Demystifying the Logo Design Process: Retail Association of Maine Rebranding

Many people I talk with seem mystified by the logo design process. Business owners who want to hire a design firm are scared that they will not end up with a logo they are happy with. People look at new logos and wonder why some seem to have turned out great and others do not. Many of these issues can be prevented by taking the time to follow a process that guides the logo design from the beginning.

This video blog post shows the process of developing the logo for the Retail Association of Maine.

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Muddy Rudder Restaurant Logo and Web Site Design

We’re excited to announce the launch of a new web site for the Muddy Rudder restaurant in Yarmouth, Maine.

Logo design

Our work with the restaurant began with the redesign of their logo.

Our rebranding efforts focused on making the restaurant appear more contemporary, with a greater appeal to younger people and families. Unfortunately, the clientele was getting older and the restaurant needed some fresh energy.

New web site design

When new owners took over the restaurant, it included the web site as well.

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Do You Need a Pantone (PMS) Color for Your Logo or Brand Identity?

It used to be that every logo had specific colors that were chosen from the Pantone Matching System. These PMS colors were noted by number and might be 185 red or 541 blue. As a designer, that was always one part of the logo design job: to choose and assign the PMS color for the brand identity.

Pantone colors are used in offset printing jobs when you print something like a one-color, two-color or three-color job. This used to be very common for business cards or letterhead. If something prints 4-color (CMYK) whether with a traditional offset printer or with a digital printing system, PMS colors are not used and will be converted if they are part of a file. Read this, if you need a better understanding of the difference between CMYK and PMS colors.

Nowadays it is not always necessary for a logo to be designed with Pantone colors or assigned PMS numbers.

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Can the Overused, Commonplace and Cliche Help a Logo Design?

When most of us think about design and creativity, we think about making something unique. A designer is judged on her ability to create something new and different. Is a unique logo important? Most logos (and the companies they represent) hope to be one-of-a-kind and wonderfully different so that they stand out from the crowd. In design school we are warned about the dangers of cliche in our design solutions. But overused cliches dominate our subconscious. Carl Jung developed the idea of archetypes that are held in the collective unconscious. But I don’t even mean anything so heady. Take a look at this photo of my son. It was taken last winter when he was several months old. The picture book shows a frog and a duck. I have never seen a duck like that in my life. Have you? Around here, ducks are usually mallards which are mostly brown and green, and baby ducklings are light brown and fluffy. […]

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All the Non-Design Work That Precedes the Logo Design

What goes on in a design project before we even start a sketch?

People hire us for our design work but it’s really what happens in advance of the design that makes our projects successful.

Whether it is a logo or a web site design we always like to start with a discovery phase that will drive the designs and help us to evaluate the designs using some established metrics. The extent to how much research we do depends on the scope of the project. This can be a thorough evaluation of competitors and audience, or it can be basic fact finding about the market position that a product or service wants to hold.

How much research on positioning should you invest in?

If you are a considering starting a small business, one piece of advice you will hear frequently is to look at the market and determine where there is a need. What are people looking for and not finding?

The same research that helps you evaluate the market can help you develop your brand identity. Your prospective customers may currently find solutions that position themselves as high tech, but not friendly. Or they may solutions with a high expertise level but are not local. Armed with this knowledge, we can figure out what elements should be part of a logo design or a brand’s broader visual position.

Who should do your research?

When we work with new clients, some of them have spent a lot of time doing this type of preliminary research. Others want to rely heavily on us to do this for them.

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