A logo is not a brand, unless it’s on a cow.

A logo can be defined as: “a distinctive symbol of a company, object, publication, person, service or idea“. 

A professionally designed, strong logo and a subsequent visual system is one of a corporation’s greatest assets.It needs to encompass and become the base that best communicates all the client’s endeavours.

Adams Morioka – LOGO DESIGN WORKBOOK

See some of our logos below.

logo portfolio

Some Work Done for Clients

this page is regularly updated 

ten things to know before you hire a logo designer

What logos should do for your business.

BE ENTICING: Your logo must appeal to your target audience. (Red Bull)

BE UNIQUE: Avoid cliches and obvious design choices. Your logo should be memorable. (Nzuri Water™) 

BE TIMELESS: Avoid trends. Choose an eternally relevant design. (Coca-Cola)

BE BOLD: Shrinking violets don’t get noticed. (Playboy)

KEEP IT SIMPLE: Delacroix said it best – “If you are not able to sketch a man falling out of a window during the time it takes for him to get from the fifth floor to the ground, then you will never be able to produce monumental work“. Brutal simplicity of thought is required. (Nike)

BE CONSISTENT: Use your design to reinforce your brand without jeopardising the integrity of your logo and a subsequent visual system. (Apple)

WHITE SPACE & SHAPE PSYCHOLOGY: Have the correct balance of white space around your logo. Shapes convey meaning. Use this wisely. (Microsoft / Adidas)

FONTS: Use fonts to create the right emotions. (JackieM Events / Disney)

NEGATIVE SPACE: Leverage negative space. (Fedex)

COLOUR: Use colour to reinforce your message. (Animal Planet)

BE ADAPTABLE: See the criteria of a good logo below. This is how adaptable every logo should be. (Google)

Man’s desire to claim ownership is human nature. We do it from very early on in life. We mark our possessions. We develop a signature, unique to each of us, to protect and display our identity. A logo is an extension of these inherent motives. A logo redefines our needs from the personal to the collective.

The idea of using marks to claim ownership has been around since 300 AD. Fast forward to 1947, when the Industrial Revolution increased the value of identification. Trademarks became critical for visual identification. The logo became an important tool to convey a cohesive message  to it’s audience. Advertising agencies provided the need for subsequent visual systems.

The needs we now face are a direct result of evolution in the market place. The logo and its supportive visual system must convey a clear message to a wide and diverse audience over an extended period of time.

       

1.  DIFFERENTIATE from your competitors.

2.  CREATE FOCUS internally as well as externally. Your logo must not only talk to your audience, but must provide a clear intent to the internal audience. 

3. ENABLE THE AUDIENCE to create a personal relationship with the brand.

4. CREATE MERCHANDISING OPPORTUNITIES.

5. CREATE CREDIBILITY.

6.  BRING ORDER to chaos.

7. COMMUNICATE the message.

Unless where otherwise stated this piece is written almost verbatim from Logo Design Workbook – A Hands-On Guide to Creating Logos, written by Sean Adams & Noreen Moroika with Terry Stone (AdamsMoroika Inc.)

There are 10 Rules of Engagement: 

