One of the most essential elements of creating a brand is the logo design. You can hire a professional designer to create your company logo or you can save some money and design it yourself. If you’re feeling adventurous enough to tackle logo design, here are some processes that will help you produce professional results:
- Ask yourself some important questions. What are your core values and mission statement? How do you want the public to view your organization? What colors embody the values of your company? What design concepts will resonate with your clients and customers? What image will set your business apart from the competition?
- Get multiple people involved in the process. You might be surprised how many unique ideas are produced when you allow others to help with your creative process.
- Brainstorming also works as a failsafe for the design process because it gives everyone the chance to voice their opinion before you get too far into the design. It’s better to know your limitations before starting than to discover them after the work is already done.
3. Sketch Before Going Digital
- Don’t start your design software just yet! Pick up a pencil and piece of paper and sketch out your initial design ideas. You can be much bolder with the design since it won’t be the final version. You may also save yourself some time by eliminating the weaker designs before you get into the complicated part of the process.
4. Create Multiple Drafts
- You will most likely have a few very strong ideas for your logo by this point. If you can’t choose between the best, design them all. Design multiple versions of the same logo idea too. Sometimes you have to see the design finalized before you can decide if it’s right or not. This can be a huge time saver when you present the designs to the rest of the company. Someone may not like the first logo idea so instead of going back to the drawing board, you can submit multiple ideas.
5. Apply On Multiple Mediums
- Your logo will be applied to all of your products, uniforms, and communications. Your logo needs to work on a number of different colors and backgrounds.
- Invert your design to make sure it works on a light or dark background.
- Seeing your logo on paper, fabric, and digital mediums can solidify your confidence in that design.
These processes won’t guarantee a perfect logo but they will start you on the right direction to create the best logo for your business needs.
Commercially printed documents such as business cards, postcards, and flyers are usually printed on paper larger than the final document size. The products are then cut down to size. When printing on a large press, slight paper shifting can occur and minor nudges can happen when the blade hits the paper during the trimming process. If your printed materials are designed to have ink print all the way to the edge, you need to include what is called “bleed” in the printing industry. Bleed ensures that even if the paper is nudged 1/32 of an inch, you don’t end up with a fine white line at the edge of your document.
Bleed refers to the graphics that extend beyond the final document trim size. The extra space provided by the bleed makes sure that the graphics will reach to the edge of the page after the product is cut to size. We have set up a tutorial below to show you how to set up your own document bleed settings so you can be certain that your prints will be completed to your exact specifications.
We recommend using professional design software, such as InDesign or Illustrator so that you can set up your page using the system tools to designate the document size and the bleed size, so that when you save your final file, the software will place the crop marks. Manual line drawn crop marks can result in inaccuracies on the press.
1. Open Adobe InDesign, Go to File > New > Document (or press “Ctrl + N”)
2. A New Document dialog box will open. Enter the size you need for your document (in this case, we are setting up a generic business card. Click the “More Options” button to reveal the bleed and slug section.
3. Click the link icon next to the bleed fields to link the bleed size. This will ensure that your bleed area is equal on each side of the document. Even if your design does not require bleed on all four sides, your document should still be set up with equal bleed on all edges.
4. Add a minimum of 1/8th inch of bleed. It’s always a good idea to check with your print provider in case they have different bleed requirements.
5. Click the “Ok” button to open the new document.
6. In the new document, the red line is the outside of the bleed area. The black line is the trim or the edge of the printed piece. The area between both sets of lines is the bleed.
7. Add your text and graphics to the document. As a general rule, keep text and important graphics 1/8th inch from the trim lines to ensure that they won’t be affected by any minor machine nudges.
8. Expand the background graphics to the edge of the bleed area.
9. You can preview your document by pressing “w” which allows you to see the document exactly as it will print.
10. When you are finished editing the graphics and text and you have saved your InDesign file, click File > Export (or press “Ctrl + E”)
11. A dialog box will appear asking you to save your document. Pick a file location and click “Save.”
12. An “Export Adobe PDF” dialog box will open. Click the “Marks and Bleeds” category on the left column.
13. Make sure the box next to “Use Document Bleed Settings” is checked (if this item is missed, you will only save the contents on the inside of the trim lines). Checking the “Crop Marks” box will allow you to see where the printer will cut on the document.
14. Click “Export” to finish the process.
15. Find and open your new PDF to make sure everything looks correct (The best part is that the crop marks can be removed easily in the PDF format in case the print technician needs to make adjustments).
When you are done reviewing your PDF, it is ready to send to the printer. The print technician will be grateful that you are so well-versed in setting up your documents too! If you have a custom job that requires a more detailed bleed setting, don’t be afraid to ask your print provider for advice. At United Reprographics, we’re always happy to work with your project each step of the way.
United Reprographics is Sponsoring Twisted Love at the Art/Not Terminal Gallery
Tired of boring Valentine’s day traditions? Try something different this year! Get Twisted with our friends at the Art/Not Terminal Gallery where they are featuring over 100 Northwest alternative artists. The Encore Opening night is being held on Feb 14th!
Show Dates: February 2-24, Encore Opening held Feb 14, 5pm-9pm
Location: Art/Not Terminal Gallery, 2045 Westlake Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98121
Curated by Braden Duncan, Xavier Lopez Jr, Yvette Endrijautzki and Zachary Sofia, this collection presents an alternative look at the ways of the heart.