Logo Design: Raster Graphics or Vector Graphics

Logo design is made up of different defining aspects – from the designer’s influences and personal whims, to the design’s colour and its shape. We’ve discussed how logos are defined by colour and shape in our previous post. This time we’d like to talk about the file types and the things that you ought to know when you’re designing a logo for different media.

 

As technical as these two graphic design terms may sound, they’re actually very simple. Raster graphics are basically made up of pixels, the things you see on your screen, the rough edges that you see on an image when you zoom in too much. On the other hand, vector graphics are made up of lines and anchor points that are auto-adjusted by Adobe Illustrator (or any other vector software editor you’re using) when you’re resizing your work. That’s the basic gist of raster and vector graphics, but let’s delve deeper into the abyss and know where and when to use them, and on what project, aside from logo design, you can use them.

Sample Raster Logo via YouTheDesigner.com

Upon first inspection, raster and vector graphics will basically look the same way. The difference becomes apparent once reproducing the design becomes an issue.

 

 


Raster Graphics

 

If you’re going to zoom in on an image, you’ll notice that the edges become more pixelated. This is because most images (JPEG, JPG, PNG, etc.) are rasterized to allow an artist or photographer to manipulate the image using a graphics editing software, like Adobe Photoshop.

 

A raster graphic image is made up of pixels, with each pixel having only one colour. This means that if you have fewer pixels in your image, you’ll have lesser colour and a low quality image. Otherwise, you’ll have a perfectly crisp and sharp image.

 

Why it’s not for any logo project

The primary concern in using raster graphics to create your logo design is the resolution. As I’ve mentioned before, rasterized images tend to be more pixelated or jagged on the edges. Resizing will be the main problem when it comes to reproducing a rasterized logo. You may be able to produce high resolution image on Photoshop, but you’ll never know how big the logo needs to be in actual production.

 

 

Sample Raster Logo via YouTheDesigner.com

A logo design that’s created using Photoshop will show pixels once you zoom in within the image. This becomes an issue when you need to create a larger design from your original.

 

 

Another issue is professional quality. If you’re designing logos as a professional, you’d aim for the best quality and using a raster file for your project doesn’t help your cause. As mentioned earlier, upon closer inspection rasterized images would eventually produce pixelated images. This’ll reflect your knowledge about industry standards and practice, which is better that you know it now, than later.

 

What’s it for?

Photos and graphic rendering are done in raster graphics. Because of the extensive colour manipulation capabilities of raster graphic editors, they’re apt tools in adding and editing colours, tones, and textures on images, and photos. Usual projects done in Adobe Photoshop are web design, promotional graphics, and your usual illustration colour rendering.

 


Vector Graphics


In simple terms, vector graphic images are collections of lines and anchor points that make up a whole image. The lines serve as your drawing’s outline and the anchor points control where your lines should go. It’s similar to how the Photoshop pen tool works. If you’re familiar with it you’ll be fine, if not it’s time you work on it.

The anchor points and lines that make up a vector graphic image are manipulated through mathematical calculations (done by the software you’re using, no worries), which make the image done in vector to be scalable to any size.

Why it’s used in creating logos
Because of the ease in resizing a vector graphic image, logo designers find it easier to reproduce a logo in any size, any time, without losing quality. Aside from resolving sizing issues on a logo design, editing it will be a lot easier. Logos made in vector graphics are more adaptable and streamlined when applied to different media – from promotional prints and corporate stationery, like business cards and letterheads, to web design applications and other media.

Zoomed in Vector Logo via YouTheDesigner.com

Vector Graphics’ primary strength lies on its scalability. Since you’ll be applying the logo on different media, you’ll have to create different sizes of the same design. But if you’ve created the logo design as a vector graphic, size and scaling issues are easily resolved.
Other applications

Most conceptual artists directly sketch their work on vector graphic editors and just render them on Adobe Photoshop, or other raster graphic editors. Because of the power combination of Adobe Illustrator’s intuitive drawing tools that work best with a tablet – this makes it easier for artists and illustrators to create sketches, concept designs, or adding details to a drawing easier.

