Tag Archive - design tips

Illustrator for beginners: Working with the Gradient Tool

Illustrator offers the ability to add transparency to gradients, as well as a new elliptical style. In this tutorial, you will learn how to use the expanded Gradient tool and controls to create gradient effects.

The first step in using the Gradient tool is to assign a gradient to an object. To assign a gradient:

Let’s say for example, you’ve drawn a simple chick (I’ve provided a vector file for you to use as an example. I’ve saved it as a lower version, CS, so that CS versions and above will be able to open the file.

Download sample working file here

1. Open the file. First, you got to choose the gradient color you want. Go under Windows > Swatch Libraries > Gradients > Simple Radials. For our example, I’ve selected ‘Simple Radials’, but you can opt for other swatches if you like. After you’ve chosen the color you want, click inside the object to apply a gradient.

2. Select the Gradient tool from the Illustrator toolbox

3. A bar showing the direction of the gradient appears. The color and direction of the gradient depends on the last gradient you applied.

4. Choose the direction of the gradient to achieve the tone you want.

5. You can also work with the Gradient slider.

6. In addition to rotating and modifying a linear gradient, you can also modify radial and elliptical gradients.

As with anything, practice makes perfect. Work with the gradient tool and experiment with it to achieve the results you want.
Here’s our finished version of the chick :)

Feel free to email us if you have any questions, or you may leave your comments on this post ;)

Tips For A Successful Logo Design

As mentioned in my earlier post, a good logo design is remembered for ages and that is what drives multinational companies to spend millions of dollars on developing their logo and other branding materials. Take Louis Vuitton, for example. The very letters ‘L’ and ‘V’ combined symbolizes the brand.

Hence, when it comes to creating a new logo, whether you’re designing it yourself, or hiring professionals to do it for you, there are certain strategies and tips you should keep in mind while creating your logo.

1. Keep it simple.

Simplicity is the key. Most of the great logos of the world are mainly simple and it is always easier for us to remember and recognize a simple design than to identify a complicated one.

2. Typography

You should be careful while deciding on the typeface for your logo. Choosing the right typeface can make a lot of difference. For example, a financial institution depicting reliability and stability would choose a typeface that is bold and thick. If you select the right font, you may not even need a graphical element to support your logo. Some of the best logos are purely made out of typefaces. SONY is one example, and Google is another.

3. Color choice

You have to be extra careful when deciding on a color for your logo. It is advisable that you restrict yourself to RGB or CMYK color modes so that your logo looks equally goo in print as it looks on web. Another thing to keep in mind is to ensure that your logo looks good in black and white as well. Mind you, you might have to fax your letterhead and you don’t want your looking like crap in black and white.

4. Always use vector graphics

The advantage of having the logo in a vector format is that it can be resized easily without any loss of details and image quality. In addiction, vectors are generally smaller in size as compared to image formats.

5. Get a professional to create your logo

Finally, it is always better to hire a professional logo design firm or advertising agency to create your logo than doing it yourself. It is their profession, which means that they know better than you do, and would take many important factors into consideration such as brand positioning, etc.

Successful Logo Designs: Important Points To Take Note Of

A good design is remembered for ages and that is what drives multinational companies to spend millions of dollars on developing their logo and other branding materials. So, now you want to have your own logo. Whether you’re designing it yourself, or hiring professionals to do it for you, there are certain strategies and tips you should keep in mind while creating your logo.

Point 1:

Your logo reflects your business, and it’s the first thing people see and associate with your brand. Say McDonald’s for example. People associate the big M with them. It’s sunny yellow color and happy font makes it a memorable logo that portrays the happiness and fun times people get to enjoy at McDonald’s.

You should always take these points in consideration when designing your logo. Remember that a company’s logo is not something you change as and when you please, as it can affect the overall brand positioning of your business.

Point 2:

You need to keep in mind as to what you want your target audience / customers to see when they look at your logo. I’ve seen a number of badly designed logos that do not at all represent what the business does, but rather, reflects on a complete different nature altogether.

A good logo should encompass the nature and attitude of your business. A badly designed one, however, will bring about disastrous effects and create the wrong impression.
Take a look at the example given below.

This logo is one belonging to a 5-star Serviced Residence. However, the font-type and color choice fail to reflect that.

The only plus point of the logo is that it carries the word ‘Residences’, which immediately tells viewers that it’s an apartment of some sort. The biggest disaster about the logo is that instead of reflecting the residence as an upper class residence, it looks like something you’d see on a signage of a motel in a red-light district.

I managed to get this poster featuring their rooftop swimming pool. See example below.

See what I mean? When this logo is incorporated into its advertising materials, such as in the poster above, IT JUST DOESN’T WORK! Frankly, at a brief glance, this looks like some sort of BRA advertisement or even an offer of some kind of illicit service. Sigh!

The greatest no-no about the logo is it’s color choice. Certainly, it looks less ‘cheesy’ in reverse white, as shown in the poster below, but the font type used is simple inappropriate.

So, when designing your logo, put yourself into the minds of your target audience / customers and imagine what their FIRST reaction and impression would be!

Point 3:

Always check out the logos of your competitors. You are sure to find some logos that stand out from the others and this is going to help you conceptualize your logo design. While checking out logos that belong to others, you can also make sure that your logo does not look anything like the others. Remember, you want to be unique, and the last thing you need is for someone to take one look at your logo and say that you’ve copied from someone else.

Point 4:

If you’re a small company, you may not be keen on splurging out tons of dollars to get a custom logo designed. In that case, you might like to try using some high quality clip art and combining it with a suitable typeface for your company name. However, you should keep in mind that clip arts would never be able to give you the effect of a custom logo. Think about the future. Once your company grows, you would have to get a totally new logo customized to reflect your company’s business. Why not get it right the first time around? If you’re afraid of the costs, let me assure you that there are many companies on the web or freelance designers out there who are willing to offer their services at a reasonable price. You just have to look around ;)

Looking for clip art and graphics? Check out our vector graphics under our free section.

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