Logo Design For Versatility: How Big Brands Have Adapted | Jon Brommet | Skillshare

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Logo Design For Versatility: How Big Brands Have Adapted

teacher avatar Jon Brommet, Crusoe Design Co.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Class Trailer


    • 2.

      The Big Picture


    • 3.

      Size Matters: Social Media - Nike & Apple


    • 4.

      Case Study: Google


    • 5.

      The Class Project


    • 6.

      Are Responsive Logos A Hoax? - Disney, WB, & Lacoste


    • 7.

      When To Use Just A Wordmark


    • 8.

      Case Studies: Subway & Burger King


    • 9.

      BK Update


    • 10.

      Keep It Simple; But Don't Get Sued!


    • 11.

      A Symbol With An Ego


    • 12.

      How Can I Be Creative? - Dropbox


    • 13.

      Time To Summarize


    • 14.

      Many Thanks!


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About This Class

Whether you are a Graphic Designer, business owners that just need to design your their own logo,  or even a hobbyist, one of the most important factors of good logo design is versatility. Meaning does the logo work in as many different places as possible? This is more important than ever because logos appear in ways we never previously predicted.This is a very important aspect of how to design a logo.

From social media to app icons on your watch, a logo must now appear at impossibly small sizes. In this class we will go over a variety of case studies illustrating how big brands tackle the problem of making sure their brand is still recognizable, across a wide variety of applications and sizes. Some solutions are unique to say the least.

Remember, many of these brands have spent millions of dollars to make sure their logos are as perfect and versatile as possible. So let’s take some time to study them in ways we haven’t before, so we can learn as much as possible on their dollar.

This class is designed for anyone that wants to know more about what makes a great logo. Whether that’s a small business owner, an entrepreneur, or a junior or intermediate graphic designer that hasn’t learned the subtleties needed to create a great and versatile design. 

Don't skip this! This information isn't a quick fix trend, this is the kind of information that'll change how you think about design from now on.

Meet Your Teacher

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Jon Brommet

Crusoe Design Co.

