Ian Paget is a Graphic designer & a Design Director based in Reading, near London UK working both full time and freelance. In his day job he is the Design Director for an eCommerce company, where he is responsible for the design of websites, logos, brochures, exhibition stands (anything visual) and also manages a small team. In his free time he runs his own company, Logo Geek, where he designs logos for companies and individuals, and as part of this he manages a Social Media group of the same name sharing useful resources for like-minded designers.
Hi Ian.So, Why logo design? what led you to it ?
“Since the start of my professional design career I have enjoyed the technical aspect of design (user experience, structural planning etc), as well as illustration, so logo design has always worked to my strengths, and has been something I have enjoyed doing from day one.”
“I love how logo design can hide so many clever stories, and that has always fascinated me from a young age. I quite frequently look at a logo in detail, working out what it might mean, and what stories lie beneath. The fun part is that it’s easy to discover this too with a quick Google search.”
“I’ve almost always had my own side projects. Working on film posters, illustrations, leaflets, game artwork and logos for fun. For quite a few years I worked with friends on a long-term iPhone game project. Working for 4 years on a design project was quite mentally exhausting, so when it was complete, although I was still keen to continue to design, I wanted it to be shorter-term projects.”
“After discussing this with my partner, she mentioned that I’m really good at logo design. After some thought, I made the decision to promote this as a service. Since that day, I’ve made logo design a focus for side projects, and have continued to learn and improve.”
“Although I loved logo design at that time, now after continued research, study and design work in the area, it’s become a real passion, and the area I hope to continue to focus on for the foreseeable future.”
Lui Chocolate Logo Design (click to see the project)
How would you describe your approach to design?
“The key part of design is to understand what problem you’re trying to solve. With logo design, if the client comes to me with a brief or not, I will create my own and get them to agree it.”
“With the brief to hand, whilst working on ideas and designs I’m always referring back to it, ensuring every design decision I make has a reason. That not only means the design will be more successful, but also makes it easier to present to the client and gain instant approval.”
“It’s a much more strategic approach, which makes my design work have real commercial value.”
What is your Creative Process ? Can you share it with us?
“I always start with a brief. If I’m not given one, I will create my own. I then research the company, its target audience and competition so I have a solid understanding of what I’m aiming to do.”
“I then sketch and brainstorm. This part of my process is quite organic, and has no real structure. I just simply write or draw anything that comes to mind based on the brief. I like to do this over a few days between other projects, as I find the best ideas come when doing something unrelated. I rarely properly finalise a design as a sketch, but instead work out the direction I want to work towards.”
“putting ideas to paper”
Working out the design for PeopleCode. (click to view project)
“Once I have a number of concrete ideas, I will then start to work the designs into Illustrator. I find it easy to sketch in illustrator, so I can test an idea in reality to see if it works. I take copies of ideas to see if they could be improved with minor changes, and to properly explore the idea in depth.”
“Once I have a number of solid designs I think are right for the brief, if time permits, I like to abandon the project for a few days so that I can see my work with fresh eyes. It’s so easy to get too focused on specific details that you become blind to obvious illustrative errors, so by having an incubation period as part of my process, I can quickly see and fix these errors.”
“Presentation of the design is an essential to the success of the project, so I make sure be well prepared by writing notes with each design so I’m able to explain how each design fulfills the brief. I also believe it’s important to present the logo in context, so I create images on the logo in situ on billboard, bags, business cards etc. I find this a useful exercise for myself too, as I can really see if the logo designs are right, and revise if necessary .”
To get a feel for Ian’s Design process in action, you can take a look behind the scenes at a Design he worked on for employment agency, People Code Here
Minternet Logo Design. (click to view Project)
How do you choose between which Idea and Design to proceed with and which ones to leave behind ?
“I ask myself “which is more relevant to the brief?” then lose anything that’s just not right. I find it quite easy to see which work well, and can easy abandon designs and ideas if they don’t seem to be working.”
“It can be challenging when you get to 3 or 4 that are all real contenders, so in this case I make sure to try them out on a real life item. I can’t stress the importance of this, as I’ve had the situation when I thought a design was weak, only to see how it would work extremely well in reality.”
What are the other things besides Design that you are passionate about and how do they Influence your work ?
“I’ll be honest… I’m a bit of a geek. I’m a big fan of science, I love movies and TV series’, I like to read and listen to audio books. I collect autographs, meet stars, and like to collect cool stuff. I love to travel too. No idea if it has any direct impact on my work, but I think it’s useful to have non-design knowledge so you can look at your work as a user and be more subjective. If anything, my love of science means I question everything I do, and more importantly everything I learn too, which I think makes me a better designer.”
How much Do you rely on technology and digital tools in your work ?
“Pencil and paper is an essential part of my process, but in order to execute the work, communicate, find clients and do thorough research I need it, and I couldn’t do it without.”
“The software, tools and networks available today make it the best time to be a designer. It’s easy to learn and do anything you can imagine. Regardless of this it’s important for us to understand that 30 years ago designers didn’t use computers – we’re very, very lucky.”
Lui chocolate Logo design.(click to view Project)
How important do you think it is for a Logo designer to have Drawing and sketching skills ?
“Computers are just tools, as is paper and pencil, so if you’re incapable of sketching your ideas on paper, I don’t believe you will be capable of doing them on a computer either. I’m not saying you need to be an artist, but I strongly believe you need to be capable of getting your ideas on paper.”
