Graphic design is a field that mixes communication and art, and when we talk about a talented graphic designer, we think about someone creative and talented. What would distinguish a good designer from a great designer? More creativity? More talent? Maybe, but there is more than that. First of all, they have qualities to make them stand out from the crowd such as.
- Communication. Graphics is an area where we convey messages through design and it’s essential for a graphic designer to have good general communication skills. This skill helps reduce the number of mistakes and misunderstandings during a project.
- Curiosity. Curiosity is an asset in many aspects of life. As for the graphics, it’s useful in different situations. This curiosity makes it possible to multiply the concepts for the same project and obtain personalized results for clients. In addition, curiosity is important to be up to date and understand the advances of new technologies.
- Passionate. Having passion for your job shows clients and colleagues that you’ll do what it takes to get results.
- Open-mind. It is important to stay open and soak up different visions to do an optimal job. Indeed, being open to the world is a good way to stay original and creative. Staying open in your research is a good practice and it must become a habit to broaden your horizons and see the same project from different angles.
- Accept criticism. It is sometimes difficult to accept. But, it's important to trust colleagues and clients to improve a job that seems perfect. Someone who has more expertise in a specific area sees details that are hard to perceive. So, you must take the time to analyze the criticism, detach from it and retain the relevant elements to improve our work.
- Resourceful. In the world of graphics, it’s normal to face different obstacles. Whether it is at the conceptual, technical level or in the layout. In any case, it is important to find solutions or ask for help.
- Flexibility. It is good to question your own work and prejudices. Even when you're happy with an idea, it's good to let it sit and later work on it again to make it more unique.
- Patience. Take your time to get to the top. This is one of the best ways to achieve a result where you can feel the work and the effort. From brainstorm to design, each production step is important for a complete project. So, it is normal that a project that seems simple, in the end, takes time.
These are the most important qualities of a graphic designer. But, graphic design is constantly evolving and it is influenced by our social system. So, graphic design adapts over time, refining and expanding its approach.
So, for being a great graphic designer you need to solve the current market needs and follow or create graphic trends. It is rare to find all of these qualities in a single individual, having all the soft and hard skills is uncommon. But don’t lose sight of your goals and get inspiration from some of the best logo designers in the world!
Best logo designers of the world
1. Chip Kidd
New York-based Chip Kidd is famous for his stunning book covers. He worked for writers like James Elroy or Michael Crichton, among others; and he created the book cover of Jurassic Park and Chip Kidd simplified the image he found in a Natural History Museum book.
Jurassic Park is one of his most notable book covers, which is the same image that we see on the movie posters. It became the logo of the movie and one of the most recognizable logos of the 1990s. Nowadays, billions of people know the iconic T-Rex skeleton from the cover of Michael Crichton's novel.
From a young age, Kidd had a passion for comic book illustrations and stories. Passion led him to focus his professional career on design and editing. Today, Kidd's work extends beyond a single book cover. The fusion of the stories and illustrations allows him to develop a diversity of projects through a great visual narrative.
2. Rob Janoff
He designed the Apple logo. This is probably the most famous image today and although it changed a bit, the basic shape and concept remained. It is still a bitten apple with the same simplicity. An apple with a bite doesn’t seem complicated, but this simple design made history anyway.
The rainbow in Apple’s logo lasted until late 1998, coinciding with Jobs' return to Apple. Then, Janoff redesigned the Apple logo eliminating the rainbow to simplify the logo when minimalism took off.
Janoff continued his professional career in agencies in New York and Chicago, working in the design of print and television advertising for national and international brands. Finally, according to Janoff, having a personality is what grabs people, makes them want it and makes it a success.
3. Carolyn Davidson
Davidson was only paid $35 for the Nike logo and today, it is one of the most iconic logos around the world. Often the simplest ideas are the best and the Nike brand proves it. Carolyn Davidson designed the logo while studying at Portland State University, she got $35 from Nike founder Phil Knight. Of course, she only made $35, but she gained a successful career in the long term… but don’t worry, we’re sure that she made more than $35 after getting Nike’s stock and becoming a star in graphic design. In sum, the checkmark-like logo is a symbol of positivity, but it is actually the outline of the wing of the Greek Goddess of Victory.