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Level: Beginner

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1. Class Trailer: What's going on, Skillshare? My name is Jon Brommet and welcome to Logo Design for Versatility. One of the most important things about good logo design is versatility. Meaning, does it work in as many different places or sizes as possible? This is more important than ever because logos appear in ways that we never previously predicted. From social media to app icons on your watch, logos are now appearing at impossibly small sizes. In this class, we're going to go over a variety of case studies illustrating how big brands tackle the problem of making sure the brand is still recognizable across a wide variety of applications of sizes. Some Some are unique to say the least. Remember, many of these brands have spent millions of dollars to make sure their logos are as perfect and versatile as possible. Let's take some time to study them in ways that we haven't before, so we can learn as much as possible on their dollar. This class is designed for anyone who wants to learn more about logo design, whether that's an entrepreneur, or small business, or a junior, or any immediate graphic designer, it still hasn't mastered the subtlety of good logo design for versatility. If you'd like to know more about me, I'm a graphic designer and illustrator and I've worked on a wide variety of design work over the past 12 years professionally. I now specialize in branding, t-shirt graphics, and illustration. I've worked with bands like Blink 182, brands like Hi My Name is Mark, and RPM fitness, and I've collaborated with a wide variety of companies, produce my own merchandise. I've also taught over 30 classes on Skillshare over the past five years. But that's enough about me. Without further ado, let's get into the class. 2. The Big Picture: Welcome to logo design. You may have heard of the idea to keep it simple, yet as you scroll through your social media feeds you see more and more examples of beautifully illustrated logos. These logos might tell a story or even convey emotion, you might even see uses of effects like gradients, shadows, transparencies, and more. Maybe some of those old iconic logos even seem boring by comparison. But the problem is many of these complicated logos are just not versatile. It's expensive or even impossible if you need to reproduce things like embroidery or 3D signage and the same logos look like blobs when shrunk down to the size of an app icon or a profile picture. These designers have failed to look at the big picture. As I said in the intro, logos appear in more places than ever before thanks to the Internet and social media, there's even a good chance that we use in ways that we can't even imagine just yet. When you're designing a logo, do you consider what it will look like on a golf ball, a watch app icon, or maybe even a neon sign? Can a logo be printed on socks or a hat, or somewhere that you pay more per color? Whether it's cut out of leather or etched in the arm of a pair of sun glasses, can you still read it? This is why you need to keep it simple. It's your job to make sure the logo will work in places your client never thought of. It doesn't matter if the logos for a small company, they won't need to put the logo here or there because they may not know where their company is headed in several years. Many of the world's most famous brands didn't start out doing what they do now. Apple had no idea they were going to make the iPad or the iPhone. Google started off as just a search website, now they have countless products and they've grown to be one of the largest companies in the world, all that from a place they use to be able to search. You have to design a logo that can work everywhere, but that doesn't mean you have to design it in the same way as everyone else. We're going to over the various ways the big brands have solved this issue of versatility. These brands pay the top design agencies in the world unspeakable amounts of money, I'm talking hundreds of thousands or even millions. Let's see what we can learn from them on their dollar. 3. Size Matters: Social Media - Nike & Apple: When the Nike logo was first created in 1971, people didn't have cell the Internet didn't exist, an app was something you heard before a main course. The world was very different. But in part because of the simplicity of the design, the Nike logo has become one of the most famous logos of all time. It's so simple that it works especially well at sizes they could have never imagined in 1971. When you scroll through your Instagram feed, have you ever noticed how small a profile picture actually is? Not in your profile, but in your feed. It's about 40 pixels by 40 pixels. That's around six millimeters or a 1/4 of an inch. It's incredibly small. In the past, no designer ever had to worry about that size. There would be almost no reason to print a logo that small in just about any circumstance. However, just about every company, no matter the size, now knows the importance of social media like Instagram, so suddenly this size is vital. In many cases, that picture showing in their feed might be the most common place for someone to see your logo, so it better look good. How do we make sure our logo works at such a small size? Well, thankfully, there are many ways to tackle this problem. Let's look at a few examples. Let's start off with a very simple solution. Let's talk about Apple. This is an obvious one, but we'll just go over it briefly. The Apple logo is so simple and iconic, it works at just about any space at any size. You may be thinking, great, I'll just design a symbol from an X logo. Well, that's a bad idea. Unfortunately, a symbol s meaningless without widespread adaption, like a washroom sign or millions of dollars and decades promoting that design, like in the case of Apple. Same idea with Nike. People forget when they look at the logo history of Apple, that they actually had to have a name beside it, either Apple computers or maybe just the word Apple, that it was beside the symbol for decades in order for people to recognize what that symbol actually represented. If you're working for small and medium-sized businesses, a symbol on its own will likely not work as they just won't have the resources to make people understand what that symbol represents. Let's move on and look at some other examples. 