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Beating the logo Blues

How to think outside the box and come up with original logo designs for clients

Logo Fresh Idea

Logo Fresh Idea

Designing logos is a really inventive way to make a living, or at least a partial living if you’re a wide ranging graphic designer. Each design is different and the design process can be really variable; after all, you and the client are trying to come to a consensus on an important first impression. Essentially, you’re trying to bottle the essence of a company and the personalities of its most important constituents all at the same time.

Some logos flow out of the proverbial or literal pen tablet; others take a painstaking and often draining amount of time to complete. Either way, motivation can at times be pretty hard to find, particularly when all ideas seem to have been exhausted. However, there is hope. We’ve compiled a list of the top five ways to beat the logo blues, remain inspired and keep churning out the freshness.

  1. A seriously effective way to generate a new logo idea for a client with a company history is to research the background of the business to get a proper feeling for its values and origins. Very often, that process will generate a slew of new inspiration to tempt your client with. Consider keeping a notepad (or maybe an iPad app) close at hand to jot down ideas as they hit your neural network. If your client is the proprietor of a new company, ask as many questions as you can in lieu of background research; the answers will no doubt provide you with a similar kind of stimulation. All in all, knowledge is power, even in the design business.

  2. If every new sketch or layout you come up with is completely boring to you (and let’s face it, we’ve all come across mind numbing situations like this), try going overboard for a few zany ways to come back to the middle. Sure, you’re probably not going to present them to the client, but these gaudy designs sometimes have the power to reset your visual taste buds. At the very least, they may well spark additional angles of exploration for your logo theme.

  3. Forget about words. Completely wipe your Illustrator clean of all font and concentrate only on visual images. Take a piece of paper and brainstorm your client company, sketching only the objects that come to mind when thinking of the name or the type of business. Quite often, you’ll find yourself able to combine one image with another in an interesting manner if you transfer them into Illustrator and use the program to move the images around.

  4. If you’re really stuck, try brainstorming words related to the company or entity you are designing for. Then, go to Google Images and looking up a few of the terms you came up with to see what types of images pop up. Sometimes, all it takes is a fresh injection of visual material to set a creative mind to work.

  5. On occasion, stepping away from the computer for a few hours and forcing yourself to concentrate on something completely different can have a gloriously invigorating effect. Cooking, running about in fall leaves, taking a long bath and playing with the little ones can produce some of the best ideas in a remarkably short space of time. In short, having fun can be profitable as well as…well, fun!

As a designer, your career will no doubt be dotted with high points and low points. The key is to keep them in context. If you’re not loving the project you’re working on, it’s time to turn the design process upside down and think outside the box to ensure your artistic tendencies remain intact even during the intensity of logo creation. With any luck – and maybe the help of the above tips – both you and your client will emerge happy, sane and fulfilled!

Image: jscreationzs /

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