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ABOUT ILLUSTRATED LOGOS, BRAND IDENTITY ICONS & PACKAGING ILLUSTRATIONS

Over the years, I have specialised in providing illustrative logos, icons and graphic key visuals for a international client base in the design industry, mainly brand & corporate identity consultants, graphic design studios and advertising agencies.

 

WHAT ARE ILLUSTRATED LOGOS GOOD FOR?

Illustrative logos are a pictorial representation of some aspect of a brand being portrayed. This type of logo focuses in on the name, the business concept or a company character / icon that can be developed.  The illustrated logo needs to be self-contained enough to be effective to give strength to the image of a brand or a product and is a symbol that apprises trust, identity or authority.
An illustrative logo should make a long lasting and enduring impression on potential clients, can help the global presence of a company, service or product to get a higher level of brand recognition, that speaks to the target audiences.
The ideal logo combines a range of qualities such as being unique, ownable, imaginative and stylish,also to be received as impactive, relevant, expressive, memorable, functional, identifiable, practical and readable.

 

WHAT ARE PACKAGING ILLUSTRATIONS GOOD FOR?

Almost every consumer product package contains a sort of illustrated logo or graphic key visual.
Walking down the aisles of a supermarket or retail store, consumers can find a multitude of presented products on the shelfes. Each packaging went through a highly professionalised branding and design process by specialised packaging designers. To create on-Pack illustrations differs to a degree from the creation of an illustrated brand logo.
Being briefed for a packaging illustration often requires the challenge to craft bespoke illustrations around a given packaging layout in fixed parameters, which can be either a product name, product information texts or placed product images. The packaging illustrations have to fit within these layout frames, and to harmonize with the overall package design. A focus on recognizability and printability is one of the tasks. On-Pack illustrations suppose to enrich, emotionalize and make a packaging more identitfiable in the consumers experience. The chosen illustration style can depend very much upon which product is to be advertised.
For example, for cosmetical, hygienical or medical products, a more emotionalised, elegant, loose crafted linedrawing has proven more suitable than a reduced, minimalistic linedrawing. On the other side, if instructional product-using icons are required for the backside of a package, a very reduced and simple illustration style is required, in order to be instantly understandable, even without further text explanations.
Creating packaging illustrations in a successfull way is always very much about understanding the exact requirements given by the design-teams and to understand and to follow their chosen design route.

 

THE WORKING PROCESS

As with all design projects, the design brief outlines the plans, desires and expected outcomes of the project. A precise design brief is a valuable piece of documentation which directs me towards the correct goal. A comprehensive knowledge of the client’s business and industry plays a key role in the creation of a logo artwork that not only portrays the correct message, but also helps the client stand out in their sector.
After receiving a design brief, I do start with a first exploratory phase, developing vector roughs with a range of routes and ideas .The benefit of this early „finding phase“ is key in order to visually reach agreement on chosen routes to develop further. This stage is a halfway point in the overall process and determines whether the project is on the right track. In a second step, further optimizations and amends on one chosen logo version are worked out until all details looking perfect for a second client presentation. This process helps to work towards a single crafted finalized artwork solution efficiently.
Over the years I have learned, that besides the purely creative part, to listen and to understand the design-teams briefs and ideas, is the most important part in creating a successfull illustrative brand icon. Misunderstandings or communication errors are the enemy of each work, so I am constantly aiming to communicate as clear as possible at all stages of the design process.
Last but not least, each project has it`s own schedules and deadlines. I always give my best to deliver timely. In recent years emerged a tendency to create a mounting of pressure, developed by certain project managers (…lead by partly highly unrealistic expectations) expecting almost overnight delivery of customized artworks. I am no alien to work under pressure, but true professionals do plan their delivery schedules with some consideration about a balanced timeline, in order to enable creative ideas to be developed thoroughly and to allow a required illustrative artwork to be crafted properly.

MY SPECIALITY

From time to time, I have the privilege to lay my hands on traditional brand icons and trade marks that are established and trusted since generations. Even these have to undergo slight rejuventations in order to stay relevant, adapting to future generations of consumers. It is a great pleasure to work on such projects. And always a highly delicate matter for most of the brand owners, feeling pressured to modernize their established icon, but fearing to irritate or even lose parts of their trustful customer base. I see those kind of challenges rather as a dusting off or decent clean up, almost like a renovation project. The aim is to retain the core spirit of the old brand icon, to simplify and optimize whats already there. I do appreciate very much to be able working on such projects, as it is very rewarding to help preserving the existence of a beloved brand icon for the future.

 

WHAT MAKES A GOOD ILLUSTRATIVE LOGO?

Keep it Simple
The finest logos – the ones that give the viewer an immediate and clear sense of “Wow” are clean, precise and uncluttered. In general, less is always more and simplicity is the more impactful way to go. Keep in mind, that logos are used in a variety of ways, on different platforms and in various formats and sizes, so fine details will be lost. A strong logo will only have few elements, each of which can be identified easily and are integral to what you’re hoping to communicate. If you have elements that don’t contribute to the whole, erase them.

 

Make it Memorable
A logo should be easily recalled after just a quick glance. Like any symbol, it should stand for something singular, and it should be easily recalled if, after someone looks at it, one should immediately may describe its core elements. A logo that’s too complex, has multiple parts and pieces or is overly filled will be difficult for the viewer to understand and, in a consequence, easily be forgotten.

 

Make it Timeless
Don’t settle for a hip „look alike“ logo. Already successfull brand logos may work as inspiration, but avoid mimicking them. A fine logo have to work for several years, appearing timeless, surviving constantly changing design trends.

 

Make it Well Balanced
The finest logos are often designed by using some principles of proportion and symmetry. Use proportionate values as well as symmetry, in order to create a pleasing and balanced aesthetic. When creating a word and figurative trade mark, the proportions and the style of logo should work well with the style of the typeface. If working with many colours, make sure it will also work in black and white only.

 

Make it stand out
Yet, “standoutability” for it`s own sake will not be enough. But in a tough competition between brands,creating a well executed, stand out illustrated logo can make the difference. The core values in creating a successfull brand logo or identity icon are all about uniqueness, emotion and impact.

 

ABOUT MY CLIENTS

The array of my clients is ranging from leading brand consultants, global corporate identity specialists, design studios, classic advertising houses to regional companys or local design-teams. All these creative directors, art directors and designers are a joy to work with, as they are certainly highly trained, skilled, competetive, passionate and dedicated to deliver excellent design results. On other occasions, I provide editorial illustrations for various publications. Another field is the creation of identity logos for institutional purposes such as for municipalitys, museums, organisations, trusts or charitable foundations. In a globalised market with strong competition, easy communication processes and a swift digital data transfer enables me to work on a international scale. With Europe remaining my main market, my aim is to intensify my collaboration with clients based in the emerging Asia/Pacific region and the U.S.