4. Case Study: Google: Google is an interesting case to study as their logo is not very versatile. When it started in 1998, the sole purpose was just to be a search engine website. They took advantage of the fact that their logo did not need to exist outside of your computer screen. For this reason, they used four colors, and unusually high amount of colors for a logo. Then they added a 3D bevel effect, and they threw in a job shadow just for fun. They broke a lot of general rules for versatile logo, either because they didn't know any better, or they didn't care. One consistent factor in most logo designs that start off like this, is that over time, they're forced to undergo expensive rebrand or logo refinements. Slowly as their business grows, they learned that the logo isn't working well on a variety of applications. This is true with Google, as they removed the effects, and changed the font a couple of times. In 2015, Google finally caved and adopted the most simple version of their logo to date, the same one they use today. It's a plain sans serif, it's clean, it's sharp, and it works better on multiple applications. The only thing they retained is the unusual four colors. But they still had a big problem. That problem is even bigger for a tech company. They didn't have a symbol. With the growing number of apps and products, it just isn't useful to have their full logo at these small sizes. They needed something even more simple. They needed a symbol. Most designers would adds some symbol along with the wordmark, much like Apple or Nike had originally, something to tie the name to the mark. But Google opted for a different approach. They designed a symbol that is never seen alongside the name. A strategy that likely only works for brands of their scale, that is, very large businesses. When we look at the new Google G symbol, it has some interesting decisions. First, they used a bolder version of the font. It does not match the font width in their actual wordmark. Second, the colors are not evenly spread across the letter. This makes sense if you consider the wordmark only features one yellow letter, but two read letters, and two blue letters. Conversely, there's only one green letter. But green actually takes up a large portion of the symbol. Also, the colors don't even appear in the same order as they do on the wordmark. Not to mention they decided to make a simple icon, but then they still retain that four color system. When studying these logos I'm not interested in giving my opinion for the most part. I rather state some interesting facts and allow you to use your judgment on what works and what doesn't, and what you could potentially learn from and use in your work. The idea of this class is purely to see examples and study them in a way that we haven't had before, so you can learn from them. The last thing to point out about this Google symbol solution, is that it's largely unique due to its use of color. Otherwise, it's just a plain sans serif letter. Technically, it's a custom letter and they made some refinements for the eye in sacrifice of a perfect circle. But that's something I'm not going to cover in this class. But if the color is what makes this symbol unique, surely they wouldn't want to use it without color. Let me know what you think of the symbol, in your class project, or in the discussion. Let's move on. 5. The Class Project: Hello, it's me. I've been trying some different things where I'm doing some voice-over and some animation, and a little later I'm going to do some screen recording stuff that's a little less formal, and of course, this is talking head, this kind of stuff. Let me know what you like best and what parts of the class you think are the most well put together. I've been trying a bunch of different things just so I can shake off the rest. It's been almost a year since my last Skillshare class. I had no idea. I didn't realize. I had a baby and all kinds of crazy things. But anyways, let's talk about the class project. What I want you to do is pick your top three favorite logos, or at least three logos, they don't have to be your top, if you're having a hard time. I actually struggled with picking my top three. Anyway, pick those three logos and tell me why are they versatile or why are they not versatile? What I'm hoping is much like in this class, what you're going to find is that by looking deeper into these logos than you ever have before, you're going to be able to learn some things, and you're going to see what works and what doesn't. You're going to add that to your toolbox so that you can use it when you're making your logo design, or if you're one of those entrepreneurs or small business owners, you can hire a graph designer and have a little bit better understanding of what's going on. I'm super interested to see which logos you guys pick and your understanding of logo design and seeing if we can all learn from each other because, again, I haven't deep dived on a ton of logos. You might pick logos I've never even seen before. Hopefully by looking at the class projects, we can all learn from each other. That's best-case scenario. Let's hope that works out. Let's get on with the class. 6. Are Responsive Logos A Hoax? - Disney, WB, & Lacoste: This class actually started out when I was researching the concept of a responsive logo. I had seen some articles showing big brands using different versions of the logo to fit in different spaces. In theory, this made sense. The problem is anytime you change your logo, you risk losing brand recognition. This is why most big brands have one logo. At the most, they may have a couple of versions were the symbol appears above or beside the wordmark. Because they understand the value of consistency and how much it costs them to have their consumers recognize it. But these articles suggested that responsive logos were a good idea. Furthermore, they showed some of the biggest brands in the industry using this method. The problem is, after researching it, I found that none of these brands actually did this method. The examples appear to have been made by a designed named Joe Harrison. He did it as part of an example of a concept. They are meant to demonstrate an idea rather than show examples as proof as a lot of these articles have implied. If we take a look at this 99 designs article, it is implying, even though it shows that they came from his website. All of the texts in the article's saying that this is the new way to do things. This is a couple of years ago, this article but they don't actually say that a lot of these examples are false. I'm going to break those down in a minute. They do show some smaller companies using what I assume