Graphic design is the process of visual communication and problem-solving through the use of typography, photography, and illustration. The field is considered a subset of visual communication and communication design, but sometimes the term "graphic design" is used synonymously. Graphic designers create and combine symbols, images and text to form visual representations of ideas and messages. They use typography, visual arts, and page layout techniques to create visual compositions.
Common uses of graphic design include corporate design (logos and branding), editorial design (magazines, newspapers and books), wayfinding or environmental design, advertising, web design, communication design, product packaging, and signage.
Your logo is your enterprise's seal of authenticity.
It can communicate your brand flavour ahead of your most versed sales agents.
It will serve as a catalyst through which you can inspire professionalism, trust and reliability.
On top of that, the logo will often be your business's first 7 seconds impression.
Any healthy marketing strategy, will ensure it is your logo, potential clients will see before contact is made.
Your logo, is important.
While a logo does not need any bells and whistles to be effective, it is your business's signature and as such, an appropriate amount of tender, love and care needs to be placed in this tiny graphic. It won't always be immediately obvious, but the improper design of a logo, will impact your business in the long run.
Common mistakes can be a bad choice of fonts, which scale in a messy way. Incorporating pixel images in the logo will make scaling near impossible itself. Adding too much detail to the logo will make it look busy and not display well on screens, while no detail at all will leave it looking bland and generic. If the logo contains too many colours, it inherits a feeling of cheapness as it becomes less expressive.
But when it is designed well, a logo will look as if it's always been part of it's environment.
A good logo is clean, simple and memorable. A great logo seems an obvious choice, in hindsight.
Below is a selection of logos designed for real businesses and events. Some are simple and elegant, using only modified fonts for a light and professional appeal. Others have had more time and effort invested into them, for a more unique and memorable effect. They started their journey as sketches, after being vector traced they have gone through digital variations before landing on the final result.
Once your logo design is out of the way, your business will have any number of design requirements.
This encompasses all the graphics made with the purpose of being printed. This includes business cards, letterheads, flyers, brochures and a myriad of promotional materials such as branded T-shirts, pens, stress balls and what ever else you can imagine your brand on. Your unique business model will require more or fewer of the items previously listed.
The most important aspect here is to maintain your business style throughout your entire portfolio of printed merchandise. This starts with ensuring the correct font weights and sizes are used, but it also includes taking note of more subtle details such as the negative space around one's logo, the size and relationship between the elements, and ensuring the colour codes are consistent.
All design for print is done using the CMYK colour code.
These are graphics and promotional materials which are not intended to leave the virtual space. This can be an online only distribution brochure, Power Point (or similar) presentation template, e-mail signatures, social media avatars and banners etc.
As display screens use a different method of representing colour, namely RGB, the colour codes, variations and possibilities are not the same as print. This means that a file meant for digital distribution, is not going to be colour accurate, or even the correct resolution once printed. The "off" coloration, combined together with the lack of sharpness in print, can drastically impact the perceived professionalism of the brand.
Similarly, when using files print purpose files for digital exposure, there will be massive and intrusive problems along the way. Print files tend to be 10x to 100x bigger than digital files, needlessly increasing upload and download speeds. Most often they will contain trim marks and bleed (this gets chopped off when printing), and the colour displayed will again look off, as the code is meant for print.
These are just some of the easy to make mistakes, that have a big impact on your brand's public perception.
A professional designer should be able to help you avoid many more.