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Smashing Logo Design: The Art of Creating Visual Identities by Gareth Hardy

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Chapter 6: Conceptualizing a Logo

When you receive a new design brief, you may be tempted to jump straight onto the computer and start delving into the vast array of effects that creative suites offer. The problem is, creating without thinking about a suitable solution can result in logos that have less impact. Not only does a well thought-out idea save you and the client time, but the final result is much stronger, more focused, and more relevant.

When you’re designing a logo for a client, your job is to provide original and interesting ideas that will appeal to the target audience. Start looking at logos in your daily life—not just those of famous companies, but the less famous ones. You can always tell when a designer has put a significant amount of thought into a logo design, and when the logo was rushed. Your goal is for every logo you design to fall into the former category.

The conceptualizing process is possibly the most vital stage of logo design. I find that going straight to the sketchpad is problematic—there’s no point in drawing if you don’t have a practical and relevant idea yet. So, put away your pen, pencil, or graphic tablet for the time being, and use the greatest tool available to any designer: the mind.

Unlocking Your Mind

I’ve found that just like writers, designers can experience what I refer to as “creative block.” Creative block can occur during any project—inspiration seems to be a distant memory, and it lasts for what feels like an eternity. This shortage ...

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