Businesses have a distinct identity of their own and there is a lot that has been said by branding gurus and marketing experts on how businesses can develop their brand identities successfully and then sustain them for long term benefit. But personal branding is a relatively new phenomenon.
We have come to regard businesses as separate entities, free of connection to any certain person. People come and go, the business and its brand identity stay. Nike, Coca Cola, Google, all of them have been around for quite some time and the people who worked for them at the inception of these companies might have left by now, but these brands have retained their original identities.
A single person, being his brand and business, all by himself, is becoming increasingly possible nowadays. Things like the Sharing Economy and the rise of the “Freelance Worker”, has allowed individuals to be free of jobs and be businesses onto themselves. But do they need branding?
Yes, they certainly do, even more, important than businesses, because they need to make themselves known to their target markets in a certain way and without the right personal branding, this might not be possible.
For e.g. there is a freelance photographer with some great skills, but just sending over a portfolio if too dull an idea to woo many customers. Anyone can send in their portfolios, how do you stand apart from them? The answer is, “Personal Branding” in the right way.
Having your own logo, printed stationery, business cards, dedicated social media channels and profiles and a great website to go with all of this, would work wonders for anyone who plans to do it all alone and not involve anyone else.
Personal Branding gives you the same persona as a business. Having your own “Brand” allows you to develop authenticity and trust, along with transparency, vital ingredients for eventual success by gaining more and more consumers on your side.
Where to Start Your Journey as a Personal Brand?
There is not a big difference between developing a Cult of Personality and developing your own Personal Brand. You need to represent yourself around a certain vision and have everything revolve around that. But where do you start the transformation from?
The answer is: Logos!
Logos are the visual representations of your brand’s vision and they serve in a big way into developing a certain positioning of your personal brand into the minds of your target audience.
While everything else like a personal website or business cards is necessary towards a personal brand as well, but a logo is where it will all need to start.
What will differentiate your website and give it its unique identity? What design template will your business cards follow?
Logos serve as the sheet anchor of all other branding collaterals that are to follow. Even as a personal brand, you need to have a certain image representing you because putting your face on everything wouldn’t cut it and would end up making you look gaudy and bad. Even on the design part, your face is not medium neutral and it might be possible to upload a great picture of yourself on your website but it’s not such a good idea when it comes to other branding materials like business cards or even promo products.
But what kind of a logo is good for personal branding?
It’s good for a business to have a certain graphic image as their logo like for e.g. Snapchat’s Ghost based logo (which represents the ephemerality of the posts you put up on the platform) or Apple’s apple based logo with a bite taken off of it, but when it comes to personal branding logos, you would end up committing a big brand sin by choosing to design a graphic based image as your logo.
Why is this not such a good idea? Because you will lose out your own personal uniqueness and image in the glare of that graphic based image as your logo. You need to promote your individual self powerfully and anything related to your personal branding has to have a certain element of your personality.
The best and most suitable designed logo for your personal branding would be a TypeFace or a Word Based Logo, using your name or your initials. The power of this idea lies in the fact that your name needs promotion and what better way to do it then transform it into a logo that you can use for personal branding. It’s still a logo that you can use and your name is being at the center of all the limelight. Typeface based logos are one of the most successful logos in the personal branding sphere
Oprah Winfrey has amassed a Multi-Billion Dollar Personal Brand and she uses her own name in the logos to promote anything done under her personal brand. People know Oprah and she leverages her name to get these very people to make her even more successful.
Other Popular Personally Branded Celebrities from the outrageously popular Singer/Artist Lady Gaga to the basketball superstar LeBron James has used their name for logos with spectacular success and now those very name based typographical logos are worth hundreds of millions of dollars alone.
Logos are immensely crucial for any business out there but don’t underestimate their power in the personal branding sphere. They can carve out a certain niche for you and make you look at a whole new level.
So the first cornerstone towards achieving success in the personal branding sphere is to combine your name with a well-designed, type face based logo to give you the necessary oomph and personality to develop yourself into a charismatic brand and emulate the successes of these personal branding icons.
