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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've got a couple of the Smashing books now and they've always proved to be really useful. They're not best-suited to beginners, as they usually assume some prior knowledge of the subject, but if you're ready to take your abilities to the next level they're great. Smashing Logo Design keeps up the standard although it's slimmer than some of its shelf-mates. It's not a practical guide to Photoshop techniques, although they're included, instead it distills ideas from various areas to suggest an overall strategy for designing effective brand identities.

The book first breaks down logo design into its various types -- wordmarks, letterforms etc -- and the reasons you might choose each style. Then the individual disciplines needed for the actual design are covered including basic conceptualisation, font and colour choices, presentation to the client and even what file-types you'll need to supply in the finished package. However, Smashing Logo Design is intended to be as much inspiration as instruction because almost a third of the book consists of a showcase section, featuring hundreds of finished logos you can browse for ideas. It's not the cynical page-filling ruse it might sound - they make a valuable source-book of ideas and techniques for when you get stuck without that first spark of an idea. All together it's a well-focussed and helpful reference not only useful for graphic designers but also for potential clients who want to ensure they get the best logo for their projects.
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VINE VOICEon 27 July 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is written by somebody who understands his trade, and how to run a business doing it. All the advice is solid and sensible, and the tips he gives are invaluable for anybody who wants to branch out into logo design. I have been designing logos for myself and for others for many years, but there is still a lot I can gain from this book. It is excellent!

He talks you through the creative process, and advises how what seems good can become better. How to pick a suitable shape, colour scheme, typography and how to put the whole concept together. He explains how to be original, where to look for ideas, and how to spot a client who is going to be more trouble than they are worth.

An amateurish logo can ruin a company's image, and this book has everything you need to know to avoid the pitfalls, and create a lasting identity

The book is packed with classic designs, and explains why they are good. Everybody knows the Coke (TM) logo, and it is over 100 years old. Most other companies dabble and drift over the years.

The sections on how to deal with clients so that you can know what they want, and deliver it to get paid are essential reading for any freelancer.

It makes me want to know what else the "Smashing Magazine" has published which might also be useful.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am an aspiring web designer and I found the book an inetersteing read with some good points to consider and lots of examples.

Don't read this expecting to be told how to come up with ideas, read it for tips and considerations on how to implement the ideas you have. You can't instruct someone how to be creative, as its somethign uniquely individual to every person. This book helps you along your own creative path with tips and suggestions about how you might implement what you come up with.

The book covers the design, implementation and what software you might use and how you interact with clients etc. All provided in easy to digest sections whcih I found easy to read.

The auhtor comes across as very experienced in this field and the book is well laid out with some good examples to consider.
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VINE VOICEon 16 August 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I really like this book. It talks through everything concerned with logo design from colours, fonts, transferring to screen, conceptualisation and everything is nicely illustrated (as you would expect). It's also written clearly and concisely.

It's got more of a feel of one of those bi-annual posh magazines to it. As an occasional web developer, I've tended to develop logos for my own and client websites and while I am ok at doing so, I definitely think that this will help me in future projects.

It's a great reference book and one that I can see myself using regularly.
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VINE VOICEon 14 September 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've never designed or commissioned a business logo in my life and I doubt that I ever will but, as Gareth Hardy points out, logos are all around us. As I type, for instance, I see the Windows and Intel logos on my keyboard, while HP is on the other side of the screen. I came to the book not simply as a consumer of logos, however, but also someone with an idle interest in how they are designed.

To someone who's not thought much about the topic, this book's a bit of an eye-opener to the work involved. Of course, some bits, such as the guide to what software to use and the business tips concerning marketing one's work to clients, were of less interest to me. Unfortunately these occupy a good portion of the book, because the actual creative process itself is harder - if not impossible - to teach, but there were sections that I found more interesting and relevant, for instance on colour theory.

It was also useful to see plenty of illustrative examples, though sometimes I thought these were unnecessarily over-done, while at other times in shorter supply than I would have liked. 'A picture tells a thousand words' they say, but this book has a good balance between pictures and explanatory text that highlights what to look for: what works well, what doesn't, and so on. This also made it a quick and easy read. I would say that the writing wasn't always as well-structured as it could have been. Not only is it often repetitive, but the author several times starts using technical terms, such as negative space and raster graphics, before going on to explain them later.
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VINE VOICEon 17 August 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am not a designer. I have dabbled with knocking up logos for personal projects, but I know I will never do it as a business. As such, this book is probably not really aimed at me, but I thoroughly enjoyed it anyway.

Don't read this expecting to be told how to come up with ideas though. Although the author describes a bit about how and where he personally finds inspiration that is not the sort of thing that can be taught: you either have some sort of creative spark or you dont. What this book does do is encourage that creative spark and provide practical information on how to apply it. There is no point being able to create beautiful and effective logos if you can't persuade anybody to employ you to do that.

