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Corporate logo design tips

It was 1998 when I first entered the world of Internet. My first email id on netaddress.com and to visit the WWF (now WWE) website. Since then, I have come across a lot of logos, designed some – using Fireworks, Flash and what not. I will tell you some of the things which I have learned in the process.

First of all, some of the really good looking ones are not ‘efficient’..and some really ‘efficient’ ones are not all that attractive..

There are some sites like logolabsLogoworks and others who will design logo drafts for you at a cost of around $100. The samples on some of the premium logo design sites will definitely astound any prospective client. But, in the end it all boils down to an unique font accompanied occasionally by a graphic.

Some logos have a story behind the way it is designed, say Amazon where the orange arrow from A to Z indicates everything is available and also looks like a smile. It’s good to have a ‘meaningful’ logo, but not all logos need to have an inner meaning.

Some Popular Logos

Some Popular Logos

If you are a careful observer, you must have observed that logos of most successful corporations are designed to be very simple. Still it makes a huge impact. You don’t want your corporate logo to look like a name of some rock band. Do you?
Major Corporations like HP, Microsoft, Oracle, Xerox, Nike, Jockey and others have very simple looking logos, yet it makes a strong impression on you. Even top Game producing companies like EA, and animation companies like Pixar and Dreamworks have simple logos.

Here are some tips to keep in mind while designing a corporate logo :

  • Use simple fonts : Some complex looking fonts might impress you at first, but keep in mind that your logo must be displayed and printed on a variety of items. e.g., Font like Times New Roman looks good when printed, but is not so readable on a computer screen. A company’s logo must go on a letterhead, business cards and other printed material as well as on display media such as Computer and TV screens. So go for a fonts which look good on both.
  • Use Vector Graphics: If your logo draft is hand drawn, try to make a vector replica of it. You can use tools like Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw or even Photoshop to achieve the same. Using a vector graphic has one BIG advantage. Your logo can be upscaled or downscaled to any proportion without losing clarity. This becomes very important when you put up your logo on large banners or hoardings.
  • Use a high resolution : Most image editing software lets you define a Resolution in Pixels Per Inch. This is very important if you can’t create a vector replica of your logo and choose to use non-vector version. A high resolution ensures that your logo doesn’t look pixellated when enlarged or when printed on paper. Generally 72 PPI is recommended for graphics which are used exclusively on the web which is seldom the case. Anything above 600 PPI will make your image look crystal clear when printed with a high quality printer.
  • Use minimum colors: A colorful logo might appear very attractive when viewed on a computer, but has serious drawbacks. Imagine you choose to order t-shirts or coffee mugs with your logo embroidered or printed. Use of minimum and easily reproducible colors will make your life much easier. If possible, try to design a monochrome logo which looks good on a variety of backgrounds.
    Also, if the color of the logo matches with the background, it is advisable to go for the inverted-version of your logo.
    By inverted I mean to say – If your current design is in white, make it black and vice versa. Technically if the color of your logo is (R,G,B), the inverted logo color will be (255-R, 255-G, 255-B).

You can get a good collection of free fonts from dafont, Urban fonts and Free Fonts. Also here is a link to top 100 most popular professional fonts by Just Creative Design.

Hope these small tips help you. Please leave a link to your logo, if you happen to design one after reading this article.

-Sriranga

final_year_VTU

A cartoon after a long time. Keep the comments coming.

Google search anomaly?

For most of us, a Search engine is the gateway to internet. We rely on it for day to day tasks. Thanks to search engines, we need not remember a plethora of domain names; a few words which you can remember from a site is all that is needed to take you to the right site.

A large population of internet users seldom click any link other than the first one the search engine throws at them. Some of them go further and explore the next page, and rarely does anyone go beyond the 3rd of 4th page. I was always wondering why Google says it found some millions of results as people are never interested in viewing the 1000th results let alone the millionth one. I was wondering why they’re waste computational resources on indexing data no one would ever use.

Today, I tried a little experiment. I searched for Apple on Google. It returned a whopping 340 Million results!! Whew.. Then I tried accessing the 2nd page.. I noticed there is an attribute which is seen in the address bar called Start, which changes for every page. e.g., for the 2nd page the PageStart value is 10, which actually says show results starting from the 10th page which is quite logical.

The URL looks something like this

http://www.google.co.in/webhp?hl=en#hl=en&safe=off&q=apple&start=10&sa=N&fp=2b0cc07f38284dd0

I tried changing the number for 10 to 2000 to see the 201st page, but I was in for a surprise –

Sorry, Google does not serve more than 1000 results for any query. (You asked for results starting from 2000.

Here it is, Google can’t serve you results exceeding 1000 for any query! So the first question which was haunting my head was resolved..

