Sunday, 30 November 2014

Interview Questions for Front End Developers and Web Designers

These are the Interview Questions for Front End Developers and Web Designers that I usually ask while interviewing any individual. These interview questions are for Front End Developers and Web Designers who are on beginner to mid-level experience. I will be updating these questions by the time. Answers to these questions are easily available over the internet.
If you find still find any difficulty in understanding any questions or not able find any answer don’t hesitate to ask in comments section below or through contact form on my blog contact page.
If you have less 1 years of experience you should be able to answer 40% to 50% questions.
If you have one to three years of experience you should be able to answer 80%-90% questions.
If you have 3+ years of experience you should be able to answer all questions.


What is Doctype & why its important?
What are meta tags?
What does meta viewport tag do?
Difference between div and span?
What is html5?
Name a few new tags in html5 and their advantages?
What are the new media-related elements in HTML5?
How can I create a div work like an input?


Difference between position absolute and fixed?
What is the difference between inline, inline-block, and block?
Difference between ID and Class?
What are sprites and why they are recommended?
what are media queries?
What is responsiveness?
How to select last li of ul via CSS?
Difference between; .class.class2 & .class .class & .class > class ?
What are CSS pre-processors?
What is style reset sheet?
What is float?

Browser Compatibility

What tools do you use for cross-browser testing?
Lets assume you have found a rendering issue in IE8 what will be your work around to solve that issue?
How will you achieve same drop down menu UI in different browsers?
How will you fix border-radius compatibility issue in IE8?

JQuery / JavaScript

What is jQuery?
What is difference between onload and ready?
How to select class in jQuery?
Which selector has better performance id or class and why?
How to add a class to HTML element?
What is jQuery toggle function?
Explain difference .empty() between .remove() ?
How can I select 20th div with jQuery?
What is difference between .setinterval() & .delay() ?


What are basic necessities for a theme? How will you create a Hello World! WordPress theme?
Do you have developed plug-in?
How will you create a template page in WordPress?
How can you create an empty plugin which have basic options like activate, deactivate etc.?

Deployment Skills

What do you use xampp or wampp & why?
What is cPanel?
What will be your workaround deploying a local site to live url?

General Questions

Name some online resources that you reference when having CSS/HTML/JS issues.
Favorite tools and IDEs?
Why stack overflow so useful? and whats your rating?

Friday, 28 November 2014

Common Mistakes in Logo Design

Start designing without any creative brief

The briefing exists to help designers know what they need to design, and how they need to design it. However, it also has a key role in defining the designer-client relationship. Without it, designers would be overwhelmed by the amount of design freedom, and clients would not know what to expect from the project, or how far can they go in making requests to the designer.
Here’s were I get serious about briefings, and I genuinely mean it. Working without a briefing on client work is a recipe for disaster. If you want to design high quality logos and compete on a professional level, you must have a briefing for each project.

Designing for yourself

Design can easily become a highly personal and passionate experience, so knowing for whom a logo is being created can be a hard lesson to learn, and that’s not a challenge just for designers, more often than not, clients are also guilty of analyzing a design based on their personal tastes rather than their audience’s needs.
You must understand who your logo target audience is, and then learn as much as you can about them. Whenever possible, get in touch with them and talk about the project your are working on. Listen to what they have to say, and use what you learn from this interaction during the design process.

Understand the client’s USP

Each business has its own USP (unique selling point) and that is one of the most crucial things to keep in mind when designing a logo. It can be anything, from a secret formula (Coca-Cola), to being one-of-its-kind (Google), to being highly innovative (Apple).
I’m not suggesting that companies should literally insert their USPs in the designing of their logos, that would be terrible. Logos are not supposed to be literal, but understanding the practical side of a business will more often than not lead into the generation of ideas.
Knowing what is your client’s business USP will help you to find what’s the unique approach you should take when designing their logo. Every business has its own angle, and taking this into account can help you build a successful brand.

Not much research

spend some time for research work, so you can understand what is the context of the business; who are the primary and secondary competitors; how and where the logo will be used; and who is the primary target of the company.
The internet is in your favor, there’s a lot you can learn about your client’s business and market without even having to ask any questions. Remember that Google is your friend, and you can ask him anything you want!
The truth is that clients, more often than not, don’t understand how to use design to their advantage, so they just don’t give you the information you need from start. Don’t be afraid of asking a lot of questions, even if they sound pretty basic.

Give too many options

Some designers choose to show many options as a way to raise the perceived of value of their own service. But think there’s real value in showing multiple options.
Clients will only use one of the solutions you show anyway, so wouldn’t be more productive to come up with one idea that you genuinely think is the best, instead of dividing your time and effort in creating multiple solutions.
So, there is no need to show more then two options to the client. Spend your time on these two and make them outstanding so that client doesn't need for any other option.

Lack to ability to explain your design

It’s terrible when a client questions a feature of your design and all you have to say is “I designed it this way because I think it looks good”. Bear in mind that if you use the “I like” argument, you are also allowing your client to do the same, and that can easily turn the discussion into a battle of “taste”. Guess who’s going to lose…
Every single pixel of a logo must be thought-of, it must have a concept behind its looks, and the overall result must show a solid understanding of the proposed briefing. If you have followed these steps carefully, be not afraid, as I’m sure you will be able to answer any question that may arise once you show off your logo to the world.

