Category: Brand Development

Thoughts on brand development

Custom Logo Design vs. Stock Logos

Stock Logo Design

Above you see a logo I created using a stock image that I found online. It took me about 5 minutes start to finish.

Many people may not know the difference between a custom logo design and a stock logo upon looking at it, but those differences are vast. The biggest one being that when you purchase a stock logo, you don’t truly own that logo. That same logo can be sold to hundreds or even thousands of other businesses. You have purchased a license to use that logo, and that comes with restrictions.

Stock logos are similar to stock photographs. Websites that sell photography and illustrations for a one-time payment are known as royalty free stock websites. When purchasing imagery from a website like Shutterstock all assets are under a royalty free copyright license. You are given the right to use the asset you purchased without having to pay fees for how many times you use the imagery. But it’s important to read the fine print. Stock logos or images often have restrictions based on how many people will potentially see it. If you purchase a stock logo, and it’s seen by millions of people, other people won’t want to purchase that same stock logo.
The biggest issue with stock logos and stock imagery is the licensing is usually non exclusive. You can purchase a logo just as you would a stock photo online but that same logo is representing another business with a different name. Many business owners fall into buying stock logos or stock imagery because they are a cheaper option instead of paying a professional for a custom logo design.
I personally would advise all business owners to avoid purchasing a stock logo or creating a logo that contains stock imagery. If image is important to you, spending the extra money on a custom logo design is well worth it. I would also do my research when purchasing a logo to make sure that you’re not purchasing a logo that already exists. One thing that you can do to see if your logo is a stock logo or contains a stock image is to use Google’s image search. Try it out and see what happens.
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Choosing the Perfect Logotype


If you’re a designer you should know that most logos are composed of two main elements, the symbol or emblem and the logotype (a single piece of type). There are some logos that only consist of a font to visually represent a company. When crafting a logo most designers choose the logotype after creating the symbol. This is done because its easier to compliment the symbol after its constructed. But what about the logos that don’t have a symbol? Lots of big brands like Coca-Cola, IBM, and Google create their logos with just type. Logos like these make logo development seem easy to an outsider. But deciding which font a company should use is really difficult, especially in a digital world with an infinite amount of typefaces. Here is a simple guide to start with when you’re choosing the right typeface for your company’s logo.
Times new roman type

*Useful throughout everyone’s school career, preferably used at 12pt- Times New Roman

Serif– Serif fonts can be distinguished by the small lines at the end of a letters stroke. These lines can be found at the top of the letter as well as the bottom. A serif font has a formal feel which is why its described as traditional, classy, and professional. Businesses that use these fonts are usually banks, law firms etc.
Helvetica Font

*Superlative design award for “most reliable”- Helvetica


Sans Serif– It may be hard for some people to differentiate or remember the difference between Sans Serif and Serif fonts. Sans Serif fonts do not have small lines at the end of a letters stroke, hence the word “sans” which in french means “without”. A Sans Serif font is an informal font that is friendlier and more inviting than serif fonts. Sans serif fonts are modern and are used more often in the world of branding and logo design.


Bickham script MM font

*The essence of formal but fashionable- Bickham Script MM


Script– The word Script is defined as ” something written”. The characters in script fonts look handwritten instead of printed which makes this typeface easy to recognize. Most people classify script fonts as cursive writing because of the natural flowing strokes that join characters together. Script fonts are elegant fonts that correspond well with luxurious brands.


Acknowledging the characteristics of each typeface should shorten the process of searching for the proper font.


If you’re still not satisfied with a free or purchased font you can always create your own logotype or tweak an already made font to meet your needs. This can come in handy when your trying to create something that’s completely original.


There are hundreds of thousands of fonts to choose from. Being able to think about your business, and the message it wants to convey before diving into these fonts will help narrow down your choices. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to the brands that you see, and think about how their logotypes make you feel. This will help you make those connections with the brand you are designing for.


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Color in Branding

Color in Branding

One of the most important elements in brand design is the use of color. Color in branding helps to increase recognition for a company. Color can reflect a brand’s purpose as well as their personality. When combined with a simple but clever logo, you can create a unique brand that will be recognized for years to come. Here are some notes that can help when you’re choosing colors for your brand.
The meaning of color
The meaning of color can vary from person to person. For example, the color red can be associated with anger, violence, energy, passion, seduction or the symbol to stop. Red is among one of the most popular colors in the world and is highly used for branding. Take a moment to look at each color below and think to yourself, “what do I associate with this color?”

Branding Colors

Color Harmony
Color harmony is when you combine colors that work well with each other. Do you remember the color wheel in art class when you were younger? If so, you would remember that there are three categories based on the color wheel. (primary , secondary, and tertiary). There are various formulas that can be used to create color harmony.
Primary color: one of the three colors red, yellow, or blue which can be mixed together to make other colors.
Secondary color: a color (such as green, orange, or purple) that is formed by mixing two primary colors.
Tertiary color: a color produced by mixing two secondary colors.  Color Wheels
Complimentary colors are any colors that are opposite of each other on the color wheel.
Analogous colors
Analogous colors are three colors that are side by side on a 12 section color wheel.

Complimentary colors

Choose colors that relate to your company and will help your brand stand out from the crowd. Think about how these colors make you feel and what they will portray to your audience. It’s important to be aware of how colors work and why, but also know that there are no rules set in stone. Don’t be afraid to go with your gut.


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