Some great ideas for logo design. Though this originally was found in Just Creative Designs, we have provided our own expertise as it relates to the Locksmith Industry.
Excerpts from Just Creative Designs

How to Design a Logo

Want to know how to design a logo like a professional and have all the resources you need in just one post? Then this is the post for you… Learn professional logo design in just 5 steps!

1. Learn What a Logo Is & What It Represents 
marketing your locksmith shop logo
Before you design a logo, you must understand what a logo is, what it represents and what it is supposed to do. A logo is not just a mark – a logo reflects a business’s commercial brand via the use of shape, fonts, color, and / or images.

A logo is for inspiring trust, recognition and admiration for a company or product.

One must know what a logo is before continuing.

2. Know the Principles of Effective Logo Design 

marketing your locksmith shop logo








Now that you know what a logo is supposed to do, and what it should represent you now must learn about what makes a great logo – the basic rules and principles of effective logo design.

1. A logo must be simple

A simple logo design allows for easy recognition and allows the logo to be versatile & memorable. Good logos feature something unexpected or unique without being overdrawn.

2. A logo must be memorable

Following closely behind the principle of simplicity, is that of memorability. An effective logo design should be memorable and this is achieved by having a simple, yet, appropriate logo.

3. A logo must be timeless

An effective logo should be timeless – that is, it will stand the test of time. Will the logo still be effective in 10, 20, 50 years? If not, then try again.

4. A logo must be versatile

An effective logo should be able to work across a variety of mediums and applications. For this reason a logo should be designed in vector (see below) format, to ensure that it can be scaled to any size. The logo must work in just one color too. If you want to make custom t-shirts or hats with your logo on it for your technicians, your logo must also be embroidered.

5. A logo must be appropriate

How you position the logo should be appropriate for its intended purpose. For a locksmith, using a font that looks like a pre-school child wrote it would not be appropriate.

3. Learn Off Others Success & Mistakes

marketing your locksmith shop logo





Successful Logos

Now you know what the rules of logo design are, you can distinguish the difference between a good and a bad logo… By knowing what other logos have succeeded and why they have succeeded gives a great insight into what makes a good logo.

For example, lets look at the classic Nike Swoosh. This logo was created by Caroline Davidson in 1971 for only $35 yet it still a strong, memorable logo, effective without colour and easily scalable. It is simple, fluid and fast and represents the wing in the famous statue of the Greek Goddess of victory, Nike – something perfect for a sporting apparel business. Nike is just one of many great logos, think about other famous brands that you know about and check out their logos – what makes them successful?

The Not So Successful Logos

We can also learn off logos that have not been as successful such as the ones in the above picture or these bad logo designs. As seen in that post linked, some logos can depict things that may have not always be noticeable to the designer (as in the middle logo above) or they could just be plain bad design, as in the logo to the right. Once you have designed your logo, turn it to the side and upside down. Does it give a different meaning?

4. Establish Your Own Logo Design Process  

Now that we know what a logo is, what the principles and rules of logo design are and what makes a successful logo we can now finally begin the design process. This it hardest part of the 5 steps and is its own topic in itself – Each person’s logo design process is different and experience usually is the key factor in creating your own logo design process.

5. Hire a Professional & Make Your Logo Digitalized  

After you have got your design process sorted out, it is usually a good time to hire a professional. Your logo needs to be created as a Vector File (this the original native file, a .ai or .eps file created in Adobe Illustrator), an RGB file (this is used for your website) and a CMYK file (this is used for printing brochures and other marketing materials).

Defining Vector, RGB and CMYK When someone talks about RGB and CMYK they are referring to the two color models used to determine an array of colors for various outputs.  While the issue can be complex, understanding the basics are typically enough to help solve your problem.  Let’s begin by looking at the RGB color model:

RGB – The letters RGB refer to the three colors that are used in the color model, Red, Green and Blue.
RGB is an additive color model, meaning that the three colors, red, green and blue are mixed together to create a wide range of colors.

Figure 1.1 – RGB Color Model

You should be aware that the RGB color model is primarily used for displaying images in electronic devices such as phones, televisions and computers.  Any graphics found on your electronic device are going to be based on the RGB color model. These files can be saved in many ways such as a .jpg, .png, and more. You should never use an RGB file to print marketing materials or for embroidery purposes.

CMYK – As with RGB, the letters in CMYK also refer to the colors that make up the model, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black.  The K stands for Key and has to do with the printing process.

In contrast to the additive process that the RGB color model uses, CMYK is a subtractive color model.  As the inks are added together, less light is able to be reflected and the brightness is reduced, thus describing why it is called subtractive.  When Cyan, Magenta and Yellow are mixed together, Black is the resulting color.  As with the RGB color model, refer to Figure 1.2 for an example of the CMYK color model.

Figure 1.2 – CMYK Color Model
The CMYK color model is primarily used for printing, using a method called Halftoning. Halftoning allows for a wider range of color options by printing varying size dots of the primary color, combining them with the white paper to trick the eye into seeing a different color. You should never use a CMYK file for your website.

Where to Create a Logo?
Logo creation is a specialty, just like the Locksmith Industry has specialties in CCTV, Safes, or Auto. If you want a quality logo, hire a professional who specializes in Logo design. If you want to go the inexpensive route, hire someone who happens to know Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. Whichever way you go, you will need to explain the “Scope of the Project” and explain your vision for the finished product.

Once you have your logo final and designed, request the files be sent to you. If they are emailed to you, back them up on CD and put in a safe. Without having the programs for Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop, you will not be able to open these files, but you can use them to print your marketing materials with any printer or branding company. An electronic version of your logo is a must! You can’t print business cards, letterhead, a website, shirts, or marketing materials without an electronic version of your logo.

If you do not have an electronic version of your logo, and you order business cards, you will pay a fee to have your hard copy version digitalized. Then, let’s say you want to have shirts made, you will again pay the embroidery company a fee to have your logo digitalized again. It’d save you a lot of money in the long run if you owned your .ai file from the start.

© Copyright IDN, Inc.

Kathleen Kempf is the Marketing Manager at IDN-H. Hoffman.