 

by: http://www.youthedesigner.com

You don’t have to follow them, but you need to be aware of them. We reveal the latest trends in branding, identity and logo design.

Logo design is one of many areas of design that looks easy but is damned difficult to pull off successfully. Last year’s aborted University of California rebrand shows just how difficult it is to please all of the people, all of the time – especially when remaking an existing much-loved identity. But even when you’re designing a logo for a new company or brand, it’s a huge challenge to create something that will grab attention – in the right way – in a crowded marketplace.

Part of the challenge is looking current and contemporary without shortening your logo’s shelf-life. In other words, you don’t want it to look old-fashioned, but neither do you want it to look so ‘of the moment’ that it will quickly date.

To help guide you through, we’ve rounded up 20 of the biggest logo trends at time of writing. Don’t blindly follow them, but being aware of them can help you strike that perfect balance that will lead to a logo that’s memorable and impactful without needing a redesign come 2014…

  • Read all our logo related posts here

01. Black & White

Silver Brown Dance Co
Brooklyn’s non-profit dance company has a classic, bold type-based logo

A sufficient logo should always hold its own in black and white. And sometimes that’s all you need. The classic combo of black and white will be a big trend throughout 2013 as designers stray from vibrant colours to stand out with bold typographic treatment. The commanding use of black and white may be one of the oldest traditions but done in the right way, it’s far from boring and out-dated.

02. Simplification

Harvard University
Harvard University reduced its fussy emblem last year to this starkly simple logo

From Microsoft to Harvard University, many re-brands have appeared lately baring their bones. It could be argued that logo design has always followed this path – simplify a well-known logo over time as it becomes more familiar. But it certainly seems to have intensified recently, with more and more logos paring their design down to almost nothing.

03. Mosaic patterns

WebMynd
WebMynd makes personalized search apps for the browser

Mosaic patterns are becoming more popular in logos, used to represent such concepts as ‘growth’, ‘values’, ‘coming together’, ‘strength in numbers’ and ‘multicultural’. Logos are incorporating a mosaic pattern in an increasingly sophisticated manner, using only a small number of elements to structure the arrangement. This allows the logo to work in multiple size formats and does not become blurred once at a smaller scale.

The colour palette makes a considerable impact on the mosaic itself; organic colours, from sky blues to grassy greens to muted browns, are becoming increasingly popular.

04. Energetic

Rio 2016
The Rio Olympics logo conveys the vivacious spirit of the home of carnvial

In contrast to trends 01 and 02, there’s a parallel surge of energetic logo designs. The Olympic Rio 2016 logo‘s vibrant and charismatic identity is a great example – but this kind of visual impact isn’t easy to create. To learn more, check out the video below, showing the immense level of research, thought and passion that went into its development.

05. Serrated edges

Transformers 4
We’re expecting to see more serrated edges in logo design this year

If you thought it was a relief to finally shake off the Olympic London 2012 logo, be well prepared for abstracted geometric shapes in 2013. Take this unofficial logo for next year’s Transformers 4 movie; whatever you may think of the franchise, the harsh serrated edges of the logo work brilliantly here to grab the attention.

06. App Store influence

Studio 7 Designs
Logo for www.studio7designs.com/about/

App design has become so popular, it’s not surprising that the highly crafted, slick icons that dominate the app store and populate your digital devices have moved into branding and, specifically, logo design.

07. Airline/international

Bricos
Familiar ‘air freight’ style and colours helps reinforces this brand’s values

Timeless and clear is one way to describe this trend. Specifically, ‘Airline’ refers to an international aesthetic, a truly modern look, and simple designs with bold colours. Take Anagrama‘s work for Bricos – a hardware store rebranding as a global construction material supplier – as an example. Bold red, white and blue stripes makes the brand feel very international and is a strong corporate identity.

08. Transparent overlaps

EDP
Transparent overlaps (or links) have become popular

Transparent links, or overlaps, is a new technique that’s become very prevalent over the last year or so. You can see this in Jessica Walsh’s – of Sagmeister Walsh fame – identity for EDP, where shapes are expertly fused together using subtle gradients to produce a slick logo for the leading renewable energy supplier.

