What Makes the Best Logos So Good

Logos, Updates, Web Design
Expert Explains What Makes the Best Logos So Good
Image credit: starbucks.com

“A company’s logo is its shorthand, a visual cue that tells a story of the brand’s culture, behavior, and values,” said Su Mathews Hale, a senior partner at the New York brand-strategy and design firm Lippincott. Because a logo may only have a second to tell this story, creating one “can sometimes be the most difficult aspect of branding,” she said.

We had her guide us through some of her favorite projects she’s worked on, as well as some of the corporate logos she most admires.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc

In 2005, Wal-Mart recruited Lippincott to reimagine its brand. It wanted to shed its image as a big corporate outlet for cheap products and become seen as a place where people could wisely save money and buy premium groceries. Wal-Mart debuted its new logo in 2008.

Mathews and her team felt that the old logo’s all-caps, dark blue letters screamed “corporation” and had become inextricably linked to the popular view among critics who saw Wal-Mart as a malevolent giant crushing small businesses across the country. They deemed the star serving as a hyphen generic and forgettable. They also believed that businesses with hyphenated “mart” names conjured up images of corner stores and cheap outlets.

They decided to keep the color blue, which Mathews said is the world’s favorite color, but go for a brighter hue they believed evoked modernity and trustworthiness. They replaced the sharp angles of the original letters with “a more humanistic font.” Finally, they decided on an asterisk-like symbol they wanted to look like “a lightbulb going off in your head,” a metaphor for Wal-Mart shoppers being smart for taking advantage of affordable, quality products. They chose a hue of yellow that appeared hopeful but didn’t make it too bright because “bright yellow is associated with low-cost items in retail,” said Mathews. She was happy to find that focus groups also interpreted the spark as a sun or flower, both positive associations.


In 2012, eBay basically had the inverse problem from Wal-Mart: It wanted to finally grow up, and its playful logo was getting in the way of its ambition. Mathews said that when Internet companies have electric, jumbled logos, they conjure up memories of the companies that died when the dot-com bubble burst. So, for eBay, she and her team stuck close to the original design but refined the typography, toned down the colors, and put the letters on the same baseline. The resulting logo is “more grounded” and better suited for a company that takes business seriously.

Hyatt Place

Hyatt Hotels Corporation bought AmeriSuites in 2004, and Lippincott was responsible for rebranding the chain as Hyatt Place, which launched in 2006. Hyatt and the designers believed that AmeriSuite’s affordable business-suite market was beginning to be seen as boring, cheap alternatives to upscale hotels, and that the way to turn it around would be to turn it into the option for younger business travelers who may not be very wealthy but still appreciate luxury.

A fundamental component of the relaunch was to give every Hyatt Place an attractive, engaging lobby. The final logo combined two different shapes: In design, said Mathews, “a circle tends to be seen as modern and approachable” and “a square tends to be steadfast and disciplined.” The design team chose vibrant colors for seven of the circles and picked black for two. When Hyatt Place signs are illuminated at night, the colored circles create an “H” for “Hyatt,” which Mathews finds to be a fun, extra dimension of the logo.


Over the past several years, Starbucks has grown into a global powerhouse and has been heavily promoting its non-coffee products, like pastries, sandwiches, and teas. In 2011, it decided it wanted a simpler logo not tied to the word “coffee.” Mathews was not involved in the project, but her Lippincott colleagues were.

The redesign started with a basic premise. When focus groups were asked what color Starbucks’ logo was, explained Mathews, participants almost universally said “green.” But the thing is, only the ring around the former logo was green — the siren character was outlined in black. Mathews said the designers freed the siren from her constraints and imbued her with the color with which customers were already associating the brand. They nixed the word “coffee” and brought the text outside of the circle, since the siren had become iconic enough to stand on her own.

“It’s a great example of how a logo can evolve,” said Mathews.


Lippincott has not worked with NBC, but Mathews said the NBC peacock is one of her favorite logos. She thinks the logo has improved over time as it’s gotten simpler, and that even though the peacock’s colors originally celebrated the advent of color television, the array of colors still transmits feelings of joy and energy.


