Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: June 21st, 2017 | 1st Posted: June 21, 2017
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Guest Post, Resources
Smartsign conducted a logo study, that analysed of roughly 2,000 logo designs to determine what the common characteristics are of successful businesses.
The company logos analyzed came from the 2016 Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies having a three year growth of 40% or greater, and booked at least $100,000 in revenue from three years ago.
To create this Logo Study Infographic, Smartsign focused on the following logo attributes: color, type of logo (icon, word mark, or both), shape of logo (rounded vs. angular), and style of logo (minimal vs. detailed).
Note: The logos in this infographic are not 100% accurate, due to possible human error and subjectivity. Colors and vague shapes can often be misinterpreted from person to person. Despite this, the info provided is still a good representation of successful company logos, with some key takeaways.
Logo Study: Which Logo Attributes Correlate With Success?
Any reputable company, business, product, service, etc, should have a professional logo design as the platform for their overall brand identity, as this is often a key distinguishing factor that will help set it apart from it's competitors.
A weak, or inappropriate logo design, can portray a poor message, and competing brands could well take advantage of this.
Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: June 22nd, 2017 | 1st Posted: June 20, 2017
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Design Essentials, Resources
So yeah, this post on proofreading marks 'maybe' of interest, rather than a valuable and important one. However, I do think it's worth bookmarking for reference sake, and for general posterity. Why?
Back in the day—yes I'm 45 years old, and often resent it—I was fortunate to have done a 3 year apprenticeship for a large commercial printers, which included: typesetting, manual paste-up using hot wax and galleys of type on bromide, platemaking and the somewhat tedious responsibility of proof reading.
Gence for me, these proofreading marks are a bit of a throw-back, and it's cool to be re familiarised with them.
Not sure many people use them now given the automation of spell and grammar checkers, however, you never know when you might get some text supplied by a client, with some funny marks on.
If you bookmark this, then at least you'll not have to call the client and ask them to translate!
Proofreading Marks that May Interest Graphic Designers
Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: May 25th, 2017 | 1st Posted: May 3, 2017
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Design Essentials, Resources
This super handy infographic, called: Know Your Image Formats - Mega Cheat Sheet, will help you understand exactly which image formats to use for: logo design, web use, print, social platforms, much more.
Newcomers to logo design, and pretty much any form of digital type design, can easily become overwhelmed with the various image and file formats available, such as: GIF, PNG, JPG, BMP & TIF, etc.
Not all image formats are created equal. All have different uses and different attributes, Know exactly what image format to use for web use, print, social platforms, logos and much more with this handy cheat sheet.
There are definitely optimum image formats to use, depending on what type of digital image you are saving, and where that image will most likely end up: website, commercially printed materials, social media platforms, etc.
Choosing the right file and image format is actually, for the most part, is a very important aspect of digital design to get to grips with.
Not to mention you'll need to know what sort of image files to give your clients, once you've finished their logo design project. You can't have your clients knowing more about image files than you now, do you!
Know Your Image Formats - Mega Cheat Sheet Infographic
Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: February 26th, 2017 | 1st Posted: February 25, 2017
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Design Essentials, Resources
I've always been under no illusion, that freelance contracts are mostly worthless when it comes down to having to enforce it, as it costs money to hire legal help in order to do so.
A lot of freelance designers, simply can't afford to go down that route.
However, what the freelance contract does provide is a clear set of: rules, guidelines, specifics, and overall expectations, that help both client and designer agree on what exactly is being agreed upon.
A freelance contract, for the most part, is like a glorified Check-List; simply helps manage those expectations during the course of a project.
It helps keep both designer and client honest, and helps prevents those, "you said this, and you promised that" scenarios, that without a contract are hard to argue against.
Bonsai Freelance Contracts
My life has been so much easier since using Bonsai freelance contracts, and I can't really ever see a time when I'd now not use one.
With a few PayPal cases that I've have to deal with in the past, being able to show PayPal the contract that the client signed, has inevitably saved my bacon.
