Once your clients agreed the logo you’ve designed what files should you be sending? As a professional logo designer you need to provide the logo in a number of formats for web and print, as well as colour variations and configurations to ensure the logo you’ve designed is versatile.
In this episode Ian interviews Michael Bruny-Groth to learn how to create a comprehensive logo package, and the file types and formats that you should be including. We also learn about the story behind logo package express, an illustrator plugin designed by Michael to speed up the process of preparing a logo package.
Resources & Books Mentioned
- Logo Package Express
- Designing Products People Love by Scott Hurff. Buy on Amazon UK | Amazon US
- 30×500 – A course to help you create predictable, repeatable sales.
- Astute Graphics
Michael Bruny-Groth Interview Transcription
Ian Paget: To kick off our discussion, can you talk through what files graphic designers should ideally be sending clients once they’ve completed their logo?
Michael Bruny-Groth: Yeah, certainly. I think that there’s a set of files from which to choose, and you don’t always have to choose all of those files. But they’re definitely all worth considering. So I guess the first way to them would be between vector formats and what would be called raster or bitmap files.
And the bitmap files are the JPEGs, PNGs. They aren’t scalable, you can’t print them out at any size and have them look nice. And then there’s the vector file formats. And vector file formats are something that you can scale up. You can print it at the size of a billboard or the size of a business card and it’s the same file. So you definitely want to provide your clients both with a vector format at least, and a raster format, because those raster or bitmap files, which don’t scale are good for the web, things like their websites, their social media.
So as far as what those file formats actually are, the vector formats that you can provide are your native design file, whether you use illustrator or you use something like affinity designer, there will be sort of a file that that program puts out automatically. I guess Inkscape would probably be another logo design tool that maybe people are using for free. But for the purposes of this, I’ll just refer to it as like an illustrator file.
An then there’s a PDF. PDF is great because pretty much anybody can open a PDF and look at it. And if you’re a designer you can open a PDF up in your design program and take a look at the file and edit it.
And then the last, EPS which stands for Encapsulated PostScript I believe is also a vector format. You might check me on that, but you can save things in an EPS that are vector or raster. But EPS, if saved properly will also scale up like a vector.
And then SVG is the vector format for the web. So those are all the vector formats.
Ian Paget: I’ve always liked to describe raster files as… they’re built up of pixels. So if you scale it above a certain size, you begin to see the pixels, and vector files, they’re made of mathematical points, and because of that you can scale them indefinitely, which is the reason why it’s primarily recommended for logo design.
Sorry, I’ll let you carry on.
Michael Bruny-Groth: That’s absolutely right. And that’s a good way to think about it. One is using math, and the other one is using the pixels on your screen.
But the raster versions that you should be sending are JPEG and a PNG. And the differences between the JPEG and the PNG, I mean there’s a lot of differences, but the important differences are that a JPEG always has to be saved with a background, it doesn’t matter what your file looks like. If you save a JPEG, it’s going to have a white background. So if you needed to put the logo on something like a colour background, that white box would always be behind it.
But a PNG has transparency. So in that case, only the artwork in the file, the logo itself, takes up any space and then the empty space around the logo is transparent, so you can put that over top of a colour or an image and the background will show through.
That’s a summary of the file types that you should be providing.
I will say there’s another file type that sometimes people consider. I don’t really think you need to use it anymore, but it’s a TIFF file. And the TIFF file, the way I think about the TIFF file is it’s like a Photoshop file for everybody because TIFF files can save layer information. But really it just ends up being another raster file, pixel based that people don’t really need. And you have your basis covered with JPEG and PNG. So I wouldn’t worry about TIFF files.
Ian Paget: Yeah, I totally agree with that because I would say a lot of the time the TIFF file would be for print purposes. And in those instances you should be able to use any of the vector based files, or if for whatever reason the software doesn’t accept it, you can use the JPEG file. So you’re right. I don’t think it is needed.
Michael Bruny-Groth: Yeah. I absolutely think that you should leave it out, but if you need to or if a client requests it it’s not going to hurt anything.
Ian Paget: Yeah, definitely. I’m just thinking as well, when working on a logo you’d ideally want to make sure that the design can be used in a number of different instances. Say you’d want to provide a number of different variations of that logo. Can you talk a little bit more about that as well?
