Logo / Graphic Standards Guide


You are a graphic designer working for a graphic design studio. The studio has a client in need of a logo design. Your Art Director would like you to explore several different design approaches including:

  • a typographic approach using the client's initial(s)
  • an abstract symbol indicating the client's type of business along with a distinctive logotype
  • A wordmark using the client's name combined with one or more symbols

The client will apply the logo using various media and formats. The client has asked to see a black/white and a two color version of the design. Black and white logo version must function without opacity changes or greyscale.

Along with this a multiple page Graphic Standards Guide PDF will need to be produced.

This 8.5"x11" document should provide guidelines for: 

  • cover
  • contents
  • Intro page
  • Color values
  • fonts used
  • logo arrangement (centered, left)
  • proper logo usage (positive image and reversed image)
  • improper logo usage
  • staging (required margins around logo)
  • minimum size usage
  • logo and type arrangement for business card.
  • apparel
  • Links to download image files:
    • B/W vector file (.eps)
    • Spot color vector file (.eps)
    • CMYK vector file (.eps)
    • RGB jpegs
      (large = maximum width 6", medium = maximum width 4" and small = maximum width 2")

You will work with your art director on research, idea exploration, and concept development. The Art Director would like to see 5 completely different concepts for the logo and layouts for the business card to show to the client. Your Art Director will then sign off on one of the roughs for final production.

In order to make sure that the job is scheduled appropriately, prints correctly and all electronic files are configured correctly you will be in close contact with the Production Manager. The final comprehensive design will need to simulate the final printed project as closely as possible. The client has asked that... 1) a PDF file be presented, and 2) all digital files be supplied for future use.

2016 Student Examples: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Design Process

  1. Study the creative brief to determine:
    • the client's personality/qualities/business
    • the target audience
  2. Think critically and problem solve.
  3. Create an objective/strategy statement:
    • objective: briefly state the message you wish to communicate.
    • strategy: describe the concept you will use to communicate your message
  4. Research logo design examples online. Collect samples.
  5. Create thumbnails meeting the following criteria:
    • show five different concepts
    • show each of the following: abstract symbol, initial symbol and wordmark
    • are fast and un-detailed
    • include visual analogies
    • show variations of each creative concept
    • indicate elements of design: line, shape, texture, value, spatial depth, color
    • demonstrate gesalt principles
  6. Submit thumbnails for sign-off on or before the deadline date.
  7. Assemble and submit a mood board for sign-off which includes:
    • color palette
    • typography choices
    • industry examples
    • other inspiration
  8. Develop three logo roughs from the thumbnails selected by your Art Director that meet the following criteria:
    • indicating type choice (typeface, case, type style, etc)
    • indicating usage of color and value
    • are computer generated
  9. Submit logo roughs for sign-off on or before deadline date.
  10. Develop the final logo design from the selected rough to use in the graphic standards guide.
  11. Develop and sketch the layout for the graphic standards guide.
  12. Submit final logo design and graphic standards guide on or before the deadline date.

Design Technology

  1. Create job folder(s) as instructed by your production manager.
  2. Pay attention to detail on the logo by:
    • zooming in on artwork
    • making sure paths are closed
    • creating lines that are straight
  3. Create vector / bezier objects that...
    • use a minimum amount of anchor points
    • have smooth curves
    • use a minimum amount of shapes to create the file
  4. Pay attention to detail on the graphic standards guide and business card by...
    • kerning and tracking headline text
    • track body text
    • setting typographic leading
    • spell checking
    • using paragraph styles (read)
    • using standard (or custom size) business card measurements
  5. Use the shape builder and isolation mode to combine shapes down to the simplest final vector construction.
  6. Create multiple art boards to export various file formats.
  7. Create a multiple page document utilizing page layout software and create printer spreads.
  8. Use layers effectively in order to isolate specific parts of the design.
  9. Scan, place and trace original line art imagery developed for logo by...
    • scanning logo sketches using the flatbed scanner
    • placing the scanned image into a digital drawing program and creating a template layer
    • creating a new layer to trace over the line art.
  10. Convert text to paths / outlines in order to...
    • change each letter into a separate graphic object
    • re-shape the letter / font
    • scale, rotate, flip or transform type like other vector shapes
    • allow a user to open or print your document without having to load a particular font
  11. Create bleeds to create the illusion that the press printed to the edge of the sheet of paper.

  12. Determining and specifying the color space by...
    • setting CMYK values for print
    • setting RGB values for web
    • setting Pantone color values for print
  13. Save files for a commercial printing company by...
    • saving original native files
    • collecting screen and printer fonts
    • saving vector and raster files in the correct file formats (.ai, .eps, .indd, .psd, .jpg, .pdf)
    • using proper and logical naming conventions
    • using "underscores" for spaces when naming files
    • putting files on the server in the appropriate location
    • saving the artwork using the PDF/X1A preset
  14. Save files as a compressed .zip archive to share on dropbox.


  1. Standard Copy
  2. Examples : Humana | OAC
  3. Color Space and Pantone
  4. Mood board template
  5. Pantone Tutorial
  6. Color separations



  1. Logo tutorial
  2. Gestalt principles tutorial
  3. Visual analogies tutorial


  1. Pathfinder Quiz
  2. Pathfinder Exercise



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