Tag Archives: Graphic Design

How much should a logo design cost?

I’m sure I’m not the first, nor will I be the last designer to write about this topic. It’s probably a reflection of the world we now live in that the first question often asked is “how much will a logo cost”, or “can you do it for £50 because company xyz can.” – my answer to the latter statement, albeit qualified and polite, has often resulted in the end of the phone call – but that’s OK.

It’s a bit like asking a builder – how much does it cost to design a building, or a lawyer – how much is my divorce going to cost. You can’t guarantee the best outcome on a fixed price. Fixed price logos are always a compromise, just like anything in life which is sold at a fixed low price. If you truly want to develop something unique that is going to project your brand, then it comes back to time and money. Ultimately, you always (unless you are incredibly lucky) get what you pay for. Read More…

Fonts in the wild – FontFont Sari

FontFont Sari – Spotted

FontFont Sari

What’s more nerdy, trainspotting or… Font Spotting!

So there I was, fetching some milk, when I spotted in my local Spa, amidst the cook-in sauces – FontFont Sari (the text White Wine & Cream Cook-In-Sauce). Of course I always make my own sauces from scratch – but fonts are much harder to make yourself!

I haven’t purchased Sari yet, but it does have a certain appeal, maybe even for logo usage – It seems to be a softer, more rounded version of FontFont Dax, but this shouldn’t come as a surprise as both were created by Hans Reichel. I quite like Dax in certain situations, but like Sari, it has too much character to be used for extended runs of body text – but for short runs of type or as a headline font, it can work well.

Sari is an altogether softer animal you want to snuggle up next to with a warm cup of cocoa and a macaroon… Or maybe chicken in white wine and cream sauce!

We won’t mention the appearance that Helvetica made in the same store… oh the irony! Fresh meat indeed!

Helvetica - what have you done!

Font combinations that work together well

I’ve got a logo and I’m going to use it! This is the attitude of many companies after purchasing a shiny new logo. However, your brand or trademark is only part of the story when it comes to presenting a professional image to the world at large.

A poor or non-existent house style is a recipe for diluting your message, and confusing your prospective customers. Engaging different people to design your website, stationery, and marketing materials requires a strict set of rules, otherwise your company image is going to dissolve like a sugar cube in a hot cup of tea! A good house style will define at least things like:

  • logo usage, particularly minimum spacing from surrounding elements, if it’s colours and background colours are mixed, and so on.
  • Colours to be used in presentations – in particular to type/text.
  • The typographical rules to follow – in particular, the font families to be used and where they should be applied.

There are so many fonts – which do I choose?

Some designers can become truly evangelical about their beliefs on the topic, and may even appear to vanish up their own posteriors – so be careful not to get too bogged down with the finer nuances of type design – keep your feet on the ground, and get some advice from a designer who respects your budget and has a proven record of sensible typographical design under his/her belt.

Although there are literally tens of thousands of fonts out there, there are two main classifications which almost all fonts fall into, and everyone can understand without being an expert – Serif typefaces (e.g. Time Roman), which have terminators (serifs) of some sort on the end of their strokes, and Sans-Serif (e.g. Arial) which don’t.

In this example I am going to look at a simple masthead/heading and body text font combination. This is a good starting point for any typographical design strategy. I’m not a great fan of rules – and any designer like me will probably try it on from time to time with something different – but even designers who bend and break the rules (usually) do so with the following minima in mind. Read More…

Designing a typeface

Designing type is one of the most challenging areas of design – especially in this day and age, when there are so many typefaces to choose from. For some time I have taken a keen interest in typography, particularly in the art of designing type. I don’t aim to become a type designer by trade – it is such a specialist field, that to become productive enough to earn a living at it could take several years. Read More…

Never just stick to the brief when pitching design concepts

I don’t often write about my failures, but this one really had me kicking myself, so if anyone else can learn from it, then all the better.

Over the past few weeks I was pitching for some brand identity work, which might have lead into other work. I knew I was up against at least one other competitor, so I made sure I presented plenty of options, all within the reasonably restrictive brief the client had given. I spent time experimenting outside what clients ask for before, and I have found it invariably to be a waste of time, particularly when the client has been adamant about it – until now.

In this case, the existing logotype mark, which was constructed from a lower case Goudita Sans (yes, wait for it), had been letterspaced to painful degrees. Surely it would have earned the now commonly misattributed Goudy quote “Any man who would letterspace blackletter [often misquoted as ‘lower case’] would steal sheep.”

Letterspaced, lowercase

Well, I chose FontFont Meta to start with, because it was reasonably similar in proportion, had arguably more character, and I already owned a copy. However, then I thought Museo would offer far more character, so used that indstead – it’s terminators were largely horizontal, which help keep the flow along the long logotype.

A long horizontal logo had to remain the case, as the website had already been built, so concepts were submitted on this basis. Also, the colours had to be blue and grey. However, the tracking was tightened to give a sensible appearance, and a number of graphical elements were developed to accompany it.

I tried a couple of permutations

Long and thin...

and

Slightly less long...

So far, it was neck and neck…. until… Read More…

The importance of the design brief

Graphic design costs money. More accurately, our time costs you money, so the less time we  spend interviewing you on your needs, the less you have to pay! The best way of optimising the initial time we spend communicating is to prepare a brief for your project. This not only helps us, but it can also help crystallise things in your own mind. Please take a little time to run through this article and make some notes.
Read More…