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Logos for the Design Challenged, Part I

© 1998 by Gary Priester. All Rights Reserved.

It's fair to say the primary reason most new owners buy CorelDRAW is to create logos and business cards. In my humble opinion, this is a little like using an atom bomb to swat a fly! It's also fair to say that the majority of DRAW users have never had formal art school training. And to say that DRAW is a little overwhelming is an understatement. Given these facts, it's not hard to see why many new users run screaming into the night after their first session with DRAW, never to return. Bummer!

So, what's important is to have a positive "Out of Box Experience" as the computer manufactures like to call it. That's were I come in. In the months to come I'll show you how to create cool-looking logos with DRAW, even if you can't draw a straight line with the Freehand Tool, and even if you have never attended an art school. Truth is, there are literally thousands of pre-designed logos at your disposal, if you know where to look. I'm talking about distinctive type faces, Corel's Symbol library, special characters, decorative fonts and more. For this first exercise we'll discover how a single initial set in a decorative font, in this case a capital G set in Firenze, (pronounced fir-en-zee) can be used, off the shelf as it were, to create a handsome logo which we'll also place on a business card.

Eight Ways to Skin a Cat

I really shouldn't use that phrase owning five cats (along with eight hens, four doves, two finches and one extraordinary canary) but I use the subhead to make a simple point. Good logo solutions usually only come after a lot of exploration, so I'm going to present eight ways to enhance our pre-designed logo, the capital G. If your name is not George, Gloria, Gary, Geraldine, Greg, Garth, Gina, Grettle, or any other name that begins with a G, feel free to substitute your own initial. If you don't have Firenze installed in your font list, you can either install it from the CorelDRAW CD ROM 1 (fonts directory) or use a similar such as Poster Bodoni.

Editor's Note: If you need to install fonts, we have an article to help you out.

Logo 1

Logo 1

Enable Snap To Grid (Layout menu) and draw a rectangle 3 1/2 inches wide by 2 inches tall, which happens to be the size of a standard business card. Coincidence? Click the Text Tool in the rectangle and key in a G (or your substitute letter). From the Fonts drop-down list select Firenze, or a suitable font. From the Font Size drop-down list select 155 points. You may need to resize the letter either by typing in a larger or smaller number or using the Pick Tool (the arrow cursor) to resize by dragging the corner handles. That looks rather distinctive don't you agree. And you didn't even break a sweat. Add your copy and arrange it as shown. I used 8 pt. Swis721 Cn BT. I also opened up the line spacing by selecting the type with the Shape Tool and dragging the left arrow (under the type) down a little. The company name, Gary's Graphics, is centered over the crossbar part of the G. I used the Shape Tool to increase the letter spacing by dragging the right arrow until the type was the desired width. The address copy aligns with Gary's Graphics and is left aligned with my name.

TIP: If you want to print this card in one color apply a 50% black fill to the large G and make the remaining text black.

Logo 2

Logo 2

Here's a variation. Apply a Pale Yellow fill to the card, apply a white fill to the logo. The logo is 170 points. Subtle, huh? I purposely made the copy tiny, (8 point Footlight MT Light) because it looks very elegant and tasteful, although Pete and I could never read it with our burned out eyeballs. Gary's Graphics aligns with the crossbar on the G.

Logo 3

Logo 3

OK This is a little trickier. What happens if we have two Gs face-to-face? Looks like some fancy men's fashion magazine. The flopped G (95 points) is filled white as is the portion of Gary's Graphics text that lies over the red square. To make it white, I selected the letters with the Shape Tool, then marquee selected (drag a box around) the control nodes for the letters I wanted to make white, then clicked on the white color on the on-screen color palette. Neat trick.

Logo 4

Logo 4

For this design, I made the logo as big as I could 176 points) without going off the edge of the card. I created a simple rectangle that extended from the left edge of the card to the center of the G. I converted the rectangle to Curves (Ctrl-Q), used the Shape Tool to create some extra nodes on the right side, and dragged the nodes to more or less conform with the inside shape of the G. I filled the shape red. This provides a powerful contrast with the small type (7 point Swis721 BT Cn).

NOTE: The dashed blue lines, decorative though they may appear, are to point out alignment only and are not part of the design.