09. Honest and simple

Honestly Healthy
Homemade, natural look for this healthy brand keeps things honest and simple

Homemade and thrifty is very in – just look at popular lifestyle magazine The Simple Things for instance. & Smith - a studio describing itself as ‘dedicated to the craft of design’ created this identity for Honestly Healthy: a badge approach which sums up this trend in logo design perfectly.

10. Focus

SFDW
Selective focus can lead to eyes lingering on a logo

Who says logos have to be crisp and sharp? Selective focus can be used to create subtle misty qualities that bring a logo to attention by fading it into the background. The example here shows the soft edges of the mark appear to vanish into the surface, creating a gorgeous dream-like quality.

11. The reveal

DC Comics
The reveal is a cheeky and clever way to create a logo

Rebranding a huge company such as DC is no mean feat – and one thatLandor Associates were brave enough to tackle. The beauty of this method is that it reveals the C from a D – a clever and simple mark that you immediately get.

The logo – or the ‘reveal’ – could be applied to multiple DC properties, such as The Green Lantern, Watchmen and more, with the ‘D’ peeling back to reveal hints at the different superheroes.

“We were looking for a living, breathing identity that could celebrate everything that DC Entertainment is about, but which could also be forward-looking, bold, provocative and allow us to celebrate the owe of our stories and characters,” says Amit Desai, SVP of Franchise Management at DC.

12. Tessellation

More4
More4′s logo design combines the geometric approach and the aforementioned reveal

Tessellation essentially involves mosaic-like patterns. A good example is the rebranding of Channel 4′s sister station More4 byManvsMachine. A particularly nice use is in the More4 idents where the triangles flip to reveal different colours (see ‘The reveal’, above).

13. Incomplete

Basis
Incomplete fonts create an illusion to give a sophisticated look how to logo design

Missing links and simple illusions can result in very sophisticated branding solutions. A good example is Johnson Banks’ logo for market research company Basis (above). Another example of logo design like this is Anagrama‘s subtle branding for architectural firm MTLL – in which the studio removed many elements for the branding in order to communicate the firm’s dedication to finding simple solutions. Also check out Founded‘s work for SKIRT.

14. Splatters and watercolor

Oivi
Watercolor is undoubtedly one of the major trends in logo design

Watercolor is one of the big logo design trends of the moment. A great example is Helsinki based studio Bond’s work for Oivi, a Finnish independent brewery. Working with Stina Persson it created a beautiful, stylish identity for one of Oivi’s ciders. See this excellent blogfor more details.

15. Moiré

The Guild
Another type of optical illusion here: Moiré is proving a popular way to brand a logo

Moiré patterns – the kind of optical illusions created by converging and colliding grid-like patterns – are becoming more and more popular within branding and identity design. Good examples include Mexican design agency Burocrata’s work for ABO and Daniel Feytag‘s stunning work for motion studio The Guild.

16. Basic shapes

ASCER
Stark basic shapes in monochrome

Basic shapes can create incredible impact in logo design. Simple silhouette-like identities can pore to be extremely stylish. Take the Red de Cátedras Cerámicas logo by BOSCO for ASCER. The simple geometric ‘AS’ shape standing alone without text is striking and efficient.

17. Abstract and sharp type

Morey Talmor
Sharp, angular type is legible but fresh

There’s something about modern, sharp, handcrafted typographic logos that really hit the spot. This identity work for a café and restaurant in Tel Aviv by Morey Talmor is the perfect example of how to brand a logo in an eye-catching design that is immediately legible but extremely fresh at the same time.

18. Word search

TEMAConsult
Word search trend is fun and makes you think

‘Word Search’ is about having fun with logos, turning them into codes or puzzles by cutting them up, inverting them or hiding parts of the identity. Hort‘s work for TEMAConsult is a prime example of how to brand a logo using this trend.

19. Script/retro

Willie's Cacao
Classic script logos are back in a big way

Retro/script fonts always have a certain appeal due to their air of fun combined with classic aesthetic. One fantastic example is BrandOpus’ work for Willie’s Cacao chocolate. Sketched on paper before being finalized in Illustrator CS6 and Photoshop CS6, the result is a beautiful script logo that accentuates the tastiness of the goods inside the packaging.

