Raster vs Vector
To understand much of what this article will be discussing, it is important to know the difference between raster and vector graphics.
Raster graphics or bitmaps are a dot matrix structure of pixels or points of color usually on a rectangular grid. Television, laptop, and smart phone screens are all examples of raster graphic displays. Printed materials are often printed out using a dot matrix as well.
Vector graphics are created using anchor points, paths, strokes, and fills that are essentially mathematical formulas that can be shrunk and expanded while maintaining perfect clarity. While all current device screens are made up of pixels, creating a logo in vector format allows the logo to look clear regardless the number of pixels the device has.
An experienced designer will know to have several considerations in mind from the start of the logo project. This forethought will guide the designer as s/he uses the client’s concepts and ideas to create a flexible logo. Without taking these thoughts into consideration a logo will often be difficult to use, look unprofessional, and communicate unintended messages. This reflects poorly on the business since it communicates to the viewer that the business may not produce or provide quality services and products.
1. Requirements of the client
As mentioned earlier a logo is meant to represent the identity of a business, organization, product, etc. This is why the requirements of the client comes first. Without first knowing the message that the client wants to communicate, imagery that must be included, imagery that must be avoided, or necessary color palettes to use it is near impossible to design a logo that truly represents them.
While logos are meant to identify they are not meant tell a whole story. What I mean by this is that a logo is meant to be the distillation of the mission, message, and characteristics of a business, organization, product, etc. It is not meant to tell the whole story or include all the imagery associated with what it is identifying.
Using only vector graphics to design a logo will make it much easier to scale up or down in size. This is not all that needs to be done however in order for the logo to scale gracefully. If a logo contains many small details they will be lost or difficult to see when the logo is scaled down.
4. Strong Silhouette
The logo should ideally be easily recognizable and aesthetically pleasing in black & white or one color—not just in full color. This is achieved by a design that has a unique and recognizable silhouette. To tell if a logo has a strong silhouette, simply make the logo a single color and see what it looks like. If the logo relies too much on colors, textures, or effects like drop shadows to make it unique, it is not truly flexible. Here are some examples below.
If these requirements are not met, it does not necessarily make a logo bad, it simply means that it is not truly flexible. Here at Lumné we are intentional to design with growth and expansion in mind for our clients. This is why we always strive to design our logos to be flexible from the beginning. While a client may only need a logo for a single purpose at first, we do not want to limit their future growth by designing for that one format and media type alone. Most great businesses have had humble beginnings before they rose to greatness. We believe that with a little intentionality up front we can position our clients for future growth and success.
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