Michael Bruny-Groth: Certainly. So we’ve talked about what file formats for logo design, but maybe you’re only thinking of that as “here’s my final logo”, it’s a blue circle next to some black type. But you have to provide the logo in a way that it can exist in different contexts.
And what that means is that you might have different colour schemes. So you could have that full colour standard logo, the way that it’s normally meant to be presented. But then there’s other times where you may need… Take a restaurant for example, or a fast food restaurant. Maybe they have their logo printed on napkins. And those napkins are the standard brown napkin, and they can only accept one colour. So in that case, you might want to just provide a logo that’s one colour, being black. So an all black logo.
And then tons of websites they have colour in their footers or they have photos that they want to put their logo on top of. And sometimes the logo is going to look better just as all white in those circumstances. So you can call that an all white version, or I refer to it as a reversed version of the file. And those all white files show up in lots of places too. So I would say at the bare minimum, what you have to give your client is that full colour version, the standard logo, the way you designed it. A totally black version, and a totally white version. And then you can build out from there.
Another file colour scheme that you might want to give is, what we might call an inverted version, where some elements of the logo are still in colour and other elements are white. And typically that would be your logo mark, the thing that you think of as an icon or the graphical element of the logo. Maybe in colour, but then the typography is in white. And this is sometimes just a sexier way to present a logo on top of a colour. So sometimes people want to make those as well. And I think that’s all the colour scheme variants. But there’s also different layouts for logos as well.
Ian Paget: Just before you go onto that, I just want to add, with white versions, when you put black on white and then you put the exact same object, white on black, you can get this weird optical illusion called irradiation phenomenon…
Michael Bruny-Groth: Color vibration.
Ian Paget: … not specifically, it’s to do with the contrast, white on black, The objects can look bigger, so something that I do, and it depends on the logo, sometimes you need to slightly tweak the white version of the logo when it’s going to be on a high contrast colour, and sometimes there’s instances where the logo inverted almost looks like a negative, like a photo negative.
One example I can think of is the lion of the FIFA logo. If you look at the inverted version of that it isn’t the exact same copy of the black version. It’s a modified variant that works on dark colours. So the face itself, if you was actually to switch it over without doing that it would look wrong because all the colours are wrong and the face doesn’t work how it should.
That’s one of the best examples I’ve seen of inverting that logo. So sometimes, if the logo just doesn’t work in white on black, or if you do get that weird optical illusion I mentioned, it’s worth tweaking that white version of the logo just so that it works in every situation, don’t just simply convert it to white and go with it as it is.
Michael Bruny-Groth: Oh yeah, no, I absolutely agree. And I understand what you’re saying now, where the shapes sometimes, like you can think about a mascot logo or something like that. The shapes do not fill in and look correct. Like if you would imagine, say an eyeball or something like that, if the pupil part of an eyeball is white instead of black, that doesn’t look right…
Ian Paget: Yes. It looks weird. But there’s also some instances where the objects actually look larger than they should be. See below example.
Michael Bruny-Groth: Yeah, certainly. So that’s something to consider when you’re making those different versions is, does it still maintain the look and feel that you’re hoping for with your primary logo?
Ian Paget: Yeah, exactly. And just before I interrupted you started talking about, I think it was different layouts. Do you want to carry on from where I interrupted?
Michael Bruny-Groth: Okay, yeah. I was going to say that sometimes there are different orientations or layouts that I call configurations of a logo.
I’ll just use my really standard, blue circle on the left and type, that’s your standard logo. That might be your horizontal layout or configuration for the logo. But then you may also have a stacked version or a vertical version where now blue circle is centered above the type. And sometimes brands just need this because they have so many contexts in which their logo lives and the logo has to fit in a more vertical place or in a more horizontal place. So that is yet again another type of variation that you might have to provide your clients with.
Or sometimes the logo might not change its orientation, but perhaps in some contexts the logo has a trademark or a registered trademark. And in other contexts it doesn’t. So you need to be conscious of all of those different contexts. And I’ve even seen people do logo variations where they know the logo is going to have to be really small. And so some elements start to get lost or the typography runs together. So they have another version of their logo for very small uses or very large uses where they have curved the type differently or they’ve made a stroke thicker or something like that. So there’s tons of different variations to consider.