Monday, 17 November 2014

9 basic principles of responsive web design

Responsive web design is a great solution to our multi-screen problem, but getting into it from the print perspective is difficult. No fixed page size, no millimetres or inches, no physical constraints to fight against. Designing in pixels for Desktop and Mobile only is also the past, as more and more gadgets can open up a website. Therefore, let's clarify some basic principles of responsive web design here to embrace the fluid web, instead of fighting it. To keep it simple we'll focus on layouts (yes, responsive goes way deeper than that and if you want to learn more this is a good start).

Responsive vs Adaptive web design

It might seem the same but it isn't. Both approaches complement each other, so there is no right or wrong way to do it. Let the content decide.

The flow

As screen sizes become smaller, content starts to take up more vertical space and anything below will be pushed down, it's called the flow. That might be tricky to grasp if you are used to design with pixels and points, but makes total sense when you get used to it.
What is responsive and adaptive web design

Relative units

The canvas can be a desktop, mobile screen or anything in between. Pixel density can also vary, so we need units that are flexible and work everywhere. That's where relative units like percents come in handy. So making something 50% wide means it will always take half of the screen (or viewport, which is the size of the opened browser window).
Relative units in CSS


Breakpoints allow the layout to change at predefined points, i.e. having 3 columns on a desktop, but only 1 column on a mobile device. Most CSS properties can be changed from one breakpoint to another. Usually where you put one depends on the content. If a sentence breaks, you might need to add a breakpoint. But use them with caution – it can get messy quickly when it's difficult to understand what is influencing what.
Breakpoints in the responsive web design

Max and Min values

Sometimes it's great that content takes up the whole width of a screen, like on a mobile device, but having the same content stretching to the whole width of your TV screen often makes less sense. This is why Min/Max values help. For example having width of 100% and Max width of 1000px would mean that content will fill the screen, but don't go over 1000px.
Min and max widths in CSS

Nested objects

Remember the relative position? Having a lot of elements depending on each other would be difficult to control, therefore wrapping elements in a container keeps it way more understandable, clean and tidy. This is where static units like pixels can help. They are useful for content that you don't want to scale, like logos and buttons.
Nested objects

Mobile or Desktop first

Technically there isn't much of a difference if a project is started from a smaller screen to a bigger (mobile first) or vice versa (desktop first). Yet it adds extra limitations and helps you make decisions if you start with mobile first. Often people start from both ends at once, so really, go and see what works better for you.
Mobile or desktop first

Webfonts vs System fonts

Wanna have a cool looking Futura or Didot on your website? Use webfonts! Although they will look stunning, remember that each will be downloaded and the more you'll have, the longer it will take to load the page. System fonts on the other hand are lightning fast, except when the user doesn't have it locally, it will fall back to a default font.
Webfonts vs System fonts

Bitmap images vs Vectors

Does your icon have lot of details and some fancy effects applied? If yes, use a bitmap. If not, consider using a vector image. For bitmaps use a jpg, png or a gif, for vectors the best choice would be a SVG or an icon font. Each has some benefits and some drawbacks. However keep in mind the size -- no pictures should go online without optimization. Vectors on the other hand often are tiny, but some older browsers won't support it. Also, if it has lots of curves, it might be heavier than a bitmap, so choose wisely.
Bitmap images vs vectors
Feel that we left out something important? Let us know in the comments!

Open source HTML5 & Flash video player Video.JS

Use Video.js


In the <head>:

<link href="" rel="stylesheet">
<script src=""></script>

In the <body>:

<video id="MY_VIDEO_1" class="video-js vjs-default-skin" controls
 preload="auto" width="640" height="264" poster="MY_VIDEO_POSTER.jpg"
 <source src="MY_VIDEO.mp4" type='video/mp4'>
 <source src="MY_VIDEO.webm" type='video/webm'>
 <p class="vjs-no-js">To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that <a href="" target="_blank">supports HTML5 video</a></p>

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Basic Rules of Logo Design

Do you realize just how important your company logo is? It appears on everything from your letterhead to your website, reaching customers, marketing, prospects, suppliers and the press. In other words, your logo reaches everyone who has any contact with you and is the first impression someone will have of your company. Because of its potential impact, your logo must offer a favorable impression of your business. Present yourself clearly and dynamically, and you'll look like a pro, even if your office is in your home's basement.

Easier said than done, you say? Maybe. Luckily, there are time-tested guidelines you can follow in your quest for a great logo. Whether you hire an agency or decide to create it yourself, commit these rules to memory--or at least bookmark this web page:

1. Your logo should reflect your company in a unique and honest way. Sounds obvious, but you'd be surprised how many business owners want something "just like" a competitor. If your logo contains a symbol--often called a "bug"--it should relate to your industry, your name, a defining characteristic of your company or a competitive advantage you offer.
What's the overriding trait you want people to remember about your business? If it's quick delivery, consider objects that connote speed, like wings or a clock. Consider an abstract symbol to convey a progressive approach--abstracts are a great choice for high-tech companies. Or maybe you simply want an object that represents the product or service you're selling. Be clever, if you can, but not at the expense of being clear.

2. Avoid too much detail. Simple logos are recognized faster than complex ones. Strong lines and letters show up better than thin ones, and clean, simple logos reduce and enlarge much better than complicated ones.
But although your logo should be simple, it shouldn't be simplistic. Good logos feature something unexpected or unique without being overdrawn. Look at the pros: McDonald's, Nike, Prudential. Notice how their logos are simple yet compelling. Anyone who's traveled by a McDonald's with a hungry 4-year-old knows the power of a clean logo symbol.

3. Your logo should work well in black and white (one-color printing). If it doesn't look good in black and white, it won't look good it any color. Also keep in mind that printing costs for four-color logos are often greater than that for one- or two-color jobs).