are atleast real versions of it. This one here is interesting. But really if anything, this shows that probably their original logo at full size, it was just too detailed and it should be some. They probably should just re-brand it and make it a lot less complex and at these tiny sizes, they could use just the symbol. Although at first I thought that this idea was actually pretty interesting. I think after doing some research, it's actually not a great idea. That's the problem with some of these articles, although some cited, I believe this one did. A lot of them don't really do all the fact checking and show you that all these are actually just an example that this artist made named Joe Harrison. It is an interesting concept though. The idea of responsive relates to web design. The idea is an elements of a site change shape or size in order to fit different screens and resolutions. It's very necessary in the web world as people can view the website from a massive variety of devices. If I shrink this down here, the concept is as the size of the page changes, the logo itself gets less complicated. You can see that with Coca-Cola there. In theory it's an interesting concept, but the problem is that a lot of these big brands know that they just need one logo, and maybe this is just too complicated and they should simplify it from the start. Let's look at these examples in actuality. If we go to Coca-Cola, this is what their website looks like, if I just took a little picture of part of it and you can see they're just using their name in this red circle. This is actually a weird decision, at least on the website part of it because they could put their full name here and it would be larger and more readable. Instead, they have it in the circle which limits the height. Now it's actually really hard to read. You can see on the mobile version that the logo is about the same size. They carry this over to Instagram, which makes sense because the profile picture has to be round and the only difference is they added some texture in there, which really only just makes it harder to read. One thing that's interesting is they're using this little favor [inaudible] symbol which is an logo for a website. You can see when you're on a website, there's a little logo that appears at the top corner. There's is this little coke symbol. The reason why I find that interesting is because Coca-Cola has this long history of using this name. It's never stacked, it's never different. It's very cool and it looks great. But they could potentially use a symbol. What I found interesting is that the Design Agency Collins was looking at this and they did work for them, and they were talking about how unique the shape of the bottle actually is the Coca-Cola and how everybody recognize simply the seal right at that bottle as a Coca-Cola product. They actually ran an entire advertising campaign with just this red bottle. They showed that it worked really well because people right away still know that it was Coca-Cola even just from this red bottle. Why they don't just use this bottle as their symbol instead of worrying about all this responsive stuff which obviously they don't do anyway. But instead of using that full word mark, it probably would be really cool to use just the bottle, I think. Here's an example of what it could have looked like, have they've used the full name, much larger, much more readable, and then just the Coke bottle for anytime that the logo needs to be smaller than you can read the name. That's something I worked together in about two minutes. I think it's a better idea, haven't fully thought it out. But regardless, that's not what they're using. Another example that was often shared was Walt Disney. It was shown in these four different setups. Now upon doing some research where I actually found is this is just an old logo and another old logo. Then the login they actually use and something they almost never use. This logo is actually gone. They've shorten their name to Disney. They only use Walt Disney and certain examples like Walt Disney parks and things like that, and eventually they got rid of the castle fully. You could just read the signature and then just the word Disney. What's cool about them? They got lucky, I guess, is that it's such a unique name that they just could keep shortening it and it's such a unique text that they could just shorten that again to that D. Everybody knows right away what that is. It's weird, looks like a backwards G to me but it's a cool swoopy D. It's so recognizable right from the start. It's like they lucked into a really useful element of their logo right from the start, and they've had to refine it over the years. The only time that I can tell that they use this castle is now when there openings of movies they use a really intricate 3D version which they stylize to different movies. This one's for that new quality development movie and then they use just the word Disney underneath. They never use any of those other examples, we can see here on their website. Interestingly, they don't even have the blue. They've now, like I said, they've changed the color to match whatever the movie is. Logo is a lot more versatile without all the complication and when they're doing icons, they can do this. Again with the favicon, you can see that is when they are using that D. But that's the only instance of them using that. Whether that's considered responsive, I don't really know. I think that's just using a smart piece of it and they're turning, much like the other brands. They're using a piece of their logo as their symbol and it doesn't ever appear with the wordmark because it's part of the word mark. It's just useful when you can't use the full wordmark. Another example that was shown in this responsive logos mark up is the Warner Brothers. Once again, with most of these cases they're actually just using one of them. They just simplify, simplify, simplify. The brand really is just using the one in actuality. If we go over here on Warner Brothers, we can see this is the original Warner Brothers logo. It's very iconic, is very classic and it's very eye-catching. But technically it's a pretty terrible look in terms of versatility. They've got everything. They've got shadows, gradients, 3D bevels, just about every type of effect that you can ever put on a logo. Which means this would have been near impossible to actually produce on a lot of products. This would have been a nightmare to deal with and they did it for decades until they finally went to Pentagram, which is one