It always happens- I'll find some great new artist mentioned in a lecture or an article and will scramble to jot down their name. Then I forget about them. Now I'm opening my notebook and digging back to finally look up those names with stars next to them.
At the start of the semester in Cultural Marketplace, we had to design our own logos. Our instructor gave us a link to a Lynda.com video where designer Aaron Draplin explains his process for making a logo. Our class design project came and went, and I never watched the video (sorry Ryan)- until tonight. I found a sincere, approachable designer who walked me through his logo making process in what felt like a one-on-one conversation. Let me share a few points that stuck with me.
No matter how often I hear this, it bears repeating- do your idea work on pencil and paper. Get away from the computer! Aaron explains in the video that the hand is freer on paper than in Illustrator, and I agree. A giant blank white document glowing on the screen is intimidating. Hell, design itself is intimidating. That's why it helps to start small, jotting down your ideas on paper first, where nothing has to be fancy, where you have permission to have shitty ideas (my words, not Aaron's). He walked us through the way he considered the name of the business (a concrete company) and why he began to focus on the first initial "A".
Another point he made was design's ability to elevate its client, to make them look more considered. So a well designed logo improves the image of a business. He then pulled out a few corporate design books to show examples. His enthusiasm was obvious; it's fun to see someone geeking out about the things they love.
But the best part of the video was when he finally went on Illustrator. Scribbled notes in hand, he demonstrated how to work quick and simple, using duplicate to preserve your work at various stages. In no time that scary blank document was filled with a dozen logo options, some good, some bad. All the while he emphasized to work kind of quick and see how the logos "felt". Which means, I guess, whether they were readable as an "A" and whether it still tied in to the theme of a concrete company. I noticed he never mentioned self-censoring at this point, like what the thought the client would say about this or that option. There, in the early stages, it was all about getting the ideas on the page.
I don't think I'll ever become a full time logo designer, but it was a real pleasure hearing someone talk about their craft in a step-by-step sort of way. Glad I put a star next to that name.