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As part of my work in a science & tech based student magazine, I investigated redesigning the logo. I noticed that a lot of similar magazines (New Scientist, WIRED, etc.) use only a stylised version of a font to create their identity/logo (without any specific colours, shading etc.). I dutifully went out to try and find a font that would represent our magazine. I found one that was close, but then struggled to take it from being 'just a font' into a logo/brand.

In essence my question is this: What techniques can I use to transform [brand name] written in a font into a recognisable logo? Or even where to start the changes to the lettering?

Things I've tried/learned:

  • Always use vectors
  • Keep it readable
  • Be careful about kerning (people will look at this logo a lot so it needs to be as good as possible)
  • This seems exceptionally opinion-based to me. There are so many possibilities that I don't know how the question could effectively be answered. – Scott Oct 10 '14 at 14:25
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You should first convert your font to an editable vector shape (you can do this easily in illustrator) then you just need some small changes in that to make it a great logo. For example just look at the Amazon logo: a small curved line under the word and a tiny change in "z" letter, created a great logo!

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  • I've seen this kind of thing a lot, but I struggle to know how to start this kind of process. For example, the FedEx arrow between E and x, or the New Scientist stylised font seem to be complete products to me, but I've got no idea about the thought process about going from generic font to unique logo. – Nathanael Farley Oct 10 '14 at 15:57
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Some tips I would use:

  • rotate certain letters (see Heineken)
  • mirror a letter (see Abba)
  • skew a letter (for example capital A with vertical right side)
  • change color or pattern of a letter (Google, IBM)
  • browse "brand logo" for examples

For backgrounds usually 2 colors are sufficient. Also remember that when it needs to be used for preprinted paper. A logo like NBC looks great on TV and internet, but makes preprinted paper more expensive.

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