4. Make sure your logo's scalable. It should be aesthetically pleasing in both small and large sizes, in a variety of mediums. A good rule of thumb is the "business card/billboard rule": Your logo should look good on both.

5. Your logo should be artistically balanced. The best way to explain this is that your logo should seem "balanced" to the eye--no one part should overpower the rest. Just as a painting would look odd if all the color and details were segregated in one corner, so do asymmetric logos. Color, line density and shape all affect a logo's balance.
Many logo gurus insist your logo should be designed to last for up to 10 or 15 years. But I've yet to meet a clairvoyant when it comes to design trends. The best way to ensure logo longevity, in addition to the rules I've listed above, is to make sure you love your logo. Don't ever settle for something half-baked.

And once you commit to your logo design, be sure you have it in all three of these essential file formats: EPS for printing, JPG and GIF for your website. Essentially, these file conversions render your logo as a single piece of art-so it's no longer a symbol with a typeface. Which brings us to the most important rule in logo design. . .
Never, ever re-draw or alter your logo! If you want to animate it for your website, fine. But don't change its essence. Reduce and enlarge it proportionally. And if you become tired of your logo, that's good. Because that's usually about the time it's starting to make an impression on everyone else!

Logo Design Pro Tips and Rules

Everything you need to know to craft great logos, from inspiration to execution.

Logo design is all around us. To the general public, logos serve as an instant reminder of a company or a product; to the client they’re the point of recognition on which their branding hangs; and to us designers they represent the challenge of incorporating our clients' ideologies into one single graphic.
No wonder, then, that logo design features so prominently in our lives. In an age where everyone must have a website to support their product, service or the company behind it, the demand for a top-class logo has never been higher.
More examples of logo design are out there than ever before, and with that comes the challenge of being different. How do you create something original that stands out in a sea of identities? And how do we create something quickly while retaining quality?
In this article, we'll first look at the basic principles of creating a logo design and share some pro tips for finessing your process...


01. Learn logo 101

 Apple, London Underground, CBS, WWF, Woolmark, I love NY
Effective logo designs: I Love NY, Apple, London Underground, CBS, WWF, Woolmark
An effective logo is distinctive, appropriate, practical, graphic, simple in form and conveys an intended message. In its simplest form, a logo is there to identify but to do this effectively it must follow the basic principles of logo design:
  • A logo must be simple. A simple logo design allows for easy recognition and allows the logo to be versatile and memorable. Effective logos feature something unexpected or unique without being overdrawn.
  • A logo must be memorable. Following closely behind the principle of simplicity is that of memorability. An effective logo design should be memorable and this is achieved by having a simple yet appropriate logo.
  • A logo must be enduring. An effective logo should endure the test of time. The logo should be 'future proof', meaning that it should still be effective in 10, 20, 50+ years time.
  • A logo must be versatile. An effective logo should be able to work across a variety of mediums and applications.
  • A logo must be appropriate. How you position the logo should be appropriate for its intended purpose. For a more detailed explanation see: What makes a good logo?

02. Establish your own design process

The brand identity design process
The brand identity design process
Every designer has his or her own process, and it is rarely linear, but in general this is how the branding process is completed, which can be used as a guide to establish your own.
  • Design brief. Conduct a questionnaire or interview with the client to get the design brief.
  • Research. Conduct research focused on the industry itself, its history, and its competitors.
  • Reference. Conduct research into logo designs that have been successful and current styles and trends that are related to the design brief.
  • Sketching and conceptualising. Develop the logo design concepts around the brief and research.
  • Reflection. Take breaks throughout the design process. This allows your ideas to mature and lets you get renewed enthusiasm. Receive feedback.
  • Presentation. Choose to present only a select few logos to the client or a whole collection. Get feedback and repeat until completed.

03. Price your work accordingly

"How much?" is the single most frequently asked question and it cannot be easily answered because every company has different needs and expectations. You have to take a number of factors into consideration when designing a logo/brand identity, such as how many concepts need to be presented, how many revisions will be needed, how much research is required, how big the business is and so on.
The best approach is to draw up a customised quote for each client and to do this you should learn how to price your designs, which is another topic in itself.
Jeff Fisher, a notable designer and author, had this great point in his article How Much Should I Charge: "The major point I wish to convey here is that all designers need to work smarter in independently determining what their talent, skill and expertise are worth and charge the client accordingly without question or apology. Being smart in determining what you should charge for your work will hopefully allow you to 'work less, charge more' in the future."

04. Learn from others

the nike swoosh
By knowing what other brands have succeeded in and why they have succeeded gives you great insight and you can apply that attained knowledge to your own work.
For example, let's look at the classic Nike Swoosh (above). This logo was created by Caroline Davidson in 1971 and it's a great example of a strong, memorable logo, being effective without colour and easily scalable.
Not only is it simple, fluid and fast but it also has related symbolism; it represents the wing in the famous statue of the Greek Goddess of Victory, Nike, which is a perfect figure for a sporting apparel business. Nike is just one of many great logos, but think about other famous brands that you know and check out their logos - what makes them successful?
 Shell, Volkswagen, NBC, ABC, Chanel, Rolling Stones
Effective logos: Shell, Volkswagen, NBC, ABC, Chanel, Rolling Stones
For more quality logos, check out Logo Of The Day or go to your local library/book store and check out some branding books. Also be sure to check out some of these logo design process case studies.

