ADDING THE FINAL TOUCHES
Finalizing the logo.
Now that you have the correct shape, the last thing you need to do is apply the final details to your logo and you will refinished with the creation process.
The final details might require some meticulous work depending on the project, so let’s just jump right into it.
I should mention that you do not need to add each of these details to your logo. I am simply mentioning these ideas so you can start thinking of the details you want to add at this point of the process.
One of the first things to do is to add color. You’ve been working either with a bright stroke to make it easy to see as you trace, and switched over to a dark color (or black) to refine your vector drawing. Now it’s time to give it some character.
Depending on the client – a school or university for example – maybe you already have colors that you need to use. If it is your job to pick the colors, you have a bit of work ahead of you.
Color theory is a beast in its own regards, so I will save it for another post.
Fun fact: Did you know yellow, which is a fun color or a color of warning in the western states has a sacred meaning in India and China while it is the color of mourning in Egypt?
Just doing a little research on the colors you want to use and keeping the target audience in mind, you can save yourself a lot of confusion or misinterpretation of the logo in the future.
When it comes to picking colors, keep your color selection to a minimum. If you look at the Kuahiwi Surf Shop logo, you will see that I used a gradient of three colors. This is the maximum I would recommend, but try to keep it to one or two because using a limited number of colors helps with the memorability and makes it easier to recognize.
Whenever someone sees that same orange color used in your logo, people will remember that brand.
If you use too many colors, it will create a visual identity confusion. Keeping it simple makes the identity easier to recognize by using only a limited palate that people can remember.
Next, you can add texture to your logo. There aren’t many times you should be doing this as it starts to take away from the integrity of the logo you just created. If you look at some of the world’s most famous logos – Nike, Apple, Target, etc. – and take note that they do not add any texture to the logo except for special circumstances.
Texture is something that you can use during a specific applications. That could be a t-shirt graphic, or an ad campaign, or even a special image on the client’s website.
Other than these applications, maybe you are aiming to create a very unique logo by adding texture. Just remember the various sizes the logo is going to be applied and how it’s going to look both at very large and very small scales.
Roughen the edges
One thing you might want to do is add a touch of unique character to the logo by making it look like it was applied to the real world. As I had mentioned in the previous post, one characteristic you loose going from analog to digital is the rough edges from the graphite or ink bleeding into the paper.
If you want to make the edges of your logo look a little more organic instead of smooth lines, Illustrator has a decent way to do that.
First, with the selection tool, select your shapes the you want to modify. Then go to: Effect / Distort & Transform / Roughen…
When the window pops up, first check the Preview box so you can see the changes you are about to make. Next, change the Size option to Absolute (you should notice the exaggerated zig-zag appearance become a little more tame) and adjust the size as needed (most likely the smaller, the more it will look like ink on paper). Turning up the detail will make the details much smaller and appear more organic as well if that’s the appearance you are going for.
Feel free to play with the settings and experiment when different effects to get the desired appearance you are looking for. It will take a little experimentation to find the right look.
If you have been working solely on the logo mark (or the symbolic part of the logo) this whole time, you’re probably going to need to add the name in actual type to create a combination mark. You have a couple options on how to go about this: You could either pick out an appropriate typeface, or you could hand letter the type.
The quickest way is picking out a typeface. There are many type options available both on your computer and through websites such as Typekit (conveniently associated with Adobe), myfonts, and fonts.com. I beg you, do not go to one of those free font websites. You know exactly what I’m talking about.
This is a topic I should cover in another post, but know that the quality of free fonts is not nearly as good as the ones that came on your computer or you can purchase (seriously, use Arial instead of something from DaFont).
Be sure to consider how many styles the typeface you’re picking out has. Some typefaces are much more versatile and offer many options including bold, italic, condensed, extended, etc. You can use these different styles in the visual identity (typeface used on the website, brochures, business cards) while maintaining a consistency since they are from the same typeface.
The second option I mentioned is to hand letter the type. If you haven’t done this before, it takes a lot of practice. There’s a reason why there are professional designers who focus only on hand lettering.
If you would like to learn more about hand lettering, there are quite a few courses available online. One I recommend is the hand lettering course available at seanwes.com.
The biggest advantage to using hand lettering for the logo is that you can design it to exactly what your client needs. You don’t have to look around for just the right type, you can create it.
If you have the time to do it, I recommend first practicing your hand lettering before going this route.
Between these two options, you have a lot of options for what type to use in your logo. Just keep your client and objective in mind to help you pick out the appropriate type that will further support the logo.
You’ve made it!
Once you have applied the final touches to your logo, you now have a completed logo ready for use. Nice job!
You just spent a lot of time brainstorming, sketching, and refining to design the right logo for your client and you should share the process with them. Creating a case study is a great way to share the design process and explain the design and characteristics to your client. I will cover this in more detail in the next post.
Are you unsure of what kind of finishing touches to add to your logo? Are you confused about color theory?
Shoot me a message using the form below. I would love to talk about it.