  1.  Briefing Questions: The designer should ask some very specific questions before designing a logo for your business. See our logo design questionnaire below. 
  2. A logo should identify, not explain. A logo is a cleverly designed shortcut, a visual language that is quickly recognizable and memorable – a signpost that identifies the company and reflects its attitudes and values clearly and succinctly.
  3. The client must understand a logo’s limitations. A logo is not a magic lantern. It cannot make a bad product successful or save a poorly managed business. However, a well-designed logo will always help a good product realize its full potential. A logo gives direction and attitude, while the product informs the meaning.
  4. Making more from lessEd Fella.  The message must be the most important form part of the logo, but the form must draw the viewer in. The viewer must be seduced. The most successful logos are simple and dynamic. It remains a clear expression of the client. Being direct is powerful. Cleverness is not.
  5. Make mnemonic value. There are four critical attributes to the way we memorize anything: (1) We see shape and colour. This is the way we identify letterforms and faces. Once shape and colour have been determined, we (2) position it within our understanding in the situation. Is it relevant? (3) We then use information we have from learned responses to form meaning. A red light means “stop”, a green light means “go”. Blue is masculine, pink is feminine. (4) Mnemonic value is linked seamlessly and subconsciously with emotional association. These associations are often strong, very personal and difficult to predetermine. Being aware and utilizing these four attributes provides the tools to produce mnemonic value.
  6.  Pose a question. Asking questions about what we see, hear, or read is a natural part of our thinking process. Predictability is boring. When something inspires a question, the onlooker needs to spend time with the message received. There is however, a fine line between posing a question that invites a response and asking an unsolvable one. Confuse the audience and you lose them.
  7. Design for longevity. Our visual landscape is filled to capacity with billboards, signs, television commercials, magazine advertisements, messages on packaging, social media and other forms of visual communication. Almost all of these are combined with a logo, but many of these are quickly forgotten. The ideas that stick are those that connect resonate with us emotionally. Styles and trends rarely have lasting emotional resonance. A good logo must be able to convey its message over a long period of time and be able to adapt to cultural changes. Beware of typefaces du jour as it might quickly go out of fashion and become an embarrassment to the company. This will require an expensive re-design. Very few clients like to be remembered as outdated or quaint. 
  8. The logo should be the foundation of a system. The logo is the base for all other messages. Clients don’t see logos in a void, they always see them in context. The subsequent visual system is derived from the logo and has to complement it. A visual system includes guidelines for colour, typography, imagery, copy style, and product usage. Guidelines protect your mark from being abused and clarify the environment it occupies. This, consequently and very importantly, protects the integrity of its message and the company it represents.
  9. Design for a variety of media. Until the 1950’s most logos needed to work in only one medium – print. The expansion of media in which companies advertise has changed this. Your logo must be legible and clear in a one-colour print medium, a website, 3D signage, television, social media, clothing and corporate gifts. Given the constant evolution of of media and key information delivery systems, it would be almost impossible for a mark to exist in only one medium over its lifespan and, do so successfully. It is the designer’s responsibility to plan for the unplanned on behalf of the client.
  10. Good designers make trouble – Tibor Kalman. Being strong is not about being inflexible and throwing tantrums. Being strong is understanding one’s role as a designer, the client’s role, and maintaining a clear vision. There is a fine line between intransigence and confidence, or between uncertainty and collaboration. A client’s choice of colour, style and imagery may not always be relevant. An elegant solution is one that solves the problem with sustainability. The final logo must address the client’s goals and messages. This is often one of the most challenging aspects of the design process. Every situation is different. However, the best solution is to maintain a clear vision and connection to the primary goal.The designer, an outside consultant , should be able to see the larger picture. Frequently reminding the client of the desired outcome and central message is crucial. The businessman will never respect the professional who does not believe in what he does.” – Paul Rand. A designer is a catalyst for change. With updated information and patient listening a good designer must work to produce a viable and effective logo.
Unless where otherwise stated this piece is written almost verbatim from Logo Design Workbook – A Hands-On Guide to Creating Logos, written by Sean Adams & Noreen Moroika with Terry Stone (AdamsMoroika Inc.)

A logo can be defined as:

a distinctive symbol of a company, object, publication, person, service, or idea.

  • Mark: A recognizable symbol used to indicate ownership or origin of goods. (See Capewave from my own work.)
  • Trademark: A name or symbol used to show that a product is made by a particular company and legally registered. (See Nzuri Water™ from my own work.)
  • Signature: A distinctive mark or combination of visual forms. A graphics standards manual may call for the “signature” to be applied to all brochures [or communications, such as emails]. This is simply a synonym for “logo”. (Some excellent examples: FNBNational Geographic Magazine and this site.)
  • Wordmark: A wordmark uses the company name with proprietary letterforms. (Coca-Cola, Walt Disney and Mobil.)
  • Symbol: The symbol is the iconic portion of the logo.  At times the logomark may exist without the wordmark, examples being the Nike swoosh, Apple’s apple, and the z-drop of Nzuri Water™.
  • Monogram: A design of one or more letters usually the initials of a name, used to identify a company, publication, person, object or idea. Disadvantages: Generic initials often look better on towels or glasses than on corporate stationary. However, Volkswagen has done it well. 

Unless where otherwise stated this piece is written almost verbatim from Logo Design Workbook – A Hands-On Guide to Creating Logos, written by Sean Adams & Noreen Moroika with Terry Stone (AdamsMoroika Inc.)