Ian Paget: Yeah. I’ve only ever seen those tiny versions on really big brands, the ones that are investing millions of pounds in their business because sometimes like you said, those details when you go down really tiny you lose it or the weight of the actual object is optically too large. So if there’s like intricate details like an internal star or something like that, when you get really tiny you lose the detail. So I’ve seen people almost make the whole body of the actual logo thinner so that it works. And again, I’ve seen a number of different examples (see below).
I’m also thinking about the configurations that you mentioned. I tend to refer to them as lockups, but the idea is the same. The real benefit of that is a lot of people talk about logo designs being versatile, and being able to have different configurations or different lockups allow for that logo to be extremely versatile, which is why I tend to favour logos that have an icon with separate texts because you can really mix it up and swap it around so that you got that for a number of different instances. But the amount of lockups you do is dependent on the design you.
Typically off the top of my head, you might have an icon to the left, text to the right icon at the top and a text below. You can do different configurations of that, but that tends to be the standard.
Was there anything else that you wanted to add with the logo files? I think you pretty much covered it.
Michael Bruny-Groth: There is one more thing which is pretty important. Especially with the example you just gave of lockups that have elements that can be separated from each other, an icon and a logo type.
Another way that you can make logos very versatile is to actually be able to split apart the different components. I call them components, but the different pieces that make up the logo.
So in our example of having an icon and then having typography, there may be instances, say you have a mobile app or something, and you want to use just the icon part of the logo for that mobile app.
Well, the clients are going to need a file that is just the logo mark or the icon. And then there may be instances where the full logo doesn’t really lend itself well to being in the header of a website or the footer of a website. And so you just want to have the logo type.
There’s clients that will have any different number of reasons to want to separate these things. So that’s another thing to consider, do I need to provide the client with the different pieces of the logo as their own files for these other different circumstances?
Ian Paget: Yeah. I just want to quickly say within this conversation we’ve jumped between using icon and symbol, and I can imagine that there’s some listeners that are probably saying, “you’re using the wrong terms”, but in general they do mean the same thing. Although in logo design, technically it should be a symbol rather than an icon, because an icon has a different use. But I just wanted to put that in there, because I know that there might be people listening thinking you’re using that word wrong.
Michael Bruny-Groth: Of course. And then there’s monograms which are letters and all sorts of different things. But basically the graphic that represents an idea, versus the type that says the literal name of the company.
Ian Paget: Yeah, exactly. Well, so far this sounds like an awful lot of files. And if you plan to send a comprehensive kit of files to clients, which most professional logo designers do, it’s something that can take a couple of hours to prepare.
Where I’ve been leading to with this conversation is that Michael’s created a solution to really speed up and automate the whole process of creating files. So I’d love for you to tell us a little bit more about that if you can?
Michael Bruny-Groth: Okay. I would love to talk about that myself. It’s occupied all of my time for the last eight months. So I’m really happy that you’re giving me opportunity to talk about it. Yes, absolutely.
So some people, their clients aren’t super picky and they just need a few files. That’s okay. There’s a whole breadth of experience out there, but as Ian said, if you’re really trying to give your client every possible thing that they could need a really robust kit or package of logos, it can take an hour or more. You can imagine a university or something like that where they just have tons of different variations of their logo. I spoke to one woman who had to make 4000 logo files for a university product, not product but project that she was doing.
So the product that I have made is an Adobe Illustrator extension called Logo Package Express. And it automatically generates all these variations that we’ve been talking about. It separates all the different components that we’ve been talking about, the symbol, the type, even tag-lines. And then it automatically recolours them in all the different colour schemes that we’ve been talking about. And this sort of generation of all those variations happens in about two seconds. And then from there, you can just export the files. Export can take a minute or two. And essentially you can get 200 or more logo files automatically generated without you doing much work at all in anywhere from two to five minutes using this extension Logo Package Express.
Ian Paget: I have to say it’s absolutely amazing, because I’ve been designing logos for quite a few years now and the actual preparation of the files has always taken anywhere from an hour depending on how comprehensive the kit is. But it’s a lot of time. And also sometimes you do get user error. I’ve had the situation where I’ve accidentally saved a JPEG as PSD file. So when Michael told me about the product that he was working on, it blew my mind because I was like, “Oh my God, why hasn’t Adobe added in something like this already” where you just click a button and everything sorts itself into files automatically. So for me it’s been absolutly incredible because on every single project I’m saving at least an hour.