We have brands and ads all around us but regardless of how many there are, only a few have brand power, even fewer enjoy the iconic brand status. A handful of brands can be recognized globally and have become integrated into the pop culture. All of these brands can be recognized through their logos and brand colors. So how was it that these brands achieved their iconic status and is it possible for emerging brands to obtain the same illustrious position?
All marketers would love to be in the same standing as these brands but it’s highly unlikely that new brands will ever come close to it. To get to that level of recognition, these brands have had to consistently deliver to their market over many decades which is how they have garnered so much loyalty. Even though it will take newer brands some time to become iconic, there are pointers that they can take from the big shots in the market.
Can be spotted with just the logo
A swoosh anywhere will instantly remind you of Nike, the same way McDonald’s gold arches can be recognized from a mile away. The visual cues that have been associated with these brands is what makes them so identifiable so easily. These simplistic but impactful visual cues is what gives many of these iconic brands an advantage over others. There are other sporting goods’ brands who are also successful but none of their logos will have the same recognition that Nike’s swoosh has.
Brands that are considered iconic have a top-of-mind awareness which is why having a simple and easily identifiable logo is such an advantage. Brands that have top-of-awareness are more likely to be considered for purchase as opposed to those that aren’t as familiar.
It should be noted that a customer’s buying behavior is affected by visual cues but there are other factors that are also involved such as the functional benefits and the emotions induced by the brand.
Iconic brands become part of a culture which is why their branding requires them to stay up-to-date with popular culture and reflect the happenings of society.
In the book, How Brands Become Icons, Professor Douglas Holt of Oxford University narrows down 3 principles that make brands iconic.
Iconic brands react to what is going on in the society
PepsiCo attempted to do this recently with its advert representing the Black Lives Matter movement but failed to do so miserably when people decided that the ad was insensitive and tone-deaf.
Iconic brands are known to respond to current events to maintain relevancy and to exceed beyond their functional benefits. These type of marketing efforts is what lets people make positive associations with the brand
Iconic brands have personality
Iconic brands have personality traits just like humans. These traits are reflected in the types of products they sell, the type of celebrities they sign as endorsers, the events they sponsor and the brand’s symbols. Marlborough, for the longest time, was represented by a macho man from the Western frontier. Old Spice, on the other hand, opted for a different approach and became known for its unconventional, humorous ads.
Personality becomes more important than functional benefits
With time, the brands no longer just represent the functional benefits, they embody the characteristics that have become associated with time. Volvo is known primarily for its safety and Rolex reflects luxury and success.
New brands will have to create marketing campaigns that depict certain personality traits that distinguish them from others and make them more identifiable.
Since the advent of conventional businesses, Logos have been there. Just like a human body has to have a face otherwise it looks odd, a business without a logo had always seemed incomplete. Irrespective of the size or scale of the business, the business had to have a logo, even if it meant to place the name of the business on a signboard outside. Logos were visual representations of a brand’s actual existence. They brought a brand to life and were an integral part of a firm’s brand identity,
But fast forward to 2017, things in the business world have changed rapidly and this transformation has brought numerous disruptions within the industry, especially in the sphere of branding and logos. Logos mean much more now than just branding collaterals as people have now developed an even deeper, more intricate relationship with them.
The world has moved on to the online realm and now people prefer to use their smartphones as the premier way of communicating with the world, even with businesses. And on these very smartphones, a brand’s logo is the now the brand itself.
Take out your smartphone right now and you’ll notice hundreds of symbols that your window to the services you need. From Twitter to Facebook to Snapchat to even Amazon, their logos are what you need to first dab on, if you want to go any further into using the services that these businesses offer. In the 21st century world, every single customer who needs to use a certain service on a smartphone cannot bypass seeing or interacting a logo.
These actual physical interactions with the brand’s logos by audiences have raised the stakes for logos higher than they have been in history and the importance continues to grow exponentially.
Conventional branding strategies used to treat logos as something that they needed to have for the purpose of making the audience look at them as a visual personification or a face of the brand and for that purpose logos used to be placed everywhere from company notepads to billboards and even on promo products, but things stand completely changed now.
Let’s explain the “Immense power” of this phenomenon further:
When a logo didn’t have a certain degree of physical interactions involved, their effect on the user was far less. The logos of today, which you can click, dap, tap and pinch on, amplify the usefulness that a user finds in that logo being there.
