In this session, we were thrilled to be joined by the one and only Jacob Cass. We think most will know exactly who Jacob is, but for those who need a reminder, Jacob is a brand designer, strategist, educator, business coach and the founder of JUST Creative, an award-winning branding & design firm that doubles as an industry-leading blog.

Jacob has spoken at TEDx and been featured in Entrepreneur, Forbes, and a number of high-profile design books including The Best of Logo Lounge Master Series. Some of his notable clients include Nike, Disney, Nintendo, and Jerry Seinfeld. Obviously none of this is quite as exciting as his Design Cuts Live 2020 slot, and we're just as excited for it too.

During this session, Jacob provided an invaluable lesson on how to use mock-ups for brand identities, full of clear practical advice and tips for all designers.

Design the Logo

For this session, we are designing a luxurious fashion logo for a brand named Justin. So, to begin, select a font type from the image as shown below. Begin by typing your brand name and trying different fonts to understand the personality of the font. For example, Sans Serif extra bold is used by brands such as Nike and Adidas. However, a brand like Gucci or Prada uses less bold fonts that give it a luxurious outlook. 

Play with the kerning, settings, size and alternatives while designing a logo. Make it customisable. For example, with the Nike logo (as shown in the image below), you can cut the N and make it customisable. 

Pro tip: Use Pathfinder to combine the elements, the Gradient Tool to drag colors and the Glyphs Panel to customise the letters. 

Apply Logo to Mockups

The idea of a mockup is to understand how the logo would look in the real world, whether it is on the side of a building or a letterhead. For example, experiment with Aurora Borealis as the logo shown in the image below. Every font type looks and feels different. One looks vintage and the other looks modern and classic. Select the one which best suits your brief.

With fashion brands, a location is mostly used underneath the logo as a descriptor. So add a descriptor to the logo. Then, outline the type and bring it to Photoshop to use the mockups. This bundle has 50 logo mockups. So when you open Photoshop, you’ll notice these downloaded there. Choose a file with an existing logo and replace it with your logo.

The idea is to showcase the logo in the real world and not just on a board or background. To replace the file, click replace on the logo and double-click into it. This opens another Photoshop window. Now paste the logo file that you created and it will show up on the mockup.

Customise the Mockups

There are two types of mockups, free and premium. Premium mockups have more control over customisation, hence making it easier to make it customisable as needed. Once uploaded you can then change the color of the box. To do this, double click on the color for the color picker and then choose the color you like.

Turning the logo in context is more powerful versus just having it on the black and white screen. This will help you sell your ideas and make your client understand what it's going to look like in the real world. When the client doesn't understand the theory that goes behind a tight based logo, creating mockups is a way to elevate the value of the work and the logo.

You can also customise if you want the logo to be embossed in or embossed out by controlling its settings. You can add contrast and change the light as needed, remove shadows or add shadows and tweak the exposure. 

Pro tip: Always use mockups to show the brand in your current logo or brand in context. 

Let’s look at 2 examples to understand it better:

Experiment 1 - For an Apparel Brand

For this experiment, assume Tombo is the brand name. Select the Bison font and write Tombo in bold. Now add that to a hoodie mockup. Replace the existing logo with your logo by copy-pasting it. Now change the color of the hoodie and customise it. Tweak the color preferences as per your need and apply it to the mockup. You can change the background color to what best fits the brand, style, emboss as well as contrast, making it as customisable as possible.

Once done, you can then save all the settings and change the perspective.

Experiment 2 - For a Sports Brand

For this experiment, assume Cutters is the brand name. Pick the Asylab mockup to edit. Use a font software or Explorer X Pro to save all the fonts you use. Pick a bold font for this particular brand logo, like Futura and draw the logo. Then copy and paste the logo onto the mockup by replacing it. Change the color and contrast.

Pro tip: The type font plays a vital role in making the logo, so pick a font as per the brand characteristics.