20. Grown up

eBay
eBay has controversially turned its back on playful in favour of a more grown-up logo

With eBay’s new logomany are saying that designers are taking the fun out of tech companies. The new eBay logo is, admittedly, a rather bland logo design compared to its old, very recognizable quirky marque. But that was probably the point.

Words: Rob Carney and Aaron Kitney

 

by: creativebloq

 

Good logos are flexible : Tips to make sure yours is.

I receive many questions from both clients and other designers asking me “What makes a good logo?” Instead of focusing on what makes a logo look good (because we all know we can argue that point for days based on personal taste), I thought it would be best to focus on what makes a logo work well – a better question to ask yourself while designing a logo is “How flexible is the logo?”

Below are 5 tips and attributes your logo should have in order to work well, increase its flexibility and help it work better in more situations.

A good logo should be created to work in black, reversed-out (white) and color. Many of times designers start to create their logo by introducing color right away. This often takes away from the concept because your mind is more focused on the “pretty colors.”

Logos should be scalable and work well both large and small sizes. Try to avoid logos and marks that are overly complicated. As the old KISS saying goes, “Keep it simple, stupid!” Especially with logos being implemented favicons, on signage and business cards, logos need to be size flexible.

Logos should be able to work both horizontally and vertically. Typically, in most cases, I provide my clients with two variations to their logos, especially if the logo design was intended to be vertical – horizontal logos seem to work well on websites. It’s always good to make sure you’re logo is a switch hitter :)

When creating a logo, you should be using vector-based software, such as Adobe Illustrator. This will give you the ability to provide various file formats and scalable logos. Typically I like to provide clients with various types of file formats, this way they have different files to implement into various programs they use.

Not only does a logo mark need to work well at various sizes but so does the text. When creating the mark at a smaller size try increasing the character spacing. This will help improve readability, especially when shrunken down and viewed from afar. Are you able to scale your logo without losing clarity?

Is your logo flexible? What other tips would you add to the above to make your logo work well in more instances?

 

- By thedesigncubicle

What should you get from your logo designer.

More often than not when asking a client for their current logo, I am provided with a file format that is less than desirable for the project or situation.

Although this can be argued both ways, I’ve seen both instances where it was logo designers responsibility to provide the proper deliverables or the client was using an improper method of creating their logo.

Below is a list of deliverables that you as a client  should be getting from your logo designer.

Getting a variety of file formats from your designer will only leave you satisfied in the long term.

Whether you are printing high quality, adding a logo to a website, or inserting your company logo into a Word document, there are various file formats that should be used over the other.

An EPS file, or Encapsulated PostScript file, is a versatile vector format of your logo. In other words, you can resize your logo as big or small as needed without compromising the quality of the logo.

EPS is compatible in a large number of programs and is great for use with printed elements due to its high quality.

What’s it suitable for?

  • Business cards
  • Brochures
  • Advertisements
  • …anything that will be printed of high quality

Although it cannot be scaled to a desired size like that of an EPS, JPGs and GIFs are great and preferred for internet use. Due to their smaller file size, they load faster on the web and still look ‘sharp’ to the eye when viewed on a computer monitor. I tend to create these files a little larger than most so my clients are able to downsize as needed.

What’s it suitable for?

  • Websites
  • Online Ads and Banners
  • Email marketing and signatures
  • anything ‘web-related’

A TIFF, or Tagged Image File Format, is a widely supported file format that works in just about any program. A TIFF is of higher quality than JPG or GIF, but not vector-formatted like an EPS.

Typically when sending TIFFs to clients I try to create them at a larger size, so if needed they can resize down or stay with the larger size for more versatility.

In certain cases, these can also be used for higher quality prints, granted they were created at 300 dpi and don’t need to resized larger than delivered.

What’s it suitable for?

  • Microsoft Office programs
  • Standard printing for common use (ie. invoices, letterheads, etc.)

This should need no explanation, but provide your clients with a full colored, CMYK file for the printed file formats (EPS, TIFF) and RGB for the web formats (JPG, GIF). This way they don’t experience strange color issues when printing and will save them money with their printers.

