Friday, July 31, 2009

Get Published!

Submit your work for free. Crescent Hill books produces a variety of design-related books featuring only the best of today's graphic design. And the best thing is that it is free to submit your work! No entry fees, no publishing fees, and no award fees! Go to the Crescent Hill books submission page and create an account. You can then upload your designs for potential submission in a number of great design books (some upcoming titles include The Best of Sports Marketing and Design, The Mini Book of Great Logos and The New Big Book of Layouts). Your design submissions will then be judged by Crescent Hills panel who will let you know whether they make a good fit with the publication or not.

This is a great way to get your work published! Let me know if you submit your work, so I can be sure to look for it in upcoming publications!

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Logo Low-Down Series: Tip 6

We have reached our final tip in the Logo Low-Down series. I hope these tips have given you some insight on some of the factors that go into creating a profession, custom logo, as well as how to do your research before hiring a graphic designer. Keep in mind that your logo will be one of your most important business marketing tools! You will use it on all your company marketing and materials, so you really must be sure to have a mark that will represent your company now and in the future. Remember, your logo is extremely important—please hire a professional!

Logo Tip #6: Consistency is Key
Once you have your eye-catching, thoughtful and professionally designed logo—keep it consistent! This is the mark that will start to define your business, one you should use on ALL future marketing materials. Don’t confuse the customer by changing the colors, editing the format, or skewing the dimensions. Keep it easily recognizable by your market by staying consistent with it’s usage.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Logo Low-Down Series: Tip 5

Logo Tip #5: The Black and White of It
Another important design principle to consider when designing (or re-designing) a logo is the ability for it to read well in black and white, as well as at large and small scales. A logo must work equally in black and white or color. Even with the predominance of web and 4-color printing, your logo must still be legible on such simple business paperwork as a fax, invoice or photocopy. Your logo also needs to work on various size scales—small enough to fit on a pen, and large enough to work on a billboard.

In order for easy and clean scaling to occur, a logo should always first be designed as a vector-based illustration file. (This is one main reason why hiring a professional is important!) Special design programs, such as Adobe Illustrator should be used for logo development—never programs like Word, Publisher or Paintshop! Have your logo created in the correct file format the first time around—it will save you frustration, time and money in the long run.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Logo Low-Down Series: Tip 4

Logo Tip #4: K.I.S.S
My design instructor at Salisbury University instilled a very valuable design principle on us—K.I.S.S., “Keep It Simple, Stupid!”. This concept applies best to logo design. Frequently, over-used effects such as glows, shadows, 3-D effects, gradients, unreadable fonts, and unnecessary graphics take away from the readability—and ultimately the success—of a creative and compelling logo. The old saying “Less is More” certainly applies here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Logo Low-Down Series: Tip 3

Logo Tip #3: Research & Plan
A logo is much more than clip art and your business name. A successful logo requires planning and research by both the business owner and logo designer. As a business owner, you should reflect on your company’s core values and how you want to be perceived by the public. Do you want to come across edgy vs. traditional, artsy vs. corporate? You should also research existing logos either by flipping through a logo book at your local bookstore, or viewing some online. Two great online resources for logo samples are LogoPond or LogoGala. Pick out the logo designs you like vs. those you don’t—try to determine why—and make sure to convey these thoughts to your designer.

A professional designer will also do their homework. A designer will interview you to get an in-depth understanding of your company. They will research your competition and will also consider your target audience base, making sure to use colors, fonts, and graphics that will be appealing to your market. At Kalico, we do an in-depth, free consultation with each of our logo clients. We go through a series of questions that are designed to help us get to know your company better—how it is run, who your audience is, and how you want to be perceived by that audience.

As I mentioned before, a logo is so much more than just your favorite font or a piece of clip art you found online (which gets into a whole other issue of copyright law, but I digress). Your logo needs to be carefully planned, researched and executed. Be sure to hire a professional!