A short article about logo design by Devon designer Steve at Cube Lab
I love to design logos but there’s more to a logo design than meets the eye and it takes far longer than you might think!
Steve, Exeter web designer
Why does a logo design cost so much when it’s easy to design one in Photoshop?
To start with, Photoshop is not the ideal tool to use when designing a logo. Illustrator is a better logo design tool as it allows the designer to design with vectors in a way that makes the logo scalable so that it can be used in any number of places – from websites and social media through to print for business cards and vehicles.
A vector-logo can be enlarged to fit the side of a building, if necessary!
Personally, I use Affinity Designer, but that’s another article on logo design for another day!
A logo design takes time to research and design and can take a number of hours to create and refine. As an estimate, I would say that it takes from 4 to 12 hours in total, sometimes more and occasionally less.
My process for a logo design is;
Research – I’ll consider the clients’ sector and consider a few ideas, mostly simple sketches. I’ll also check how and where the logo will be used as this can influence the design.
Ideas – I’ll normally come up with a couple of ideas, with variations of each. These will be in a fairly loose form, sometimes just sketches so that I can decide which direction to take the design.
Refine the idea – once the idea is agreed, I’ll then refine them, make sure they are accurately drawn and that they work in all circumstances.
Export as various formats – this takes time as each place the logo will be used requires a different version and that could amount to many files to export one by one.
Formats needed for a logo design
When you ask your designer to design your new logo (or refresh an old logo) be sure to ask them to design all the sizes and formats needed for all the likely areas you are going to use the logo.
Your designer should provide a version of your logo that is reversed.
So for example, a logo that is green on a white background should also work well on a dark background.
This might mean creating a logo that has some colours replaced with white, for clarity.
All platforms require slightly different sizes for the profile image. Instagram requires an image that is at a ratio of 1:1 and 512px by 512px whereas LinkedIn requires a size of 300px by 300px.
By using the correct size, you can be sure that the image remains nice and crisp and note that the sizes are all 1:1, ie square.
It’s also worth remembering that some platforms convert the image to a circle, so make sure that everything in the design fits the circle or it’ll be chopped off.
The logo should be saved as a 144dpi .png file.
This is a great site for checking the latest specifications: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-image-sizes-guide/
The logo should be designed so that it can sit comfortably on a plain or an image background. It should have a transparent background (usually, there are exceptions, depending on the design) so that the background shows through. If a logo is designed with a white background but your website has a grey or cream background, the white will show as a box which might be undesirable.
The logo should be saved as a 144dpi .png file and at least twice the size you need so that it remains crisp on all types of screen.
The logo should be saved as a 300dpi .pdf file so that your printer can use the file in a way that looks crisp at any size. They may ask for a file that is saved as .eps though this is rare these days.
The colour should be set to CMYK for print and RGB for screen-use.
Take a look at some examples of logo designs.