There is a difference between Facebook’s logo being placed on a billboard, which you can just look at and Facebook’s logo that you can actually tap and enter into Facebook itself.
The unprecedented number of users that online businesses have amassed in recent years and the mind-boggling financial valuations that they have amassed, have been contributed in large part to the power of these logos being part of the user’s overall experience in a certain interaction with that very business, and that’s where the importance of having a good quality and tastefully designed logo has increased.
With consumers carrying hundreds of brand icons within their pockets each day, businesses and marketers need to ponder over the power that a good quality logo now begets.
These new, interactive, Logos make sure that there is a certain “Face” for the brand that could pop up in the consumer’s mind when a brand is mentioned or they could be reminded of the brand after seeing a logo, all for one purpose, i.e. to get the consumer to click on the logo to enter the business. Logos have become essential for 21st-century businesses as they are now intertwined with them. A bad logo would never see your app is downloaded from the app store, no matter how great your services are. If you want success for your business, you now need a great logo that people love, so that it can become synonymous with the business you do and bring in customers.
Snapchat’s logo is Snapchat itself. It’s how Snapchat users remember Snapchat and the best part is that this phenomenon is also quite infectious and sticky. As your brand becomes famous through your logo, more and more people start recognizing it, which leads to greater number of consumers coming in each day.
And this logo phenomenon now transcends firms who solely exist online. Even the businesses that exist just physically need to look out for grabbing more consumers through the vast outreaching power of the online world by having unique brand identifiers like a great logo, and if they don’t do so, don’t expect to see them around in the next couple of years.
To achieve success in the current, highly volatile business environment, you need to be aware of the latest trends and mindsets that prevail within the population that you intend to target, just like how logos stand transformed and now mean so much more to business and consumers, and then apply your own unique approaches to successfully utilize these very trends and mindsets to the eventual success of your business.
Nearly every brand in the world has the same purpose i.e. of increasing brand recognition and recall and every other marketing and branding tool was geared to specifically works as a means to an end towards that very purpose, but, in this fast-paced world, nothing is static, not even this age-old branding purpose kit.
The internet took the world by storm but Google came forward like Noah’s flood, encapsulating everything in its path. The iconic search box became the place where we went whenever we wanted to know about anything. Everything became “Googleable” and a search frenzy started. Marketers saw an opportunity in this mind blowing phenomenon and this gave birth to the SEO era. Optimizing your brand for keywords and putting and pulling as many reference links to your side as possible was seen as the top priority for brands across every industry, but all of that is in for a very big change as we move ahead into the new era of Search Revolution, powered by Google.
Google Lens, a pioneering technology, has been launched as a feature of Google Assistant for Android and iOS phones, and this very technology will be the heartbeat of the next big revolution in Search.
Just imagine that if you could install Google directly on to your own retinas and whatever you see, you could get any type of information on it, but that’s not just imagination, that’s actually happened with Google Lens. This new feature will allow you to point your smartphone’s camera at anything and Voila! Google comes up with the answers. Point your phone at the restaurant in front of you and Google instantaneously comes up with the reviews, point it at an animal and Google will return with much more information regarding the creature than you’ll ever need. That’s Google Lens for you, an extension of your own human instinct, carried on forward from your childhood. Remember the time when you were young and you used to ask “What’s that?” and a reply came, Google lens will work on the same lines, but this time you’ll be surer of the answers you get.
But will this new innovation bring a drastic turnaround in the field of branding? Yes, it certainly will, but nowhere will it be as important as in the domain of logos.
Logos define your business and portray your brand’s image and vision to the onlooker, but that conventional purpose for a logo will undergo a big upheaval with the introduction of technologies like Google Lens. Yes, Google Lens allows you to get information on something by just pointing your smartphone’s camera at it, but what will make you ponder your camera to that specific point or in simpler terms, how to get the user to search more about the brand? The answer is, through your Logos.
Logos used to have a lesser role in the branding domain as compared to its peers but from now onwards, it’s your logo that will make people know more about your brand and the importance of getting a good enough logo for your brand will acquire a new meaning.