The sort of practicalities covered are what types of software to use (and why), what types of file format to use to provide the finished article, how to behave with clients, how to make sure you get paid, and so on. That makes it sound a bit boring, but this sound practical advice is in bite-sized chunks and interspersed with practical advice on techniques to use in the actual design like using vectors, aspects of typefaces or choices of colour schemes.

In the course of the book you are told the basics of writing a design brief and contract, how to avoid getting ripped off and what to include in your deliverables, including a section on writing guidelines for the use of the finished logo. Throughout the book the emphasis is on professionalism. It looks like a really good starting point for anybody starting off as a freelance designer.

You can tell while reading this that every paragraph has come from experience and is not just theory. I'm sure that every chapter could be expanded into an entire book in itself and the author recognises this, providing references to books or online resources that would expand on any topic you felt you wanted to explore more. Possibly the most important thing the book does is to make you aware that those topics are important enough that you would feel the need to learn more about some very specific things.

Of course there are lots of pretty pictures, and examples of designs not just from the author but from other companies and designers. As you would expect and hope from a book about design it is well laid out and attractive to look at in itself, but the content is also well-organised providing a logical structured approach to the process of design. Ironically the badly-designed bits (very useful examples of what not to do) are some of most interesting.

I'm sure this will be invaluable to sombebody in this field, but even for an outside it is fascinating and should be required reading for people who commission designers' work!
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I work in the marketing team of a medium sized, UK based IT Distributor. Whilst I had no particular plans to change our company's "dreaded corporate swoosh" logo, I started flicking through this book and I quickly realised that it would be an interesting and useful book to have in my collection anyway. To my mind, the book's key strength is that it in explaining the basic concepts of logo design - or the art of creating visual identity - it covers many basic principles of graphic design in the process. As a result, if you're a beginner or intermediate level designer looking for tips and inspiration, you could do far worse than pick up this well presented and interesting book.

I've taught myself pretty much everything I know, and admittedly there are lots of gaps in my knowledge. I knew for example that you use RGB for web graphics and CMYK for print, but I didn't really understand why. There it is in black and white on page 131 - the difference between additive and subtractive colours. To use a marketing cliche, it was a real "lightbulb" moment for me! Further on, I liked the way the author guides you to create paper sketches and then to scan and trace them using the pen tool and bezier curves. Oh, how I remember struggling with bezier curves when I started out! The section on typography is also interesting. In simple and straightforward terms it explains the basics of font choice, tracking, spacing, leading and kerning. It's all really fundamental and easy to follow advice. I wish that someone would have been there to tell me some of these things two years ago!

The final section of the book is full of pictorial references - nearly 100 pages of different logo designs. Now this is invaluable inspiration. You could do a Google image search and find some logo examples, but nothing beats being able to lean over and pluck a book like this off the bookshelf when you're in need of a little inspiration.
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VINE VOICEon 18 September 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If you're at all interested in logo design then you won't go far wrong with this book - not just if you're a designer but also if you're commissioning a logo. Most of all this guide is very practical, full of easy to follow tutorials and obvious (and not so obvious) pitfalls that might trip the unwary.

But don't worry, as after having worked your way through this book, you won't be one of them!

If you're a designer (or thinking about becoming a designer) then this is an easily accessible How To guide with plenty of sound advice on every aspect of logo design you could possibly think of (and a few that you might not have) with lots of practical examples and practical tutorials.

If you're commissioning a logo then I would suggest that a quick read through this book would certainly be a big help as a) you'll be more clued up as to what you're actually looking for in a logo (as opposed to just sitting there clueless throughout the whole process) and b) if you've made the unfortunate error of hiring a less than stellar designer then you'll be clued up enough to hopefully avoid being lumbered with an expensive logo design that just isn't that great.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Heavy, printed on quality, glossy paper, and, as you would expect from a book on design - nicely laid out, with plenty of white space so that examples are clear and uncluttered. I am not a designer, and was rather hoping that this book would help me to come up with a new logo for my business. I haven't, yet, but that's not the book's fault. I don't think I have sufficient skill yet with tools like Illustrator to be able to create what I want even if I know what it is that I want to create. But I'm going to keep working at it. This book has taught me so much about layout, originality, avoiding subconscious copying of other ideas. This is probably the most difficult thing because the book is full of loads of examples of logos and how ideas were turned into logos that I'm finding it difficult to come up with new ideas.

It's a good book and, if you are a beginner at this logo business, you will learn much of value from within its pages. But it seems to be aimed at a reader who wants to make a business out of logo design.
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on 5 July 2011
The author has created a simple-to-read guide on logo design, which takes some of the mystique out of the process to make it easier for marketing professionals. Yet, at no time does this read like a Logos for Dummies: the author's talent and passion come through his words, as well as his curation of great logos from around the world. Thoroughly recommended.
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