The Art of Logo. Part II: Your Tools. Introduction | WebReference

The Art of Logo. Part II: Your Tools. Introduction

[Dmitry's Design Lab]
Dmitry Kirsanov's monthly column
February 1997
T H E  A R T  O F  L O G O 
Part II: Your Tools
Now that we got acquainted with the materials of the logo craft (just to remind you, these are forms, colors, fonts, and finishes), it's time to master the tools you apply when working on a logo composition.

No, I'm not going to discuss drawing programs or computer platforms---there's already a lot of information on these technical matters.  I find it more interesting to investigate the concepts of manipulating forms and colors, to try to figure out that magic way of pushing and tweaking the dead material that inspires life into it.

A novice who admires great works of design often feels frightened to get to work on something of his/her own.  Fortunately, there exists a number of concepts which, when applied methodically, are likely to yield results much better than even the author has anticipated.  Talent and inborn vision matter a lot; experience matters even more.  However, even without these vital prerequisites it is possible to make a successful start having studied a careful explanation of basics---the explanation I'm striving to provide.

After weeks of reflection, I've chosen these four concepts as the most important and deserving to be covered in detail: proportions, contrast, repetition, and nuances.  This list is far from being exhaustive, and even far from being irreproachable; I selected the concepts that I think are most often ignored or misunderstood and which, on the other hand, are capable of rewarding a studious designer in a wonderful way.

My goal here is to help you to not only apply these concepts in your work, but also to seek and find their output when analyzing the work of others.  The Web we all live in teems with examples of excellent, mediocre, and horrible design, and you should accustom yourself to meditating a bit over even the worst specimens trying to figure out what makes them so weak and how they could be improved.  If you think that you've come across a particularly interesting example or just would like to share your analysis with someone, feel free to write me!


Created: Feb. 21, 1997
Revised: Feb. 21, 1997