A 222 page unfinished book project that will probably remain unfinished. The Guide to Great Logos: “Everything you ever needed to know about getting a logo designed for your startup, product or service.” Yours free for the taking.

I’ve been trying to drum up some 20th Anniversary(!) posts for the shop’s core blog and while digging through a bunch of old material, logo artwork and images, I stumbled upon this unfinished project from a few years back. To be honest, I’d completely forgotten about it, having worked on the book years ago – according to the copyright verbiage around 2011 (I’m almost positive it started life before that.) The entire thing was back-burned due to a couple of intense personal issues that burned up attention at the time (those of you who know me personally will remember those crazy times) and those distractions lasted way longer than they should have. Other than a single blog on our legacy blog a few years back, I never talked about it again, nor did anything more with it. Which brings us to me talking about it again five years after the fact:cdn-free-logo-design-bookI’ve been kicking around the idea of an actual book for a long time now – I certainly have the material and writing has been an on-off affair for a while – but I completely forgot how close the original working manuscript actually was. The old photograph above is the actual printed manuscript of the semi-finished effort, complete with post-it note annotations & corrections, as it sat on our dining room table back in 2011 (according to the date of the photo anyway.) How awful is it? Well, I gave the PDF a quick skim read over the weekend and it seemed to me that it’s not awful at all. In fact, it’s pretty decent.

Just not ready for prime time.

The version above was a pre-editing working copy so it’s likely you’ll find some issues to gripe about and the occasional (okay, a little more than occasional) spelling mistake or grammar error. Some chapters seem to be too light, while others drone on a bit. Some material is missing – logo colours definitely gets glossed over which isn’t really surprising, considering this was four years before I started developing the Power Colours system. Some parts are a bit the repetitive – I had a major beef with design contests back in those day and couldn’t help some major tub-thumping throughout the chapters. Some of the info is marginally dated or rendered obsolete since it was written. Nothing major mind you – the chapter on social media for instance, refers to pixel sizes that have been long since changed and standardized. Overall, the book’s fairly solid – lots of logo examples, technical info, advice, how-tos and how-not-to’s all served up with a ton of design case studies from the shop’s exhaustive back catalogue. It’s certainly worth a read if you’re serious (or curious) about logo design or in the market for getting one designed.

It’s free!

Rather than leaving The Guide to Great Logos sitting on my laptop, forever hidden from view, figured I’d release it into the wild (the last time I did this, the book ended up all over the Internet and I had to send a few DMCA’s to get them down. Less concerned about that now – brand equity and all that.) The PDF is about 7MB and 222 pages so make sure you have the pipes and data bandwidth. Here’s what the book looks like on the inside:steve-douglas-guide-to-great-logos-example-pages1Here’s the table of contents and what you’ll find in it:


Who needs a logo designed? 7
Do you need one for your company? 12
The value of a great brand. 16
Getting a logo designed – where to start. 22
The supposed ‘value’ of design contests. 30
The McLogo effect. 36
Want to hire a designer? Things to look for. 46

The Guide

Design action pre-flight list. 52
Potential pitfalls to avoid. 62
What makes a great design? 67
The case for simple logos and brand marks. 75
Fourteen things you should never do. 77
Design pitfalls you should avoid. 91
Breaking the cardinal rules. 99
Footprints and aspect ratios. 107
Using your logo on social media (outdated,) websites and blogs. 111

Types Of Brand Marks, Icons & Logos.

Typographic logos. 119
Iconic symbols & marks. 123
Graphic & linear logos. 128
Illustrative and representative logos. 133

The Design Process

Road maps. 142

Post Design Tips

Working with your local printer. 156
Protecting your copyrights. 161
Why the poor man’s copyright is rubbish. 162
Trademarking your brand. 165
Putting your new logo to work. 168

File Formats & Technical Info

Vector file formats. 179
Spot colour offset files. 184
Four colour offset process files. 189
Black and white vectors. 193
Screens, tones and tines. 196
Outline font vector graphics. 197
Pixel-based formats and their uses. 200
Black, white and grayscale pixel based formats. 203
PNG file formats. 204
JPG file formats. 206
Changing image formats – what’s possible and what’s not. 209

Logo Files – A Quick Reference Guide

Full colour vectors. 214
Full colour bitmaps. 215
Two colour vectors. 216
Two colour bitmaps. 217
Black and white halftone vectors. 218
Black and white halftone bitmaps. 219
Black linear vectors. 220
Black linear bitmaps. 221

Click here to Download The Guide to Great Logos if you’re all about the free stuff. If you want to give me any gears about the mistakes you find, remember this – the book is worth about exactly what you paid for it.