05. Avoid the clichés

 Federal Express, IBM, Coca-Cola, CNN, Disney, NASA
Examples of effective logotypes: Federal Express, IBM, Coca-Cola, CNN, Disney, NASA
Light bulbs for 'ideas', speech bubbles for 'discussion', globes for 'international', etc. These ideas are often the first things to pop into one's head when brainstorming, and for the same reason should be the first ideas discarded. How is your design going to be unique when so many other logos feature the same idea? Stay clear of these visual clichés and come up with an original idea and design.
With this said, please do not steal, copy or 'borrow' other designs. Although, this shouldn't have to be said, it happens too often. A designer sees an idea that he likes, does a quick mirror, colour swap or word change, and then calls the idea his own. Not only is this unethical, illegal and downright stupid but you're also going to get caught sooner or later. Do not use stock or clip art either — the point of a logo is to be unique and original.


06. Research your audience

Good logo design doesn't just create something that looks nice - it has to communicate a brand message
Creating a logo design isn't just about creating a pretty visual. What you're doing, or taking part in, is developing a brand and communicating a position. It makes sense, then, that the first step in creating a logo design should be to research these concepts.
Involving the client at this early stage is advised, as your interpretation of their brand may be different from theirs, and it's essential that the message is clear before any actual designing takes place.

07. Immerse yourself in the brand

Hark back to the past, urges Martin Christie of Logo Design London
Before even beginning to sketch out ideas for a logo design, spend some time compiling the equivalent of an M15 dossier on your client's brand: who they are, what they do and what their demographic is.
Look at previous iterations of their logo design and ask yourself what doesn't represent the brand on these. Then compile a 'dos and don'ts' checklist before your creative work starts.
"Check out all the various logos your client has employed since their company was founded," advises Martin Christie of Logo Design London. "This can be particularly interesting if they go back for many decades. You may be able to hark back to the past, if they would like to position themselves as a heritage brand, or you might be able to radically overhaul their original logo into something fresh and futuristic. This has the advantage of built-in continuity even as you present a new image."

08. Keep all your sketches

Old sketches can be a source of new inspiration, suggests Martin Christie
"It’s probably a fair guess that for every logo you design you probably come up with a couple of dozen sketches before you decide which one to develop further," adds Martin Christie. "Never throw away these early ideas; they form a valuable resource.
"Just because one of your early sketches didn’t work for another client, it doesn’t mean it won’t work at all. Go back through what you’ve done and you may find the seed that, with a bit of nurturing, could grow to become the logo you’re looking for.

09. Do your online research

Logo design tips 19
Logo Moose is a great research resource for logo design
Two great starting points for online logo design research are Logo Moose and Logo Gala. One thing to be mindful of is knowing when to stop your logo design research. It's best to look at what did and didn't work out of 10 relevant logo designs than swamp yourself with 50 extraneous ones.
If you’re struggling for ideas, try looking up key words in a dictionary or thesaurus or searching Google images for inspiration. If you keep a sketch book then look at previous drawings – you’re bound to have unused ideas from previous projects, so you may already be sitting on the perfect solution.

10. Fight the temptation to imitate

We all have our design heroes and sometimes we love them so much we want to imitate their styles. Well, they do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. However, in the real world it's just a lazy way to solve a creative problem.
Ask yourself whether the style you're using is appropriate for the client's needs. Do they really want a logo design that has the same typeface Saul Bass used for Quaker Oats in the '70s?

11. Don't let clients dictate

Point 2 does not equate to doing what the client tells you. Look through the brief from your client and begin to ask questions about any vagueness or lazy brief writing you might find there. 'The logo should be iconic' and 'The logo should be memorable' are two extremely clichéd phrases you need to pull your client up about.
A man kicking a chicken dressed as Father Christmas is memorable but for the wrong reasons. So, as with all commissioned design work, you need to manage your client's expectations, set realistic goals and find out what exactly your work needs to convey. Logo designs become iconic and memorable: they're not created that way.

12. Create a board and rip it up

You could research logo designs all day as there are books and websites by the score containing examples of them. Only make mood boards out of ones that share similar values. Look at your mood board and analyse what isn't successful about these logo designs. Then rip those boards up and use these rules as a guide for your own unique creation.


13. Sketch it out

Logo design tips 13
Get the pencil and pad out before switching on your computer. Picture credit: Ben Powell at
With a solid understanding of what needs to be communicated, it’s on to the first sketches: more often than not, these should be the pen and paper kind. This enables you to be experimental and not get caught up in the finer details.
It's tempting to move straight onto the computer first, but Ben Powell advises you resist the urge. "What did you learn to do first, use a computer or a pencil and paper?" he asks rhetorically. "Sketching is a much faster way to produce initial ideas before you even touch Photoshop CC. It doesn't matter if it's complete chicken-scratch sketching as long as it conveys your ideas correctly and you understand it."

14. Create vectors

Logo design tips 15
Vectors are a good 'in-between' stage of logo design. Picture credit: Ben Powell at
After starting with a sketch, some designers then progress to more technical sketches on graph paper. But the best way to save any pain and frustration with later iterations of your logo design is to produce it using vectors. Here Illustrator CC is your friend as you'll be able to rescale your creation without losing any quality.

15. Use smart objects

You can copy and paste your logo design into Photoshop as a 'smart object' (again with no loss of scalable quality), if you need to combine it with other elements.
If you're creating a logo design for screenbased media, be particularly careful of thin lines or very light typefaces. Also consider that different monitors can make text and graphics appear pixelated or rough.


