Category Archives: General Graphic Design

Logo Search Keywords

I pulled some stats from our Biz-Logo.com site today. Here are the 100 most searched for keywords on the site, each with the number of searches:

1. globe 15259
2. business 6416
3. company logo 4212
4. company logos 3672
5. ss logo 3653
6. business logo 3540
7. e design logo 3368
8. M Design 3365
9. construction 3355
10. bus logo 3340
11. a company 3324
12. g logos 3318
13. g logo 3240
14. LOGO M 3234
15. logo U 3232
16. m company logo 3225
17. business logos 3220
18. mp logo 3213
19. letter logos 3176
20. ny logos 3166
21. c d logo 3164
22. logo 3161
23. logo d 3124
24. logo h 2959
25. medical 2940
26. sign company 2890
27. r o logos 2863
28. design logo 2845
29. company 2769
30. s logo 2729
31. r g logo 2727
32. p design 2684
33. r o logo 2679
34. logo o 2665
35. financial 2631
36. IT company 2521
37. real estate 2489
38. AT Logos 2469
39. design logos 2459
40. it 2456
41. it logos 2417
42. consulting 2392
43. logo t 2382
44. m b logos 2382
45. busines 2381
46. a logos 2379
47. star 2340
48. logo P 2305
49. SE logo 2262
50. logo f 2242
51. it logo 2092
52. Ti logo 2059
53. F logo 2041
54. ac LOGO 1987
55. k h logo 1953
56. sh logo 1913
57. w logo 1906
58. house 1889
59. leaf 1879
60. IT company logo 1874
61. letter 1862
62. ra logo 1811
63. Eagle 1795
64. ro logo 1769
65. Rs logo 1760
66. h c logo 1740
67. CHURCH 1731
68. ic logo 1723
69. RI Logo 1722
70. sun 1721
71. red a 1696
72. computers 1692
73. gn logo 1687
74. a logos 1664
75. water 1661
76. sine 1637
77. logo b 1625
78. f k logos 1613
79. ct logo 1608
80. li logo 1572
81. sign 1555
82. letter logo
83. AP logo 1525
84. h company 1502
85. tree 1487
86. building 1482
87. cross 1473
88. Blue P logos 1471
89. f h logos 1463
90. roof 1451
91. Letter Logo M 1445
92. m m logo 1435
93. red logos 1432
94. logos of s 1429
95. Red p 1429 358
96. RC logo 1427
97. M logo blue 1417
98. Circle 1413
99. logo of s 1407
100. green 1406

What do we learn from the list?

Apart from the never-dying popularity of globe logos, we would have to be blind or stupid to miss the need for letter logos. Single letters are pretty much covered, but most companies don’t have single-letter initials. They want AA or AB or AC etc.

We also learn that we logo designers in general are blind and/or stupid. When I saw this list I checked GoDaddy for “globelogos.com” and it was available. Really? Does nobody in our industry have access to keyword stats? Needless to say, globelogos.com isn’t available anymore.

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Inspiration

“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.”
— Chuck Close

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CorelDraw or Adobe Illustrator

Illustrator has been king of the hill for a while now. It’s the standard and the one professional graphic designers have to have.

But recently Adobe seems to making a hash of it and, in my opinion, they opened the door for Corel. With their customer database hack and their recent move to subscription-only software, Adobe has dropped the ball. If they had clearly better software that would be another matter, but they don’t. The only advantage they have is that people are used Illustrator. It’s comfortable. They have some customer loyalty that stems from that. Given this, their decision to milk their customers for every dime seems suicidal. Losing customer loyalty is a hell of a lot easier than earning it and it happens much, much faster. Company greed will do it. Perceived company greed is just as bad.

I really hope that Corel sees the opportunity and steps up. I’ve always been a fan of Corel and I use CorelDraw far more than I use Illustrator. It’s just better.

What will it take for Corel to dethrone Adobe?

  • Have the savvy to learn from Adobe’s subscription mess,
  • stop ignoring the Mac community and
  • have massive incentives for schools/colleges to teach CorelDraw alongside or instead of Illustrator.

If Corel doesn’t seize the opportunity, someone else will. Either way, Adobe’s reign is over.

