How To be a Good Logo Designer
Two months ago, we started here a nice collection of posts that was aimed to help the ones willing to become logo designers. This is the fifth post and the ones reading it already have a solid opinion about what really the work of a logo designer supposes. This post goes further and presents the must have qualities of a good logo designer.
If you’ve missed, here the post series:
- Three Principles to Design a Good Logo
- Are You Sure You Want to Become a Logo Designer?
- How To Impress as A Logo Designer
- How to Overcome The “Amateur” Status as a Logo Designer
Off topic: I am a mediocre logo designer, having three years of activity in the field. At the beginning, I read a lot of advices about logo design and the features of a logo designer. It was dramatic for me because many “must have features” weren’t suitable to my approach and I wanted to quit this my next career. Fortunately, I ignored these advices and voila, I am logo designer!!! The idea is simple: the qualities that will be mentioned here are very important, but undoubtedly, if you lack some of them, really, don’t worry! All these may be gained and sharpened across time; therefore don’t waste your time and energy thinking to quit.
On the other hand, these qualities make the job of a logo designer simpler but once again, there is no problem in lacking some of them. In conclusion, after some years of practicing I consider the next items extremely important for a logo designer:
#1. A strong desire + capacity of work
I purposely added it as the “0” features because without a strong desire and an immense capacity of work, everything is in vain. Much more, these are important in every activity, it really doesn’t matter if you want to become a logo designer or a doctor.
Why are these so important? Firstly, because in the career of a logo designer there are enough moments when you simply want to quit and only the strong passion will “convince” you to come back to the desk. Secondly, no matter how nice is your logo, the huge majority of clients will ask for other small modifications, fine tunings that need time. Also, it may happen (and, in order to respect the rules of Murphy, these happen very often) to have tons of projects to accomplish in just few days. Without some sleepless nights you won’t keep the deadlines so a huge capacity of work is mandatory (in addition to a huge cup of coffee!!!).
#2. Strong knowledge of good logo design principles
Even if all of us detest this aspect, having a solid theoretical knowledge is mandatory. You can’t create a good logo without respecting the rules of good design; by sure all famous logo designers are very familiar with what the basic principles of good design suppose. The good news is that nowadays, you are a click away from tons of resources explaining in detail the rules of good design. There are the “classic” books or the new versions, e-books, blogs, podcasts, online courses and so on. Definitely, you have many opportunities to learn and sharpen your theoretical knowledge in logo design.
#3. Strong knowledge of adjacent fields to logo design
I admire the ones that respect their jobs and prefer to perfectly realize only a single type of projects instead of many but all of them being amateurish creations. This is a present problem of logo designers: if I call myself logo designer then I must create logos; if I call myself web designer then I must be able to create layouts. Is it? Unfortunately, by lacking clients some logo designers extended their plateau and are also doing lots of projects. Yep, I totally agree with this fact but there must be a single condition: doing quality work! By the way, what do you think, a logo designer must create only logos or is it mandatory to expand the offer of services provided?
Anyway, there is no perfect solution… what really matters is the fact that a logo can’t stay isolated; it is part of a website, of a business card or of a banner. In conclusion, it’s logical that a logo designer to have a mere knowledge regarding the adjacent fields of logo creation. Under these circumstances, it is normal for a logo designer to know some marketing principles or how to create a marketing strategy.
#4. Strong skills in working with Adobe products (Illustrator and Photoshop)
So let’s make a recap: you must be passionate about logo design, and then it is mandatory to have some theoretical knowledge about design and also it is important to have at least a superficial idea about adjacent fields. Once the theoretical aspects are covered, this logical enhancement supposes that a logo designer must be a practicing individual; in fact, a logo is something practical, not a theoretical entity. As you guessed, a logo designer must be able to apply what he knows or else he is not a designer.
While some people will consider that this is unfair advertising, I prefer to be pragmatic and recommend to the logo designers to buy Adobe products, especially Illustrator and Photoshop. The Internet is full of other offers, but these two pieces of software are the best (way ahead of other competitors). Unfortunately, it isn’t enough to buy these items; you must practice a lot in order to create the best pieces. Personally, I strongly recommend not letting a single day pass without using these pieces of software.
#5. An entrepreneurial mind
There isn’t a person in this world that hasn’t heard about the economical crisis and hasn’t been affected by it. This complicated and unfriendly economical climate demonstrated that everyone must be very careful to the financial domain and any affair must be quite attentively managed. A logo designer can’t allow himself not to pay close attention to his income and he must find new solutions to increase the monthly revenue, everyday. This approach is more important for freelancers, they are indeed entrepreneurs but also the ones working in agencies should give the required importance to their finance and to the methods of revenue increasing.
#6. Very good communication skills
The everyday practice confirmed that not always the most talented logo designers take the more interesting projects. A logo designer must have very good communication skills. It’s in vain to pump your clients with technical terms; almost none of them will understand a thing. Much more, the common perception is that a designer that can’t have an efficient dialogue with the clients is considered a bad solution even if his portfolio is amazing. In conclusion, don’t be high-minded and try to establish an active dialogue with your potential clients.
Once again, I strongly emphasize that you may be a very good logo designer without being a very communicative person, but clearly it is better to have some communication skills. I am sure that you may lack any of the above items and you still haven’t yet turned into a logo design star, but across time you must excel at all the above mentioned features. The single matter is to have a strong desire and a great capacity of work; so think twice about logo design. If you are still considering that it is a solution for you don’t waste your time and go back to work! (before that, if you appreciate the post, please share it with your friends).
– Written by Daniel –