of the leading agencies in New York. The Pentagram created this for them. This cool symbol. Will show this video in just a second. One thing I noticed is that I've got some blue rays and the old Warner Brothers logo appears on the side of a Blu-ray spine. That is tiny man, that is almost like the size of your feed on Instagram. It looks so [inaudible] and blurry the print quality was terrible, it was just a bad idea. But smartly Pentagram designed it. I think there's a ton of backlash to people have had this weird reaction to a new logo because they grow up to love something and then we you change it, they get mad. Even though this is clearly in my opinion, a much better example. Here's a little animation that Pentagram put together. They can add those effects without ruining the brand equity, and they can take them away when they aren't necessary. I think it's pretty brilliant. It's simple. That's what Pentagram does, they know the importance of a good logo. The also show this really cool example were much like Disney, the logo can actually change along with the different movie that they're putting out or the different branding that they're doing. But still it remains noticeable and remains intact. You can still keep the brand equity. This is something that a lot of companies never did before. They did not experiment with color. They wanted their logo in that color and that's the way it is and that's the way that everybody should see it. I think it's really interesting and cool that we trying to redefine the rules of logo design as we go so that they can be really versatile and interesting, and they can apply to many different applications. The last thing Iogo I wanted to talk about that was shown in responsive logo examples was Lacoste. This is interesting because they do something that's a bit strange. I'm not exactly sure why. It's a clothing company that's been around for a really long time and as far as I know, they've always had this crocodile embroidered on their clothes, really small. That's something that they've always had. It's part of their whole brand is this little tiny crocodile. It's interesting about this is that when they made this logo and far as I can tell, they've been using this for a really long time. You can see the logo has quite a bit of detail in here. It's very detail, the way the arms are and then having the red mouth. It's a cool logo, there's nothing wrong with it. But what a weird decision that when they go to actually embroider it, it doesn't really look all that similar at all. You can only see the one eye, the arms are totally different. This like Charlie Brown zigzag, it's basically a different logo. They appear to be making products with this on it whenever printed and anytime it's embroidered it looks like this. Find that to be really interesting and strange decision. Funny thing too is when I was looking at examples online, it seems like the fake versions like the [inaudible] Actually, has a closer to the real what I would guess I would call the real symbol. Maybe that's an example of a responsive logo. They use this detailed one when they can and when they can't, they change it to this really different looking version. Again, I'm exaggerating a bit. But if I lay over that design, let's just make it red with an outline, you can see that the shape of that isn't even the same. See were the mouth is going, the arms are totally different. The way the tail is, wild decision by Lacoste. Anyways, that's an example of responsive logos and whether they're hoax and at this point I think they basically are. I don't think a responsive logo is necessary. I think that if you need a responsive logo, that means that you need a simplified version. There's more intelligent ways to get your brand across. Let's move on. 7. When To Use Just A Wordmark: You may be wondering, does name length matter? I believe it does. A company with a short name is in a better position to use only a wordmark, meaning just their name and no symbol. Think of companies like 3M, FedEx, Ford, and so on. They don't need a separate symbol to represent their brands as their name works alone at small sizes. This is a convenient option if you're lucky enough to have a client with a short and unique name. This likely won't be as successful if their name was generic word that people might not understand that it's a company. Personally, I don't get to do this as often as I deal with many small businesses that offer services, then they tend to have long names. For example, a hypothetical company called Armstrong's landscaping has too long of a name to get away with just a wordmark. Sure, they likely won't have an app. Well, you think. They could blow up, you never know, but you can bet you'll find them on Instagram. Their long name likely won't work at a really small size and that's a good time to put in a symbol. But conversely, if it's a small name, I'd recommend just getting away with only a wordmark. 8. Case Studies: Subway & Burger King: Let's talk about Subway and then we're going to talk about Burger King as well. The reason I focus so much on social media and small logos in this class is because logos that will work small will work just about anywhere. Weren't actually have to focus on every size or application as long as we understand the importance of simple logo design, and one of the best ways to test if your logo is simple enough is to shrink it down. That being said, let's spend a few minutes talking about logos working at a much larger size. The problem with the Subway logo in my opinion anyway, is that it's actually five times wider than it is tall as you can see here, this is just roughly scaled. The issue with this is that when they chose to put it on signs, it makes lot of sense for any time when you have a really wide sign, but the height is shorter. But you can see once it starts to get a little more square, not that that's quite square but it's getting there, they start having problems. They didn't want their logo too small, so they put it on this 45 degree angle. It's interesting because a lot of brands when they make a brand guide, they'll make rules where you can't put their logo on a 45 degree angle, and you can't repeat it and so on. Those are common rules to logo design, not to say that you have to do that, but interesting. They're going to put their logo on an angle and maybe that's probably not actually 45 degrees, but you know what I'm saying, on a sharp angle. But then when we look at more of their signs, every time they have a larger space, on these ones like right