Low-down on Logos
At Silicon Practice we’re often asked about logo design, so we have put together some tips to help you come up with a logo which looks as good on your signage and stationery as it does on your website and social media.
Our hints and tips
- Be clear on why you need a logo
Most organisations and businesses use a logo to communicate instantly what their business stands for and to differentiate themselves from the competition.In an NHS environment, where most patients go to their designated GP, competition with other practices isn’t normally the issue. In this setting, a logo’s purpose is usually to create a good first impression and deliver the message that you are a professional and trusted organisation. As a first step, talk to your team about the purpose of the logo. This will provide valuable information that will help drive the design process.
- Select your design
Logo designs come in many forms. Most modern logos use merely the name of their organisation in a special font with no graphic. Just think of Coca-Cola, NHS, Sainsbury’s, eBay, YouTube and Skype. Nike does have a graphic, its famous swoosh, but this is so memorable and simple that even when you see it without the wording you know what it represents.
- Keep it simple
The example of Nike brings us to the next point about the importance of simplicity. If you do intend to use a graphic, don’t try to tell a story in your logo. Remember your logo needs to work on all mediums so it’s best to keep the number of shapes, lines and other design elements to a minimum to make the logo as distinct and clear as possible.
Keeping your logo simple will help ensure it is scalable. For example, a logo should work on something the size of a postage stamp and on something as large as exterior signage.In this day and age more people are likely to see your logo online rather than on signage and correspondence. This means that it needs to shrink to perhaps no more than 100 pixels high. This is why major brands stick to their name as their logo, using a special font, to ensure it is digital media-friendly.
If you layer your Practice’s name on top or around the icon in your logo, then your Practice’s name can be harder to read. And if you have text such as a strapline within the icon, it will be harder to see the icon, much less grasp what it means. Separating these two elements from one another will make them both easier to read and understand.
- Does that come in red?
Colour is important. Use a colour that will evoke the right feelings and mood among those who see it. If a logo requires colour or special effects to make it a strong logo, then the chances are it’s not up to scratch.Modern designs tend to use simple colour palettes with one or maybe two colours. This is because the simple colour palettes actually create the sense of “more” colour. This reductionist method of design gives each individual colour the space to shine. Think of Asda, Marks and Spencer and Waitrose.View your chosen design in black and white first and add colour later. This allows you to focus on the shape and concept rather than the special effects. Avoid using shading on a logo. It looks dated and it doesn’t photocopy well.
We hope our hints and tips give you some useful ideas to start your logo design process.
To summarise you’ll find that you can spend a lot of time designing a graphic when in fact a good logo is often represented by special font.
And just one more mention of that iconic Nike swoosh. It was designed in 1971 by a student, who was paid $35. Founder Phil Knight said “I don’t love it, but it will grow on me”!
To chat further about logo design, or website design in general, please get in touch with the team atSilicon Practice.