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Note To Self

Working on low-level tasks is a drain on your energy and enthusiasm. It also impacts your confidence to take on high-level tasks. Admit it: At times when you are working in your business rather than on it, you are miserable and unmotivated. Insist on delegating every single task that someone can be trained to do. Even those crucial tasks that need to be done really well. There are wonderful, talented people out there who would love the opportunity.

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Good Design versus Small Business

In my experience, my small business clients prefer the work of my junior designers over the (more accomplished) work of my senior designers. It’s a swoosh mentality. A name with a swoosh going around it is still popular with many small business owners who could not really give a damn if it’s good design or not. They like it. Their customers think it looks cool. That’s all that matters to them.

As we get better at what we do and push design ever closer to art, we tend to loose touch with these clients. It pisses me off when a client rejects a brilliant logo proposal and asks for more “swooshy” designs. Should we educate them? Perhaps. But perhaps these business owners are more in touch with reality than we are. If a swooshy logo sells their products then prescribing anything else in the interest of “good design” is selfish.

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Pixel Real Estate

The reality of logo design post 1995 is that your creations must work on the web, in pixels, even if the client insists that the logo will only be used in print. Somebody, somewhere will scan it and post it some place on the Net.

So you need to contend with pixel real estate. It’s like building a logo with Lego blocks. If you have only so much space, you can only have so much detail. Conversely, the amount of detail dictates the minimum allowable web size for the logo – in other words how small you can make it before pixels become flooded with more visual information than they can convey. The simpler the logo, the smaller you can make it.

A glaring problem in logo design today is an apparent ignorance of this limitation. Designers (or more likely their clients) insist on more intricacy than the final display size allows.

I’m not sure what the solution is. Do we resort to designing favicon-style logos (If it works as a 16 x 16 pixel favicon, it should be good for the web.) or do we prescribe minimum pixel dimensions when a logo project is finalized?

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Shooting in the Dark

As logo designers we pour everything we have into every project and then, excited, we await the client’s comments – only to hear “Nah, I don’t like it. I’m not sure what I want. I guess I’ll know it when I see it.”

No doubt it is discouraging, but in the age of pre-designed logos it need not be a bad thing. When you think about it, the client is paying you to play. Anything goes. Chances are you won’t delight this client no matter how awesome the logo ideas, but continue making awesome logos anyway. Your time is not wasted. All of those rejected concepts are good logos, right? So sell them!

[When you think about it some more, the client is paying you to create pre-designed logos that you will get paid for…]

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Post Panda

I have taken several people “under my wing” over the years, showing them exactly how to make money on the Web, either in graphic design or in affiliate marketing. Perhaps it reflects badly on me and my teaching ability, but the fact is that only one of them made it. The rest all now have day jobs; their Internet money dreams only a memory.

But ask anyone who has made it: What makes you different? It’s not talent, knowledge, experience or venture capital. It’s perseverance. Time and again the person who refuses to quit long after most people would throw in the towel is the person who now runs a profitable Internet business.

And then Google comes along with ridiculous algorithm changes and breaks that business. Throw in the towel now? After all the effort to get here? Getting burned in a Google “Panda” or “Penguin” update is just one more hurdle, but the rule hasn’t changed from day one: The Internet isn’t for sissies. It never was. It has always been the domain of the brave, the inventive, the rebellious and the pig-headed who simply will not accept anything less than world domination.

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Anonymous Criticism

You know the kind. The person who posts a comment like “this will never work” or “your work is terrible”, but can’t quite bring themselves to put their name to the comment.

To those people: grow a pair. Too bad the Internet allows you to down someone who does brave work and signs their name to it.

To those who do brave work and sign their name, please ignore anonymous criticism and continue doing what you are doing. We need you.

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Graphic Content is King

It has always been the mantra of successful Internet marketing: Content is King. If you create better content, people will naturally bookmark your site, link to it and tell their friends to do the same.

Recently this has become even more true. Search engines started looking at specific site metrics to help them identify good sites. Bounce rate, for example. Bounce rate refers to the number of people who visit only one page on your site, then hit the back button. If the bounce rate is high then that is a clear indication that your human visitors are not happy with what they find on your site. Nothing there that makes them want to stick around or click something.

And presto… Graphic design makes it’s entry into search engine marketing. A breathtakingly beautiful site will have a much lower bounce rate than one that looks like it was chewed by a camel – all other factors being the same. Pretty graphics = more traffic.

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