FedEx’s logo is another one of Mathew’s favorites. As shown by her work with the Hyatt Place logo, she likes images that have surprises in them, and the arrow formed by the “E” and “x” in FedEx is one of the best-known hidden designs. She also appreciates the timeless nature of the logo. “It could have be designed in 1970 or it could have been designed yesterday,” she said.

It was actually created in 1994 by Lindon Leader, and it has won more than 40 design awards, partially for the reasons Mathews mentioned.


Mathews thinks that Apple’s logo is a perfect example of how a logo needs to adapt to the changing direction of the company it represents. One of Apple’s co-founders, Ronald Wayne, designed the first Apple logo, a weird, detailed etching of Sir Isaac Newton that was supposed to represent the way Apple was an ambitious outsider. That same year, Steve Jobs hired Rob Janoff to replace it with something more modern. Janoff came up with the now iconic image of an apple with a bite out of it, and Jobs decided Apple’s unique approach to computers would be represented by making it rainbow-colored.

It became monochrome in 1998 to fit into the clean, simplistic designs that the company decided to pursue.

Regarding trends and presentation

When tackling a branding project, Mathews differentiates between the “true and new.” She say a logo needs to be “true,” in the sense that it should not be fundamentally tied to a trend, the “new.” The trendiness is more appropriate in supporting elements of branding, like store experiences or website interfaces. That said, a logo should be fundamentally sound but also be adaptable to the ways it will be presented.

“Logos used to have to be recognizable down to the size that they would be represented on a business card. Now they have to work at much smaller sizes, because they’ll be seen on mobile screens,” Mathews said. That’s actually the reason why so many logos have become “flatter,” in the sense that they’ve been stripped of techniques like shadowing that add a dimension of depth or movement.

Here’s an example of how Google went flat last year:

“I personally like more simple designs,” said Mathews. “Gradients are my worst nightmare.”

This story originally appeared on Business Insider

Going Freelance

Going Freelance

Custom Design, Logos, Updates

Freelancers are the latest trend to the world. The idea of being your own boss, working your hours and boosting your creative potential to its soaring heights is a tempting wonderland dream. Many people think that their bosses just enjoy shoving down the work down the employee’s thin throat ( some may even do ). The employees think they can do better than their bosses (possibly). So to escape their hell of a workplace they start of on their own, in the search to find what their firms couldn’t help them with. They go Freelance.

If the freelancers had their own country, they might even have their own flag. Something like thisFreelancer Country

Who are Freelancers

First of all we need to know what a freelancer is and what “freelancing” means? A freelancer is usually a self-employed person who works as a web designer, developer, content writer, blogger or any other creative work (well, mostly creative). More precisely, he/she contracts a small/medium (rarely large) task from various clients and receives payment when the work is done. This means that, as a freelancer you can work at home anytime by keeping your own schedule, making your own work hours and being your own boss.

Types of Freelance Work

Like I said, freelance work is mostly creative skill exposure. The more you do the better you become. For your knowledge here are some types of freelance that you can pursue. The work may be different, but the rules of freelancing are pretty much the same

Source: Investopedia

1. Web Design and DevelopmentWeb Design and Development
There are freelance web designers and developers who create beautiful websites and ecommerce stores as well as functions to them.  It takes plenty of  skill and knowledge about the language you are using. There are plenty of sites that list freelance design/development  gigs that can help you land you clients today. It takes practice, but practice is what makes it perfect. Take this job only if you love design and development more than the pay. Freelance designers/ developers dont earn more than $5000.

2. Search Engine OptimizationSearch Engine Optmiziation
There are a few absolutely top-of-the-line SEO specialists who charge $1,000 per hour. It’s more common for high-end freelancers in this field to charge between $300 and $500 per hour, which is still very good. People new to the field can still close in on $50 per hour very quickly, provided that they can pick up the skills necessary to do the work. Since, at entry-level, you’ll generally be following some set steps to make sites more search engine-friendly, that isn’t hard.

3. WritingFreelance Writing
There are freelance writers who manage to pull in more than six figures every year. It takes plenty of work, but the upside to writing is that you don’t need any special equipment to get started. There are plenty of sites that list freelance writing gigs that can help you land your first client today. You don’t even need to be Hemingway to land these projects, you just need to be able to write clearly and avoid grammar mistakes.