A brilliant logo will make people want to know more about it and their smartphones will help them in a blink with this task, but mediocre logos will definitely be ignored. Brands with badly designed logos and with this that are not that aesthetically pleasing, will definitely miss a major chunk of interest that could have come their way, had they had a better logo.
This might sound quite a far-fetched scenario or to seem it might not even seem plausible, but technology has a funny way of surprising us. Who would have that the world will go gaga over an app, that automatically deletes your pictures and videos after 24 hours aka Snapchat? Was there anyone who could have predicted that of all products and industries in the world, an internet search engine would become the most valuable firm in the world? Xerox didn’t see the rise of the printers and lost out, while Kodak met the same fate when it too became delusional and didn’t think much of the imminent smartphone revolution in its tow. Preparing won’t leave you worse but not doing enough has the chances of making your brand’s ship sink and never re-emerge again. Getting a new logo for your brand might sound like something inconsequential for this type of a reason, but for the foresight, anyone thinking on these lines will stand a significantly less chance of growing forward in the upcoming era.
From the cave paintings of the Aztec and Mayan civilizations belonging to the Neolithic era to the modern era, the appeal of pictorial marks has never been lost on humans.
You know why? Because hundreds of years of evolution has transformed our brains to see faces in everyday objects as familiarity helps us make sense of our world more easily. Whenever you hear the word “Apple”, your brain automatically conjures up an image of Red, shaped object, which you know, is an apple. You just can’t stop this process from taking place. But you certainly can take it to your own advantage and use it’s a powerful branding connectivity tool through the use of Pictorial Mark Logos.
Using actual pictures of real word objects as the logo of a brand instead of, symbols or text accompanying them, pictorial mark logos are just about everywhere.
See around you, some of the most powerful brands out there have pictorial mark logos. Facebook has an “F” as a logo, Twitter has a Bird as its logo, Apple has an Apple with a bite taken off of it, as its logo, Nike has its Swoosh and more, countless other examples of brands with similar logos, that serve millions and billions of customers each day without the appeal being lost ever.
In his book, The Tipping Point, author Malcolm Gladwell talks about the psychological concept of mutual exclusivity as one of the most fundamental behavioral rules through which we acquire language more easily. In easier terms, this concept tells us that, as we learn language, we cannot ascribe two different words to a single object. For e.g., an apple cannot be simultaneously called a raddosa. This would be immensely confusing to us. Once a word and an image have stuck to a certain object, it’s immensely easier for us to memorize and remember it which makes for excellent recall whenever the word or the object is presented to us. And isn’t that, what logos are supposed to do? Be memorable and aid in making the brand easier to recognize and recall? Hence, the transcendent power of pictorial mark logos.
One of the most important and highly popular logos to emerge in recent years has been the logo for Android. Amusingly, the inspiration for this Green colored bot, which has become a universally accepted symbol of the Android operating system the world over, came from the pictorial marks of men and women outside bathrooms. This pictorial mark logo for Android is immensely simple, with a body and antennas on top, to give it a more “Robotic” kind of feel.
The underlying power of getting more acceptability is ubiquitous for pictorial mark logos and many more brands have successfully utilized them to get their brands more acclaim and popularity as they can be used across a wide variety of platform more easily. Brands like Lacoste, which uses an alligator as its logo, has been instantly recognizable the world over, no matter whether the logo is on shoes, handbag, Polo Shirt or even on an Outlet sign.
Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent each year by firms to make their brands more known to consumers and get them to initiate an interaction with the brand itself. But if you have a highly effective logo, you don’t need to rethink your templates and designs again and again for the sake of experimenting as to which one works the best, which saves your financial resources from being put at immense risk.
Getting a logo designed for your firm is a big deal undertaking, but one, which if done right, has the power to immensely benefit your brand. Pictorial mark logos provide a sense of familiarity and semblance to the audience in these times when we are being constantly bombarded with all types of visual and auditory stimuli all day long, making it easier to recognize a brand with a pictorial mark logo than one without it.
Yes, Apple does make cutting edge high tech products, but just imagine, without that iconic logo emblazoned on the back of its phones or Ipads, would that brand be still regarded as the epitome of mesmerizing elegance and forward thinking that we have come to think of it as today? Certainly not, and that’s where you need to understand the power of pictorial logo in influencing your brand’s aura and the audience itself and make sure that you have this concept under the list of ideas, whenever you venture out to get your new logo made.