here this is almost the exact same shape as the other one before, but now they're just duplicating the logo instead of just putting it on that angle, so that's pretty inconsistent. Then here they have another one that's even more square, and they're just repeating the logo three times, which is really pretty weird. I don't know if I like it, I think that because I feel like it's like a poor design choice, it means that they didn't make a logo that fits a lot of areas. It's not versatile as I've repeated a thousand times in this class, but maybe it is interesting, maybe it's unique, that's something that you can decide. But a lot of the times, if you're making a logo that doesn't have that secondary lockup where it's taller other than wide, then you run into these kinds of issues. Usually this is not a great solution to just duplicate the logo 2, 3, 4 times. A lot of times this is a good example of a time to make that second wordmark, but the problem with Subway is that it's considered one word. If it was a two word, then it's easier to split in half and put sub above way if it was made in two words. You still could do that, I've seen definitely brands where they'll split one word in a two, and I think it looks cool. But certain companies just don't feel that's accurate, they don't want to split one word into two, and this company one way or another never did it. Here's the hypothetical if they were to actually split one word into two words. Again, keep in mind with the idea that I honestly I'm doing these mockups in like a minute flat, it's not like I'm really putting a lot of time and I'm trying to make it look good. I don't know if this totally works or not, I think it's probably a better solution than just making their logo 2, 3, 4 times. But again I'm not in love with it I'll admit, I'm having to blow up the word sub maybe sub could be wider, not so tall, things would have to be fixed. The other thing is they've chosen to go the route of Netflix and so on, where they actually have a symbol that is never shown with their wordmark. It's actually an interesting symbol, but what I do like about it is it's incorporating the green arrow, the yellow arrow, it's got the right style and vibes, thickness and stuff. Of course they've cleverly made the negative space of the S for Subway. It's a pretty good logo, I don't think there's anything wrong with that logo, I like it. The only problem with making a symbol that is borrowing a lot of the ideas from the wordmark is that then you don't want to put them together, and that is the case with Subway. You don't see the symbol with the wordmark, and I think that's intentional because they feel that by putting them together, it's too confusing for your eye. It's got too many arrows all over the place, it already has two arrows on the logo, now you need four arrows if you're going to put them together, it's just a little bit too much, which is why they're not putting them together. But had they have considered it that way, it probably would have worked a lot better, again I think this is too many arrows, this is too much going on. But the idea that you could use a symbol to fill up some of these weird spaces on these signs rather than just multiplying your logo, because multiplying your logo seems like a bit of a weird solution. Again, this is just my opinion, I'd like to see what you guys think, but this is a definitely an interesting solution to just multiply your logo by however many times fits the space. Now we're going to talk about Burger King. This is the before and after, they really recently rebranded and now they've made their logo more simple without some of the highlights and things like that in less colors. It's actually based on their older logo but they've done a new version of it, and it's pretty cool. It's done by Jones Knowles Ritchie, and you can see it here on their website. Again, they're playing with some crazy type and different stretching and things like that, so they're being a little more creative. What's good about it is that they can take the text out of the logo, so it's just the words and they can use that for any of these long applications. Whenever they have a more square version like in this symbol, so this is a bit of a better more useful logo than say the Subway one for example. Again, there's more examples of having more fun with the brand name rather than with the logo, so they've got some pretty fun illustrations here. One thing that I felt was fairly interesting and strange about this rebrand is their idea for the social media icons and the app icon. It doesn't actually look like Burger King is using this icon instead they're using just the full logo. But this is the K design that they similarly pitched because it's shown off in the rebranding steps here, and I thought that this was a really strange decision. Part of the reason why I thought it was so unusual is A, if we scroll up here, it's actually not the K from this font. You can see this has a little bit Comic Sans or a little bit like Cooper Black or something, but anyway so that curved font and if you look it's not that fun. They've created this other font for their brand name so that they can have two different variations, so that's different from the logo. But if you look at that K there, it's not that one either, so it's a bit weird decision that they suddenly decided to bring in this totally different character, this small symbol. Then even stranger is that Burger King's website is bk.com, so you would think that BK rather than K actually makes more sense as the small version. Here is what they actually do, seem to be using and I actually think this works okay at small sizes. Again though, you can see the K totally different, it's not the same as either of these, weird decision. This was my example of what I thought might work better if they just used the B and the K from the logo, if they need a symbol, a more simplified version and you see bk.com. They've already played up the BK thing, anyway strange decision, but let me know what you think. Let's move on. 9. BK Update: Music Playing 10. Keep It Simple; But Don't Get Sued!: I recently worked on a logo for a client with initials, EC. In fact, I was working for them while I was starting to record this class. Actually, I tried a massive variety of different marks. But one I really liked was extremely simple and I thought I'd clever use of negative space. I'm not showing you even a fraction of all the different marks I made because I like to keep some of those things secret, but this is the one we're