Once upon a time the only option for printing was offset printing. (Printing on a printing press by a professional printer.) Today we have options, traditional offset and digital. Digital printing is like your home or office printer on steroids. In the hands of a professional digital printing can be a wonderful thing. It doesn’t replace traditional printing and the look is different. Offset printing can do things digital cannot and digital can do things offset cannot. We will get to that later. So how is something going to get printed and why do you care? Cost, look, time. Digital printing can cost less that offset–for small runs, Offset is better for larger pieces and higher runs. Digital printing can’t print certain things as well as offset, for instance, large areas of solid color will not print as well digitally. Large size pieces are not economical printed digitally, but 500-1000 postcards? Digital is likely your best bet. This how you know, first determine what you are printing, a postcard, a folded invitation with gold foil, or 18×24 poster then ask your printer. Digital printing will not print specified colors exactly but they can come pretty close. If color is absolutely crucial, think Ford Blue, offset may be your preferred method. Knowing how a piece is going to get printed is incredibly helpful to a designer in making sure the design suits your needs and will look great, all within your budget.
It’s a very exciting time, you have an event you’re starting or your company is getting new branding and that means you need a logo! Yay! What ideas do you have for your logo? Oh, you don’t know but you’ll know it when you see it. Actually, you won’t . You will be presented with a logo that meets your needs, your wants, it has flexibility, it’s super cool and timeless. And you won’t be feeling it. Trust me, been there done that. So what’s the answer? Thanks for asking, because I do have the answer. If your designer (because you are using a designer, because you wouldn’t do this yourself and your sister’s kid is SUCH a bad idea) doesn’t have you answer a questionnaire use this one and go over each answer with your designer. It will so help you know what you want, what you need and even things you didn’t consider.
Start with image:
- What is the essence of your business/event?
- What direction do you see your business/event going (larger, global, high end)?
- What does the business/event look like in five years, ten years?
- Think of three or four words that you want people to think of when they see the logo
- Come up with several yin/yangs about your business, for instance: Classic vs. edgy, expensive vs. cheap
- If the new logo is a revamp, what works, what doesn’t?
- Do you want a word mark or a symbol? (Think IBM, or Apple-apple icon)
- Describe your demographic, will it change? Will you age with it or will you expand that appeal, what about attracting those with a higher income?
- To whom does the logo need to appeal too? (i.e., wholesalers, retail, customers) rank them from the most important to the least.
- Who’s the competition? Provide copies of the logo or even better, web sites. This applies to events as well
- What makes you different from your competition? How are you better? Because we know you are.
- Search out some logos–you can do this even when watching TV. Find logos you like, they do not need to be logos that pertain to your field. Find some you don’t like. Finding logos you don’t like could very well be more important that you imagine.
- What should I, as the designer know, anything to avoid?
- Last thoughts–don’t skip this one. As you answer the above questions you may formulate some ideas, share.
One last thing. If you have more than one person use this questionnaire, give it to your designer ahead of time. In a perfect world, they will go over the answers, make notes then when you meet they will be prepared. P.S. You can use this questionnaire for developing a branding for your company or event. Lastly, a thank you to Leslie Cabarga for providing the template for these questions.
I’ve written about being timeless in logo design rather than trendy, grunge type anyone? (By the way, the answer is no, it’s also no to Comic Sans, and typefaces that are print but have curly ends or anything hand lettered, drawn by you, anyone related to you by blood or marriage.) Today it’s about what your logo says about you. Now I know anyone reading this isn’t likely in the market for a new logo, but are the company business cards getting low, running out of stationery? Maybe it’s time to evaluate and revamp or update that logo. A logo is the first thing seen by every customer, client, vendor, whoever. A card often arrives before the sales rep., your customer sees a flier, they receive a coupon, a postcard, you get the idea. What do you want it to say about you? Or even better, what impression do you want give? For instance a law firm or insurance agency will want to give an impression of competence, protection, dependability. They most likely will not feature futuristic san serif type, or fuzzy kittens. More likely it will feature solid, serif type, an abstract logo or something iconic, like a rock, get it? A yoga studio on the other hand, wants to look professional and competent too. It also wants to appear welcoming, natural, and organic. A yoga studio would do well with warm earth colors, an icon with no corners or sharp edges. It’s harder if you are a payroll company or you make pipe fittings. Some times in certain cases you want your logo to say exactly what you are, especially if your name does not. So I leave you with two things to think about, what is the impression you want to make, and/or should your logo just express what you do? Next week: new logo? Not before answering these questions first!
Posted in Logo
Tagged logo, Type, typeface
That’s how Henry Ford responded to questions about color options for the Model T. So what? Here’s what. Take a look at your logo. How does it look in black and white? Way too often, even now, logos get designed without any thought as how it will look in black and white. Logos often are designed in conjunction with identity systems so the overall look is considered and the details lost, like how does it look in black and white. I don’t mean shades of gray, I mean –black– and –white– really. If you don’t have a black and white version of your logo you should get one. Grayscale often does not work when it is printed, text and graphics become the same shade of gray and the message and punch is lost and it just looks plain bad.
Posted in Logo
Tagged Color, grayscale, logo
So you spend an ungodly amount of time formatting your wonderful document. It’s beautiful, so sleek, so readable, so elegant. You send it to your audience and await the admiring comments. And you wait. And wait. Philistines! They know nothing about beauty. A week or so later you notice a colleague has printed your document. At last, you think, someone with a modicum of refinement. But what’s this? Courier? Courier! What happened? Here’s what happened; you used a typeface (font) that no one else has on their computers. Your document is actually a series of 0s (zeroes) and 1s (ones). It contains code that tells each computer that when your document is opened how to make it look on screen. Bold this, not that, underline here, capitalize this letter, etc. It also tells that selected computer which typeface to use. However, it cannot use a typeface that it does not have, so it substitutes; and it usually substitutes Courier. To put it another way, say you’re making cookies. The recipe calls for a cup of brown sugar, you only have white sugar, so you use white sugar. The cookies come out well enough but not as good as they would have had you used brown sugar as the recipe called for. Yeah, whatever. But how do you fix this because Courier will simply not do? You save and send that beautiful document as a PDF. –But that isn’t the end of the story just this installment. Look for my entry, Why you love to send PDFs.