4. Lindon Leader
Leader is responsible for one of the smartest logos in marketing and graphic design such as FedEx. He says that he and his team made around 200 designs for the logo before selecting 10 to show FedEx’s brand manager. He said that FedEx needed "Direction, speed and precision" and he included an arrow in white space in the design. He remarked that at first, they didn’t understand it, it was not the arrow, but the subtlety that makes it intriguing. Today, this logo remains an indisputable reference in logo design.
5. Paul Rand
Rand created the logo of IBM and he is famous for his work on logos. Rand revealed his first IBM logo in 1956 using a large, bold and determined slab serif font. Later, Rand redesigned the logo, breaking it into horizontal stripes. Rand also designed the logo for Steve Jobs’s Apple post-project, NeXT.
Paul Rand redefined graphic design using blank spaces, typography and geometric shapes. These fundamental aspects stand out in the works of Paul Rand:
- The typography. It is clear that one of the things that Rand liked the most was the use of typography in any design. He loved joining letters, establishing the naming of companies by creating unique typesetting.
- Simplicity. Whether it was a logo or a magazine cover, simplicity was Paul Rand's trademark. He once said, “there is a big difference between abstract design without content and abstract design with content. You can be a great manipulator of the form, but if the solution is not the most suitable, it does not make sense”.
6. Milton Glaser
Glaser is a well-known graphic designer. His most notorious work is the logo he designed for New York City to promote tourism in the city. Widely used, adapted and adored, the "I Love New York" logo is now an icon of pop culture. However, he did more than an “I Love NY” logo. For decades, he worked in creative areas ranging from branding, editorial design, poster design, interior design and drawing, his great passion.
7. Paula Scher
Scher is one of the most influential designers globally. She designed the Windows logo for Microsoft. Redesigning the logo and part of the branding of Microsoft, which exemplifies how good she is as a logo maker. Lately, Scher developed branding and promotional systems and designs for a wide range of clients.
8. Massimo Vignelli
He created one of the most widely used and well-known fonts such as Times Roman and the American Airlines logo.
9. Tom Geismar
Tom Geismar, one of the most important graphic designers of the 20th century. Author of visual identities for some of the world's best-known brands including Mobil, Xerox and the redesign of the National Geographic logo. His versatility made him a superstar of graphic design.
But… you can also have the Midas touch
Just create a logo with the following characteristics:
Many of the most impressive and successful logos in history are surprisingly simple. From Nike's single “Swoosh” to Apple's design; simple logos are recognizable and easy to remember. Simplicity is also a key element for logos since most users only focus on a logo for a second. A simple design can express the personality of your brand in a concise and effective way.
A relevant logo is valuable to the markets in which its company operates. It communicates the personality and identity of a brand. The choice of colors for your logo is also important since colors can arouse different emotions and serve to show the personality of your brand to consumers. A company that sells children's toys can choose joyful colors to communicate energy and excitement.
Finally, choosing the correct symbol is part of determining a visual anchor. Symbols are important because they are useful even as a simpler version of your logo. Symbols are essential for creating connections between your brand and its values.
It is also important to consider that a good logo is memorable. The objective of a logo is to create a connection with consumers and build interest in your brand. When consumers easily remember your logo, they will remember your brand. Logos that are easy to remember are useful because they help your brand stay in the minds of consumers.
Great logos stand out because they remain relevant over the years. It's always tempting to design a logo with current design trends and fashions, but it's not always the best decision. These logos may look good now, but will probably need redesign later to keep them up to date. Instead, a timeless logo is one that will remain relevant and connect with users. For example, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola remained almost the same after decades.
A good logo is useful in several media, shapes and situations. Choosing a resizable logo for printing and using it in digital format at the same time makes your brand significantly more visible.
Wrapping it up
Being a designer doesn't mean knowing how to use programs and do beautiful things, it goes further. It is knowing how to fit the pieces correctly, to give it the interpretation, the meaning and the ideal communicative message, as well as being rich for the solution of the problem for those who are creating designs.
Designing the perfect logo that faithfully represents what the company is and conveys the message you want is not an easy task. Currently, there are so many variants, designs and fonts, that knowing which one to choose correctly has become increasingly difficult.