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Design a Playful, Multi-Image Logo

  • Can’t decide on that one perfect graphic? This surprising technique uses them all!

The traditional logo consists of a name and a single, carefully crafted graphic, uniformly applied to every company document. But here’s a design with a refreshing twist: a logo made of three, four, five, or more graphics scattered around a neatly set name and address. It’s a cheery style suitable for any subject from auto repair to flowers to sportswear. And it’s fun to make, especially if you enjoy composition more than drawing, because its artistry is in its arrangements. Every piece is different; the arrangements from business card to letterhead to even a T-shirt can change to fit the shape of the space—which makes for lots of expressive possibilities. Here’s how it is done.

1 Establish a Simple Foundation

The basic elements of a stationery system are business card, letterhead, and envelope. Although these have different sizes and proportions, they serve a related purpose, and your goal is to have them look like they belong together. To give this showy logo freedom to move, the margins and supporting elements must remain rigidly in position. Here’s how to pull this off:

Set your type in one block

First set your type in one plain block, aligned left or centered (1). Two typefaces are plenty; they should be simple and fairly small—an 8-pt. address is usually big enough. This block will be the same size on all your pieces, so fit it to your business card first.

Place it in a corner

Place your text block in a corner the same direction from the edge of every sheet. (Corner can mean the real corner [2] or a corner formed by the outside margin and the edge of the live matter [3, 4].) A scattered logo takes up a lot of room, so at least one of your letterhead margins—usually the left—should be very wide.

2 Scatter Your Artwork Purposely

As you lay out your images, pay attention to weight, balance, and lines of sight. Sort your objects loosely into groups. Each group will have the visual weight that can balance or off-balance the others. Begin by placing a main group in some open space, then place single objects or small groups on the periphery. Note the text block itself has weight and is an important part of your composition. You’ll find that many objects such as the screwdriver and wrench are directional like pointers, and the eye will tend to follow them subconsciously. These have extra value! Use their pointing characteristics to move the reader about the page. On the T-shirt design below, the three flowers encircle the name and point to it.

Natural Pointers

Many objects are natural pointers; their shapes move the eye subconsciously in one direction or another. As a rule you want these objects to point into the page, toward the message, as shown here.

Balance

Every element on your page, including text, has visual weight that can be used to balance or unbalance your design. Keep the center of balance near the center of the layout. A heavy group near the center can be counter-balanced by a light group near an edge.

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