A couple of logo design students have mentioned that when they are designing logos one of the things they struggle with is coming up with simple icons and symbols. The problem is they want to include too much detail and so the logo ends up being more like an illustration. Occasionally this may be appropriate, but more often something simpler would work better, as when reduced down small, an elaborate illustration may be difficult to understand.
One way to try and overcome the need to add in too much detail is to try out an exercise which is based on something I learned in a life drawing (figure drawing) class in college years ago. In my class we started off and were given 30 minutes to draw a figure. Then the next drawing was 10 minutes, the next 5 minutes, until we ended up with 30 seconds to draw the human figure. As you can imagine, when you are given 30 seconds to draw something you have to only include the essential details, no rude comments please 🙂 .
An Exercise to Create Simpler Symbols and Icons
Try a similar thing to my life drawing lesson to create a symbol based logo.
- First pick a topic, don’t worry too much as this is just an exercise. So for example perhaps I might choose a bird or maybe more specifically a Kingfisher.
- Next collect together some reference material so it is easy to view all at once – you could print it out, use iPhoto, or another photo gallery program.
- Next get a timer, if you haven’t got one you can find an online one here www.timer.onlineclock.net/
- Set your self a fixed time (lets say 10 minutes) to come up with 10 different hand sketched symbol ideas, and all have to be in a different style – for example – one like a silhouette, one using just straight lines, one using a continous line, one using shapes etc etc.
By having such a short time to come up with 10 different ideas, not only are you forced to be economic with details, but it also stops you getting fixated on one idea (we’ve all been there).
Let me know how you get on and feel free to post links to your logo sketches in the comments or on the Facebook Page