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Wise-Women List Archive File

Designing Logos

[Editor's note: These two messages are from separate threads, but contain invaluable information for anyone who wants to design an effective logo.]

[Someone] mentioned doing it in black and white with no shades of grey...but while I was looking at some of those logo books, there are TONS of logos that I know would look awful if they were faxed. Photocoping would still pick up the shades of grey, but a fax doesn't always do such a good job. What do these people do? Do they have a separate, similar logo to use for such instances or what? (I wish I would've written down these companies...a lot of them restaurants....maybe that's why? Cuz a restaurant doesn't usually fax stuff? Or do they?

Yes, several different versions of logos are often created, though in books you may see only the fanciest version. There might be black & white, black, grey and white, color, etc., plus horizontal versions and vertical versions. There are sometimes different versions created for reproduction in various size ranges. These might include a version with fine lines and type "heavied" up for use at very small sizes, and another version with thinner lines and type for reproduction on signage.

It's good to keep in mind that logos may be used in many more ways than simply faxed or photocopied, such as:

-- If silkscreened on T-shirts or novelty items, areas with tonal values may need to be a coarser 50 line screen than when used for offset printing.

-- Logo users may need to cut logos out of logo sheets to paste them on simple non-digital pasteups for printing by low-end offset printers who use paper plates requiring a coarse screen instead of metal plates.

-- For signage, logos may be cut out of vinyl sheets.

-- For signage, individual letters may be constructed out of metal with fluorescent lights inside to make the huge lighted signs that you see on or in front of buildings (if you watch TV news, you've probably seen the Enron logo used like a sculpture).

-- shrunk to print on the sides of pencils and pens.

-- silkscreened on huge sheets of clear vinyl for use as signage on the sides of trucks.

-- molded in plastic or foam, or cast in metal for keychains or other novelty items.

-- carved out of wood

-- embroidered on patches

-- molded metal jewelry ( http://www.ramcoawards.com/ )

-- fabric banners and stuffed fabric novelty items

-- custom logo watch faces ( http://www.logowatches.com/ )

-- routed out of wood, metal or stone for signage

-- made into brass letters for signage

-- cast acrylic or cut foam letters for signage

To get an idea of more possible uses, look at some of the novelty item catalogs listed here:


For an idea of various approaches to signage, see: http://stancosignage.com/index2.html

Another question: I submitted 3 logos for the contest. They chose mine and wanted to refine it a bit. <snip> Should I mention this to them? Or is it too late? And how much does one charge for logo design? <snip> for free? How much would it cost them if they had some top of the line logo designer doing this for them? (Just as a comparison.)

In general, I have a problem with design contests, simply because they so often are used to get work done for free. While I was happy to have printed material from a design contest I won in design school as the first real printed piece in my portfolio, designers must not allow themselves to be overly exploited.

By all means, tell the client now that you cannot continue doing free design work on their logo, and tell them that the web site needs to be designed around the logo, not vice versa.

I can't see much harm in listing pricing guides that are readily available in published materials (you people really gotta buy the GAG Handbook!!!!)

The Graphic Artist Guild Handbook lists logo design projects for companies under $1 million in sales at $6000-12,000 for design of a logo system applicable to all corporate materials including signage and printed materials. Stationery package alone $3000-6000.

Cameron Foote's pricing survey of over 5000 designers conducted several years ago listed 'minimum,' 'average small company' and 'average large company fees for:

Logo and mark design: $600, $5000, $25,000
Corporate identity system: $1200, $7,500, $35,000

Your "top of the line" logo specialists will be going for the major corporate ID/branding jobs which range can cost upwards of $200,000. They include zilliions of different applications plus writing/publishing a corporate graphic standards manual to provide instructions and rules for use of the logo.




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