Insights into Logo Design: A Rutgers Design Student’s Inquiry

Join me as I respond to Lindsay Rosen, a graphic design student at Rutgers University, who sought my perspective on a range of topics from the impact of social media on design to the nuances of design principles.

Recently, I had the opportunity to share my expertise in graphic and logo design with Lindsay Rosen, a graphic design student at Rutgers University. Lindsay contacted me with a set of questions as part of her research into design principles. Below, you’ll find these questions along with my responses, and I’ve included key takeaways after each to help enhance understanding for both designers and those interested in design.

The Impact of Social Media on Graphic Design

Lindsay:  Do you think the increased presence of social media in our world has helped or hurt graphic design? Explain.

Alex: Both. It helped graphic design grow as a field of study, since less experienced designers can easily find and follow professionals and learn from them, even if its just through observation. On the other hand it seems that design theft is thriving, social media outlets are over-saturated with design concepts that have clearly been done before. People either blatantly copying other designers work and presenting it as your own or perhaps its a case of cryptomnesia.

Key Takeaway:

Social media serves as a double-edged sword in graphic design, offering widespread exposure and learning opportunities while also presenting significant challenges like design theft and oversaturation. Designers must navigate these waters carefully to protect their work and integrity.

Understanding Design Principles

Lindsay: Do you think design terms like symmetry, balance, hierarchy, etc., have a different meaning for designers and non-designers? Why?

Alex: I’d say for the most part the meanings are the same. However balance and symmetry while mean different things to designers, might mean same thing to a non-designer. Non designer will say a symmetrical design looks balanced, but to a designers eye something might be missing to make a design complete.. balance. Symmetry is more of a straight to the point technique.. no pun intended, while balance is more a visual principle.

Key Takeaway:

Effective communication of design principles is essential, especially when interacting with clients who may not have a background in design. Clarifying how design elements like symmetry and balance function can help bridge the gap between visual aesthetics and functional design.

The Balance Between Concept and Execution

Lindsay: In your opinion, does a designer’s work or their ability to conceptualize and describe their intent matter more?

Alex: It’s all about finding that balance. I feel that a design that needs to be explained is not executed properly; just because the design follows a project brief closely doesn’t make it good.

Key Takeaway:

A well-executed design should speak for itself and not require excessive explanation. While it’s important to meet a brief’s requirements, the ultimate goal is to create intuitive designs that are both impactful and understandable at a glance.

Developing a Language in Design

Lindsay: How have you developed a new language as a graphic designer?

Alex: The question assumes that I have developed a new language as a designer, its not always about reinventing the wheel.. There is a good reason basic design principles exist. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Key Takeaway:

Sticking to fundamental design principles can lead to the creation of timeless designs. While innovation is valuable, the consistent application of proven design standards is often the key to effective visual communication.

Public Critique and Social Media

Lindsay: With social media outlets like Instagram and Twitter making it so easy to present design work to the public, do you think that all people are able to give a valid and constructive critique of design work?

Alex: No, not at all. Not everyone wants to or should critique other peoples work. Have you ever seen a poor movie rating on IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes, a movie that was absolutely destroyed by critics might very well end up being one of your favorite movies ever. There is a reason that design communities exist, the only people that can give my logo work valid and constructive criticism are the people that have experience in logo design. Don’t hire a plumber to fix your roof so to speak.

Key Takeaway:

While social media democratizes the exposure of design work, not all feedback provided is expert or constructive. Designers should seek and value critiques from knowledgeable and experienced members within the design community to foster growth and improvement.

Having conversations like the one with Lindsay Rosen not only helps graphic design students in their academic and professional growth but also gives designers and clients alike a chance to reflect on what makes effective logo design. Whether you’re a fellow designer or a potential client exploring options for your next project, I hope the insights from our discussion offer valuable perspectives on the creativity and strategic thinking involved in logo design. Let’s keep the dialogue open and continue to build a community where great design thrives.