really going to zero in. I thought that this one was pretty clever. But I knew that all too often the more simple the logo, the more chances someone else might have come up with the same conclusion. So I did some trademark searches and reverse image searches, but I didn't actually find anything too similar. As you can see here, the black shape makes up the stylized E, and then the negative space or the white space makes up a letter C. That's the initials for the client where EC and I thought it was really neat. Well, I'm glad I didn't. A great logo rebranding blog called Brand New posted this before and after a shot on Instagram for a brand called Evercast. As you can see, it has the exact same symbol I came up with. It was made by an agency called Moving Brands. They've worked with Apple and Netflix, and you can see eight of the world's top 10 brands. Something tells me they probably charged a lot more for the symbol than I would have. Again, I never presented this to the client, so it's not actually an issue. But I was very close and had they have chosen it, I could be at the point of trying to get the trademark filed first, messy lawyer stuff that they might have to deal with, and definitely, no designer would want to have to worry about. The reason that I brought this up is it just points to an interesting dilemma that we have to consider as designers. The goal all too often is to keep it simple, memorable. The more simple, the more versatile. That's what this whole class has been about. But in this day and age, they're already countless symbols that have been trademarked or copyrighted, etc, and millions more that haven't. The more simple the design, the more likely someone else has come up with the exact same result or very similar result. Whereas the more complicated your design is, the less likely it is that another person or company came up with the exact same thing that you came up with. Just be weird. Of course, this doesn't mean you should forgo simplicity, since simplicity is one of the most important aspects of a good logo. But it doesn't mean that you need to be very careful and do your best, do your research. Unfortunately, large agencies have the money to hire lawyers and do proper trademark searches and ensure there are no legal consequences. Most of us don't have that luxury. We just have to do our best to do our due diligence to be careful with our work. That's a small warning about using a design that's too simple. You just have to be careful. Just to be clear, I never showed this symbol to anybody. It just stayed in my file and I noticed that it was the same and it's purely coincidental that we came to the same exact result, obviously through experimentation. I'm definitely not saying they copied me. Definitely don't get that wrong. The idea is that you can arrive at the same exact solution totally independently of each other. That's a bit scary. 11. A Symbol With An Ego: Something you may have noticed in the examples already shown is that, any logo with a longer name often needs a symbol for use in small spaces or square ad spaces like signage and so on. As I mentioned, an easy way to solve this problem is to have a wordmark that can be accompanied by a symbol. However, some brands choose to show only one or the other. It seems their symbols have too big of egos, and they want to star in the show. The examples are Subway, Google, Netflix. They choose to never show the icon with the wordmark, but when examining them for this class, I noticed they all had something in common. They all use the most unique or standout aspect from the wordmarks, and they carry them over to the symbol. Subway symbol retains the arrows, Google symbol retains the four colors, and Netflix logo use the curve from the bottom of the word mark. In the case of Netflix, you would think of your most obvious solution to simply use the letter N from the wordmark exactly like it was, but the idea to incorporate the full curve from the wordmark rather than just the start of it is rather clever, I think. It's the kind of subtle detail I like in a symbol. The whole drop shadow or ribbon concept I'm not so sure about, but it does work in the animation. I think the main reason why these symbols don't work with the wordmarks is overload. Having the arrow in Subway's name and then the symbol and showing them together is just too complicated. The same idea applies at the Google and the four colors. Your eye would just be overloaded looking at these designs. I think in Netflix's case, it just isn't that interesting to have a fairly plain letter N right beside or above the name with essentially the same letter N at the start. It's too repetitive. What can we learn from this? If you're ever going to create a symbol that will never appear beside the wordmark, then feel free to use ideas from the wordmark and carry it over to the symbol for consistency as you won't have to worry about that overload. 12. How Can I Be Creative? - Dropbox: At this point you may be wondering, how can you be creative? As with anything, once you know the rules, you can choose when to break them. You can decide when it's possible to stretch the creative side in a logo a little more than you should. However, consider this, it's always a safe bet to have a clean, simple logo and be creative with the rest of the branding. This means you have a really intricate illustrations and textures and photography that accompany the logo, but they don't need to be part of the logo itself. A great example of this, in my opinion, is Dropbox. This is re-branded, it was done by design agency Collins. Collins are one of the better examples of thinking outside of the box. A lot of their work is really big, and colorful, and unique. They pride themselves on being different and making sure the brands stand out, therefore they're willing to break some traditional ideas. For example, most brands settle on a few colors as their core identity. Coca-cola core centers around red, McDonald's uses red and yellow, Starbucks uses green and black, and so on. In most cases, if you showed these logos in different colors, they would look weird. That's because we associate those colors with the brand. But if we look at Dropbox, we can see Collins actually encouraged them to experiment with different colors. They feel it gives them an edge, it allows them to be unique, that way they can catch you off guard. Same idea with illustrations. Collins made Dropbox a ton of wild and unique illustrations. These are very creative. Whether they fit your taste or not, they have