Creating a Logo that is Optimized for Printing
Article written by Steve Isaacson
Learn more about Steve & Isaacson Associates

The use of “logos” began in the 13th century and were used as identification marks. A logo is a mark that makes your company your company. A good logo shows what a company does and what the brand values. Logo design is all about creating the perfect visual brand mark for a company. A logo is a symbol made up of shape, color, text and images.

What do you want to communicate to your target audience? Do you want a classy font, a bold font, a cursive font or a simple font? Do you want upper case letters or upper & lower case letters or small & large capital letters? Think about how your fonts will look on various media: on websites, signage, stationery, or delivery vehicles. Which illustration will best broadcast your image? For a health-related service, maybe a logo with a heart might convey “caring”. For a financial institution, how about a tree to show growth or pillars to show strength?


Color will enhance the image your logo brings to mind. Color can trigger an emotion and evoke a brand association….

    • Red – power and passion. …
    • Blue – logic and communication. …
    • Green – health and nature. …
    • Yellow – happiness and optimism. …
    • Orange – playful and fun. …
    • Purple – Royalty, wisdom, and respect. …
    • Pink – soft and feminine. …
    • Brown – safe and dependable.


Being a printer, I always ask my clients questions about their logo and how they plan to use it, so that I can alert them to potential problems. Is it being used on digital devices or for printed products or for imprinting on promotional products or on all media? Things that look great on a computer screen may look different when printed. What you see is not always what you get. Thin fonts may look OK on a screen, but might break up or plug in when you print them. A computer monitor uses red-green-blue (RGB) to create the colors you see on the screens. The RGB screen colors are projected onto the back of the screen, like on a TV.

In offset printing, we use PMS (Pantone Matching System) inks or Process Inks (CMYK – Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, Black). A PMS color is an exact match of color selected and a process color is created from the four basic colors – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and K(Black). The process colors come pretty close to PMS colors, but many are not a great match.

Try to keep your logo’s colors to less than 3. The more colors that you use, the more it will cost you to reproduce. When you imprint promotional products or decorate apparel, you may be limited to how many colors you can use, what method of imprint/decoration will work best, which thread colors you can embroider with and how expensive your set-up costs will be.