I have a few Logo Lounge books by Bill Gardner and Catharine Fishel. I have to say that these are great books for inspiration. I have Logo Lounge 4, Logo Lounge 2,000 International Identities, and Logo Lounge 5. There are 2 main parts to each of the books. The first part of the books have a portraits section that shows a little about how some popular brands were created. It’s a nice little intro to the rest of the books. The second part is just a nice collection of logos. The logos are categorized in groups like initials, display type, people, shapes, transportation, to name a few. The logos are laid out very nicely, and they are very easy to look at and study.
I believe the main purpose of these books is not only for inspiration, but also to study logo trends. I wouldn’t think to follow the trends in logo design, so seeing what other people are doing, and what is popular really helps a lot. If anything, the books are great to help you with ideas. If you work alone as a freelancer, coming up with ideas can be tough. If you take a look through any of the Logo Lounge books, you will have many ideas from other companies, and this can help you to push your own ideas further.
One of my favorite things to do is look and see what is common. I think the people section does this the best. There are so many logos with abstract people and hands, and since these books lay several ideas out all on one page, it’s easy to see what’s common. You may even see common designs from one book to another. This is a useful tool in helping you push your creativity further. If you have an idea you think is unique, chances are that someone somewhere already though of the same thing.
I suggest that you buy the most recent Logo Lounge book first, and work back from there. Having a library of these books would be ideal, as they layout the trends and commonalities of logos through several years time. You should check logolounge.com for the most recent news on trends in logo design, and the most recent book release date. This is a valuable tool, so use it when you can to help you develop your ideas into something unique and memorable.