So I want to dive into this more. I’d love to find out from you, how did you come up with this idea, and could you tell us a little bit more about the journey that you’ve been through to get to the product that you currently have now?
Michael Bruny-Groth: Yeah, absolutely. My girlfriend is sick of hearing about it, so I am happy to share it with all of you guys.
So basically, without getting into ancient history, I was a freelance designer and I had two major contracts. One of the contracts had fallen through, and I had made a little bit of a cushion for myself where I could take some time to explore personal projects. So I started reading a book called Designing Products People Love and it’s by a designer named Scott Hurff.
So I started reading this book, and within the first chapter or so the biggest point was simply, don’t think that you have a good idea for something that you would like, that anybody else is going to buy it or think it’s interesting. Instead do some solid research. Find out what people are talking about, what they need, what they want. And the book then led me to another resource, which was Amy Hoy and Alex Hilman, and they have a class that they teach called 30×500, which is all about this concept of making small products and building a business around that.
And their technique is called sales safari. And basically what it is is instead of going up to your friends, or even people you think might be customers and saying, “Hey, what do you need? What do you think about?” Because they’re not going to have an answer. Instead they say that you should go to forums. You should go to places online where people freely talk, think about like Reddit or Stack Exchange. Those sorts of blogs.
People are asking questions. That’s why they’re there, if they’re having problems. And if you can go through and find out problems that people are consistently having, not only are you going to find something that people are willing to buy, if you can think of an idea for how to solve their problem, but you’re also going to see how they talk about it and what words they use around it.
And that makes it really easy to craft messaging when you ultimately make your product. It makes it really to talk to those people. So dragging it out didn’t mean to make it that long. But essentially what I did is I went to forums. I found out that people mainly didn’t know what logo files to give their clients, which we’re talking about on this podcast. So it’s obviously something that people often wonder about.
So my brain went to, I can tell them what files they need, or I could make something that automatically creates the files that they need. And that’s what got me started on the path to where I ultimately ended up.
When I began, I didn’t know how to code, especially not the type of code you need to make an Adobe illustrator extension. But I did know how to make actions. I did know how to modify like script files that other people had written. So I created my first version of Logo Package Express, which was templates, actions and scripts for illustrator. And then a tutorial that taught people how to do it.
And I did get the process down to around five to 10 minutes to make a lot of logo files, but I wasn’t sure that when I launched I’d been trying to market the product and communicate about it. And when I launched that first time, which was October of 2018, I only had two people buy the product. And then by the time three months had rolled by, I’d had four people buy it, and I was starting to feel like, I think this is a good idea, but nobody else is seeing it.
And I had just about given up, but I made a sort of like last ditch holiday sale and a friend, I didn’t know who he was then, but now he’s a friend, named Arun, shared this product because he saw me post about it. He shared Logo Package Express with Ian. And Ian actually reached out to me and was totally willing to help me get this in front of a wider audience.
And due to that, I was able to validate the fact that people wanted this, they just needed to see it. And that gave me the confidence to move forward with the next step of making an actual Adobe illustrator extension that is just miles ahead of the first version of the product that I had. So thank you.
Ian Paget: Yeah, no worries. You’re welcome. I would say the first time I saw that product, even though it was only actions and scripts, which to be honest, any designer who’s able to create actions could prepare something similar themselves. And I think that was your real challenge. But the actual need it was solving was absolutely amazing.
I’ve used those actions and scripts now for a couple of months and even that as it was, that made my life so much easier, because it drastically reduced down the amount of time. Just using Art Boards.
For anyone that doesn’t want to buy the product, you can actually use Art Boards and separate them and export our art boards into different file formats. I heard people do that before, but it couldn’t work out at the time. But you created a product that had the Art Boards already in there, you press play on the actions palette, it copied the logo into all the art boards. You’d make a few tweaks, it ran through a script, it exported all the files, and then you created another little separate tool that sorted them into folders.
So for me that that reduced the process from taking an hour, and being at an extremely boring job, to something that took five minutes, and when you’re working as a freelancer, time is money. So something that I was charging an hour or two for, now took me five minutes. So when I was spending those two hours doing that previously, now I could just click a couple of buttons and then go downstairs and have dinner and be quite happy that I’ve finish that a lot faster than I used to.