So, even though I'd likely never be able to legally enforce a contract (I know many other freelancer designers in similar situation), having a contract simply reduces overall anxiety, as it feels like a nice safety blanket, or reserve parachute.
It's there if you need it…
The Freelance Contract - A Free Design Contract Service by And Co
As well as Bonsai offering freelance contracts, there is also another offering from And Co.
The Freelance Contract is super easy, and very customisable , so it'll be something that I will try in the near future.
It also has some features that Bonsai doesn't yet have, and these are features I'd like Bonsai to implement.
It's free, so no real reason to not give it a try.
Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: January 30th, 2017 | 1st Posted: January 30, 2017
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Design Essentials, Resources, Videos
Having come from the traditional side of commercial printing, whilst serving out my apprenticeship, I found this simple demonstration of 4 colour CMYK printing to be pretty useful.
If you've not had the opportunity to work in a printers, or watch a 4 colour printing press at work, it's not always so clear as to how the CMYK process of layering each ink: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black.
This simple GIF: larger version at this link: http://i.imgur.com/DrLJmHf.gifv really does do a great job of showing how each progressive layer of CMYK builds up to the final CYMK composite.
Demonstration of 4 Colour CMYK Printing with Acrylic Slides
I've saved an individual frame, as each acrylic slide is about to be put down, in the images below, starting with Black (often referred to as the letter 'K').
Cyan Acrylic Slide
Magenta Acrylic Slide
Yellow Acrylic Slide
Black Acrylic Slide
Composite of all CMKY Acrylic Slides
Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: October 21st, 2016 | 1st Posted: October 20, 2016
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Resources, Typography
wordmark.it is such a simple idea, and will be quite invaluable to logo designers, if you have quite a large font library on your computer.
You simply key in your word, or words, then click 'Load Fonts', and wordmark.it quickly scans your hard drive for all fonts—not just in a specific font library location—and then quickly displays your word/words in all available font styles.
There are a few basic filters and options, such as: lowercase, uppercase or sentence case, font size, and flip between positive and negative display.
Is font selection a real pain?
I find going through my rather large font collection, or just trying to recall what fonts I have and what they look like, really quite a chore.
Trying to remember what all fonts look like, and trying to visualise which ones might work for any given design, is a real pain.
Even using any one of the numerous font management applications, to open and close font after font after font becomes a chore.
I use FontExplorer to manage my font library (you can download a free trial here: http://www.fontexplorerx.com/trial-pro/), by Linotype, and whilst you can preview each individually selected font, this is still a far cry from the mass display provided by wordmark.it
wordmark.it really does provide a super effective way to scan through your entire collection of fonts; to see at a glance which font styles work/don't work, for your particular design.
wordmark.it - helping you choose fonts from your font library
Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: September 26th, 2016 | 1st Posted: September 26, 2016
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Downloads, Resources
Logo Artwork Sheet
Mentioned a few weeks back that I'd make a version of my Client Logo Artwork Sheet available as a quick downloadable template.
Here's that template: Logo_Artwork_Sheet_for_Download.zip, and it's pretty simples, and nothing at all fancy.
I use this Logo Artwork Sheet as a quick preliminary way to get the client their logo files, then I work on the larger set of Guidelines, if they've been requested.
It's not the same as some of my previous one-page Logo Specification Sheets and here available for download, it's just a means to supply the client with the main logo versions, which they can just pick-up and use.
This is all dependant on the client having access to something like Illustrator of course. If they don't, then I send them this as a PDF, then also attach the various logo versions as JPG's etc.
Artwork Created in Illustrator CC2014
The artwork is created in Illustrator CC2014, and saved as .eps and .pdf, zipped up in one file, which you can download: Logo_Artwork_Sheet_for_Download.zip
Social Media Version x2
I've started to create both square, and round versions of the Social Media version, as some platforms use just one or the other. If it's the circular version of the Social Media Profile Image, then you often need to size and position the logo mark a little differently than you'd do in the square version.
What You'll Need to Do
You'll need to change the fonts, replace the client name wording, and of course, drop in your versions of the logos, as well as changing the colours to suit.
Please feel free to use, and change as you see fit.