4. Social Media
Social media may not even have existed a few years ago, but today’s knowledge of how social media works can result in a healthy income for a freelancer. While newcomers to the field may Social Mediacharge around $15 per hour, experienced social media experts with a proven track record can charge up to $250 per hour. It takes more than just experience to reach those higher pay grades though. You’ll need to focus on high-paying industries that don’t handle social media in-house.


5. Mobile DevelopmentMobile Development

While web designers and developers, in general, can make a lot of money freelancing, mobile developers, in particular, can earn a lot. Some corporate clients will pay more than $100,000 to have a single app developed. Because building the best mobile apps can take hundreds of hours to build, you will earn the fees you charge.



6. PhotographyPhotography
A freelance photographer who specializes in wedding photography can easily start his or her pricing at $2,000 for a few hours of shooting, plus some editing time and go up from there. Different photography specializations come with different price tags, but wedding photography and portraiture generally bring in the most income. Of course, a lot of photography equipment can come with equally high price tags, but you can start out small and then scale up.


7. Modelling
Source: Freelance modeling and Model MentorsFreelance Modelling
Freelance modeling means when you do modeling for a client or industry, but you don’t work on a long term contract basis. Freelancing modeling is for those who wish to continue their career while fulfilling their determination of modeling by providing services to clients as a freelance model.
To become a successful freelance model, you must be willing to go yourself as a professional and must be courageous, bold and ambitious in order to survive in the industry. You must maintain a complete list of contacts that have links to the modeling industry.

Freelance modeling jobs work on self promotion, and you must enter the knack of it in order to be a successful freelance model. Keep looking for any assignments which could potentially give you chances to the industry and give you opportunities. Always remember that, in the modeling industry, you must keep your eyes wide open. Since, many opportunities will come along the way, and if you will not take them quickly, you will miss them.

Freelance model rates certainly vary with each and every individual. Many modeling gigs have a predetermined rate, set by the company hiring you, which is disclosed before you agree to the job. Modeling jobs, rates, hours, and job duties vary WIDELY with each and every individual job. It is impossible to say you should expect one general “rate”, because it is entirely situational.

8. Translation

If you’re fluent in a second language, translation can provide an excellent opportunity for freelancing. There are some variables in how much a freelance translator can earn that can make a major difference. However, a freelancer who is certified by the American Translators Association can earn an average of $72,000 a year, while someone without that certification will average $53,000 a year. There can also be some variation depending on just what languages you can translate. There’s just more demand for Spanish translators than for Malayalam. 

Here are more types freelance jobs by bizammo.com

Now that we have explored the kinds of jobs the world has to offer the freelance, lets look at the good and bad sides of doing this, should your temptation get the best of you

The Advantages

  1. Flexible Hours – The first advantage of becoming a freelancer is that you can work whenever you want. You get to choose your own hours. If you want to sleep in until noon, you can do that. If you want to take the weekend off so you can explore the city, by all means, go for it. As a freelancer, you can actually work during your most productive hours, and those hours don’t have to fall in during regular business hours.
  2. Control over Jobs and Clients – When you work for someone else, you don’t get a choice of who you work with. You can become stuck with unprofessional or rude clients. But, when you’re a freelancer, you can choose with whom you work. If you don’t mesh well with a client’s personality or business or payment philosophies, you can pass on the opportunity and wish them the best. It’s as easy as that.
  3. Work Wherever You Want – Whether you prefer consistency or shaking things up when it comes to your work environment, you can choose to work wherever you want, whether you choose to work in a local coffee shop or while you’re on vacation in Europe.  You are no longer stuck in an office or even in your home. Find a place in which you work best. You could work in a park, at the library, or in your living room while you’re wearing your pajamas.
  4. You’re the Boss – You no longer have to answer to anyone but your clients and yourself. No one is hanging over you or micromanaging you. You are free to do as you please, when you please. Making all the tough decisions just became your responsibility; you have all the control.
  5. You Keep All the Profits – No longer do you have to work for a flat rate, no matter how large the projects are that you complete. Now, you get to allocate or keep all the profits from your large and small projects and clients. This gives you the freedom to then use that money to improve yourself and expand your business.
  6. You can set your own rates  –  As a freelancer, you are usually allowed to set your own rates. This way, you don’t have to be stuck working for minimum wage or getting paid way less than what you’re worth. Instead, you are allowed to earn as much money as you want and charge what you feel you are worth.
  7. Meet New Clients  – Freelance can be a fantastic way to work for a number of very different clients. You get to meet lots of people and build up your contacts in the industry. Once you start building a reputation for yourself, you may find that you don’t have to seek out work so much, but that you get called back by the same places when they are busy time and time again.

