From the vaults: A 7 MB, 222 PDF page manual on “Everything you wanted to know about designing logos but didn’t know who to ask.”

20th-anniversary-logo[UPDATE: Due to some formatting issues and technical hinkies, The Guide To Great Logos is temporarily unavailable but available as an online version here. We’ll post a notice up top when we’ve replaced it.]

While cobbling together some stuff for a couple of TLF 20th anniversary posts and trying to cull 20+ years worth of old images, abandoned projects and blog posts, I stumbled upon something I had completely forgotten about: The Guide to Great Logos ebook. This was a personal pet project I worked on years ago – the copyright is 2011, it started life before that – but the entire thing was shelved due to some pressing personal issues that demanded my attention at the time. The distraction lasted longer than anticipated, I never got back to it and other than a solitary blog post a few years back, never mentioned it again. Which brings us to this, me mentioning it again:free-logo-design-bookI’ve thought about a full-blown book for a while now – work has begun but nothing solid yet – but I had forgotten how close the original v 1.0 actually got to completion (the old photograph above is the printed manuscript, complete with post-it note annotations as it sat on my dining room table.) I gave the guide a quick once over this morning and realized it’s not too shabby.

Not too shabby at all.

Not quite ready for prime time.

This was a non-edited working version so you might find some design issues (Times Roman italic on the front cover? That gawd-awful ghastly ad on the back?) and the occasional (okay, maybe not so occasional) typo. Some of the chapters are light, some drone on. There’s some material that’s missing (the area of logo colors definitely gets the short shrift) and some parts are repetitive as all get out – apparently, I had a major beef with logo design contests at the time. guide-to-great-logos-example-pages Some of the info may be dated – nothing major (in terms of using your use on social media for instance, some pixel sizes have changed) but otherwise it’s still fairly solid, full of helpful pointers, tips, technical guides, advice, how-tos and how-not-to’s all peppered with a ton of examples and case studies from the shop’s catalogue of work. Worth a read if you’re serious about logo design or in the market for your own.

The Warehouse.

Anyhoo, I added the manual to our warehouse area here – at some point we may ask for an email address or something, but for the time being, you can grab at will. The .PDF weighs in around 7MB and 222 pages so make sure you have the pipes. Here’s what you’ll find in it:

Table of Contents:


Who needs a logo? 7
Do you need a logo? 12
The value of a logo. 16
Getting a logo designed. 22
The ‘value’ of design contests. 30
The McLogo effect. 36
Hiring a designer. 46

The Guide

Design action list. 52
Starting out right. 54
Potential pitfalls. 62
What makes a great logo? 67
The case for simple logos. 75
Fourteen things not to do. 77
Logos to avoid. 91
Breaking the rules. 99
Footprints and aspect ratios. 107
Designing for websites and blogs. 111
Designing for social media. 113

Types Of Logos

Text based. 119
Iconic symbols. 123
Graphic logos. 128
Illustrative designs. 133

The Design Process

Road maps. 142
Text road map. 145
Iconic road map. 149
Illustrative road map. 152

After Design Tips

Tips for working with a printer. 156
Protecting your intellectual property. 161
The poor man’s copyright. 162
Trademarking a logo. 165
Using your new design. 168

Technical: File Formats

Vector based file formats. 179
Spot color print reproduction. 184
Four color process reproduction. 189
Black and white vector-based file formats. 193
Screens and tones. 196
Outline font vectors. 197
Bitmap pixel-based file formats. 200
Black and white pixel based formats. 203
PNG file formats. 204
JPG file formats. 206
Changing formats – what’s possible, what isn’t. 209

File Formats Quick Reference Guide

Full color vector. 214
Full color bitmap. 215
Two color vector. 216
Two color bitmap. 217
Black and white halftone vector. 218
Black and white halftone bitmap. 219
Black and white linear vector. 220
Black and white linear bitmap. 221

All in all, not a bad initial effort and worth a looksee if you’re into such things. Click here to Download The Guide to Great Logos directly. And remember – before you give me gears about anything that’s in the book, remember it WAS assembled over five years ago and it’s worth pretty much what we’re asking you to pay for it.