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What is a Logo?

A logo, short for logotype, is simply an image or text that is used to represent a business or other organizations. These images are typically very distinct, and they are often used as symbols to represent specific brands. In a way, a logo is a unique identity for a brand.

Family crests and flags were arguably the first logos. These early logos were often very detailed and complicated, and they stood to represent families and entire companies. Logos of today, on the other hand, are often very simple. Many believe that simpler logo designs are typically more memorable and make a bigger impact. They are also easier and less expensive to have printed on merchandise and business tools.

Logos can consist of several different elements. A logo might consist of one or more of the following:

  • Text
  • Images
  • Shapes
  • Lines
  • Colors

In many cases, a few of these elements may be combined. For example, colored text can be arranged into a specific shape.

A logo can be imprinted onto a variety of different items. Many companies print their logos on letterhead and business cards, for instance. Logos are also usually visible on websites, apparel, and product packaging.

What Does a Logo Designer Do?

Obviously a logo designer creates logos. In order to do this, he must first have an excellent grasp of the style and purpose of the brand he is creating a logo for. For example, clients will provide as much information about their company, including what they do and what they’d like their logo to communicate.

Creating the perfect logo is often much harder than it sounds. In general, there are a few important things that a logo designer should keep in mind when creating a new logo.

First of all, a logo should be an appropriate representation of the brand it is to represent. For example, a great logo for a toy store would be colorful and fun. A logo for a bank branch, on the other hand, should be serious and business-like.

A logo should also be timeless, meaning that it won’t look outdated ten years after it’s created. Trendy designs should be avoided when creating a new logo. One excellent example of a timeless logo design is the Coca-Cola® logo; since it was created in 1885, it has changed very little.

When creating a logo, designers should also keep in mind where the logo will used. For instance, certain logos may look great on a computer screen and work well as logos for websites. They may not look good when shrunk and printed on paper, however, and can make things like letterhead and business cards look unattractive. In general, simple logos with few colors and less detail look best on most applications.

Once a logo designer understands what type of logo his client wants, he will then usually come up with several ideas. Each of these logo ideas are usually sketched and presented to the client. When a client decides on a sketch for the final logo, the logo designer will then make a final version of the logo. In most instances, a logo designer will use computer software to create the final draft of a logo.

Where Does a Logo Designer Work?

Many large design firms employ in-house graphic designers, some of which specialize in logo design. Other businesses, like advertising agencies, might also hire logo designers.

The majority of logo designers, however, are freelancers. This allows them to pick and choose which clients and companies they work with. Although it can be very rewarding to work for yourself, most freelancers will admit that a steady income is not always guaranteed.

What Are the Education Requirements for a Logo Design Career?

While a few aspiring logo designers may be able to learn the skills they need on their own, most experts recommend starting a logo design career with a formal education. Very few – if any – colleges and universities offer a logo design degree program, though.

Since logo design is a type of graphic design, however, those interested in a logo design career should enter a graphic design degree program at an accredited university or art institute. While earning their degrees, future logo designers can choose to take courses in design, typography, advertising, and computer graphics.

A logo designer’s portfolio is often one of the most important things that he can have, at least when it comes to a logo design career. Clients will often base their decision of whether or not to work with a logo designer on the contents of his portfolio.

What is the Average Salary for a Logo Designer?

As with many other art careers, it can be very difficult to predict what an average salary of a logo designer will be. Talented and experienced logo designers, for instance, can obviously charge more per design. Other aspects that determine how much a logo designer will make include the designer’s fee as well as the demand for his services.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not record information about logo designer salaries, but it does provide salary information for graphic designers in general. In 2010, these professionals made an average annual salary of $48,140. Graphic designers that offered specialized design services, however, made an average annual salary of $49,150 in that same year.

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