Logo Designer’s Checklist

1. Learn from those who can. Check out LogoLounge.com and LogoGround.com. Your personal opinion of what constitutes a “good logo” is unfortunately irrelevant. What counts is what your client thinks and, more importantly, what works in the real world.

2. Do not build a logo design site. Unless you are a marketing genius, creating a logo design site will be a waste of your time. There are many, many thousands of logo design sites that do not make a penny. There are easier ways to sell logos. See the next point.

3. Sign up at sites that allow you to upload logos for sale. See LogoGround.com.

4. Upload 10 good logos a day to those sites. Of course you can make ten good logos a day. (See footnote)

5. Don’t overdo it. Only 10 logos a day. You are not a logo machine. If you try to be one you will hit designer burn-out within a year. Take your time with each logo. Don’t upload anything that you would not proudly display in your portfolio.

6. Don’t give up after a week. Commit to uploading ten logos a day for six months. Every day. Sales will gradually pick up as your logo collection grows. After six months you will have around 1,800 logos up for sale. You’ll be making more money than most big ad agency designers make.

7. Collect good logos. Buy logo books like the LogoLounge series. Always keep looking at logos. If you stop, you will quickly start running in a circle.

8. Get Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw and become an expert in both. If you truly understand every aspect of those two programs you will create better logos in less time. You don’t strictly need both. Adobe’s new software renting scheme is BS and CorelDraw doesn’t run on a Mac. If you have to choose and if you’re on a PC, choose CorelDraw.

9. Don’t try to please everyone.

10. Study Saul Bass, arguably the most successful logo designer in history.

11. Expand your font collection and don’t hesitate to pay for awesome fonts.

12. Driving with the handbrake on is stupid. Poor communication skills will hold you back in the same way. The ability to talk to clients about logos is a required skill. If you are not very experienced or if you have a hard time translating ideas into words, read more. Work at it.

13. Developing a “style” is OK in fine art, but masters of commercial art are not confined by styles.

14. Craftsmanship is underrated in logo design. A craftsman is someone who uses their extensive subject knowledge to hone and refine their output to the point where it cannot be improved further. Aim for brilliant and be proud of every logo you send into the world.

15. Geometric precision matters. The logo you produce might end up on a billboard where sloppy little mistakes become huge eyesores.

16. Study colors. You need to understand the differences between RGB, CMYK, Pantone and HEX colors so that you can use colors correctly and intelligently advise your clients on colors.

17. Take time to learn about printing processes and the different file formats.

18. Respect intellectual property – over and above the minimum legal requirement.

19. Unfair criticism is something every brave creative professional has to deal with. Don’t let it dampen your resolve or inhibit your creativity. Every negative can either be ignored or used to improve your output. You decide which.

20. Be a generous logo designer. Make a meaningful contribution to the art of logo design. Help other designers. Treat clients more than fairly.

Most old-school graphic designers will strongly dislike my 10-logos-a-day suggestion. In their world, big clients pay big money for a team of creative professionals to spend days/weeks to come up with one logo. You are reading a logo designer’s checklist, so I’m guessing that you do not have clients like that. In the real world, where you and I make a living, small businesses need inexpensive logo design options. This is where pre-designed logos shine and where the 10-logos-a-day concept applies.

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