Firms often spend a huge amount of time and financial resources on getting their branding strategies right, to serve just one purpose and that is to initiate and sustain consumer interest. But the world has been changing drastically for the past couple of years. Smartphones and social media have infiltrated our lives as we look forward towards a future that might feature driverless cars and robots that could learn to think and act on their own. What worked two decades or even five years ago, just doesn’t make the cut now. Old strategies need to be replaced with newer ones that are more in line with the world we inhabit today.
One of the most significant places, where we can see this change in attitudes is the domain of branding. The Millennial Generation doesn’t like conventional forms of branding, as signified by a recent research by Goldman Sachs. In the research it has been found that Millennials would buy clothes without the brand’s logo more easily. And that’s not it, these Millennials would rather spend their money on vacations and food than go to pay an extra premium for a certain brand’s name, according to Morgan Stanley.
For brands, this is a very complex scenario, because they are now in constant danger of suffering a logo burnout, which means that their target markets would stop buying their product if the logo of the brand is aggressively used. Nowadays, brands just cannot put their logos everywhere as Louis Vuitton found out after its trademark handbags, which featured the brand’s logo went unpopular. To avoid facing a similar logo burnout for your brand, make sure you are taking the following steps under consideration:
Logos are now to be restrictively used as branding propositions:
If we say, that the Millennials don’t like their clothes infiltrated with logos and how they won’t pay a premium for a brand’s name, that doesn’t mean that logos are any less important. They still are of high value in establishing your brand’s identity and help your target market understand your vision. But, having said that, logos should now be used restrictively and not everywhere. Your brand is not to be overexposed by placing your logo everywhere like on promo products, your own products etc.
You need to make sure that your logo stays true to the concept of exclusivity and is only used whenever a brand mention is necessary. Even if you are going to file your logo on a product, make sure that it’s not too prominent and the person who is wearing or using it, is looking like a human billboard. Being simple, yet elegant is the name of the game.
Millennials simply don’t like confusing stuff with too much fluff and details. Keeping things simple and minimal is what attracts the attention of Millennials today. Many brands understood that and they adopted their logos to fit the bill of minimalistic design in their logos. Some famous examples are the new logos of Google and Starbucks.
Even newer firms like Snapchat and Google’s own self-driving car unit named Waymo, have very simplistic logos that are instantly recognizable. With single color schemes mashed with gradients, these logos have become hugely popular.
(Autonomous Car with Waymo’s Logo)
Designing for the Platform:
In old days, logos were supposed to just pictorial representations of the brand with no practical purpose, other than helping the brand to get its name recognized. Now things have progressed beyond that stage and people are interacting with logos in real time. Apps on Mobiles have an icon, which most of the time is the logo itself and the user has to click on it to go through to the app.
The mobile screen’s real estate is quite restrictive and the icon appears quite small, so brands need to make sure that their logos are easily recognizable and attractive enough to warrant a click by the user. Designing for the platform will allow you to leverage your logo more than you could do otherwise.
As more and more businesses transcend from brick and mortar to the digital space, we will witness a surge in how logos will be used in a more integrated manner and play their part in augmenting the user experience.
Logos have always been at the heart of our initial branding endeavors and they hold a special significance when it comes to providing a certain unique identity to a brand, but as time changes, we need to make sure that even if our love for logos has not changed, the way we use them, matches how consumers perceive them to help in delivering the purpose of generating as much brand engagement as possible with an effective impact.
Logos are definitely a brand’s first engagement asset and they serve to personify the value, mission and the vision of the brand to the consumer. There has been a lot of talk on the importance of having a good logo designed, the types of colors that can or cannot be used, how to choose a good logo designer and more, but knowing how to leverage your logo to get maximum engagement is as important as having a logo itself in the first place.