Internet and websites like Behance are proving to be great platforms for Designers nowadays to showcase their work to the world, which leads to new clients and job opportunities. What are you thoughts on this ?
“I think it’s amazing. As designers we can easily share our work, and benchmark our skills with others. We can easily see what’s trending, what’s been done before, and what looks stunning.”
“I also think at times it can also be intimidating, which I believe hold some people back. Some designers are so incredibly good, it’s easy to look at their work and think “man I suck!”, but instead it’s important that we try to see it as a standard to work towards.”
What do you think is the most challenging aspect of your work ?
“Dealing with customers. It’s great having the perfect design, but you still need to present the work, and convince the customer it’s the right decision to get it agreed.”
“It’s quite common to have a customer asking for specific changes, so in these occasions you need to work hard to keep control of the project. I’m getting much better at this, as my process improves, but it’s still a challenge, and think it always will be.”
Choco Coeur chocolate shop(Czech Republic) Logo design (click to view Project)
Would you say that the field of logo design and typography is different than the other fields of Design ?
“Yes. I think its more challenging.”
“With website design, it’s acceptable (even expected) to copy and follow trends. With print design you can look back over the past 100 years for solid inspiration. I’m not saying it’s easy, but you can easily borrow, steal and adapt ideas for your own work in these fields and it doesn’t bother anyone.”
“With logo design it’s much more subjective, and there’s greater pressure to be original. When a new brand identity is rolled out, even though the logo is a small part of the work, it’s often the logo that becomes the sole focus of scrutiny.”
“A simple logo is often one of the most challenging aspects of design. As there are less objects, each one needs to be absolutely perfect or something looks ‘wrong’. It’s challenging, but that’s why I love it.”
Which one do you think is your best work? And Why? And can you please walk us through the design Process and how you came to the Final design and proposal.
“That’s really hard to answer. I’ve worked on so many projects, each of which has been successful in their own way.”
“One logo design that I’m proud of is one designed for a West African supply chain called Bathily, which won me an award earlier this year. I loved the final design, and the client was over the moon, giving such an amazing testimonial.”
Bathily Logo Design.You can read more about the project on his website here: http://logogeek.co.uk/portfolio/bathily/
“To symbolise the speed and convenience of delivery an icon has been designed which represents speed of movement, whilst looking like the rear of an arrow. The colour combination selected is based on the concept of ‘day and night’ – orange for day, dark blue for night. This icon is also a monogram of the letter B, which can be used as a standalone mark in locations such as packaging, labels and social media.”
“The font, which has been Customised to be unique and work in harmony with the icon, is clean, simple and professional, which will appeal to global corporate organisations.”
And this is what the client had to say.
“Ian Paget is simply a genius. There are so many designers, but not so many great designers. Ian developed our new company logo. I found him to be creative and easy going and I am very happy with our new logo. The fact we were not in the same country / time zone did not affect our project at all. He is an artist and a real professional in the same body. I would hire him again immediately without thinking about any ‘local options’. Thank you, Ian (peace)”
What type of projects do you enjoy working on ? And What is your Dream project ?
“I’d love to work on a logo design for a space mission, or a movie. That would be really cool.”
“Being more realistic, I love projects when the client has a solid business idea and strong core brand at its heart. In this situation the client has a clear understanding that logo design is there to represent that brand, so it makes the experience more pleasurable and rewarding.”
People Code Logo design. (click to view Project)
Ian you are a freelancer, so what is it like to work as a freelancer, being your own boss? And what would be the biggest lesson you have learned from it ?
“It has shown me that the success is in the processes you create – that’s the most important thing. Things will go wrong no matter what you do, so it’s important to learn from those mistakes and modify the processes to ensure they never happen again. I’m always evolving my processes, making my life and work better.”
“At times, being your own boss can make things a challenge, especially because you can do anything. This means you need to be self-motivated, make decisions, and stay focused on your goals. There’s so much I would like to do, but I frequently need to step back and focus on the things that ultimately progress the business further, putting some ideas to one side.”
Lily Lane Logo design. (click to view Project)
What would you say are your best qualities are as a Designer and a Professional and what is that One quality that makes you stand out ?
“I like to see myself as a designer that focuses on strategy, and goal fulfilment. I understand business. I back up my designs with research and knowledge. I believe this makes my work more commercially valuable. I’m also a good listener, take on board feedback seriously, and use that to make the design better. I don’t think this is particularly original, however I believe that’s what attracts people to get in touch.”
“Even though I’ve been a designer over 10 years, and know what I’m doing, I still have that part of me which feels new to this. I think that works in my favour, as I’m open to new ideas, and open to learning and improving. I hope to stay that way.”
Pleasant Purchase Logo design. (click to view Project)
What is the best piece of advice your have heard and would like to repeat to others, possibly to the aspiring designers out there ?
“It doesn’t matter how you get it done, as long as you do. For example, if you need your design to include a tree silhouette, if it means your work will be better to trace a photo… go outside, take a photo and do that instead of struggling to draw from memory. It’s the finished article that matters, and not if you did it yourself from memory. Some people may feel this is cheating, but its not. The final design is what people see and use – how you did it doesn’t matter to the end user.”
“One from me… if you don’t want to work on a certain type of work, don’t show it. Remove it from your portfolio and show only the type of work you actually want to do. People see your work, and think that’s all you can do. Although I’m capable of designing anything, I show only my logo design work, as that’s what I want to work on. I hope that advice inspires others to improve, and love their design career as much as I do.”
You can find Ian on Twitter @Logo_Geek. Link