Logo design is a career that falls under the general area of study of graphic design. Universities, colleges, and specialized schools all offer courses and degrees on the subject, while you also have the choice of self-teaching through resources available online and in books.
Either way is valid and can lead to a successful career. Nowadays, if you do not go to school, you will have quite a bit of competition from graduates, who complete 2 to 4 year programs. This being said, you will have spent a lot less money, and if you are the type of person who does not learn well in a classroom setting, then self-teaching might just be the right option for you. Remember that it will still require an investment in software and technology, as well as some possible complementary courses.
Those who are thinking of getting a degree should choose their program and school very carefully. Graphic design is offered almost everywhere, but quality and specialization will be different every time, as well as your fit with the school you choose. Look into how strong the graphic design alumni society is. Check out the type of technology the university offers. Do they have an internship or some sort of hands-on component? How much will the program allow you to build a portfolio? These are all questions to ask yourself before selecting a school. And very importantly, consider whether you will be able to build an excellent network and portfolio when you are there, this will be essential to you future success.
WHAT IF I DO WANT A DEGREE TO BECOME A LOGO DESIGNER?
- Auburn University
The College of Architecture, Design and Construction at Auburn University in Alabama offers a BFA in Graphic Design and focuses its program on identity development. Students have the opportunity to take semesters abroad, participate in annual events, be part of subject-related communities and display their work in their final year. Tuition is $5,100 per semester for in-state and $13,692 per semester for out-of-state.
- Kansas City Art Institute
KCAI is exclusively focused on arts related programs, offering students a major in Graphic Design. This program is heavily focused on teaching the strategic development part of graphic design, as well as extensive in-studio work. Practical experience components are also available. Annual tuition is $32,268.
- Otis College of Art and Design
Located in Los Angeles, California, the Otis Communication Arts Department offers a comprehensive Graphic Design program, focused on technique and hands-on learning. Students also have the choice of studying Illustration or Advertising Design. Tuition here is $38,290 per year.
- Academy of Art University
This San Francisco University offers a range of program levels for those wishing to study Graphic Design. Students have the option of obtaining an Associate degree, a BFA, an MFA, taking online courses and credits, or completing one of the graphic design certificate programs. Estimated annual undergraduate tuition is $22,086.
- Philadelphia University
The Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce at Philadelphia University offers a Graphic Design Communication degree, which is focused on problem-solving and generating concepts to formulate branding and design strategy. Students are offered the opportunity to work on real-life projects and build their portfolio. Undergrads pay an estimated $34,280 per year.
GETTING MY FOOT IN THE DOOR
There are different points of view regarding the best way of getting your foot in the door when it comes to logo design. Some say it’s a good idea to do internships or free work for visibility; others suggest only focusing on your network and digital presence to start building up a client base. However, one thing that every person in the industry does agree on is that you need an excellent portfolio.
Whether you design for class, fun, friends, as an internship, or for ad-hoc jobs doesn’t matter. What does is that you need to build a portfolio that will impress. Logo design is very competitive, especially since you are often competing with an international market, and therefore, you should show your best through your work. If you would like to focus on logo design, then don’t include pieces that are not relevant. Instead, only have your logo and branding in the portfolio you present to clients.
Once you have put a portfolio together, then you should begin to network with people in and outside of the industry. Everyone needs a graphic designer at some point, so make sure your connections think of you first when they need or hear of someone looking for the services you offer. Have your business cards and web page ready to go, and always leave a professional impression.