23 August 2017

How To Create Unforgettable Logos

Image by Michael Flarup containing the logo for his game company Northplay, featured with permission


With competition for eyeballs becoming increasingly stiff, the challenge to create a memorable logo is a struggle that many designers that easily relate to.


This month, Adobe spoke to three renowned designers Michael FlarupAaron Draplin, and Brain Barrus, who dished tips on creating unforgettable logos.


The logo should tell a story — Michael Flarup


Flarup is a designer, entrepreneur and keynote speaker based in Copenhagen. Based on his 15 years designing for brands, Flarup stresses that telling a story is a vital component to logo design.


“You need to make this little scalable piece of branding that forges a connection with the people who come in contact with it. You get to be the storyteller of the brand.”


“A great logo is more than just a pretty mark. There needs to be a story, some deeper connection to the material and what you’re trying to convey.”


After sketching out his ideas on paper, Flarup digitizes them with an app such as Adobe Capture. He uses Illustrator to build basic vector shapes before editing them until he’s content. Next, he explores color and other details in Photoshop.


Flarup shares more about this creative process in the video below, and via his post on Medium.

Simplicity is key — Aaron Draplin

Oregon-based Draplin is a graphic designer, author, founder of Draplin Design Co., and co-founder of Field Notes. His passion for logo design stems from “the invention, seeing a project come to life, and of course, seeing how it lives in the world once it leaves our fingertips.” Draplin’s style involves incorporating basic elements into his creations.


“It might just be how a line connects, or doesn’t connect. That might be the element I savor the most, hoping it’s the tiniest move that will set it apart in the vast sea of existing logos. Simple, bold colors. Good math. Consistent line weights, angles, and geometric relations. Sure, that’s some nerdy stuff, but that’s what I’m always gunning for in my work.”


Draplin applies his favorite technique by way of “Command + =” and “Command + -”, that is, zooming in and out.


“The best logos work equally as well at the size of a pea and the size of a softball. What you do is this: you simply ‘zoom out’—making the mark the size of a dime—just to see how the connections feel, consistencies of line, form, negative space and color contrast. If something is a little tight or too close, you might need to adjust. More and more, the place our logos need to work are often in small places like Twitter, Instagram, or apps on a device. They have to work there.”


Keep trying different iterations until you find the best solution — Brian Barrus


With 17 years of design and Creative Director experience, Barrus likens logo design to “pure design.” The founder of Utah-based Studio-Element expressed:


“You’re stripping everything else out to see what remains.”


Similar to Flarup’s approach, Barrus tries out as many variations as possible. He explained, “They give an opportunity to iterate over and over on a very small, discreet design until you have found the best solution.”


“Hidden features and creative details help to give a logo impact—take the arrow in FedExas an example. The sense of discovery the viewer experiences can be a really effective way to make your logo memorable.”


[via Creative Cloud blog by Adobe, video via Michael Flarup, image by Michael Flarup and featured with permission]


By Yoon Sann Wong