I started doing website and graphic design about ten years ago. After spending most of my life on the road and in recording studios as a professional musician, I felt that it was time for me to change career. I wasn’t 100% sure what I would do next but I knew that whatever I chose to do, it had to require mostly the right side of my brain since I did not have much education or formal training but I had plenty of creativity left in my head. That’s when I deciding to look into starting a career in graphic designs. I got myself an Apple computer and the adobe creative suite. I didn’t know what I was doing or how to use any design software but I knew that I could figure it out on google and youtube.
When people asked me if I could some design work for them, I would agree to be hired for the job, go home, get on my computer, google how to design using Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign and spend hours figuring out how to do it. For me, a little branding update is not only in trying to keep up with a good, up to date design hoping to appeal potential clients but it is also for my own creative rejuvenation. You may have designed a logo 10 years ago that you felt was just so hip at the time but now seem a little bit outdated. I don’t think it’s necessarily true for every design item but I know for a fact that when I started creating logos and other design pieces years ago, it did not look as professional as it does now with experience under my belt. Isn’t that a reality in most areas of our lives? As they say; “practice makes perfect”. It order to stay relevant in this highly competitive and ever changing graphic design world, you need to keep reinventing yourself, refresh your creative juices and continually update your overall design skills. The only thing that will never be outdated is 80’s music but that’s another article. It is somewhat crucial that if you will offer design services, your own company should look in style with the current design trends and as appealing as possible.
When I first started doing graphic designs, one of the first item on my list was to design a logo for my business. I was just a beginner trying to discover what’s best for my line of work with no experience whatsoever in making graphic design while figuring out how to use this adobe suite software. Once I got a name, I did a lot of research, learned Adobe Illustrator and started to play around with it. 10 years later, not only did I feel my own logo needed a facelift for the visual enjoyment of others but I realized that it needed a change for my own personal artistic energy. Honestly, redesigning my own logo gave me a refreshed boost for my own creative ideas. If you can say that you love your own logo and all of your own design collateral, you will more apt to stay creative and re-energized with everything else you design. It does not necessarily mean that your original logo is completely outdated or irrelevant. We need to keep in mind that sometimes, updating a logo is really more a matter or getting a breath of fresh air from a new look into our own branding more than doing a positive upgrade from a poor looking logo to a great one. Other times, the last thing you wanna do for your company is come up with a totally different logo design. You have to make that decision keeping in mind your marketing strategy in place for your own business. Have you ever painted a room in your home after looking at the same color for years? Once you paint it a different color, it gives you a perception of newness and beautification. It doesn’t make the old color bad, irrelevant or outdated but it sure makes the new color give a sense of a fresh start.
The logos we design should tell somewhat of a story. Many people don’t consider what some of the most recognized logos mean beyond the fact that they represent some of their favorite brands. What they don’t realize is that many of them have a deeply rooted meaning hidden behind their famous symbol. While this is not something I would personally do, some of the world’s biggest companies not only pay designers to dream up a creative logo for their business to convey an image but they will also hire psychologists to come up with the most successful design with a hidden message people may not purposefully see but they will be looking at.
Can you see their hidden details in these popular famous logos
The idea behind my original logo went like this. There are quite a few meanings for the word “Yap” but one of the meaning of the word is to talk in a strong insistent way. Also, because designing websites and graphics is all about communicating our services or products, I felt the word communicate was a good fit and was originally part of the logo. The word communicate sits under the letters forming the word “me” since our business is about your business, represented by the word me, doing the talking. Sometimes when using my logo on my email signature or a small marketing item, the word communicate became hard to read or see clearly because it was so small. For that reason, I was not going to use it in the new design. I also felt that the word made the overall appearance of the logo too busy. I do believe in simple when designing logos. That’s my personal taste. The word “Yap” sits in a speech bubble pointing to the word communicate since our job is to help our clients communicate what their business (the “me”) is all about. The letter “Y” in the word “Yap” has curvy lines coming out of it as if the “Y” was a mouth yapping away what your business needs to share. Again, too many details for my “10 year later” taste. Some of you may be thinking, “do you really think anybody ever saw all of these underlying meanings in your logo? I’m sure not but as most designers would agree, oftentimes when designing you incorporate meanings not everyone sees but are foundational and meaningful to your own company’s philosophy. Here’s the old logo.
While the new logo has similar meanings as the previous one, the main need for a change came from a visual aspect more than a desire to come up with a completely different look or meanings in the logo itself. With this in mind, what appears to be an “M” in a box in front of the word yapmedia represents the letter “Y” and the letter “M” for YapMedia. It also represents the word “MY” as yapmedia becomes our client’s business in a sense that our working together is an analogous structure performing as a team where our work becomes a crucial part of the success of their business. The “M” is made of five different rounded blocks indicating that media design comes together in different way and from multiple directions to represent the whole of a company. Of course, the word “ME” and its meaning as previously stated is also highlighted in the new logo by using a different color.
As any designers know too well, graphic design is never objective but very subjective to every individual’s personal preferences or tastes. My ideas and thoughts on logo design are not fundamental or exclusive for a successful logo. While we may have full and free rein when designing or redesigning our own logo, we will have to carefully consider our client’s personal preferences in style, color choice, as well as other important and relevant aspects of their company’s logo design direction. The final outcome may not even be what we like but our client may think it is the greatest logo ever created. With this, we have to keep in mind that if a business has an amazing product people want, great marketing, outstanding customer service, as well as other crucial aspects of a successful company, the importance of the look of their logo will not be as paramount. I can think of a few incredibly successful companies that have logos I really dislike and that may not fit into the list of “what makes a great logo” articles all over the internet but when your company is blooming and successful, collateral design items like a logo loses its importance. The logo then becomes epic not because of its look but because of the company it represents.