I wanted to play around with Google more, so I tried giving another value – this time 640 to see if I actually get redirected to the 65th page.

http://www.google.co.in/webhp?hl=en#hl=en&safe=off&q=apple&start=650&sa=N&fp=2b0cc07f38284dd0

Above is the URL I tried in my browser. It said “ Results 431437 of about 340,000,000 for apple”

Results 431437 of about 340,000,000 for apple

And it is now on page 49! Results 431- 437 should ideally be on page 42, moreover it should have actually displayed results 650-660. After all it has 340M results and it has no problem displaying upto 1000 results for any query.

Why is this anomaly present in Google? It is not specific to this search term alone. I have tried it with different search terms and all the time I see such anomaly.In some cases, clicking on the next page reloads you the same page.

All of the following URLs differ in the Start property but all point to the same page. Also you can see that the page number which is highlighted in each case. Though different numbers are highlighted in each case, we get to see the same result page everytime!!!

http://www.google.co.in/webhp?hl=en#hl=en&safe=off&q=microsoft&start=450&sa=N&fp=2b0cc07f38284dd0

Go to the above URL and click on the next page (46). You will land up on the same page again! This anomaly differs with each keyword!

I don’t understand why this anomaly exists. If anyone has a clue about this, please let me know through comments.
Also, please share with me if you find any such anomalies in other search engines too!

RNG

Lost in thoughts

It’s been ages since I looked at my own blog.  There is a steady flow of visitors to my blog although my last post was on 22nd June. For all of you who are wondering what I have been doing, and Why I am not writing ; I have been reading. Reading a lot.

The period of time just after one graduates from College is the most challenging if you ask for my opinion. Everyone is confused.
Some of my friends have gone abroad to do MS;  some of them to pursue their academic interest, and some of them coz they couldn’t  manage to get a job they wanted. For a good read about whether to do or not to do MS, read Swaroop CH’s post here.

There are others who are insistent on getting a job in their area and have hence refused job offers from some Mass recruiters. Everything’s going haywire. There are salary cuts in some companies, some good companies have not honored their offer letters. If you think Recession has not hit hard enough – think again.

I have been lost too, Masters was out of question. It never interested me. I am having my final interviews in a month or so at Microsoft. I haven’t received DOJ from Accenture as yet. I have decided, whatever I consider as my career plan must somehow add value to what I wanna do next, what I want to be say in the next 10 years.I had always envisioned my future self as an entrepreneur. I am hoping that vision would some day come true.

As a wise man once said – The first step towards achieving your goal is telling it to everyone around you. By doing that you make sure your family, friends and people around you constantly remind you of that goal. Back then, I thought that was a pretty cool idea, but only now am I actually putting it to good use..

I have been reading a lot management stuff lately, yes you read it right the first time, management. Somehow people always consider me as a Technical person and lot many of them even sounded surprised when I told them I was interested in pursuing Management academically some day. I came across this link which talks about some Core human skills which are essential to a person, whichever field he desires to wet his feet in.

From now on, I should consider keeping a spiral pad with me – ALWAYS. You never know when your grey cells cooks interesting stuff. This generally happens to me in late mornings, when I abruptly get up from sleep, losing continuity of my dreams. One day, I had to solve an interesting puzzle to get up from my sleep. After I got up I was amazed that I could solve that puzzle, but was startled when I couldn’t remember what it was! I had a strong feeling that it was a good one and still have 😛

It’s going haywire. Isn’t it? but hey, I warned you before. Look at the by line. These are my random thoughts! It’s too late and I gotta sleep before I lose track of what I am writing. As always, comments are welcome. Please let me know if this post gives you an impression that I was drunk when I wrote it. I will consider deleting it.

Signing off.
Yours truly

Soon after facebook provided a Like option to anything and everything on facebook. I have seen people liking wierd stories!!

I created this graphic in Fireworks, trying to make it look like a facebook update.

When do you know its time to quit facebook and make new friends?

I  never thought I would become such a big fan of Word 2007 when I first saw it, that unfamiliar blue ribbon used to turn me off. Last semester of engineering is full of seminars, projects, reports etc. I will share with you some handy tips which have saved me a lot of time.

1. Managing Styles

Every college gives you guidelines/format for your seminar and project report. Most of the times adherence to the prescribed format is the only thing your guide will look for in your project! So it’s important to main consistency in your project report.

  • Click on the small arrow near the bottom right corner of styles section in the Home tab (or press ctrl + Alt + Shift+s)
  • You can either modify an existing style or add your new one. I prefer modifying the existing one coz it’s easy to use and some features like automatic Contents Table creating (which is explained later) treats them as defaults.
  • Modify(Right click -> modify) the Heading 1 style to reflect the one which is prescribed to you
  • Repeat for Heading2 style with the format of your subheading
  • Normal for the normal text as per your prescribed format

It is now easier than ever to differentiate between headings/subheadings and normal paragraph text. Creating a heading is now only a click away

Also, you can define your paragraph settings while modifying the Normal style. E.g., line spacing info goes here

Microsoft Word 2007

Microsoft Word 2007

2. Removing hyperlinks at once

Wikipedia and several other website form the prime resources for your project. These websites sometimes contain links, several in fact. It becomes a pain to remove this links manually. It is important to remove links for 2 reasons

1. It looks ugly

2. Your guide will come to know where you flicked it from

I have seen my friends trying to play clever. They remove the underline and change the color to black. That’s a very bad way of doing it. It doesn’t remove the link for one reason, and secondly it’s time consuming.

