Even the best of logo designers will experience creative roadblocks. The problem is, in such a creative field, it can be difficult to have the creative juices flowing at every hour of the day. If you are a designer, while it’s your job to provide a creative graphic design service for about 40 hours a week, a lot of those ideas don’t come rushing in like an endless stream. Eventually, the pool would run completely dry.
In this article, we outline five places – both physical and online – that can help logo designers stay more creative for a longer period of time.
Museums and Art Galleries
Logo designs are made up of shapes, fonts, textures, outlines, colours, and plenty of hidden meanings. While it’s easy to assume these ideas can be plucked from your own brain, sometimes the pool can run dry and you’re left scampering for a sliver of an idea to help your logo concepts come together.
Did you know that artwork is also made up of shapes, fonts, textures, outlines, colours, and plenty of hidden meanings? While artwork found in museums and art galleries is portrayed in a completely different way with no definitive strategy, the concept is very much the same.
As American Educator, Jef Richards, put it, “creative without strategy is called art. Creative with strategy is called advertising.”
The trick is to draw upon the artist’s creative flow and the use of lines, abstract features, textures, and colours, and create something exceptionally unique. It’s not about stealing artwork, it’s about visualising concepts and running with the very idea of it.
Pinterest is very much a modern platform that is fast becoming a ‘go-to’ pool of inspiration for graphic designers. While its original use was – and still is – for people to visually share and discover new interests, it’s also a creative haven for those looking to draw inspiration for use in their own unique works.
Pinterest was created in 2010 and is considered a “catalogue of ideas” by the CEO Ben Silbermann. Its ultimate purpose is to encourage people to try new things and get creative. So, this most certainly extends to those in logo design services.
When logo designers look for inspiration, they may only be struggling with one or two concepts. Maybe it’s the colour, font or general shape, or maybe it’s just the flow of how similar businesses format theirs. Whenever the inspirational block arises, a logo designer is sure to find some excellent sources of inspiration on Pinterest.
Magazines and Brochures
While many magazines and brochures are very templated, they are often good sources of inspiration when it comes to shapes, colours and fonts. Magazines sell based on how well they grab the reader’s attention, and this can often play a huge part in the creation of a logo.
Of course, logo designers want to make a logo look clean, sharp and professional, but it also needs to stand out. Knowing how to do that without stepping into ‘obnoxious’ territory is difficult. This is why magazines are good to look at.
Because many clients also choose to look at brochure creation so soon after having their logo design guidelines put in place, it’s vital that a designer looks at how the logo will look on a brochure. Not all logos suit placement beside the very products they are trying to sell. This is often the result of two shapes clashing. Therefore, you should always take into consideration the placement of the logo – not just the attraction of the logo itself.
By looking at standard three-fold brochures, you can get a general idea of how other businesses have placed their logos. It then helps you decide on the best shape and the overall best style. It’s not a fool-proof method, but it certainly helps to do your research.
While there’s every reason to look outwards for sources of inspiration, information, and ideas, your client is probably the purest form. Even though they’ve chosen you as their business logo illustrator, that doesn’t mean they don’t have ideas of their own.
Not only can talking to your client increase the chance of you getting the logo 100 percent correct, but it also allows you to fully understand the business and the message it’s trying to send. Ultimately, your first port of call for inspiration should be your client.
Below are a few questions you can ask your client to help you become inspired for their full logo design.
- What products and services do your business offer?
- What logo does your business currently have?
- What do you like about your current design?
- What don’t you like about your current design?
- Do you have a particular font you quite like?
- Do you want to keep your colours the same, or are you open to new colours?
- Are there particular shapes you would like to see in your new design?
Other logo designers
Alongside your clients, other designers within your business or profession can most certainly be helpful in logo creation. When you’re in the initial concept phase and you’re just not sure where to take the design to from there, it helps to have another professional eye that can help you create the next step. While it’s generally not kosher to receive advice from competing logo design business staff, it’s certainly OK within your own place of work to ask for advice.
Other designers may also be able to provide you with constructive criticism and ideas to change the concepts you already have. This is particularly helpful if your client didn’t give much input into what they required. When your own creative juices are running dry, there’s always someone else who can share some of theirs!
Graphic design can be a mentally draining line of work, but it’s also very rewarding. It can give you a thirst for creativity and this ultimately creates the best logo designer. Are you a logo designer who struggles to find inspiration? How did, and do, you find yours? We would love to hear your tips and tricks of the trade.