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This post is a logo design tutorial following the logo design process I used to design a free charity logo (final logo at the bottom of post)
Last year I did a free logo design for a charity called Beach within Reach. Beach within reach aims to provide special wheelchairs capable of going onto the sand to disabled people at no charge for the day. Some of the people and children may never otherwise be able to go on to the beach due to the cost of hiring a wheelchair. The brief came from one the mums of a child who had benefited from the charity Debbie Fifield. Please check out their facebook fan page if you would like to offer your support to the charity.
First step was to send a list of questions to find out the type of logo they were looking for
The Logo Design Brief Questions
Your company name – as it should be used on the logo design
Strap line to go with your logo – if required
Please provide a little information about what your company does
Key words that describe your company – eg. friendly, reliable
What do you like/dislike about your current logo (if you have one)? Please can I see it.
Who are your competitors/Other Charities in the same field please give links if possible?
“Look and feel” required such as contemporary/traditional/brash/minimal/corporate/fun/
Any definite ideas you have about the logo design + examples of logo design you like/dislike (links if possible)?
Who is your Target audience?
Colour preferences if any. Should the logo be single colour/two colour/full colour/no specific preference?
How/where will the logo be used?
Any other information you would like to add
The questions were answered in the form of an email
To get more of an idea of what the wheelchair is used for, a google search of Landeez will bring up lots of videos and information. We are a fun, easygoing charity who’s aim is to get people in wheelchairs on to both the beach and into the sea, as many wheelchair users will never have experienced either. There is no-one in competition with us as it is a really unique charity providing a very worthwhile service. We need to continue fundraising to maintain the wheelchairs, purchase more as required (approx £4,000.00 each) and to really promote what we have. We also want to increase usage by offering them to schools/groups for the disabled within London and the South-East, then during Spring and Autumn a whole class/group of disabled children or adults could get to go on the beach which for many could be their first time ever. We really would like to have the beach on the logo and a fun version of the chair, but obviously all within a very simple form. I don’t think a strap line is necessary but we are open to any suggestions/help you have to give.
I have attached 2 photos of my son last summer, (I think the pictures say it all really) the wheelchair was absolutely vital to his enjoyment and when I heard the charity may have to dispand due to lack of interest from committee members, a couple of the mums and I took it on. The logo will be used on everything from collecting tins, t-shirts, flyers, right through to the website and everything.
Next step some basic research
The next step of the logo design process was to do a search to see the type of logos other charities use (above) and also find some images of the wheelchairs in question and some beach based images (below). I collected these images together and then dropped them into iphoto so hey were easy to view and print out.
Brainstorming for Logo Inspiration
Although I felt that the best route for the logo was probably was going to be an iconic/graphic version of someone using one of the wheelchairs I knew I needed to forget this for a least the brainstorming stage in order to try and not rule anything out. On the mind maps I used doodles as well as words to try an stimulate more ideas.
Logo Design Sketches
I worked at sketching out some possible options for the logo and scanned some of them in to work up.
Drawing up the logos in black and white in illustrator
I worked in illustrator to try work up the logos, first starting in black and white.Working In black and white let’s you concentrate on shapes and typography and not worry about colours which might distract. Don’t underestimate the helpfulness of showing your logos to a designer friend, I did. Usually a fresh eye can help you see what is and isn’t working.
Drawing up the logos in colour in illustrator
I then worked up my preferred logo design options in colour.
Showing the logos to the client
I showed some of the colour logos to the client and they picked the purple and cyan one with the addition of a strap line
If you are a graduate designer why not try making yourself stand out from all the other new designers
A little while ago I was watching a video on Gideon Shalwick’s Blog about creating video content by looking as though you are being interviewed by someone and it struck me that it could be an ideal way for graduate designers to try and promote themselves. I can remember when I left college (pre internet) the only thing that you could really use to make yourself stand out was an unusual CV or piece of literature. Youtube gives a graduate designer so many more options and I know this is something I would try if I wanted to try and stand out from the crowd.
Step 1 – Write out questions that a company might ask a graduate designer
This could be general questions such as what is your name, age, which town do you live in, but then add questions such as:
What do you like about graphic design?
What do you think are your strengths?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
What experience do you have in graphic design?
Step 2 – Video yourself answering the graduate designer interview questions
Using a webcam, phone or camera set the questions up somewhere near the camera and record yourself answering them.
You can see how Gideon Shalwick does it in his videos.
Step 3 – Make a screen capture video of your design work
Step 4 – Upload your graduate designer video to Youtube and your website/blog
Once complete upload your video to Youtube and other video services through TubeMogul. Make sure you include a link back to your website in your Youtube description. Also upload it to your website. This will allow you to point potential employers to your video. I would still have a normal online portfolio available too in case people just want to quickly look at your work. You can also promote your video through facebook, twitter, LinkedIn etc.
If there was a specific design company you really wanted to work for you could make a video directly targeting that company.
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I have created a short 2 part video showing my graphic design process to create a piece of packaging design for Betty Miller a company producing pet food in a more natural way.
Graphic Design Process Video Part 1
My graphic design process in the videos starts with creative brainstorming and image research. This is followed by sketching, then working up a few design options on the computer to show the client.
Graphic Design Process Video Part 2
The second video shows how I go from ideas and sketches to working up the final design, including producing a 3d packaging visual which can be used by the client to help sell the product. Part 2 can be downloadedhere (25mb)
I remember putting together my design resumes/curriculum vitaes in the past, I never quite knew how creative, or not I should make it. Mine started from the downright bizarre creative resume when I was in college (a pop up of my head) to something more formal with the addition of an icon or logo. Designing a resume for yourself is one of those things that’s always tricky, just like designing anything for yourself. You are your own worst client who doesn’t have a proper brief 🙂 .
And just in case you were thinking about it, DON’Tsend a covering letter like this (apparently a real covering letter sent by fax for a graphic design job 😉 .
This is a common question that people ask and I get a few people emailing me about this too. The trouble is no-one wants to tell you it’s a taboo question to talk about wages. I remember when I started out freelancing I was fairly lucky as I had previously hired freelance designers (when the company got busy) and knew the kind of going rates that I could charge. One way to find out average design wages is to look at the jobs section of design magazines or design recruitment websites.
I have read countless questions on design blogs and forums from students learning graphic design about how to build up a design portfolio. It’s that old vicious circle, the new designer needs to show work in their portfolio to a potential employer, but how can you show professional design projects when you haven’t got a job yet? Hopefully by providing some sample design briefs this will help student designers to build up their portfolios.
If you have any old design briefs please submit them on the submit sample briefs page. Please remember to change any company names etc as required (so as not to upset anyone) :).
What do you get for your efforts
To feel good that you have helped a student/newbie designer 😉
…and a link back to your website (from the brief)