After a hard day’s work, most people like to come home and have a glass of wine or a beer to unwind and relax. For me, a new logo brief really hits that sweet spot. I simply don’t see it as work — design is what gets me going, and I love creating identities for anything and anyone. If this was the one thing that I could do for the rest of my life, sign me up.
So, in the spirit of helping my fellow designers spark joy, here are some of my suggested practices to reap the benefits of logo therapy. Namaste.
1. Setting Pixel Perfect Goals
For me, there is no template or copy and paste for an identity—every logo design should be bespoke. While every project has its challenges, the moment when you see that ultra-clever connection between the subject matter and the font or the negative space between the symbol and type is pure magic. It should make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Or, at least, your logo design should strive to do that for customers.
And everything else aside, nothing beats a client’s reaction when they get it—when they understand and appreciate the thought process and meaning behind every single pixel you have sweated over for their brand.
2. Discovering a Designer Support Group
So how did my passion for logo design come about? Well, being in design for 15+ years, you go through so many different projects that you just naturally fall into what you love.
A few years back, I became hooked on a design conference that I quickly came to consider as my go-to for all things design: the Brand New Conference. Like the design nerd I am, it’s the first website I look at as soon as I switch my computer on in the morning.
In fact, every year, I make it my goal to physically attend this annual conference. It’s like a designers’ retreat where you can connect with like-minded people in the industry, celebrate, commiserate, or just generally soak up inspiration.
3. Repeating Logo Mantras That Inspire
One of my heroes in design is Sagi Haviv from Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, described by The New York Times as the “Logo Prodigy.” He’s responsible for some of the world’s most famous trademarks and visual identities for brands and institutes such as the United States Olympic and Paralympic Museum, U.S. Open, and Harvard University Press to name a few.
I remember listening to an interview with him once, and one of the key messages I took away was, “Do something you love, and do something that you are good at.” I know I tick at least one of those two boxes.
Another lasting quote relating to logo design was: “A logo is not communication. A logo is identification. When evaluating what you have created, your design should always include three very simple things that a logo must be: 1. Appropriate 2. Distinctive 3. Simple.”
4. Finding Beauty in the Branding Process
As an art director and, first and foremost, a designer, you need to always be on top of current trends and always be on the lookout for new and clever logo designs, devouring the typography, colors, and every minute detail. You are always ‘working’ in that sense. Or, as most designers see it, that’s just a way of life. And I couldn’t love it more. Did I already say how much I love it?
My approach to logo design is consistent: Start with the idea, a sketch, then begin to test the idea with a range of fonts, styles, shapes, colors, and gradually what the unique element will be for this identity.
I am a sucker for packaging design in particular, and seeing a logo and its elements transfer onto packaging is pretty much the Holy Grail to me. But, seeing the logo come to life in print and digital platforms and working with the rest of the team to propel the brand even further is pretty exciting, too.
I will finish on this: Find what you love to do and consider yourself very lucky if you happen to do it for a living. For me, that’s logo design. What’s your therapy?