Logos. Why do some of them stick and others don't? Also, how do you go about them knowing they can make or break a brand's image? And most importantly, how do you make your brand's face both modern yet timeless? These are the questions that every graphic designer thinks of at some point in their creative endeavors.
Like with any other creative process, we know that sometimes you feel like it's a losing game. This is why we decided to sit and talk with Tom, Director Strategist from Studio Dumbar and Karen, Art Director from formascope to hear their takes. From discussing timeless trends in logo design to the mistakes first-timers should avoid, this blog post is packed with insightful tips and tricks. Let's dive right in!
Tom, Karen, thank you so much for being part of this. We admire your work and would like to shed some light on your companies for our readers.
1. Can you please tell us how you got started? How long have you been in the industry?
Tom, Studio Dumbar: The answer may surprise you: we've been around since 1977. Gert Dumbar, hence the name, started the studio while designing the identity for the Dutch Railways.
Several elements from these early days are still very much there in the studio:
• The international nature of the team.
• Creating visual identities.
• The innate drive to create outstanding, groundbreaking work.
Karen, formascope: In our case, five years ago we felt like the industry needed some shaking up. formascope came in hot with a mission to bring a bold new perspective to the branding game. We knew there was a gap in the industry that needed filling, so we went against the grain and flipped traditional branding conventions on their head. And so far, so good.
2. Ever since you started paving your way in the industry, you know better than anyone that trends come and go. But are there some timeless trends in logo design according to you?
T: You could say that trends, by definition, are not timeless; that's why they're called trends. Timelessness is not a stylistic idea or paradigm. I think it is achieved by getting to the core of a project and bringing that to expression through design without any stylistic dogma's or preconceptions.
K: I believe simplicity and memorability are key when crafting a timeless logo. Don't go over the top using trendy effects, focus on designing straightforward forms instead. A timeless logo remains relevant and recognizable across changing cultural and technological contexts. Keeping it simple and memorable will help you make it stand the test of time.
3. Is incorporating temporary design trends into your logo design worth it, given they will change?
T: Referring to the point I just made: you should be rather independent of trends in your approach. It means that you are open to them; it is not prohibited to relate to trends, but don't follow them blindly. Keep your creative sovereignty.
K: I think it all boils down to the industry you're in. For short-term events like conferences, it's vital to infuse current trends into your identity for maximum relatability. But a more timeless approach is necessary for long-term, globally recognized brands to avoid fleeting fads. The ultimate goal is to create an identity that stays impactful and relevant for years to come, so carefully considering how it will be perceived down the line is crucial.
4. Let's talk a bit about newbie designers. What are some mistakes first-timers need to avoid when designing logos?
T: Thinking it is only about the logo would be a mistake. The logo is essential, but what matters most, in the end, is the overall visual experience that you create. Branding is something holistic; you cannot solely focus on one element. It is how you bring everything together: every touch point, every moment, every situation, every time again.
K: Shutting down during the creative process. Sometimes you get so fixated on your design that you miss out on something important. So, share your designs with others, invite constructive criticism, and keep an open mind. And remember, mastering design isn't a quick fix; it takes a certain mindset and continuous learning and practice.
5. And let's go back to the trends for a second. What are the top design trends for 2023?
T: I don't believe so much in predictions. I think every designer should focus on doing great work and see what trends emerge along the way.
K: AI-designed. It's the ultimate trend transforming the design industry before our eyes. Designers experiment with AI, as it learns from our requests. Eventually, it will become the ideal tool for solving tasks professionally. It's too early to judge, but fascinating to observe.
And to finalize, I’d like to ask each of you one last question if you don’t mind.
6. Tom, can you tell us how one avoids losing their identity when following trends, in logo design or otherwise?
T: If you are mainly following trends, you are following rather than creating. It means you’re not bringing your own personality and vision into the mix; you’re not exploring new ways and ideas. If you only follow trends, you are basically just a mirror of what goes on around you.
7. And the last one for you, Karen. You’ve mentioned that simplicity and memorability should be designers’ go-to tips. Can you share with us some really good logo/branding examples that reflect those principles?
K: If I am to narrow down my list to couple of examples, these are the cases I’d love to highlight:
• Rebranding of Burger King by JKR
• Rebranding of F1 by Wieden+Kennedy
• Branding of Polestar by Stockholm Design Lab
I think they stand out for their exceptional concepts, strategies and design systems.
Here you go! We hope that the expert tips from Tom and Karen have shed some light on how to approach logo design and create a face for your brand that doesn't blend in. And as for the top logo trends for 2023, we have a winner - AI. And only time will tell for the rest. Remember that your ultimate goal is to create an impactful, relevant, and memorable identity for years to come. So, embrace the journey and keep on creating, and who knows, maybe your logo will become the next iconic design.
If you're looking for more inspiration and guidance in your creative journey, check out the following blogs:
Expert Tips on Creating Memorable Logos From Ucraft Design Team
What Makes a Good Logo: The Principles of Great Logo Design
8 design tips on how to create your company logo
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