16. Choose your typeface carefully

Logo design tips
Microsoft's new logo design represents a trend towards clear and functional typography
Typography is obviously central to good logo design. You have two main routes to choose from: creating your own custom typeface or adapting an existing one.
If you create a custom typeface, try not to make it too fashionable because it could date quickly. Keep it simple and legible.  Consider the words that you’re depicting - if they’re unusual then a simple typeface might work best; if they’re common words then you can usually be more creative as they’re easier to recognise.

17. Adapt an existing typeface

There's no rule to say you have to create your own typeface, though: consider adapting an existing one.
Removing, extending or joining parts of letters may be enough to make your design unique. It’s amazing how little you need to see of some letters for you to still be able to recognise them.

18. Avoid gimmicky fonts

Don't be tempted to make your logo design stand out by using gimmicky fonts. They're the equivalent of typographic chintz and there's a reason why most of them are free. For sheer professionalism's sake you should avoid them at all costs.
Most gimmicky fonts are too fancy, too weak, and are most likely being used (badly) on a hundred different cheap business cards right now. When it comes to logo design, keep your font choices classic and simple and avoid over-garnishing.

19. Make the type match the brand

Fonts come in all shapes and sizes that resonate differently with strength (slab type fonts, big and powerful); class and style (fonts with elegant scripts or serifs); movement and forward thinking (type that is slanted). It's not about just looking pretty: matching the qualities of the font - be it bespoke or off-the-shelf - to the qualities of the brand is what's important here.

20. Consider a type-only approach

Jiyoung Lee created the logotype for this industrial building firm
You may want to produce a simple execution of a logo design for your client that uses the strength of the typography alone.
Bone up on your typography knowledge by reading this primer and check out the inspired logos designers around the globe have created using type alone here.


21. Think about the space around your logo design

Logo design tips
The British Council has an exclusion zone based on the discs that make up part of its design
Most brand books will specify an exclusion zone. This is an area around the logo design that can’t be occupied by other content, to protect the integrity of the logo (and brand by extension).
When you’re creating a logo design, you need to consider how it should be used. If, for example, your design is intended to be viewed over the top of a photographic image, make sure you present it to the client in that way, and specify that it should be reproduced in this manner each time it’s used.

22. Use negative space effectively

Logo design tips
The FedEx identity is a well-cited example of effective use of negative space in logo design
Some of the best logo designs have hidden meaning in their negative space. A classic example is the Fed Ex logo, which uses the combination of the letters E and x to form an arrow in the negative space. There are many other great examples where a logo design looks ordinary at first glance, but reveals interesting and well-thought-out details on further examination.

23. Don't overdo it

Try to use these principle to add value to your logo design, but as always, don’t add shapes and pictorial elements in negative space just because you can! Remember that you are not trying to appeal to other designers on Dribbble - you're trying to solve a commercial problem and boost a brand amongst its audience.


24. Make your design active, not passive

Logo design tips
Twitter's logo design has morphed from a static bird into one in flight over the years, suggesting motion and movement
If you’re using a device within your logo design that facilitates it, consider adding a sense of movement to your design. This doesn’t mean you need to add cartoon-like motion lines, but rather think about the size, position and rotation of elements within your design.
A fish will look in motion if it’s mid-jump or swim, but will look static if drawn side on as if it’s been mounted on a wall. You also need to take into account the direction of the implied motion.

25. Cultural differences

In the west, motion towards the left of the stage suggests backwards, regressive movement, while motion towards the right feels progressive and forward-thinking. This culture-based understanding is formed because we read from left to right. Things are different in the far East, so make sure you understand where your principal market is.

26. Consider tones as well as colours

Logo designs need to work in black and white as well as colour. If your logo design uses colour to convey meaning, think about how you can reflect that meaning when the colour is removed. Sometimes this may mean changing the contrast relationship between different elements of your design so that they still convey meaning when reproduced in monotones.

27. Be experimental

Logo design tips 16a
Cut & Splice's logo design is ever-morphing and never the same twice
Don't feel you have to be constricted by formal notions of what a logo design is or does. For example, designer Luke Prowse came up with a highly original use of logo and brand identity for music event Cut & Splice, celebrating experimental composer's Karlheinz Stockhausen's Aus dem Seben Tagen.
Playing with the experimental composer's lifetime obsession with 'controlled chance', Luke created a logo design that is never the same twice, both online and digitally printed. In online form the logo design continually morphs and pulsates like an ever-evolving compositional soundscape.
Logo design tips 16b
Another incarnation of the experimental Cut & Splice logo design


28. Don't use more than two fonts

Obviously, there are always going to be exceptions to this rule. But as a general principle, restricting yourself to just one or two typefaces is a good idea if you want your logo design to be clear and uncluttered.

29. Ensure it works on dark backgrounds

YouTube's logo works well against any background, light or dark
The client may be happy seeing your logo design against a white background, but be wary of him coming back a year later saying that the company is producing new marketing material and demand it will work against a dark background too. Sorting that out in advance is never a bad thing. (The same goes for using the logo in monochrome.)

30. Keep abreast of trends

Pay attention to current logo design trends doesn't mean slavishly following them. But in the same way that you need to break the rules, to buck the trend (or start a new one) you need to know what you're up again.

31. Subtract as much as possible

Logo design tips 9
A simple but evocative logo design produced by Luke Prowse for Tempestra Underwear
Subtraction is a great technique for removing redundancy in any creative endeavour. It means continually asking yourself questions that begin with, "Does this logo need...", "Does this make sense?", "Does this match the brief" and "Is this self-indulgent?".
Logo design tips
Over time, most logo designs get simplified - Wendy's recent redesign is a prime example

32. If in doubt, leave it out

If you can't rationalise an element that's part of your logo design, the chances are you need to remove it from the overall piece. When your logo design is at its simplest, it's probably at its strongest.