So I reached out to you that time because I thought “this product is amazing”. And when you told me about the next step, which was turning that into an actual extension built into illustrator, that blew my mind. It’s like, this is so cool, and I knew that people would be really interested in it, which is why I wanted to talk about this.
So in terms of your story, you’ve got to where you created those actions and scripts. Can you carry on with where you went from there to actually start building the actual extension?
Michael Bruny-Groth: Yeah, I can certainly do that. Two things I would like to say in addition to what we’ve already talked about is, I’ve left out a major feature so far in my description of the tool, which is that it also names all of these files for you with like a really simple to follow naming structure. And it sorts all of those files into a folder structure that’s going to be really easy for your client to understand.
So you might’ve been thinking, well, what am I going to do with 200 files? I’ve got to put these all in folders. That doesn’t save me any time, but it actually automatically sorts in names, everything as well.
The other thing is that, since I was a freelancer, I was kind of thinking that this would be useful for freelancers, but the same thing applies to agencies. If an agency can get their designers off a time sucking production task, like making a logo package, they can get more billable hours out of that designer too. So it’s also something that agencies will want to take a look at.
But picking up the story. So the next step was, I’ll just be transparent with some numbers. As soon as I made $1000 in sales off of what I call the bundle version of Logo Package Express, I knew that I could continue to get money from it and therefore I could make the investment of hiring a developer, because I believe I could’ve figured it out with about two or three years of my time to learn everything that’s involved. And maybe. But I would have rather been just making money from designing cool websites and logos and things like that for clients instead of really just working away at learning code.
So I decided to hire a developer. And the search process was not extensive. I went to the sort of forums that I’d been using back when I was learning how to make the scripts for the original version. And I just kind of asked some of the most helpful people who they knew. Because if you ask somebody directly, say like, hey, I have this project, I would like you to do it. You could them to say yes. But if you ask somebody, hey, do you know anybody? Then that gives them an opportunity to say, yeah, I know me, I’ll do it. Or to say, yeah, I know somebody really great because that person might have a lot on their plate. And then the fact that you’ve asked them about it, maybe they’ll just ignore you because they have a lot on their plate.
But if they can refer you to somebody else, then they’ll often do it. So that was my approach and I got a few names. I reached out, I got a few estimates and I went with the one that made most business sense for me, but also that I was highly confident that this developer would be able to create the extension, and I would love to be able to give him the credit he deserves.
His name is Trevor, he goes by Trevor, and his website is creative-scripts.com so if you guys are looking for extensions for yourself or whatever, reach out to him. He’s amazing. But we started working together, and I’d given him the proposal and my sort of outline. And I was thinking about things as a designer, especially a freelance designer who kind of runs his own business. I was thinking, okay, I’m going to make all of the mockups. I’m going to make the design of this, we’re going to make the user flow, we’re going to get all of that stuff settled first and then we’ll start development.
Because I didn’t want his development time to be wasted, while he kind of had a different approach. He was thinking, I know there are things that this has to do, so I will just write those functions in the meantime, because they’re absolutely going to have to happen. And what ended up happening was this really interesting collaboration, because both of us had a vision, but both of us were compromising too. And so he would implement what he thought was the best way to sort of have the users create these logo packages. And I would have my sort of grand idea for this really nice interface, and we’d come together and we’d find out what was actually very important from his side and what was very important from my side. And we totally came up with a much better product that’s way simpler than what my original idea was because of it.
And I want to say we started in January, with the expectation that we’d be done by March. And it just kept going and going and going. I mean, it was always really productive, but you just never can really, if it’s your first product anyways, really sort of nail down how much time and effort it’s going to take. So we were ready to go to Beta by the middle of April. I had a list of people who wanted to help me test it.
If you’re ever going to make something for people, I highly recommend you have strangers and people of different abilities test it for you. You’re going to find some stuff you would’ve never thought of. But they tested, we found about 10 or 11 things that could be improved. We made those improvements, and then just hustled until the launch date that I had picked, which was May sixth. And now it’s out and everyone is loving it and yeah.
Ian Paget: Yeah. Like I said, it’s an absolutely amazing product. I think you’ve solved a problem that I didn’t really see as a problem. And you’ve saved me a lot of time, so logo designers, it’s around a hundred dollars, but it will save you hours. An hour or so on every single project that you ever do.
If you are the type of professional graphic designer who are creating a comprehensive kit for your clients, and if you are a logo designer and you’re currently not doing that, I would highly recommend to start doing sp. And this product will significantly speed up that process.