The role of a logo is to point, to designate. Simplicity of thought has changed the world and the very best logos – anywhere – are brutally simple. Complex, fussy logos harbor a self-destruct mechanism and are guaranteed a short lifespan. However, simplicity is very hard to achieve, but well worth the effort when the client embraces the possibilities.

The effectiveness of a logo depends on the following:

  • distinctiveness
  • visibility
  • useability
  • memorability
  • universality
  • durability
  • timelessness

THREE things are mandatory:

  • it must be attractive
  • it must be reproducible in one colour
  • it must be reproducible in exceedingly small sizes (from a ballpoint pen to a billboard).
Reference: Designing Identity: Graphic Design as a Business Strategy by Marc English

The process takes between 2 to 4 weeks depending on the client or the brief.

Step 1: The brief. We ask the client some crucial questions, before we get started. If you are thinking of requesting a quote online, you can find the questions in our quote questionnaire. These questions will lead to a full and detailed brief.

Step 2: Research and strategy. We discuss and explore conceptual and formal approaches to see what suits the client best. We discuss. We research the culture of the company itself, their competitors as well as the audience. We carefully consider the applications and environments in which the logo will be used immediately and in the future. We look at constraints. We consider how best to communicate the message to achieve the desired results for the client. This, and more. This is the part of logo design that is probably the most time consuming.

Step 3: Sketching and concepts. This is as enjoyable as the previous step and the phase during which ideas go through a process of brutal elimination. Only the best survive. Sometimes a concept seems good, but when you put it to the test, you discover it is flawed. At this point you sometimes have to go back to the drawing board.

Step 4: Reflection. It is necessary after a phase of great intensity to distance oneself from a project. Put it down for a day or two and do something else. Often new, better ideas surface. It is also the time to get honest feedback from other creatives.

Step 5: Revisions. At this point one might need to “murder one’s darlings“-  Charlie Gilkey. Rethink, redraw, or redo. 

Step 6: Presentation. Now one reveals one’s designs to the client. It may be plain sailing to the the next and final step, or you may have to tweak it here or there. We never present only one concept, so ultimately there is always a concept or two that gets filed for use on another day. In the very unusual and unlikely event, the process starts all over again. In very rare events, clients find it hard to tell you what they do want, unless you show them what they don’t want. A good designer will make sure the brief is detailed and the right questions are asked. This prevents headaches for both the client and the designer.

Step 7: Delivery and Support. The work does not end at delivery. There is always some support required. When designing a logo we more often than not will do a free business card design for the client and spend some time talking about a standards manual and how they should supervise the implementation of the visual system across their brand. Most clients will ask us to consult formally when entering this stage.  The logo is the foundation of this system. 

Graphics Standard Manuals can be slim and concise or multipaged behemoths, depending on the personality and needs of the client. Whether they are printed and bound pieces or whether they exist only on the client’s intranet, identity guidelines are key to the consistent use of a logo.

AdamsMorioka: Logo Design Workbook – A Hands-On Guide to Creating Logos 

To be updated.

  1. TYPOGRAPHY
  2. COLOUR
  3. IMAGE/ICONOGRAPHY
  4. SHAPE
  5. HIERARCHY & SCALE
  6. STATIC or CHANGEABLE?

Corporate applications normally would include the following:

  • Business Cards
  • Stationery (letterheads, complimentary slips, vouchers, envelopes, etc)
  • Business Forms (fax forms, invoices, delivery notes, etc.)
  • Environments (applications of interior and exterior graphics in/at your place of business – banks, car dealers, shopping malls, etc.)
  • Signage (interior and exterior – way-finding and directional signs, floor signage, billboards, shop signs, pole ads, flags, banners, gazebos, etc)
  • Vehicles (magnets, direct application, vehicle wrapping, etc.)
  • Uniforms – see all our corporate clothing)
  • Advertising (how is it used on a billboard, full-page ad in a newspaper/magazine, on different social media platforms, direct mail and promotional gifts, etc)
  • Promotions (is it appropriate for your brand to be promoted on a coffee cup, a toilet plunger, or a cap?)
  • Marketing Materials (brochures, profiles, annual reports, interactive design pieces, packaging, stalls, etc)
  • Corporate Communications (e-mail headers and signatures, etc)
  • Online (how effective is the logo on various online applications, does it animate – my favourite GIF is Google)
  • On-Air (radio and TV)
previous arrow
next arrow
Slider
Close Menu