Most brands focus entirely on getting their logos made, but the placement is where the logo will reveal its real magic and bring back intensive brand engagement, only if done right. Logos need not be placed aimlessly, anywhere you want them to be, rather, they need to be placed strategically on items that will definitely bring in a lot of cohesive brand engagement. The basic requirement for choosing these carriers or points of interaction is that they need to have maximum chances of exposure with potential consumers and can initiate the stickiness factor. Here are some great items on which you can start out to promote your new logo and garner maximum consumer attention:
Our human eye is just capable of focusing on a very small area due to the conglomeration of receptors in the middle of the retina. This small area is called the fovea. You can have someone’s attention but engagement only begins when the fovea starts moving and nowhere better to make this happen than business cards. When business cards are exchanged and the person you gave it to, gives it a fleeting glance, a logo, with its intricate and colorful design will definitely stand out amongst all the textual information that accompanies it. The fovea stops here and this ensures that the onlooker does hover at least for five to ten seconds on it, which is enough time to create a sense of familiarity.
The appeal of promo items is timeless and now, with the introduction of even better and more comprehensive array of promo products, there is no dearth of options for brands to choose a suitable platform to promote their business and the best way to do that is by placing your logo on the promo item.
Options like company shirts, pens, mugs, USB pen drives, power banks and much more are available as promo items on which you can place your logo. The main USP of promo items are their usefulness to the receiver and whenever they use your promo item, they are sure to view your logo. No other platform can give you such endearing, multiple views of your logo like promo items. The allure of promo items is great and no one likes to refuse a free, utility item. You can even mass order them and send them out to potential customers or even cover a full range of company’s employee base, allowing you to reach out to a massive audience on a very small financial budget and attain maximum brand visibility.
One of the most important engagement platforms out there, social media has billions of people which translate into billions of engagement opportunities and immense exposure if optimized in the perfect way.
There are a lot of ways to initiate engagement on social due like sharing posts, videos and now you can even go for the ultra-successful “Stories” option on platforms like Snapchat, Instagram & WhatsApp. Your logo placed in between theses engagement hooks, will definitely make the quality of this engagement better and make sure that the visitor on your social media handles, gets to know your brand more. You can even make your logos part of the whole experience, instead of just using them in their pictorial restraint, by using them as a CTA to redirect users to your website from social media.
Logos need not just be there because every brand has them and you don’t need to just place them in a conventional way on the board outside your office, on the top of your office memos or in your email’s signature, just because everyone’s doing exactly the same thing with their logos. It’s important that you ensure that your logo is being pushed as your high priority marketing collateral and is a core part of your branding strategy at each stage, but if your logo isn’t working too great in these capacities, make sure that you go for a logo revamp or a get a new logo made for your brand to continue reaping the maximum engagement benefits that your logo can provide.
To design an amazing logo, there are a few skills which are absolutely necessary, these are: design abilities, creative thinking, and expert application. Whereas new designers with ability can create and deliver usable designs, it takes time to fully master the craft.
Logo design is an important part of taking care of a company’s branding yet it’s not an isolated element but an aspect that must go with all other design materials. These design materials today range from designing a brand’s office supplies to their aesthetics on social media, yet the brand mark or the logo rests as the focal point of most branding efforts. Thus making sure that your logo is impeccable remains of utmost importance. These 5 expert tips insightfully present the case points necessary to master a logo design.
1) Know the competition
Before you start designing anything it’s vital that you conduct a thorough research of your target market. Ask your clients about their competition before you get started and then take it forward from there. Compare the logos that their competitors have and their value in the market. This practice will help you understand the branding styles that are popular in the target market. That information can be very useful in figuring out what kind of visual associations are considered reliable and relatable by the people. However, don’t forget the most recognizable logos in the world are ones which don’t fit in the trends and appear out of the box.
2) Strategize with the right questions
A branding project starts off with asking questions, the answers to which lead a team to then deploy the right strategy. It’s important to implore deeply into these six important queries which Michael Johnson points out in his book “Branding-In Five and a Half Steps”. These are; what’s the reason that we are here? What do we do and how? How are we different? For whom are we here? What is of most value to us? What is our persona?
3) A flexible process
Formulating a strategy does not mean that it’s written in stone. Instead, it’s a back and forth process because there will be many ideas which seem great in theory but are not suitable to carry out in practice. Similarly, there can be design aspects and visual solutions that happen in the design phase that can help evolve and fine tune the strategy.
