Me, Myself and I: Visually Speaking That is
This week Jordan gives us some history and tips on logo design. Download and use his Logo Development Sheets to create your own logos.
With the advent of television and the Internet, and online communities, we have all become a unique brand. In this article I’m going to show you how you can create your own personal, or familial, logo. A logo is important in branding. It is a visual communication that helps people associate you and your services with a picture.
Communicating visually has been an important part of human history. Dynastic Egypt used a symbol known as a Serekh. A Serekh was created for Royalty. These rectangular hieroglyphs were used to distinguish each ruling family apart. Egyptians placed the god Horus on the top, the name of the reining King in the middle, and the palace of the rule on the bottom. Serekhs were used to relay the necessary message of royal power. Later versions added an epithet within each glyph.
Army units of the Roman Empire painted their shields (also known as a Scutum) distinctive colors and shapes. These colors and shapes made it possible to tell the different military units apart. In Europe, and various other parts of the world, where there has been European influence Arms have been used to identify people, and in some cultures families visually for centuries. Mon, monsh, mondokoro, and kamon are Japanese heraldic symbols. Each family would have a kamon, and the designs were always circular, and involved plants, or abstract designs.
To help people develop their own logo I have created the Logo Development Sheet. This design contains two pages and you can use the link at the end of this article to download the files to your computer. Use Page one to brainstorm ideas for what you want your logo to contain. Use Page two to sketch and draw a rough idea of your logo. In addition, I found the book D.I.Y.: Design It Yourself an enormous help in learning good design techniques.
A logo can be designed in many different ways. You can use text, images or abstract scribblings to create a logo. I suggest that you design your logo in black and white as well as color. Doing so makes your logo more versatile. You might want to design it at the smallest size you think you’ll use your logo at, as well. This allows you to make sure that all essential elements are visible.
When I designed my logo, I kept it simple by choosing a few elements that were important to me.
- Computer: I like computers, radios, and technology.
- My initials: To remind my audience of who I am.
- My Scottish Clan Tartan: I am proud of my Scottish heritage and wanted to show this connection. Therefore, in the larger (and color) versions of my logo, I added the tartan to it as well.
I also took my own advice and kept my initial logo in a black and white design because I wanted something simple. I added the color design of my Scottish tartan later. As as result, my logo is very versatile. It’s on my website, as well as in the header of my resume. I also added it to any printed materials like my business cards and brochures. I’ve even used my logo for a QSL card to allow other Ham Radio Operators know who I am.
What you see when you look at my logo? Do you have one of your own? If you have one of your own, what design principles did you use? Feel free to share your designs and thoughts with the rest of us.