Look for Logos! Graphic Design is the practice or profession of designing print or electronic forms of visual information such as advertisements, publications, or websites. Graphic design is all around us, on our breakfast cereal box to books in school to street signs and especially web sites. A logo is a graphic symbol, icon or brand that communicates the name, mission and or identity of a person, institution or company. Logo designs take into account audience behavior and communicate visually, emotionally and symbolically. A well-designed logo can become an international symbol and usually is not changed for a very long time. Watch this short PBS video, The Art of Logo Design.
Activity 1 – Look for Logos!
Start looking for logos. Look for them on the way to school, in magazines, on television, and in stores. They are everywhere. Starting with things in your own home, collect logos in your journal. Look at the colors, font types, and symbols that are designed. Which logos attract your attention? Which logos do you know by heart? Which logos are your favorites and why? Which logos do you think could be improved? Collect twenty logos in your journal.
Activity 2 – Create A School Logo!
Use your school’s name or mascot to create a new logo. Start by deciding on a shape. If you use a rectangle, think about a proportion that will be pleasing to the eye (2:3, 3:4 etc.). Shapes like circles and squares are always good to use to create identity and stability. When using text, think about the white space and the shapes created between letters. Try to establish a sense of balance or motion using shapes and text. You can create logos by hand or by using a computer graphic program. Logo designers often design several iterations or studies for a logo. Draw at least three. Show them to other students at your school and get their feedback. What do they like or dislike? Do they think your designs represent your school? Pick the one that you think is the best after your conceptual process and review period. Present it to your school!
Activity 3 – Recreate a Business Logo
Most businesses brand or market their services or products. Branding is an image, symbol, sign, or logo that identifies a product or service and differentiates it from another company’s brand. Good logos become instantly recognizable and remain unique to the company that they are representing. Logos represent the culture of the company and speak about its character to its customers. Logos that work well can last for decades. Pick a product or company that you are familiar with from food that you eat daily. Look at how the name is printed on the packaging. Are there additional images or words? Recreate a new logo for your favorite drink, morning bread or jam, lunch meat, or restaurant. You are working as a visual designer and as a branding agent! Recreate the known world. Look at it in a new and fresh way! Use your imagination.
Activity 4 – Make a Green Company Logo
Businesses are becoming green. This means that they are becoming more sensitive to their impact on the world’s systems and attempting to waste less and reuse more of the materials in their services. In this activity, research a new green business in your community. Find out what makes their company green. If possible, call and interview somebody who works at the company over the phone. Tell them that you are working on designing logos and you will try to design a new logo for them. Create one to three options. Use colored markers, paper and pens. Send copies of them to the business. You might just be surprised! They might like and use your logo! Go Green!
Activity 5 – Research Logo Designers
Which graphic designers are best known for their logo designs? Research logo design to find at least three designers who worked with important clients to create an image, brand or logo. Write about their design practice and process and make a visual report on their contributions to corporate culture.
Activity 6 – Expand a Logo Design to be a pattern, a contour and a framing device
Logo design often becomes the catalyst for other forms of communication and marketing. Watch this short video to see how the University of California rebranded its image and expanded its imagery. See if you can find the shifts from the historical monogram to the contemporary. Identify where the logo becomes a pattern. Discover how a contour of one historical image becomes a new contemporary symbol. Find what is the ‘framed connection’ between the old and the new logo.
University of California Rebranding Identity Video
Now it is your turn to find an existing monogram. Study it. Research what its emotional experience and message has been by asking friends about their connections with the logo. Try to 'lift’ something from the original image to transform and use in a new image. What will you convey? How will you change the message and the emotional experience? Create a logo. Prepare the logo in at least five different color schemes that fit within a larger set of images and uses. Create a pattern for a carryall bag, a t-shirt and a coffee mug.
- Where can you see graphic art?
- Spaces left between letters and between forms on the paper are known as?
- Things you should consider when designing a logo?
- Why are logos important to organizations?