While more often than not, a simple logo is what the doctor ordered, and what graphic designers strive for, there are times when a more complex logo is not only acceptable, but preferred. Here’s a break down on developing a full-blown illustrative logo
Due to the time involved in creating illustrative logos most projects have to start off the old-school way – as traditional drawings, usually pencil sketches that require the client to have a little faith in what the final product, once rendered, will look like. Over the years, we’ve had to explain to more than one client that the initial doodles are not final product but a starting point, after they’ve complained that the sketches look “amateur” (or worse) in early rounds of the logo design process. We’ve found that an explanation of what we’re striving for, design-wise, and how we’re going to get there BEFORE the project begins, always helps keep the client ‘in the loop’ and cognisant that the rough little doodles presented will eventually turn into a professionally rendered logo. To illustrate this, thought it might be interesting to show you how the logo design project for The Little Donut Factory fleshed out.
The first concept (from the original client brief) sees a baker pouring donut batter into the top of a zany factory. Truth to tell, the ‘factory’ design owes more than a little something to our old logo house (and as we had ditched the icon a few years ago, didn’t mind incorporating into this factory-based logo.) Roughed in typography starts the ball rolling towards a final logo.
(above) 3/4 side view of the factory, sans baker, with different roughed-in typography. One glaring design flaw – the donut conveyor belt splits the company name in half.
Accordingly, we tried a 3/4 front view (above) with a different treatment of the factory entirely. This would be the final sketch version we’d take to render (below) and color-up with Disneyesque cartoon colors (as per the client’s request).
Even though we’re working with a whimsical cartoon logo, it’s still serious business so we’re going to need a grayscle version of the logo (for when color isn’t available).
We’re also going to need a linear version for use in low-resolution and one-color reproduction.
Illustrative logos certainly have their place in the marketing landscape. They can lead to all sorts of nifty collateral material and if executed proficiently, can be just as professional as their text and iconic logo counterparts. As long as the client understands the preliminary steps involved before going to render, all should be groovy.