Other Downloadable Templates
If you come across any dead download links, then please hit me up on Twitter, thanks.
Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: September 14th, 2016 | 1st Posted: August 18, 2016
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Design Essentials, Resources, Tips & Advice
Freelance Graphic Designers: How do you Find New Work and Clients?
Thought I'd poll all you freelance graphic designers, logo and web designers out there, and see how you all collectively find yourself new clients, or how clients find you.
I've opened up Comments below, so please take a moment to share your various strategies.
Hopefully you'll like to share any methods that you employ in your quest to make yourself findable to potential clients, such as:
Google Search, Blogging, Social Media, External Portfolios, Paid Freelance Directories & Showcases, Paid Ad platforms like AdWords and Facebook Ad's, Local Press Advertising and Marketing.
How do you help potential clients find your design studio, how do you help yourself be found amongst the ever increasing number of freelance designers and design studios?
My Basic Strategy
I for one mostly have bene able to rely on Google, through many years of blogging. It seems the majority of my client clients still find me via Google Search.
Some new leads come from word-of-mouth, recommendations and the occasional repeat client.
I do dabble with the occasional Paid FaceBook Ad campaign, but that's mostly to just help overall awareness; Sowing the seeds so-to-speak.
There's no doubt that over the last few years, it's become dramatically harder to find new clients just due to the sheer scope of competition.
There are many any new freelance logo and graphic designers arriving to compere for work each day, not to mention the heavy competition from crowdsourcing sites like 99Designs and Crowdspring.
If you're of a generous and helpful disposition, then it'd be great to hear how you look for, and get new clients.
Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: September 14th, 2016 | 1st Posted: July 11, 2016
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Designer Spotlight, Resources, Typography
Download Free Fonts and Specimens of Digital Typefaces by The Pyte Foundry
Where can I download free fonts and typefaces? Well, The Pyte Foundry is an interesting, and useful, typographic resource to add to your collection if you like collecting free fonts and typefaces.
You'll no doubt notice that they use 'alternative' spellings on their website, such as: Pyte for Type, Gidital Typefaces for Gigital Typefaces, Fount for Font, Pytographic for Typographic… etc.
Each consecutive Monday, Mr Ellmer Stefan will release a new font on The Pyte Foundry website, which will be provided for download free-of-charge for a limited time of 7 days, and may be used under the terms stated in their End User License Agreement (PDF).
As you can see from the screenshots, each previous font shows when it was made available, but after 7 days the download link is deactivated.
As of writing this post; No. 28 'Overdose' is the current free font available for download.
This website was found in a retweet by @TypeCache:
Release 28 | 52
Go on gulping;
0% fat in tha face.
— The Pyte Foundry (@thepytefoundry) July 11, 2016
The Best of Everything for your Pytographic Needs
Quickly going back to their alternative approach to spelling, their sign-off on the About page (below) made me smirk: Alas, enjoy!
The Pyte Foundry: During the course of the year 2016 Ellmer Stefan will release a new Fount of Display Type on this website every consecutive Monday. Each Fount is provided for download free-of-charge for a limited time of 7 days and may be used under the terms stated in theEnd User License Agreement (PDF).
to the typographic diversity of the 19th century, this project’s aim is not historical accuracy — none of the typefaces are strict revivals of specific typefaces produced in the Victorian era. It is rather a “revival in spirit” indulging into stylistic manifoldness and idiosyncratic hyperbolism.
The digital Founts are generated using a component-based system that globally applies changes made to independently adjustable letter parts, such as stems or serifs.
This approach mirrors the production methods envisioned for the making of wood types around 1880: in “American Wood Type 1818–1900” historian Rob Roy Kelly refers to a series of inventions byWilliam H. Page using interchangeable modules in the creation of wood type letters enabling the rapid manufacturing of new styles.
Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: September 14th, 2016 | 1st Posted: July 7, 2016
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Opinion, Resources, Tips & Advice
The Challenges Facing Freelance Logo Designers and NDA's
Thought I'd share a letter I once wrote to a client, regarding some compromises on an NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) I was asked to sign, for a logo and brand identity project.