Logo 5

Logo 5

Have you had your POBE yet? (Positive Out of Box Experience). Now we're going to get tricky. Make the G a little less than half the height of the card (72 points). Click twice on the G to toggle Rotate-Skew mode. Drag the Rotation Bullseye to the bottom right part of the G as shown. Hit the + key to make a duplicate, and holding down the Ctrl key (to constrain the angle of rotation), drag the top right corner rotation arrow until the G rotates a full 90 degrees. Release the Ctrl key. Now, hit Ctrl-R (as in Repeat) twice to automatically place the third and fourth logo. Select all four Gs and Group them (Ctrl-G). Copy the four Gs (Ctrl-C) to the clipboard. Move the four Gs down and left either manually or using the nudge keys (the arrow keys) about 1/16th of an inch and fill the Gs 30% black (light gray). Paste (Ctrl-V) the original four Gs form the clipboard (or select Paste from the Edit menu). Fill the original four Gs red.

Logo 6

Logo 6

I like to experiment with type by using the letters to make an unexpected design, as I did in the last exploration. For this design I used two 88 point Gs, mirrored and aligned at the pointy thing on the bottom of the G. (It must have some name other than that pointy thing!) The copy is 8 point Helvetica. Helvetica, although overused like Avant Garde and Times Roman, is still one of the best designed sans serif typefaces. Swiss is another name for Helvetica. I aligned Gary's Graphics with the vertical center of the two Gs.

Logo 7

Logo 7

I like this next design because of its honesty and simplicity. I have never found anything that says life is a contest to see how busy we can make our business cards. The company name Gary's Graphics aligns with the crossbar thingy on the G and is accented in red.

TIP: If you want your type to have an outline, select Behind Fill in the Line Tool's Outline Pen dialog. As the words suggest, the line is placed behind the shape of the text and does not compromise the design of the type. Set your line weight to twice the desired width as only half the outline will be visible.

Logo 8

Logo 8

When in doubt, use a circle! I centered the G (50 points) inside a 1 inch red circle with Gary's Graphics centered underneath and aligned with the top line of the address. The three elements make a pleasing triangular composition.

So there you have it. One logo, eight ways. There are millions of possibilities and we've just covered eight. Next month we'll look at ways to add pizzazz to a logo. If you have comments or questions, contact me in the Graphics Unleashed Forums In case you're wondering, The Mook is our tail-less long hair calico cat.

Tutorials by Gary Priester

Logos for the Design Challenged Series

Part I -- Logos and Business Cards
Part II -- Adding Pizzazz
Part III -- Joined at the Hip
Part IV -- Going Around In Circles
Part V -- A Bit(map) Part
Part VI -- Fashion Accessories
Part VII -- On Demand Printing
Part VIII -- Trial and Error
Part IX -- 3D Logos-Rising to the Occasion
Part X -- A Masthead for the Xealot
Part XI -- Preview of DRAW 9-More Great Tools for Creating Logos!
Part XII -- Preview of DRAW 9-More Great Tools for Creating Logos! Part II
Part XIII -- A Superior Blend
Part XIV -- Opposites Attract
Part XV -- Make the Hard Ones Look EZ
Part XVI -- A Breath of Fresh Airia
Part XVII -- Going Around in Circles
Part XVIII -- Why 2 K?
Part XIX -- The Readers (That's All of You) Have Spoken!!!

Vector Studio Series

Part III: Creating A Simple Image Map in Illustrator, CorelDRAW and FreeHand
Part II: Creating A Double Emboss in Illustrator, CorelDRAW and FreeHand
Part I: Creating Cut Out Shapes in Illustrator, CorelDRAW and Freehand

Son of Makeover Maven Series

Son of Maven #9 - Getting From Point A to Point I
Son of Maven #8 - The Ultimo Logo Makeover
Son of Maven #7 - Going to the Movies
Son of Maven #6 - Seeing the Forest and the Trees
Son of Maven #5 - Cooking Up a Tasty Logo Makeover!
Son of Maven #4 - Game Plan for a Winning Logo Design!
Son of Maven #3 - Great Shakes!
Son of Maven #2 - A Mountain of Possibilities
Son of Maven #1 - The Handwriting is in the Computer

Read more articles by Gary Priester along with a short bio.

Graphics Unleashed
Last Updated Tuesday June 03 2014.

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