The Disadvantages

  1. Not Steady or Reliable Workloads – Unfortunately, being a freelancer means that your income and your workload are unstable and inconsistent. For the most part, you won’t be able to depend on any regular project, client, or profit, whereas you would know the exact pay you’ll receive at a traditional job.
  2. Distinguishing Between Work and Personal Time – Being your own boss and working from your home also means that it can be difficult to distinguish between your work time and your personal life. This means that you can work long hours and never make time for your personal interests.
  3. A lot of Legwork – You are now in charge of finding all your own clients and projects. When you worked a traditional job, your projects were probably handed to you. But now, you’re the sole person responsible, so that means a lot of legwork on your part.  And that means you have to wear many hats, including marketing, advertising, and sales.
  4.  Not Getting Paid – Being a freelancer also means that you run the risk of not getting paid. This is fairly common in the freelance world, and one more hat you’ll have to wear is that of a debt collector. There are ways to protect yourself from non-paying clients, but sometimes you won’t realize you’re at risk until it’s too late.
  5. No Employer Benefits – Health benefits are expensive. Depending on your current health, switching to a freelance lifestyle might not be in your best interest. Also, starting your own freelance business means you no longer have paid sick days or vacation time to use. Every day you don’t work is a day you won’t get paid.
  6. You have to deal with difficult clients–When you work for someone else, you can usually pass difficult clients off to a manager or even the owner of the business. When you’re a freelancer, dealing with difficult clients is going to be your responsibility. You will now be forced to handle all the inquiries, complaints and demands that your clients have, and this can be extremely overwhelming.
  7. Incoming Work Isn’t Guaranteed–At a company or firm, assuming it doesn’t go out of business, you’re pretty much guaranteed work. You come in, there is always work for you to do, and you’ll never be at a shortage. As a freelancer, since you’re finding your own work, it’s never guaranteed. Sometimes opportunities can be plentiful, and other times there could be less.
  8. Inconsistent Monthly Income–With inconsistent incoming work comes inconsistent monthly income. Some months you can be rolling in a steady stream of quality work. Other months your clients might not need you, or you don’t find enough work. And your income suffers as a result.
  9. Potentially Make Less Money–If you aren’t finding quality clients, you could potentially make less money than if you were at a company or firm. Especially if you’re lazy. If you aren’t a self-motivating type and need someone else to kick you in the butt, then with freelancing you could potentially be making less money than at a company or firm.
  10. You Have to Do Your Own Accounting–At a company or firm, you don’t need to worry about accounting. You design, you get paid, you pay yearly taxes, and that’s it. Not so with freelancing – since you are your own company, you need to handle your own accounting. (Again, if you hate accounting then you can use software to make it easier or hire/outsource to someone that can do it.)


Freelancing is not for everyone. And there’s nothing wrong with that. So often in creative fields we feel like if we’re working in a corporate environment that we’re somehow not as creative as those who have set out on their own. But there’s very little truth in that.

Freelancing is a career choice and something that every designer and developer has to decide on in respect to their personal situation.

For some, freelancing is a dream come true. But for others, it’s like a prison sentence. Don’t feel ashamed to stick with your corporate job if that’s where you’re comfortable and it’s fulfilling to you.

Freelancing is equal parts positive and negative. You just have to decide if you’re willing to take the risk that almost always accompanies it. Freelancing means professional freedom, but it also means instability and the risk of failure. And that may not be what you need in your professional life. But if you risk your stability for something more in tune with your professional goals than a traditional job, you have the opportunity to build your name and reputation and reach your professional goals.

