Designing images for the online world

Recently, we decided to create a new logo for our Ebook publishing group, Little Lucy Lovebugs Books.  While we love the alliteration, our own name is long and can be a tongue twister when said out loud.  We decided to keep the name because we studied the other big publishers.  Many publishers, such as Penguin, now use visual logos instead of branded name to represent their publishing group online.  Using imagery in a world known for short attention spans can strengthen your brand.  When people are surfing the web they remember parts of a name but an image can help your idea take root in someone's mind.  It gives your audience a visual image to associate with your company and for those who have a terrible time with names it can be a lifesaver.  As many other SEO experts will tell you online group such as Apple are more likely to promote your podcast or business if you have an interesting design in their app or iTunes store.  A good design can give you a few extra seconds in someone's busy day and this may lead to a click on the like button or on your site.

Here are some tips to think of when you are designing your logo:

1.  Size - It is best to think about where your logo.  The size for podcasts in the iTunes store is 1400x1400.  A known fact by designers considering an app for the iTunes store.  Research other stores and sites to see what other logos look like.  Create a logo large enough to get a clean image but small enough that it won't slow down the download time.

2.  Color - this is a must in the online world.  There are volumes of studies on the use of color in advertising.  Some large corporations pay millions of dollars to get this right with their audience.  Why?  We are an online age when color matters.  Colors can make someone take a second look at your company.   Choosing the right color pallet can change the look, feel, and mood of your brand.  Cool colors in the blue tones can represent water, calm, and cold.  Warm colors in the red tones can represent fire, energy, and warmth.  Think of how colors feel and what you associate with them.   Create the image in several color palettes to see which one works best.  Ask people in your group why they prefer certain colors. 

3.  The five senses - touch, taste, feel, sight, and hearing.  Should your design include images that provoke a response from these senses.  Good quality pictures that represent your brand can trigger a memory someone had when they were having dinner, out with friends, baking, or make them think of a story they heard.

4.  Simplify - while you may consider the five senses don't go overboard.  Keep your design simple and clean.  This is especially important for smaller images.  An image for a brand should be as fast as the eye can read.  Too many details in a quick scan of a page can look cluttered to the eye.   Use simple line patters for textures or a two tone gradient for shading.  Someone with a short attention span will not care about the percentage of your shading when they are surfing the web.  

5.  Research - look on Amazon, google images, iTunes, and other larger companies to see what they are doing.  Many of them had years of experience in rebranding.  We can learn that is something that must be done to survive over the years.  

6.  Test - if you can't decide between a few logos then ask your audience what they think.  Compare the likes and dislikes.  If you ask the right way your audience may create a new look for you.  They will give you tons of suggestions for a new design, and they will let you know what they prefer.  They will also feel rewarded if they see some of their suggestions implemented into your new logo/brand.  After all, the design of your brand should be for them not you.  Listen to what they say and consider if for a new design.  Some companies even run contests to have their audience design for them.  It gives them the opportunity to show off their ideas and creativity and it helps you relate to them.


- Mahieu Spaid

Artist and Author at