The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Your Logo

The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Your Logo – How to Prepare & Print It Perfectly is an eBook that breaks down the fundamentals of what and how your logo should be and look. It describes everything from the actual font you should use, to the size it should be, the colors it should be, all the way to what format it should be created and saved in. These are just some of the items touched on in this eBook. There are plenty more things to think about when creating your logo, so take a look at what else is discussed and enjoy creating the PERFECT logo.
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  • 1. Every company has a brand and a logo—it’s the summation of who you are as a company and what you represent. In this EBook, you’ll learn about the key elements in a logo—what it means and how to make the most out of it.
  • 2. Designer Borja Acosta de Vizcaino defines the keys to a perfect logo as: • Less than two fonts • Can be sketched near instantly • Can work vertically and/or horizontally A great logo is an indication of what your brand represents. But how can you make sure that your logo is sending your message? Let’s take a deeper look at the type and colors that make up logos. There are a lot of elements to a typeface. You have the height, the weight, the strokes, the serifs and so much more! It’s important to choose the right font for your purposes because it can influence the reader’s perception. Studies have shown that poorly designed layouts have left readers feeling sad and depressed while layouts that were well-designed left readers with “a stronger sense of clarity” and more focus on the topic.
  • 3. So how do you choose the right typeface for you? First, clarify what you are using the type for. If you’re using it in a logo or display, how do you want people to interpret that word or phrase? If you’re using it as copy or body text, how can you make it as readable as possible? Overall, Do you want to appear strong and traditional, or elegant and creative? Use this infographic to get an idea of the different options and applications of typefaces
  • 4. Red: Intense Fire + Blood, energy, war, danger, love, passionate, strong Violet: Royalty, power, nobility, wealth, ambition, dignified, mysterious Blue: Sky, sea, depth, stability, trust, masculine, tranquil Yellow: Sunshine, joy, cheerfulness, intelligence, attention getter Green: Nature growth, fertility, freshness, healing, safety, money Orange: Warm, stimulating, enthusiasm, happiness, success, creative, autumn. Color is also an important element to consider. The color you choose for your logo can indicate your brand’s identity just as much as the typeface you choose.
  • 5. Can your brand’s color affect the customer’s perception of you? The short answer would be yes, but the tough part is determining how much. Either way, color choice is an important element to keep in mind when preparing your logo. Color preference can stem from an individual’s personal experience, but studies have also shown that some colors are more successful than others. Blogger Gregory Ciotti sums it up for us here: “Certain colors DO broadly align with specific traits (e.g., brown with ruggedness, purple with sophistication, and red with excitement). But nearly every academic study on colors and branding will tell you that it’s far more important for your brand’s colors to support the personality you want to portray instead of trying to align with stereotypical color associations.” Use this free tool as an addition to your bookmarks. Click the Fount button and hover over a typeface on any webpage to find out what it is. Similar to typeface, it all comes down to the message you’re sending the customer. Your color choice is an opportunity to visually represent your company’s personality.
  • 6. What is a Pantone (PMS) Number? A Pantone Matching System (PMS) is a set of standard colors for printing, each of which is specified by a number. Some computer graphics software will allow you to specify a PMS number in your artwork, but you should always have a physical representation on hand (like a Pantone book). Computer screens can be deceiving! If you are planning on printing a logo where a PMS color is used, always let your printer know beforehand. Always keep in mind that different materials will print differently. For example, a color will print into paper differently than it will print into fabric.
  • 7. CMYK is a method of printing that uses a series of C (Cyan), M (Magenta), Y (Yellow), and K (Black) dots. This is also known as a four-color process. The majority of image files are produced using CMYK mixes. CMYK works with pigments as opposed to the RGB system, which uses lights. For this reason, it is known as the Subtractive Color System. Just like with PMS, different CMYK mixes will react differently when printed on different substrates such as nylon, polyester, vinyl, and paper. Plus, every printer will create the CMYK mix slightly differently based on their machine’s settings. Most manufacturers will actually print in CMYK, but as a color reference, the CMYK mix is an unreliable way to communicate the color you need, so the manufacturer will likely ask for a PMS reference instead. Use a Pantone chart to make sure the color is printing on correctly.