4) Revere the client’s heritage
Whether your client wants to upgrade their existing branding for a more modern look or they want to entirely revamp their identity, as a designer your job is to be aware of their heritage and conceptualize according to it. A client’s previous logo may have illustrated their heritage smoothly in which case the potential of that design should not be rejected. Designers should keep their ego aside and not directly dismiss the evolution of their client’s identity.
5) A logo is just one ingredient
Today, it’s very important for designers to remember that a logo isn’t necessarily the first point of contact that a customer has with a brand and neither it’s the most visible aspect of the identity always. Thanks to social media, people now interact with a variety of contact points. This is extremely significant to remember as you must design a logo that can harmoniously interact with other elements of the identity experience, like the voice tone and packaging.
These principles command that a logo must be flexible and versatile without being so trendy that it goes out of style fast. The best logo should advertise the heritage, identity, and voice of the brand while following a practically applicable strategy. Lastly, it should uplift the brand image higher especially against competitors while also agreeably going with all the other design elements that a brand would need.
Be it updates and newer versions of the most renowned software, unique apps from startups or better, faster computing power in newer machines, tools for graphic designers are always getting improved. So much so that it often gets difficult to keep a track of all of them. This year too there have been some remarkable additions to the graphic designer’s armor. Getting all of them may not be that easy due to the costs involved but it’s definitely worth investing in the best kit that one can afford.
Surface Studio/Book or iMac/MacBook
For the longest time the iMac or the MacBook have been the top choice for graphic designers all over the world, however, the landscape seems to be shifting with the soon to be released Microsoft Surface which looks like a true artist’s device. The surface Studio can be used as a traditional desktop or can be tilted and used directly as a drawing tablet. However, the new MacBook Pro with LG’s 4K screen is nonetheless impressive too.
The best software in your budget
Due to the depth and the range of its suite tools which are unmatched in any other company’s software, Adobe’s Creative Suite is the industry standard when it comes to graphic designing. However, it comes at a cost. For an individual designer or an artist the price starts from around $50 if paid for annually, or $80 per month. This is a high price but it equips one with Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, After Effects, Premiere Pro and more. It makes it a great choice for multi-talented creators. However, for designers solely focused on vector designs for logos and illustrations and photo manipulation, Affinity Designer, and Affinity photo are incredible tools from Serif, even toppling Illustrator and Photoshop in some functions. Their updates are free and they only cost $50 each. They are also compatible with files from the Adobe suite making it easy for designers who work on them to share and collaborate.
Wacom Tablet and pen
A Wacom tablet is very important for illustrations and other design work as the mouse is not natural at all when it comes to drawing and painting. Their Intuos Tablet or the Cintiq interactive display are absolute necessities. Drawing through the pen will not just enable pressure sensitivity but it will also allow for more natural, creative and intuitive movement. It’s also ergonomically healthy and will prevent repetitive strain injury (RSI), unlike the mouse.
The Pantone color library is essential for designers who use print as it’s the only way to make sure how exactly your fifth color will print. The Pantone Reference Library is a series of color swatches made in books which depict a printed representation of the colors present. This makes it a great investment as it will not only show you how the colors you selected in Photoshop or Illustrator will print but it also allows you to tear the switch out and pin it on your desk for everyone to see. It also provides the option of matching a fifth color to a CMYK value, perfect in a situation when your client’s budget does not allow for a fifth hue. The 14 book library, however, comes at the price of $1400 with a storage and a display stand. However individual books can also be bought in the case when a certain guide, like a metallic color guide, is only required.
Whether one has Pantone or not, it’s important that a designer’s color workflow is very precise so that the resultant work doesn’t look different than it did in the design process. Datacolor Spyder 5 Pro is a specialist tool that can be used to calibrate your monitor. The tool hangs on your monitor and creates a color profile according to your printer or an entirely unique one through adjusting the monitor’s brightness according to the room’s lighting. Calibrating the color is the only way to ensure screen to print accuracy hence it an important tool to invest in.
With these, some other important gadgets that streamline graphic design work should also be included like a variable desk, a good camera to capture interesting references and inspirations, and an interactive sketchpad like the Wacom slate to instantaneously transfer handmade doodles or notes. Depending on the budget and requirement, new and veteran designers can both equally benefit from these amazing innovations.