for possibly depression. And depression is bad for the artist and his/her art. If there’s free time and your creative juices aren’t flowing, take some time off. Relax for a couple of days, go on a vacation, freshen up and return to work with renewed enthusiasm. Never take on a project while you’re stressed out because that will only backfire.
I hope this list was able to spark some positive thoughts in all aspiring graphic designers out there. Did we miss any skill you think is an essential for being a good graphic designer? Do let us know!
February 22nd, 2012
Every new designer aspires to be the best. However, this doesn’t come easy. You not only have to work hard, but you also have to develop good artistic, marketing and communicative skills. You need to know where to market your skills and how to capture the client’s interest. There are hundreds of tips and tricks but I would like to share with you just seven great secrets to becoming a graphic design superstar. The best designers understand these secrets and this is why they are the BEST.
1. Communicate, Relate, Share
Become a member of a graphic design community and interact with other like-minded designers. Such communities, forums and social gatherings help you to meet new people, share ideas, knowledge and grow as a professional. This is the best way to get maximum exposure, creating professional relations and gaining abundant knowledge regarding the design field.
2. Expand, Improvise, Adapt
Being a good graphic designer means being flexible and adaptable. Do not limit yourself to just one field. Expand your skills and learn about various spheres of digital designing. This will help you in acquiring a strong client base, while honing your expertise. Improvise on your design style by learning to work on multiple graphic programs, including 2D and 3D modes. Make yourself an “in-demand” designer, catering to any sector.
3. Evolve, Learn, Update
You can never say, “I know it all.” The best designers are constantly learning. Every day you can learn new tricks and tips, explore new strategies and get brand new ideas. Stay updated with the latest tutorials, design ideas and software. But don’t forget to manage your time. The more updated you are and the more versatile you become, you will automatically be wanted by business owners.
4. Read, Read, Read
Read and get in depth knowledge about color psychology, design concepts, typography, trends and the latest software. Graphic designing is not wild imagination; it is a tamed art that can mold itself according to the needs of an industry. This is what graphic design books, tutorial websites and professional blogs teach you about.
5. Experiment, Experience, Understand
Experiment with various design styles and color combinations. Be innovative when creating designs. Think outside the box, avoid clichés and common trends. Playing with graphic software is a good exercise and a great way to learn various techniques. Doing so gives you practical knowledge which is worth more than the hundreds of books you may read. Also, don’t hesitate in asking your friends and colleagues for their opinion of on your work. This will help you to understand your flaws and improve on them.
6. Seek, Inspire, Create
Graphic designing is a field that has somewhat of recycled inspiration. In broader terms, it means that you will have to avoid seeking inspiration in other people’s work in order to be original. The first idea you might get for a project will not always be unique. With thousands of designers out there it is possible that your idea has already been worked on. Seek inspiration from your surroundings, from nature, from people you know instead of just focusing on online designs. Remember though, that seeking inspiration does not mean copying designs. Copying designs will take away your credibility as a professional designer.
7. Aim, Score, Win
Do not aim to be the best, aim to develop your skills and abilities. Keep learning and don’t hesitate to ask questions when you don’t understand anything. Become an active part of the design community. Share your knowledge as a designer with others and they in turn will not disappoint you when you have a question to ask. Cater to customer needs and understand their business. This will help you win clients and in turn you will able to build an excellent portfolio and be known as a professional graphic designer.
What else do you think makes a graphic design superstar? What is it that best designers do differently? Share your thoughts with us.
October 20th, 2011
Welcome back to LogoTalk!
We are proud to present a brand new look of the blog. This is just the first step towards a fresh approach. Our revamped blog is ready to roll and provide its readers with informative posts and entertainment alike.
We intend on making LogoTalk an ideal place for new and old designers – so whether you are a graphic design student, an amateur logo designer, an upcoming artist or a professional in the design field, we intend on making this blog a real treat for you.
LogoTalk’s new theme was specifically created to be clean cut giving you, as visitors, more accessibility to the blog and its various sections.
What do you think about our theme? Give us your feedback. We love to hear from you!
We will be starting off with a few educational posts regarding logo designing and branding – something that both the design community and the business owners might find interesting. Feel free to send in your suggestion and feedback about the blog posts.
We’re very excited to share with our readers… So why wait? Let’s talk logos!
September 20th, 2011