33. Don't try to do too much

Don't try to make the logo design do too much: it doesn't have to reflect every aspect of the company's history or demonstrate what the product or service is. A computer company's logo design doesn't have to show a computer (Apple's doesn't). A restaurant logo design doesn't have show food (McDonald's) doesn't. Keep it simple.

34. Create a lock up version

Logo design tips 8
The logo design and the slogan have to work in harmony as well as individually
A logo design often comes with a tagline (or strapline) that conveys a brand message. Nike, for example, has its swoosh device with 'Just Do It' usually seen underneath. Both elements can work separately but when they exist together this is referred to as a 'lock up'. It’s when both elements have a sense of cohesion between them.
As these elements can be seen separately the rule to remember is not to rely on the tagline to make sense of the logo design or vice versa. Your logo design doesn’t necessarily have to be a visual representation of the tagline but the two should be equally 'on-brand'.

35. Make your logo design responsive

The demands of responsive web design apply to logos as much as any other web graphics
If your logo design is going to be primarily used on websites and apps, consider how to make it responsive. Simply reducing or enlarging a logo according to its context isn’t always the best solution. As the content area and device capabilities increase, you may need to add extra details to the logo graphic itself. Check out this demo by Anthony Calzadilla to learn more.


36. Create different size versions

Logo design tips 6
Logo designs have to be consistent for all manner of different applications. Picture credit: Ben Powell at
Your logo design is amazing, beautiful, and stunning... but only on your 24in full HD monitor. Shrink that baby down to 100 pixels and what have you got? A little undecipherable splodge.
Experiment with your designs at different sizes. If you’ve already got
them on your computer, zoom in and out to see if they work as tiny icons or when they’re full screen.

37. Make it legible

Most clients need a vector version of the logo design in order to be able to scale it up, cut it out and colour separate it. Equally, you need something that will be legible in lowest denominator media such as newsprint, and work online and on mobile devices.
Once you have something, print it out. Print variations in type weight and style, as well as inverted versions of your logotype and mark. Print large versions and paste them to the wall or lay them out on the floor. Look at them for as much time as it takes to really let things sink in.

38. Create non-print variants

As well as print you need to come up with variants that show how it can work on computer screens, mobile devices and other "real world" uses, whether on a uniform or a billboard at Old Trafford.
Show all these variations to your clients to indicate how you’ve thought things through how (if needed) their logo design could be used or teeny-tiny on a business franked letter.
Think about creating an insignia version of the logo design for when it occupies small spaces, and perhaps a clear and a greyscale version. This will go a long way to proving to your client they're getting value for money and a logo design that can be used everywhere.
Logo design tips
Your logo design may need to be altered to work on different media, such as being reproduced in cotton embroidery
It’s quite common to have a slightly different version of a logo design for reproduction on clothing. The best way to get this right is to talk to an embroiderer, shoe-manufacturer, etc, as appropriate.

39. Make it future-proof

Logo design tips 4
Redesign and re-invigoration of the Times Newspaper supplement times2 created by Luke Prowse alongside art director Neville Brody and their in-house editorial team
Most logo designs are used for years, so be careful not to use ‘of the moment’ typefaces or styles that may date quickly. Don’t to be too literal either: a company selling records today might be flying people to space in 25 years.
Most identities such as Shell and Kellogg's have changed over time but have kept timeless brand elements whilst subtly 'refreshing' or modernising their typography. There should be elements to the logo design that are enduring but be mindful that other aspects of it may need to be adapted in the future for as-yet-unknown visual formats.


40. Don't confuse 'logo' with 'brand'

Logo design tips 1
Part of the 'bigger picture' for the use of the Wolff Olins 2012 Olympic Games logo design
'A logo isn't just the brand' is the most common tip to remember when creating a company's identity.
The 2012 Olympic Games logo design by Wolff Olins was universally mocked when released in 2007. Mostly this was due to media restrictions which meant they couldn't explain or show how this logo design was going to be used as part of the successful London 2012 games brand and not necessarily in isolation.
If you’re presenting a logo design which is mostly going to be seen 'locked up' with a strapline or connected to another visual device then show examples of this in your initial presentation.

41. Get the tone right

Logo design tips 2
An example of three type treatments by Luke Prowse - authoritative, friendly and fun
Imagine you were looking online for an accountant and come across a firm called Harewood's Accounting Services which had a logo design made up of a weedy serif font and an image of a hare sat on a plank of wood. You'd doubt whether this crowd were worth taking seriously. This fictitious company could well have multiple awards and reams of happy solvent customers, but such a logo design wouldn’t inspire any trust or admiration for the services they offer.
A logo design represents a business's professionalism and poor visual jokes don't work. Use fonts which sum up the 'brand mood'.


42. Show your logo design around

Logo design tips 11
Kudawara's logo design was memorable for the wrong reasons
Quite a few of us will remember the Japanese pharmacy a few years ago whose logo design received worldwide recognition for being unintentionally rather saucy. You of course could argue that the logo is fine and there are a lot of people in the world with dirty minds. But let's get real: how this got through final client approval is anyone's guess.
After you've completed your logo design, send it round to your mates and family for a bit of feedback. Look at it sideways, look at it upside down and reverse it. Look at it every which way you can. Then send it to the client. You wouldn't want another Kudawara on your hands would you?