The challenge was that my client was an 'agency', acting on behalf of their client.
My role was to produce 3-4 logo concepts, that 'my' client would show their client. Their client would then choose 1 of those concepts for us to move forward with.
I felt it addressed a number of issues that I had been worried about before in other, but had not had the 'courage' to raise them with the client.In this case, I just felt I needed to raise these recurring concerns.
I'm very glad I did, as the client is question was only to please to accommodate my suggestions, which made it all the easier.
I have since added these points to a Contract template that is used in response to signing any further client NDA's.
The biggest lesson learnt here: Don't be afraid to question the NDA, if it doesn't 'flow' with your own contract, or way of working.
Note: I've pretty much just copied and pasted this letter as I wrote it, but obviously removing names etc.
The NDA Letter
With reference to your NDA and contract: I do have my own contract, but this may conflict with some of the aspects in the NDA, which isn’t a problem as I can change it as required.
The main topic of interest: relates to 'Ownership of Copyright’ of the logo design ideas submitted to you, and also my usual approach of putting my finished logo and graphic design work in my portfolio.
Ownership of Copyright
Typically, with OoC (Ownership of Copyright), this automatically passes from me to you once the balance has been paid ( I do also sign a form that I send clients showing Transfer of Ownership)
It is at this stage when I’d usually release the final digital files, concepts to the client.
No final balance; no final files or Transfer of Copyright.
One Logo Design Idea
The other issue is that the client will only always get the copyright for the one chosen logo design, and none of the passed-up previous concepts, ideas, sketches etc.
In this case, the NDA would conflict this rule of mine as I am to present you with 3-4 logo concepts which you are to show to your own client.
If your client doesn’t go with any of the ideas, then this is a bit of a grey area: you would have 3-4 ideas, that you’ve paid for, but yet I would ordinarily only allow for 1 idea in relation to Transfer of Copyright.
This is meant to protect me from a client using any of my previous ideas, that they’ve previously passed up. I might have created countless sketches and vague concepts, maybe a handful of more polished digital ideas, but my client will only ever get ownership of the one chosen idea.
I’d need to make some kind of provision that you are not permitted to use my concepts (except 1, as you have paid for that) for other works’/clients’ if your client doesn’t select any of mine.
Also, this would apply if your client does choose an idea, this means the other remaining concepts cannot be used or repurposed, by you, for other clients/future projects etc.
• If your client awards you the pitch, and we get the go ahead to progress with one of the concepts, only this 1 logo design concept would be covered by the Transfer of Ownership of Copyright.
The remaining logo concepts remain my ownership, but I’d adhere to the NDA and remove any mention/reference to the clients brand name etc, obviously. This would allow me to repurpose a logo mark, for example, that they passed-up, for another client. Not clear at this point if the Ownership of the chosen concept eventually goes to you, or to your client.
• If the client doesn’t award you the pitch, then you are only permitted to use/repurpose one of the concepts I’ve created, for any other project/client you see fit in the future. You’d just need to let me know which one, and I’d arrange the Transfer of Copyright etc accordingly.
Showing of Client Works
Typically, after a project is complete, and the client is happy etc, then I’d put the logo design on my portfolio, external portfolios, and usually blog about the project etc.
I understand the NDA prevents me from doing this initially, but I’m not sure if this is a ‘forever thing’, or time limited?
So for example: you win the pitch, and we work on a final version of the logo. Would I, at any point in the future, be able to put this design in my portfolio?
Sorry for all this, but I’ve been burnt before, and seen other designers’ in a similar position see a number of their ‘unwanted’ concepts actually being used.
I hope this all makes sense, and feel free to suggest edits/amendments, then I can include this in my Contract and send it to you for your approval, along with the Invoice.
© 2006-2017 All Rights Reserved The Logo Smith: Logo Designer & Brand Identity Design Studio, with 25 Years Experience,
Graham Smith: 10 Badgers Copse, Seaford, East Sussex, England. Tel: +44 (0) 7816 527 462 Email: [email protected]