The demand for design talent is incredibly high in the current market. That being said, finding a job in the industry might not be a smooth ride for everyone.
It can still be truly challenging to find a design job without having sufficient experience. If you are a student starting your career in logo design, you can use the following tips to get the ball rolling.
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1. Research the Field
Whether you are a logo design student or just switched careers to be a designer, it is always important to do your research first. If you are still in the initial stages, one of the best approaches to adopt would be to check out a free or inexpensive introductory course on an online platform such as Udemy or Coursera.
Additionally, you can learn a lot by listening to podcasts or videos of successful professionals in this field. Of course, it would also be a good idea to connect with logo designers directly by reaching out to them via social media networks or LinkedIn. We suggest that you talk to at least ten people so you will get more than one perspective and will be able to notice consistent trends.
2. Work on a Signature Style
Studying logo design may help you achieve the foundation you need in the design niche. However, an employer is likely to hire you based on your portfolio rather than your certificates. And in order to set yourself apart, you need to work on a specialty style for your logos or the way you approach work.
This means that you will have to create a portfolio good enough to send in with job applications. Understandably, finding time for creative work outside your college assignments can be a challenge. But you can order custom writing at EssayPro to get help with papers. Focusing on a niche and a specific style that can resonate with a wide range of customers will help you get the attention of clients as well as employers.
Unlike other design projects, if you do not have a client, it can indeed be a tough job to create logos. However, if you are unable to get paid or even free work, you can try redesigning the logos of existing companies. This can be immensely helpful in developing content for your portfolio.
You need not pick famous logos that have already left an impression on a wide audience. Instead, you could redesign something less popular and include how you arrived at the concept in your portfolio.
Even if you are focusing on logo design, you can also extend your redesigning endeavors to other projects such as brand identities, websites, posters, and more. This can help stretch your creativity and start thinking outside the box when building your portfolio.
4. Get Familiar With the Tools
Needless to say, as a logo design student, you will be expected to know your way around the most used tools. However, your curriculum might limit you to a few. As such, you might have to learn by yourself the other popular design tools.
Here is a list that you can consider:
- Photo editing software – Adobe Photoshop, Affinity Photo
- Vector-based software – Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Typekit, Indesign, Affinity Designer, Inkscape.
- Layout software – Adobe InDesign, Affinity Publisher
You will be using a combination of all three, depending on the project you take on. And importantly, websites and brands are also looking for animated logos, so you should also check out the likes of Adobe Spark and Renderforest.
5. Understand Applications of Logos
As you know, logos are used in different settings today, from digital versions to merchandise. You will need to design while keeping all applications for logos in mind.
All logos should be tested for:
- Size: how will the logo look in different sizes.
- Social media dimensions: how the logo will appear on different social media formats and colors.
- Texture: Consider how the logo will appear on different materials, like screens, papers, print on textiles, etc.
Even if your job description does not require you to consider these, it would be a wise strategy to adopt to make your work easier in the future.
6. Understand User Experience
While logo design might not be a part of the user experience, it can still play a crucial role. Especially in today’s context, many websites use company logos as a means to help users navigate the websites. This implies that you should be able to not only incorporate elements of branding and design but also be aware of the practical usability and function of your designs.
Depending on the type of work you do, you might be designing graphically alongside other professionals, such as app builders or web designers. And importantly, they might expect your designs to reflect concepts such as designing for screen, evoking emotional responses, and ease of use.
It might be difficult to learn these aspects unless you get exposure to the industry. The best approach in such cases would be to engage with other professionals.
7. Learn to Articulate Your Design Process
As a logo designer, you will need to convince others of your design’s value. And this will require you to efficiently articulate your design process. This will also be important when you are being interviewed by a prospective client or an employer.
So, here are a few tips for designers to bear in mind when explaining your design process:
- Present the context and start by narrating the problem you solved for your users.
- Explain what the possible solutions you came up with are.
- Define how your chosen solution would work.
It would also be wise to document the process in order to be able to convey the amount of work that has gone into designing logos when discussing with clients.
8. Learn How to Communicate
Logo designing is indeed an artistic practice; nevertheless, you will still need to communicate and collaborate with others, no matter whether you choose to work as a freelancer or in a corporate environment. That is, you need not only design skills but should also be aware of what is expected of you in your industry position.
To give an overview, logo designers will be involved with designing briefs, client meetings, negotiations, and drafting market development plans. In addition to this, you should also learn how design work is priced, how your time is monitored, and other aspects that go into design contracts.
Unfortunately, a logo design degree or certification might not always prepare you for this. The best way to achieve these is by engaging with others in the community and being up to date with the prevailing industry practices.
9. Connect With a Logo Design Community
Building a community of designers in the industry is a great way to meet successful logo creators as well as beginners. If you are studying in a college, you might come across several ways to network with designers.
On the other hand, if you are learning by yourself, you will need to find the resources yourself. Not to worry, there are plenty of websites that allow young designers to receive feedback on their work and interact with others. Apart from social networking sites such as Instagram and LinkedIn, there are a few niche-specific platforms for designers. This includes:
Being a member of these platforms will also help you keep up with what’s trending and be more successful in the world of design.
10. Continue Learning
Finally, when you are a beginner, it might be tempting to stop your earning process once you get a job. However, logo design is a field that is constantly evolving and at a rapid pace. If you want to steer your career forward, you should make it a point to keep upgrading your skills. You should also find out about the new tools emerging in the market and understand what their role is in your industry.
What to Include in Your Portfolio?
A common concern many first-time job applicants think of is how to present their portfolios. The simple answer is to remember that quality is more important than quantity here. The point is not to include too many projects but ones that will establish your style.
A concise portfolio with a few detailed works will let you have more control over what the viewer will see. You can aim for three or four projects covered in-depth, providing an outline as well as the concept evolution behind the design decisions.
Instead of sending portfolios as PDFs, you can also think of platforms such as Behance that feature other artists. If possible, you can also develop a website that will provide a well-rounded impression of who you are and the type of work you are interested in.
The points we discussed in this guide will serve as a framework for getting started. Perhaps, you might feel overwhelmed at the beginning. After all, you are learning concepts and tools and engaging with a new community.
Be sure to take it one step at a time. Becoming a successful logo designer will take not only hard work but also a bit of patience. With each new project you work on, you will learn new things and gain confidence and experience.