Logo Design Tips

(this is an article I wrote a couple of years ago – eventually I will create an article database of some sort.)

If you’re just starting your business keep reading.

If you’ve never really had a logo for your business keep reading (I’ve seen this in some smaller businesses.)

And if for some reason have the chance or ever think you will have the chance to create a new logo for yourself or your company without destroying years of marketing and brand recognition then keep reading.

Some key aspects to consider when you and/or your designer are planning your logo are:

– Does it fax well?
I start all of my logos in black and white even if there will eventually be color or gradients added. If the logo looks and feels right in black and white (no grey) then it should work well in a larger variety of applications than something that has been created in color initially.

– Does the font choice convey the message you want to be conveying?
Most people are familiar with the font Comic Sans. Some people even like the font Comic Sans. But even if you like the font, you would be more than likely to agree with me saying that this font would not be appropriate if used in a logo for a business that wants something with a level of professional sophistication.

– Have you written down adjectives that describe your company or how you want your company to be seen?
Things like professional sophistication or creative and friendly. See if the design “matches” that description or see if you can find a font that has the same sort of visual emphasis to it. Let your logo “describe” your company for you some.

– Does your logo have a shape or an object that can easily identify your company? (optional)
A great example is Apple’s logo. You recognize it instantaneously when you see their little apple with the bite taken out of it. Granted it would take time and advertising to make sure your object, shape, symbol would be as recognizable without words, but it would also make your logo easier to identify when scanning over a page. It isn’t always necessary however.

– Does your logo have flexibility?(optional)
One of the ideas that has struck me as being very useful recently is the idea of having what I’ve been calling a “break-apart logo.” Something where there is an element in the logo that can either be broken off on its own and used in a variety of ways or could be moved around within the logo to make it either vertical or horizontally shaped without changing things too much. This may not always work well for all logos but it’s also something to consider.

Successful podcast observations (circa 2005)

I’ve been checking out a lot of podcasts lately and I started noticing some key things the more successful podcasts incorporate. These are not rules to live by but they make good rules of thumb if you are going to start a podcast of your own.

  • 1) the podcast is edited. Instead of just going with everything you record, come back and edit for time or to get rid of some of the areas where you are verbally stumbling.
  • 2) there seems to be a show outline used by the host even if the show isn’t scripted. I’ve noticed that in several shows they have a planned set of things they want to cover and when they or their guest seem to be getting off-track they bring things back on course.
  • 3) intro music. Most have an intro details about the show you are listening to followed by some custom intro music before going into the segments.
  • 4) transition music. Music between segments if it’s a segmented show. A good example of this would be the travel commons podcast.
  • 5) set time. It may not be down to the minute but the good podcasts tend to have a set amount of time for their show whether it’s a half hour long show or an hour and a half.
  • 6) set release date. Seems the best shows are weekly shows and release on a specific day of the week. When they don’t release on time they tend to post updates on the status on a corresponding blog if they are having technical difficulties. There are a few daily shows that seem pretty successful but they are typically shorter shows.
  • 7) consistency. A basic consistency from show to show on all of the above aspects. Keeping the same intro music, same or similar format which means the listener knows in advance generally what to expect.
  • 8) sound quality. No matter how awesome your show is, if you come out sounding like a building construction site, most people won’t sit and listen through it.

800×600 resolution and the web

Reasons to still design a website for 800×600 resolution:

  • A few people still have old computers that don’t have a higher resolution.
  • A few people still choose to stay with the 800×600 resolution for eyesight reasons.
  • Despite the fact that many people have higher resolutions available to them with their newer computers, computers often ship with the setting at 800×600 and people don’t change them (either because they don’t know they have the option to change them or they don’t know how.)
  • And this last one defies any of the statistics you may have seen to prove my points otherwise: people don’t always browse at the full screen size. I know I don’t often because I like to multi-task. So although the screen is set at a higher resolution I’m browsing the web at a smaller size.