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Add illustrations

If you are a clever illustrator, like John, or if you can afford to hire an illustrator to help complete the logo, then you can truly customize your ideas in very unique ways. But don't let the lack of a professional illustrator stop you-a primitive illustration can have as much (or more) charm than a polished, professional one. In fact, often illustrators strive for that "unpolished" look.

There are a wide range of illustrations that work in logos. Just remember to keep it simple and that any illustration must also render well in black-and-white.

This is a simple illustration, not much more complex than any of the elements we added to the variety of logos earlier in this chapter.

This is also a simple illustration, using more creativity than high-end illustrative skill. Even if you're not technically an illustrator, it's amazing what you can do with an illustration program—push yourself.

This logo uses an illustration as the main element, since the image represents the gallery's focus so well.

Each of these clever logos uses a custom illustration. Although this can be lots of fun, remember that every logo must still be able to be read and used in black-and-white, so make sure any illustration is flexible enough for all media before you commit to it.

Don't forget about a nice frame for some logos—a frame can turn a well-done typographic logo into a more illustrative and powerful piece.

Handlettering is a form of illustration that works wonders in logos, but for most pieces it requires an acquired skill to be truly successful. A logo represents your entire business; it's worth it to hire an excellent letterer if you want that look.

Having said that, go ahead and experiment with writing the company name dozens of times with different writing tools; chances are you'll find the beginnings of an interesting and unique logo. Some of the most wonderful handlettered pieces have been very "unsophisticated" letter-forms taken from scrawls on walls, napkins, etc.

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