43. Stick to your convictions

Logo design tips 12
Regular client feedback is crucial to avoid wasting everyone's time. Picture credit: Ben Powell at
Sheffield-based graphic and UI designer Ben Powell suggests: "It's so important to get regular feedback from your client, but equally important that you make it clear you are the designer and that’s why you've been employed.
"As soon as a client begins suggesting things like, 'Let's make that text a bit bigger, and try this typeface', your mark becomes diluted. It's your job as the designer to make this clear from the start."

44. Ask the client specific questions

When your logo design is finished, try not to ask vague questions to your client such as, "Do you like it?", or, "What do you think?". You may as well ask if they like apples or oranges.
Questions you should ask include: "Does it meet the brief?" amd "Does this represent your core brand values?". If they avoid the question and just say they don't like it, ask for specifics. After all it's their brand and they should know.

45. Test it internationally

If you can, show it to as many different nationalities as possible, especially for a logo that is going to be used globally. You never know whether something that looks completely innocent in one culture may look unintentionally rude, offensive, or both in another. For example, in 1998, the Nike Air Bakin made national headlines when Arab-American groups thought the way “Air” was written on the shoe looked too similar to “Allah” written in Arabic.

46. Check for hidden words

 WeightWatchers logo
Some people spotted a rude word when the WeightWatchers logo went all-lowercase
Often when a logo is stylised in a certain way - such as all the letters being the same case - it can spell out words that were not intended to be read.

47. Expect your logo redesign to be panned

At Creative Bloq, we regularly report on new logo designs for well known brands, and one thing that's surprised us is that immediate feedback is normally at least 80 per cent negative. People don't like change and react strongly to it. But don't worry - it's not a bad reflection on your work, it's just innate conservatism. Sooner or later they'll get used to, and then grow to like, your logo. And when it eventually gets redesigned again, they'll react just as strongly against that!


48. Create a logo style guide

Logo design tips
The Channel 4 style guide explains in detail how its logo design can and can't be used
Style guides determine the way a logo design can be used and usually include colour options, size restraints, positioning, typefaces and how the logo design works on different backgrounds. Check out any of these design style guides for a great example of the sort of guide you should be aiming to set up.

49. Dictate colour options

A style guide should illustrate all possible colour options for a logo design. It should include any Pantone colours used with a breakdown for CMYK and RGB. Other options to include are: colour and mono logo designs on white, colour and mono on black and colour and mono on an image background.

50. Specify sizes

Some logo designs only work down to a certain size. This might be because they become illegible or simply lose their impact. Specify the minimum size for your logo design and bear in mind how it looks on screen as this may differ from a printed version. Offer an alternative in pixels.

51. Advise on positioning

The positioning of your logo design may not be required in a style guide, but depending on the style and shape of your design there may be a position that you think works best. For example, text that’s ranged right might look best on the right-hand side of the page.

52. Advise on spacing

Give consideration to the amount of space around a logo design and try to explain this without using units of measurement. For example, the space below the logo design should be a quarter of its width. This ensures that whatever size the logo design is used at, the correct space can be calculated easily.

53. Define no-nos

If there are any ways that your logo design should not be used then make sure you specify them. The main reason for a style guide is to ensure the appearance of your logo design remains consistent, so explain how the logo should not be misinterpreted and illustrate your points with examples.


54. Download the logo design flowchart

Logo design tips
Download the flow chart to improve your logo design process
Still not sure where to begin with logo design? No problem. Deliver winning logo designs every time by following the step-by-step processes in Johnson Banks' foolproof flowchart.
Right click this link to download the logo design flowchart (PDF)

55. Why you should avoid plagiarism

If you rip off others, Logo Thief will find you out!
There are obvious ethical reasons not to plagiarise other people's designs, not to mention the potential threat to your reputation if you're discovered. And if you think nobody will notice, then think again. There are a number of people who've made it their hobby to seek out logo rip-off merchants, and some of the worst offenders can be found out on Logo Thief - find out more about this fascinating website here.

56. Free template for social media

This template will help you design for social media platforms
Sometimes, fitting your logo into the square format that most social media platforms use can cause your design to be altered, cut or otherwise not turn out as planned. So Wickie Media have come up with this free Photoshop template to ease your logo design woes.
The template enables you to preview what your logo will look like on a variety of social media platforms. It's a Photoshop CC document, and with the Image assets generator you can live-export all the needed files to upload your avatar and cover art for all your social media websites to create a consistent look.

57. The psychology of logo shapes

The logo shapes used by big brands aren't chosen by chance. Whether your design is based on circles, triangles or other shapes can benefit from a keen understanding on the psychology of shapes. There's a great primer here from Martin Christie of Logo Design London.

58. The psychology of logo colours

Understanding the psychology of colours is also vital to designing an effective logo. The use of colour can bring multiple layers of meaning, from primitive responses based on millions of years of evolved instinct to the complex associations we make based on learned assumptions. Learn how these principles can be applied to logo design in this article.