Like I said, I’ve been doing this for a number of years and when Michael told me about this product, I just thought it was an absolutely fantastic idea and I’m really grateful that you’ve created it because it’s saved me already, just from those scripts that you originally created, it’s saved me hours. So I really hope that people will start to download and use it.
And also, I would say you sharing this story, it’s inspiring for anyone that wants to start creating products, because as a graphic designer or developer, or however you see yourself, a lot of the time I trade my time for money. So clients come to me, they need something, I’ll create it and then I send it to them. But you’ve created a product that will be a passive income for you ongoing and you should have a stable income pretty much for the rest of your life now that you’ve created that thing.
The idea is to create a product once and then you can sell it multiple times, once you covered your costs, you can make a passive income.
Michael Bruny-Groth: It’s called a passive income, and it certainly is more passive than trying to get clients and working your hours for them and billing. But, your product will never succeed no matter how good it is unless you put those hours into writing really good copy and writing good emails and having ways for people to get on, because your blog… logo geek is essentially a product.
Ian Paget: Yeah, you’re right. Even though it’s a service that I’m trading time for money, I have to constantly work on my copywriting and blog.
But the beauty of creating a product is that you’ll create money whilst your sleeping. It’s something that I’d like to do at some point, creating a product, as once you’ve made it and you’ve invested that time in it… Okay. With software, with a SASS model, you still need to do customer services and maintenance, so there is ongoing work… but you’re going to have some nights when you go to bed and you wake up in the morning and made a few hundred pounds from people that have been shopping online while you’ve been asleep. And I think it’s good for graphic designers to start thinking about this. You’ve shown everyone how they can do that by genuinely solving a problem, partnering up with someone and launching a product.
Michael Bruny-Groth: Definitely. I live in Chicago, so I don’t know what these pounds you’re talking about are, but I have definitely woken up to more money than I had before. So certainly it’s a path worth pursuing and I never saw myself on it until last year, and this is how quickly things can come together. So just do the research.
Ian Paget: Yeah, absolutely. It’s amazing. Now, I just thought of a topic that we probably should have covered at the beginning of the podcast.
We haven’t covered prepping the logo files before you send them to the client. What we have discussed is what files we should send, but we haven’t really spoken about how do we prepare, how do we tidy up the artwork, how do we get it ready so that we can export that out.
Do you have any thoughts that you want to add on that side of things?
Michael Bruny-Groth: Yeah, so I call that the production phase, making sure that your logos are production ready. And this is very important.
The biggest two things that you need to do if you do nothing else and I highly recommend you do more, but if you do nothing else, you need to convert the type that’s in your logo to outlines, because if you send that that logo file to a printer or to a client and they don’t have your font, it’s going to replace with some default font, and then your logo is going to be really messed up.
The next thing that you should do is make sure that all of the shapes that you’re using are expanded and turned into solid shapes. So if you have something with a lot of strokes in it, you need to expand those strokes because again, what’s going to happen is if a printer needs to scale it up or another designer needs to work with it, and they’re not as familiar as you are, depending on the settings in your file, he may end up with a logo where the strokes are much thicker or thinner than you intended them to be. So if everything is just a solid shape, you’re never going to run into that problem.
And then of course there are ways to make sure that your shapes are less complicated by reducing the anchor points. It all gets really technical. But I would say the two biggest things you need to do are outline your type and make sure that your shapes are expanded.
Ian Paget: Yeah, that’s really good advice. And I just want to add to that as well. I would recommend that you copy the finished logo over to a new document. And I’ve been doing that myself for a number of years, but I went to a workshop with Aaron Draplin in Birmingham, which was probably around a year ago now. And he told me a story about this agency that the director wrote the graphic designer an email, something like, “can you quickly make this change, I want to get rid of this woman. I can’t stand her”, something like that. It wasn’t the type of email that you would want the customer to see. And he copied and pasted that email in to the illustrator file to reference it. Forgot it was in there, saved it all out. And the client seen it.
Michael Bruny-Groth: No good.
Ian Paget: And, yeah, you don’t want that situation to happen. And I mean, hopefully people wouldn’t do that type of thing anyway. But just to avoid anything like that, always copy your logo into a new document. And also there’s a really amazing tool that I use from Astute Graphics. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with them?
