Summary and photos by Angela Niemi

On September 12, 2015, Sharon Werner and Abby Haddican of Werner Design Werks taught a group of attentive students their tips and tricks to creating successful logos. They came prepared with loads of useful information and beautiful examples of their work.

Sharon began with a brief overview of creating a successful brand, with a logo, of course, as one of the key components.

Logo creation guidelines:

  • There should always be an idea (except when the idea is “no idea”).
  • Don’t just pick a font and be done with it: You should always look for modifications that will make it ownable.
  • Never stretch or compress a font (unless you’re Werner Design Werks).
  • Always print it out and step back: Live with it for awhile. Put it somewhere you can see it throughout the day. Ask others what they see (to avoid accidentally making Satan logos).

Sharon and Abby next showed examples of how they modify typography to create logos.

  • Enlarge the counters: This helps retain legibility at small sizes.
  • Mix fonts (and adjust) for better visual flow: It’s okay to mix fonts if there’s a letterform that doesn’t seem right.
  • Gain or lose weight: Work with fonts with a wide range of weights OR get creative and make your own custom weight.
  • Make custom edits: Create a consistent flow by aligning crossbars, and lengthen and align ascenders and descenders.

Finally, Sharon and Abby touched on something many designers know but often forget: Always begin your work by SKETCHING. Pass up Pinterest and forgo your beloved design blogs until you’ve exhausted your sketchbook. This process will help you stay creative and original with your work.

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Jhoselin Dominguez
Jhoselin Dominguez
Associate Director, Communications
I am a graphic designer from Kansas currently living in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. I graduated May of 2019 from Fort Hays State University with a B.F.A in Graphic Design. My hobbies include writing short stories, riding my longboard, and playing the piano.