59. Be inspired by the best

See the evolution of some of the world's greatest marks in this top book
The 50 Best Logos Ever is a definitive guide to the greatest identity work ever created. Even if you only have a passing interest in graphic design, it’s fascinating to see what the BP logo looked like in 1930, or to chat about how the Coca-Cola identity has evolved (or not) over the past 125 years.
Ever wondered how the Penguin logo started its life? Or what Shell's logo looked like in 1901? Then this is the book for you. Over 180 premium pages, the book dissects the world's greatest examples of logo design, showing their origins, their evolutions and interviewing the designers behind them - including Rob Janoff (Apple) and Lindon Leader (FedEx). It all adds up to a fascinating reference book on the best known marks ever created.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Are Leaders Born or Made? A True Story

Which came first the chicken or the egg? To be or not to be? Nature versusNurture?
Can we finally put this age old argument to rest and come to a conclusion.
Leadership: “Exercising of influence over others on behalf of the leader's purposes, aims or goals. “

Leaders are born not made:

Great Man theory and Trait theories believe that people inherit certain qualities and traits that make them better suited to leadership.
To suggest that leaders do not enter the world with extraordinary endowment is to imply that people enter the world with equal abilities, with equal talents.” (Thomas Carlyle 1840)
There are certain inborn characteristics that predispose people to be and become leaders. There is a significant difference between “learning a skill” and mastering one, in the same way that others are born with amazing musical gifts or athletic talents. They will excel naturally in these areas but others would be like a fish out of water and may struggle to get to the same point.
Born (natural) Leaders are different to made (artificial leaders). All remarkable leaders have great history behind them. They were leaders from the onset of their journey.
If leaders were solely born what is the point of the rest of us studying leadership or management?
Birth is a natural process and the notion to associate leadership with it is arguable.

Leaders are made not born:

Behavioral Theories believe that people can become leaders through the process of teaching, learning and observation. Leadership is a set of skills that can be learned by training, perception, practice and experience over time. Leadership learning is lifetime activity. Good leaders seek out development opportunities that will help them learn new skills.
The military embraces this doctrine which is evident through its leadership training programme.
Can enrolling for a programme on management and leadership makes someone a leader upon completion? Can Charisma, Influence,Integrity and the ability to Inspire be taught? Will the granting of a certificate and a few letters after one’s name make them a leader?
Soft skills can be explained, but not implanted. The ability to share your vision takes more than a sophisticated PowerPoint presentation and some crisp words on a bunch of 4x6 cards.
Leadership can be learned by anyone with the basics. But an awful lot of leadership cannot be taught. Some do well but others find themselves poorly equipped rendering mediocre results.

The Verdict:

Leadership is an art rather than a science. It is a set of innate traits, refined and perfected over time with education, training and experience.
There is also an aspect of being in the right place in the right time. You may be a leader but also a matter of whether or not you are in the position within which your talents can shine forth.
The discussion about leadership also needs to identify the location as well as the environment. Are we speaking about these major performers (born or made) in a small organization, in an industry, in a society, in a country or in the world?
If the fear of leading overrides the willingness to take on the responsibilities then one is a follower. Not everyone can be a leader just like not everyone can become a good actor. Some people will never have that aspect in them while others have the latent ability and thus can be taught how to lead. All the books, classes education and training cannot turn a follower into a leader.
To be a leader in a structured environment, one needs some formal training. Most people can learn to manage well, start a business, lead a project team since good management is based on rules - rules that can be learned and mastered.
Leadership is often a Choice. A leader is a person who comes forward to take the challenge. If a leader rises up from the multitude, then that person was already a leader to begin with. Should someone have all the best training, nurturing and opportunities, but would rather be hidden in the crowd, an unwilling participant...not a leader.
Leadership styles varies with maturity, followers and situations.
In the GLOBE research across 60 countries leader attributes conclusions were thus: “Integrity; charisma, inspirational, visionary, encouraging, positive, confidence builder, dynamic, foresight, effective team building, communicating, coordinating, decisive, intelligent, and win-win problem solver,” These attributes are a combination of personality, character, skill, communicative ability, and emotional intelligence. Therefore a leader is born, developed, skilled in communications, and cultivated through life experiences.
The best estimates offered by research is that leadership is about one-third born and two-thirds made.
It all depends on how one defines leadership. It is possible for either. Depending on how you define leadership everyone can lead and be a leader.
Perhaps we should seek to quantify leaders rather than qualify.
Remarkable Leaders would include the likes of Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr, Aung San Suu Kyi…etc. Individuals that seek neither wealth nor fame, selfless, loved justice, passionate about people and worked for the greater good of others.
In studying leadership, the theories can be overwhelming. It is evident you cannot really support a side and negate the other. Although there are thousands of books, decade’s worth of well documented studies, the debate can go on forever without converging to a logical conclusion.
That’s why I would like to share a true story. Well, my story.

The Story:

From the time I was little, all the elderly villagers (who have long past) would tell my mother “This child is different”. I was always focused and driven and had a passion and desire to lead. I was not born with a golden spoon or a silver spoon or any other spoon for that matter. Things were extremely tough growing up. I am actually the only one in all my relatives to have attained undergraduate education. My mother is now taking literacy classes, and I am so proud of her.
I remember two moments quite vividly from my early childhood. The first was having a conversation with my mother when I was around 5 years and telling her I wanted to go to school. But at that time she could not afford to send me. The second was playing marbles around 7 or 8 years with a neighbour and hearing his mother whispering to him, “Why are you playing with Brigette. She is so serious.” I was just persistent and well competitive.
Whilst most of the people in my community accepted being a victim of circumstances and floated downstream, I instinctively paddled upstream against the prevailing currents. Was it hard? “Yes”. Was it lonely? “Yes”. Did I get depressed? “Yes”. Yet, I was compelled to keep moving forward. Thank God!
I believe there must be some deep rooted spark if not an intense fire within.Are leaders born OR made? I beg to differ and shift the gauge to read both. Leaders are both born and made.
The Pareto principle 80:20 (80% is made and 20% is born) whilst past research suggests that leadership is 30 percent genetic and 70 percent a result of lessons learned. As to how the percentage is divided between both born and made, I think it is subject to individual circumstances.

Alternative content