Michael Bruny-Groth: I am now.
Ian Paget: There’s one really amazing tool within it that I use on every project called the Point Remove Brush. And it’s like a rubber that will remove unwanted points from your artwork.
So if you’re like me, sometimes you draw a shape, you expand it, I can have loads of redundant points that you don’t need in there. And whilst this doesn’t make the artwork look any different, it massively reduces down the file size.
So if you’re creating things like SVGs and you want to place it into a website, that will help massively, because it reduces the file size. But just in general, you can make your artwork much more professional doing that, cleaning it up, getting it ready then, as we spoke about earlier in the conversation, you can then prepare all of the different files.
Michael Bruny-Groth: Yeah. And your story about Aaron Draplin made me think of another technique that I like to use… I like to make a master file for the final artwork. I call it an evergreen master logo file. Essentially that final file for the logo, I always have the expanded and outlines shapes on their own layers. And then I have the original shapes that haven’t been expanded and the type, just in case, some day the client does come back in the way that they did in your story and ask for a change, that I know I have the final artwork but it’s also in an editable format. So I can go in and change that kerning or I can increase that stroke and then I can just copy within that file into the outlines layers and continually always have a master file that I can update really quickly in case I do need to make those sorts of small changes at the last minute.
Ian Paget: Yeah, it’s really good advice. And you just made me think of another thing in terms of tidying up that file, ready to save it out, is the swatch pallets. I always remove everything from there just so that the document is just really clean and has minimal data in the file. And I think that’s the most professional way of doing it.
I hope that we’ve covered every aspect of that so that you can get your art work really polished up and ready so that when you are ready to create the files that we’ve spoken about, you can do that.
So we were nearly at the end of our time, so I’m going to throw in one last question for you, and hopefully it’s not too much of a challenging one, but if you could travel back in time and offer your younger self just one piece of advice, and that can be at any age in your life, if you could go back and offer yourself just one piece of advice, what would that advice be?
Michael Bruny-Groth: Oh man. Yeah, that’s the life question, right? I’ll keep it to a design because I think that’ll be the most interesting.
So the advice that I would give to myself, especially when I was just starting off, because I worked at agencies when I started, and I was dealing with not only clients but also other employees. I would say if you’re self-taught and you’re watching all these tutorials or you just came out of design school, you’re really finely tuned to think about the aesthetics of things. And what I would say to myself is, put your design brain aside for a second. When you’re taking criticism or feedback, I wouldn’t say criticism, feedback from your client or from another employee. Remember that there’s always a real reason behind what they’re asking for. That’s more important than the way something looks, because they are trying to sell something.
They are trying to provide a service. They could be a nonprofit, and they’re trying to help as many people as possible. Just remember that there’s a real reason behind this this request to make the logo pop or make it bigger or whatever thing it is. We’re used to making fun. Of like making fun of. And try and assume the point of view of that other person, and then once you understand what that real problem is, then go back to using your design brain to try and figure out how can we affect the way that this design that I’m working on is looking or the way we’re communicating about something, to solve that real problem that I now understand that is bigger than make it pop or make it more colourful, because that would’ve saved me a lot of headache and a lot of pain and just feeling like they don’t like my design or in feeling like they were dumb because they just didn’t get it. Instead it can be like, now I can really help them. And that actually, I’m really even more clever now because I can solve this bigger problem than I thought I was solving before. So I think that’s the advice I would give myself.
Ian Paget: Yeah, I think that’s actually amazing advice for anyone of any age in their career. Because if they are looking at graphic design as purely a visual thing, they’re always going to run into these problems with clients. But if you are collaborating with them to solve a problem and you both collectively agree as to what that problem is, then you know, you could work towards finding the most appropriate solution for that rather than designing something that you think looks nice. I think that’s really solid advice.
Well Michael it’s been really great chatting with you. Thank you so much for your time. And again, thank you for creating the Logo Package Express product, it’s amazing, it’s already saved me loads of time, and I’m sure all of the listeners that have already downloaded it will agree. So just thank you so much for your time. It’s been great chatting with you.
Michael Bruny-Groth: Yeah. Thank you so much for having me on. This is my first podcast ever. So it’s very exciting, and I’m really happy that people are starting to use Logo Package Express and are getting some value out of it. So thanks so much for helping me let people know that it’s out there.
Ian Paget: You’re very welcome.