 

 

So there you have all the necessary file formats for your logo design. Making sure you get all the necessary formats will only leave you with less worries over using your logo design in different media and making any change to your logo design later on.

 

-by theDesigncubicle

5 principles of effective logo design

principles-of-effective-logo-design

As mentioned, a good logo is distinctive, appropriate, practical, graphic and simple in form, and it conveys the owner’s intended message. You should follow the five principles below to ensure that your design meets all of these criteria:

  1. Simple
  2. Memorable
  3. Timeless
  4. Versatile
  5. Appropriate

timeless-logos

Simplicity makes a logo design easily recognizable, versatile and memorable. Good logos feature something unexpected or unique, without being “overdrawn.”

While in college in the mid-’70s, an instructor introduced me to theK.I.S.S. Principle of design, which translates as: Keep It Simple, Stupid. It does convey a very important design consideration. Simple logos are often easily recognized, incredibly memorable and the most effective in conveying the requirements of the client.

A refined and distilled identity will also catch the attention of a viewer zipping by signage at 70 miles per hour, on packaging on the crowded shelves of a store, or in any other vehicle used for advertising, marketing and promotion. Remember, the basis of the hugely effective international branding for the world’s largest shoe manufacturer is a very simple graphic swoosh.

— Jeff Fisher

On that note, you may find the history of the Nike logo quite interesting.

mcdonalds

Following closely on this principle of simplicity is that of memorability. An effective logo design should be memorable, which is achieved by keeping it simple yet appropriate.

Surprising to many, the subject matter of a logo is of relatively little importance, and even appropriateness of content does not always play a significant role.

This does not imply that appropriateness is undesirable. It merely indicates that a one-to-one relationship between a symbol and what it symbolized is very often impossible to achieve and, under certain conditions, objectionable. Ultimately, the only mandate in the design of logos, it seems, is that they be distinctive, memorable, and clear.

— Paul Rand

underground

An effective logo should be timeless. Will yours stand the test of time? Will it still be effective in 10, 20 or 50 years?

Leave trends to the fashion industry. Trends come and go, and when you’re talking about changing a pair of jeans or buying a new dress, that’s fine, but where your brand identity is concerned, longevity is key. Don’t follow the pack. Stand out.

— David Airey

wwf

An effective logo works across a variety of media and applications. For this reason, logos should be designed in vector format, to ensure that they scale to any size.

Ask yourself, is your logo still effective if it is printed…

  • In one color?
  • In reverse color (i.e. light logo on dark background)?
  • The size of a postage stamp?
  • As large as a billboard?

One way to create a versatile logo is to begin designing in black and white. This allows you to focus on the concept and shape, rather thancolor, which is subjective in nature. Also keep in mind printing costs: the more colors you use, the more expensive it will be for the business over the long term.

I like to work first in black and white to ensure that the logo will look good in its simplest form. Color is very subjective and emotional. This can distract from the overall design – say if you saw your logo in all red, that color may be the first thing that you respond to and not the composition of the design elements. I will not even consider submitting color suggestions to a client for review until they have signed off on a final black and white logo.

— Patrick Winfield

Familiarize yourself with the commercial printing process so that you do not encounter printing problems down the line. Know the difference between the CMYK, Pantone and RGB color systems.

ToysRUs

How you “position” the logo should be appropriate for its intended audience. For example, a child-like font and color scheme would be appropriate for a logo for a children’s toy store, not so much for a law firm.

A logo doesn’t need to say what a company does. Restaurant logos don’t need to show food, dentist logos don’t need to show teeth, furniture store logos don’t need to show furniture. Just because it’s relevant, doesn’t mean you can’t do better. The Mercedes logo isn’t a car. The Virgin Atlantic logo isn’t an airplane. The Apple logo isn’t a computer. Etc.

— David Airey

Should a logo be self-explanatory? It is only by association with a product, a service, a business, or a corporation that a logo takes on any real meaning. It derives its meaning and usefulness from the quality of that which it symbolizes. If a company is second rate, the logo will eventually be perceived as second rate. It is foolhardy to believe that a logo will do its job immediately, before an audience has been properly conditioned.

— Paul Rand

 

- By smashingmagazine