Solution : Select All (ctrl + A) and then Ctrl + Shift + F9

3. Using Page Breaks


It’s a very essential word feature and I am surprised not many know of it!! When you are at the end of the section and want to move to the new section, how do you do it? Repeatedly press enter key! WRONG. What this creates is a gap which is relative to the previous section. Add/delete content to the previous section and your new section will no longer start from the beginning of the page!

I know of people who have spent days trying to re align them!!

Simple solution: Use a page break. Go to Insert tab and select Page Break. Now no matter what, what follows a page break will always start in a new page.

4.Multilevel Lists


This is a very important tool used to organize your report into chapters, subchapters and so on. Using multilevel lists you can automatically number all your chapters and sub-chapters. Any text with Heading1 style is used as a Chapter name which has a single number index. A subchapter which is any text in heading2 has a 2 number index ex: 3.2 and so on. Multilevel lists are very helpful in generating Table of Contents, list of figures, list of tables etc very easily (see tip 5)

5. Generating Table of contents and list of figures

Filling up the Table of Contents is a challenging task. One mistake and you have to reprint a lot many pages! That’s how particular some lecturers are when it comes to page numbers. You don’t want to mess with them. If you have followed tip#1 and #4, your job is fairly easy.

To get an automatic table of contents page, go to References tab and choose Table of Contents. Choose and style and voila, table of contents is created automatically. Added a new section, no problem, just update the table and it will update the contents and page numbers!! It’s an indispensible tool.

To do the same for images, you can right click on the image everytime and choose a caption for it from the context menu (right click on it). Now to get table of figures, just select Insert Table of figures from the references tab.

These are some of the tips I could think of. If you know any more tips and tricks which can help poor souls in their last year of engineering. Do pen them down in the comments section.

PS: I am using Word 2007 to blog this post too.

PPS: I dunno if it’s a problem with Word or WordPress, either of them had screwed up the numbered list while exporting from Word to WordPress. I will stick to online editor from now on.

Engineer!

Today is an important day. Actually it was yesterday. I gave my last paper of my 4 year course in Telecommunication Engineering. Phew!! What a journey!

Yesterday was Melancholic. Well, the exam was much easier than our expectations. That is not what I am talking about. It’s about writing exam for the last time ever, ok this is going to grow large. Let me make it a list.

  • not seeing all those familiar faces again(in one place)
  • those endless discussions in Open Air Theatre (OAT)
  • countless ‘tea-breaks’ while studying for internals in OAT
  • getting thrown out of class
  • not being able to control laughter even when the lecturer is shouting at you
  • hiding books in library so that you can get it issued later
  • paying fine for books which you never read once but kept for a long time
  • Getting down from the bus just to realize the connecting bus to college just left!
  • Eating Food Point poori in a plate that you know the dog was licking the other day!
  • Donating blood so that you get attendance and free uppit
  • Sprite making hissing noise in the middle of a lecture!
  • Sitting in the last bench and commenting on those who are sitting ahead of us
  • Imitating lecturers and calling them names!
  • Entering a 8:15 – 9:15 class at 9:10!
  • Sneaking in my mobile phone every day of my college. I have never been caught!
  • Timidly switching off my mobile phone when it suddenly starts ringing loudly in an internal exam!
  • Making anagrams out of the first letters of an 8-point-8-marks question so that it becomes easier to cram!
  • Those boring 2 hour lectures!
  • Playing Air-Piano in final round of a mock-interview! FAIL!
  • Singing In the end in the middle of 100 feet ring road to get tickets to Radio City live concert.
  • Seeing my name in the Attendance Shortage list every single time
  • Participating in technical fests!
  • Writing an abstract for an idea on the last page of a notebook during a boring class which eventually was selected for a conference and won me second place! Whoa!! I was watching Juno till 5 in the morning on the day of my presentation!
  • Playing our very own Name-as-many-characters-as-you-can-from-a-TV Show game
  • Desperately trying to find out how each component looks like on the previous day of lab exam.
  • Viva!!- Got to meet some of the biggest idiots in VTU..
  • Bandi – The roadside lunch point I used to rush to, with Rajeev, Sagar and occasionally Sharatchandra.
  • Sharatchandra’s take on hollywood flicks!
  • Suhas’ honeywell-akka,Cisco-bava stories (best ever – needs an honorary mention here)
  • Ramesh’s take on girls!
  • Harsha, Prads and NMK v/s Suhas, CD and Kailash’s football fights
  • Kailash speaking in Kannada (too funny) and Harsha trying to speak Shivajinagar urdu

and so many others.. Will add as and when I recollect them. If you know something memorable/weird I did while I was in college, Please tell me about it in the comments..