So is freelancing ultimately worth it? Yes. Yes it is. You won’t get a wishy-washy “it depends” answer here. If you’re considering it, then you should freelance.

Of course, you have to be driven, confident, and independent. You should be willing to take matters into your own hands. (So it really does depend, huh?)

But the benefits of being in control of your time, location, and work you do is worth it alone. That’s true freedom right there – something we all desire as human beings. Add to that the potential to make more money—totally up to your drive, of course—and the pros of freelancing outweigh the cons. Just make sure you aren’t lazy and find actual work for yourself.

So if you are already freelancing, even if just on the side, then let this be confirmation that you made the right choice. And if you haven’t been a freelancer yet, give it a try – you’ll be hooked by the freedom and control you gain.

Did I miss out anything. What do you think about freelancing as a career choice. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Custom Design

Custom Design, Logos, Updates

Greetings everyone to another exciting post of Design Playground

Now we all are like in some way or the other like the green lantern


Yes I know. We are not all that green. We do not have the costume. Hell, we don’t even have that cool ring.

But who needs all that, when the powers of the  “ring” is right with us. Inside our head – Our imagination.

We are limited to our imagination. The more base we have, the more we can create

My aunt recently visited my family to present us with a special diwali gift – A custom designed flower vase

custom earthen pot

I took this from my phone

So she had an earthen pot base i. e the base was premade. She made the designs on the vase herself, Now that’s real talent

I may know photoshop but I can’t even draw a donkey’s tail. My skills will always be outmatched in battle with the skill of the hand.

So you have a base, now you wonder what to do with it. Well you make something yourself. That’s what my aunt did. Kinda that’s what I did too in photoshop


See this logo ? I made this myself. I intended something else and instead something better was created.

As as example I’ll show you how I made it.

images Katrina_69

So here are my two images. Now lets get to the fun part

First we select the part of the image we want to use


Now make a new layer of the selected portion. Select the image area you want to use and press Ctrl+J

new layer

Now Ctrl+ Click on your selected layer and fill the selection with white color

fill with white

Now create a new document and fill the background with black color ( or any dark color that you may like )

Black bg

Create a new layer over your image layer. Take the brush tool and enable its airbrush capabilities. Let your colors flow, as long as you are still on the new layer above your white image


Pressing Alt key, move your mouse between the color and the girl layer, with the color layer on top selected. When you click while pressing ALT key, the colors from the topmost layer will merge into the girl layer


Now for that other image. I just filled it with color and put it behind the girl. If you want to do something else or don’t want to use it, Thats upto you.

So what do you think of this trick ? Have you used it differently ? do let me know in the comments below

See ya next time

Taran Tej

Template  – Restaurant

Template – Restaurant

Logos, Templates, Updates, Web Design

Hello and Welcome to another post of Design playground. My work keeps me busy so I’m not able to focus much on the improvement of the blog or its social pages. But I’m doing what I can to spread the knowledge I know and share my love for Design.

Today I’m going to talk about a very special template. It holds a special place in my heart.

Ladies and Gentlemen , I give you, GnT’s Restaurant



Why is this template special to me ? Because of the G in the name

G means Gurinder. He’s one of my friends from college

The Story Behind GnT’s

It was my final year of BCA. We had learnt about visual basic ( .NET seemed complicated to me back then ; still does ). So Gurinder and I decided to show a project on a restaurant. I had downloaded the project called “Rupali Restaurant” and decided to use it as the base. But things didn’t go so well. Neither the project nor the partnership. Forget the design , even the functions were all screwed up. Despite all of this, I still knew that it held a bond that I could not withdraw from. I even redesigned “Rupali’s” logo.


Well I never could get the .NET code to work, But I spent my free hours from work making this template. This template is special for another reason. I made this template literally from SCRATCH. Sure I used a restaurant base template, But it felt like building a house or inventing something. At times frustrating, but always exciting.

I wish i could show the comparison between my first draft and this one, but unfortunately I don’t have the first draft any longer. But anyways, I’m proud of what I made.

Thanks Guri – you’re the inspiration behind this

See ya next time

Taran Tej