From the archives & free to download: A 222 page PDF guide to great logos ebook. Everything you ever needed to know about getting a logo designed for your startup, product or service.

cdn-20th-anniversary-logoWhile rummaging through old material and images for a few 20th anniversary features and trying to boil two decades worth of old logo design projects, abandoned work-in-progress examples and some of the zanier behind-the-scenes tales, I stumbled upon a “not quite finished” project I had completely forgotten about and never got around to quite finishing: The Guide to Great Logos ebook manuscript. This was a pet gig that I had worked on years ago – according to the masthead credits the copyright is 2011, but I’m pretty sure it started life before that. The entire thing was back-burned due to some pressing personal issues that demanded my absolute attention at the time, that distraction lasted way longer than anticipated and other than a single blog post announcement on our legacy blog a few years back, never talked about it again. Which brings us to this, me talking about it again:cdn-free-logo-design-bookI’ve been kicking around the notion of an actual book for a while now – writing it has begun but nothing firm yet – but I had completely forgotten how close the original v 1.0 working manuscript actually was. The old photograph above is the actual printed manuscript of the semi-finished tome, complete with post-it notes and corrections, as it sat on my kitchen room table way back when. How bad is it? Well, I gave the PDF a quick once over this weekend and it struck me that it’s not too bad. Not bad at all.

Almost there but not quite.

The version we’re talking about was a non-edited working copy so you’ll probably find some design issues to gripe about (that horrendous ad as a back cover?) and the occasional (okay, a little more than occasional) typo or grammar error. Some chapters are light, some drone on and on. Some material is missing entirely (logo colours definitely gets glossed over) and some parts are a little on the repetitive side (seems I had a major beef with design contests back in the day and couldn’t let that go.) Some of the info is slightly dated or has been rendered obsolete in the interim (nothing earth shattering – the chapter on using your logo on social media for one example, refers to pixel sizes that have changed since then. Otherwise the illustrated book’s still fairly solid – lots of design pointers, logo examples, technical info, advice, how-tos and how-not-to’s all wrapped around a load of design examples and case studies from the shop’s exhaustive back catalogue of work. Bottom line? It’s worth a read if you’re serious about logo design or in the market for one of your own.

Download for free.

Anyhoo, I figured that rather than leaving The Guide to Great Logos sitting on my laptop, forever hidden from view, I’d release it into the wild. The upcoming version will be a paid version, but for the time being, this one’s on the house. The .PDF weighs in around 7MB and 222 pages so make sure you have the pipes. Here’s what the guts of the manual look like:cdn-guide-to-great-logos-example-pages1Here’s what you’ll find in it:

Table of Contents:


Who needs a logo? 7
Do you need a logo? 12
The value of a brand. 16
Getting a brand identity designed. 22
The ‘value’ of contests. 30
The McLogo effect. 36
Hiring a designer – things to look for. 46

The Guide

Design action list. 52
Potential pitfalls. 62
What makes a great logo? 67
The case for simple design. 75
Fourteen things not to do. 77
Things to avoid. 91
Breaking the golden rules. 99
Visual guide to footprints and aspect ratios. 107
Your logo on social media, websites and blogs. 111

Types Of Logos & Brand Marks

Text. 119
Iconic. 123
Graphic. 128
Illustrative. 133

The Step-by-Step Design Process

Design road maps. 142

After Design Tips & Pointers

Working with a printer. 156
Protecting your copyrights & intellectual property. 161
The poor man’s copyright is a myth. 162
Trademarking your logo. 165
Using your new logo everywhere & anywhere. 168

File Formats: Technical papers

Vector files. 179
Spot colour offset print reproduction. 184
Four colour offset process reproduction. 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 vector. 214
Full colour bitmap. 215
Two colour vector. 216
Two colour bitmap. 217
Black and white halftone vector. 218
Black and white halftone bitmap. 219
Black and white linear vector. 220
Black and white linear bitmap. 221

All things considered, not a bad effort really, and worth a looksee if you’re into design, logos and free stuff. Click here to Download The Guide to Great directly.