  • 8. The RGB Color System works on the basic principle that each color is a composition of the colors red, green and blue. Each color in the RGB spectrum is created first by having a dark canvas (or design area) and then adding each of the red, green and blue elements. For this reason it is also known as an Additive Color System. Every color in the RGB spectrum is made up of a different value for each of its red, green and blue components. RGB Color is recommended for artwork that will be used on the web rather than printed. MultiColr Search Lab is an awesome free tool for finding photos that match your brand’s color scheme. First you choose 3-5 colors from a color wheel, then Multicolr Search lab filters through 10 million (free to share!) Creative Commons images from Flickr with those exact colors featured.
  • 9. What’s the difference between vector and raster art? For a quick answer, you can watch a video here. Vector files are made of paths (lines and anchor points) that are like an engineering CAD Drawing. When this type of file is enlarged, each line is mathematically enlarged in exact proportion so there is no pixelating or distorting. This makes vector files ideal for printing large-scale. Vector files are most frequently saved as .ai, .eps or .pdf files. It is important to note that you cannot convert an image to vector format by simply saving it into one of these formats. You will need a designer to convert the file to vector format for you. Image files are called “raster or bitmap” files. These files are made up of pixels. Pixels are tiny dots (more like squares). The quality of the image depends on the number of these pixels per inch (PPI or DPI – dots per inch). When a low res file is kept small it might look fine. But when they are enlarged, each pixel gets blown up and gives the image a fuzzy (pixelated) look. Images must have a very high resolution (or PPI) to print clearly on a large scale. This might require purchasing a high-res file, or having your images taken professionally.
  • 10. When you only have an image file to work with, you’ll need to know how to check the resolution to make sure that it will print as clearly as possible. Put simply, higher DPI means higher resolution. Resolution is not “size” but it’s often confused because higher resolution images are often bigger. How to find the image resolution: Once the menu has appeared, select “Get Info” (for Mac) or “Properties” (for PC). A new box will appear. First, find the image that you are trying to check. If you have a two-button mouse, simply "right-click" on the image - a menu box should appear. If you do not have a two button mouse, you can "control-click" on the image to have the menu box appear. On a Mac, the “More Info” section will show the dimensions. On a PC, look at the dimensions, and the vertical and horizontal resolution to find the DPI.
  • 11. You’ve prepared your logo to be meaningful, you’ve got it in high resolution or vector format with PMS color references, but what else can you do in ensure a perfect print? 1. Ask and you shall receive. Ask for samples of whatever materials you are considering printing on. This is usually free and only takes a few days to ship to you. This way you can compare fabrics and make sure you love it before you commit. 2. Need more than just a sample? Ask for a printed sample! This will usually come at a cost but it will be worth it to check out the print quality and coloring before you place a large order. 3. Send your printer an example. Want your banner to be the same color as your business cards? Send your business card! Your printer can’t guess what you’re looking for, so provide it to them! This will help you big time in the long run. 4. Ask about a prototype. Placing a large order? Ask if you can get 1 piece as a prototype before the full order is made. Most companies will do this for no additional cost as long as you have committed to moving forward. CC Stands for Creative Commons. This site is great because it gives you access to millions of free photos, music and media you can “share, use and remix”.
  • 12. DaFont is an awesome site that offers thousands of free fonts available for download. No need to subscribe or commit, just download and go! Thinglink is a great free online tool that allows you to bring your graphics to life. It lets you add small clickable tags so you can connect to social and web to tell your story. Coffitivity was made for people who need a little background noise to get work done. Listen to coffee shop sounds to get your creativity flowing! 0-255 is a brilliant web tool that gives you variations of tons of colors. Their use of hexadecimal codes makes it ideal for web design. Ever seen a color in a photo and wanted it for yourself? Color Picker Online lets you upload + click on any image or web page and tells you the RGB color codes used.
  • 13. For more information, please visit: Or get in touch with us at: Social Media: Twitter: @MVPVisuals Facebook: LinkedIn: Pinterest: Google+:
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