different fonts and options to stay fresh at all times. But one thing that stands out to me about Collin's work is they still, after all of this, all this different creativity and crazy things that they like to do, they still keep their logos simple. As creative and groundbreaking as they are, they clearly still feel a logo must be simple and iconic. They don't break tradition in their identity work. I think this is a fantastic example of how to be creative with a brand and make them stand out, but keep the logo simple, and of course, and as I've repeated throughout this class, versatile. One thing I did note, is in the brand guide, Collins clearly says, "Do not fill in the glyph." If we go over to Instagram, man, they've got that glyph filled in. Big trouble. It actually looks pretty cool. Maybe they changed the rules or sometimes clients will be clients. Anyways, let's move on. 13. Time To Summarize: We're reaching the end of the class. We've covered a lot of ground and looked at a lot of big brands to see what we can learn. Let's take a moment and summarize some of the key lessons from each video. The more complicated, the less versatile. A simple and distinct logo will work best across all applications. We must look at the big picture and try to predict things the client might not. The client will most likely want to incorporate detail or communication into the logo, but it's up to us to explain to them the big picture so they know why a simplified solution is the most important. It doesn't matter how big the client is as they may grow in ways they never predicted. Just like Google and Apple, the client had no idea where their business could lead them. They may not think they need 3D signage or a watch app, but you must plan for all cases, just in case. The Nike Swoosh has worked well at any size since 1971 because of its simplicity and uniqueness. This is one of the examples you can show a client. Swoosh does not tell a story, it isn't complicated, and it doesn't mean anything, and that's what made it able to stand the test of time. Apps, watch apps, social media, etc are forcing logos to be shown smaller and smaller. If your logo doesn't work at small scale, you need to simplify. You cannot use just a symbol. In most cases, it takes a lot of money and time for a company to relay what a symbol represents. This likely isn't feasible for any smaller company. They'll need a wordmark to accompany it, if they need a symbol at all. The Google G symbol is a smart addition to their brand. However, it loses its uniqueness in black and white. Your logo and symbol should work well as just a silhouette, so test your design without color. Responsive logos are probably unnecessary if the logo is designed well from the start. Although the idea of responsive logo is interesting, if your logo is simple and well-designed, you likely won't need to worry about it being responsive. A company likely does not need a symbol if their name is short, like 3M, Ford and FedEx example shown earlier, their logos are so short that they work well at all sizes without a symbol. In the example of Subway, perhaps it would be better to design a symbol that works along with the wordmark. That way, it can help fill in the space at certain ad sizes, like their square signs. Simplicity equals versatility. Being too simple can be risky in case it's already been done, like in the case of my EC logo and the company Evercast. If a symbol will never be shown along with the wordmark, try and incorporate unique elements of the wordmark into the symbol. I don't know if I love the idea of a symbol that's never shown alongside the wordmark, but obviously there's some big brands that do that. I'll leave it to you to decide if it's appropriate for your design. You can be more creative with the brand system, just not the logo. As shown with Dropbox, you can still use a ton of color and creativity in your design work. You just probably shouldn't use it in your logo if it causes it to become too complicated. All right, let's wrap this up. 14. Many Thanks!: All right, thank you so much for taking the class. I really hope you all enjoyed it. I hope that by looking deeper into these logos than you have before, you found some valuable information that you can use moving forward. The thing is, we're surrounded by so many logos no matter where we are, who we are, it doesn't matter, we're surrounded by them. What happens is they sometimes blend into the furniture, and we don't actually take the time to learn what we can from them. If you enjoyed this class, please make sure you click over to my profile and click "Follow". It should be somewhere in the top left. It doesn't show on my little screen cache here because I'm me and I can't follow myself. It's somewhere in that top left, click "Follow" so you can see what I'm doing and see which other classes I put out. At this point, I've put out over 30 classes, so there's a ton of different information out there. I hope that you'll check them out and see what you can learn. One that really piggybacks nicely off of this class is, my last class which is how to customize fonts for logo design. It's a great jumping point if you want to sharpen your logo design skills. If you want to see more of my work you can of course follow me on Instagram, @Jonbrommet. I'm on all other social media as well, but Instagram's kind of the main thing that I use. If you want to check out my procreate brushes, you can check them out @jonbrommet.com. I've also got links to my Threadless shop for clothing, and my Etsy shop for all kinds of handmade cool merch, and not handmade merch like my pins and stuff like that. Really looking forward to seeing your class projects, so please do post that because I think we can all learn from each other and I'm excited to see how you think and what you think about different things. It's good for me to learn as a teacher as well. Lastly, if you can take a moment to review this class, it really helps get it trending, adding a project, comment in the discussion, reviewing, those are the sorts of things that make sure other students can get to find this class as well, which I would be super appreciative for. I hope you guys enjoyed it and I'll be back soon. I won't take another year to put out another one. Hopefully, in a couple months I have a new class out. I might keep on this theory of logo design, so please definitely make sure if you liked this class, let me know. That's important, so that I can make classes on this subject. Okay. Well, all done. We'll see you guys next time. Bye, bye.