Here’s an inside look at our logo design process. Projects differ from one to the next but no matter the business, expectations, or budget we try and stick to these phases:
- Client Brief
- Visual Research
In the end, if the logo speaks the company’s message while resonating with the target audience, you have a good logo and a new foundation for your brand’s image. Logo design is less about design talent and more about visually developing an image that aligns the business just right in its market and among its competitors.
Client Brief – Getting to know each other
Details discussed in this phase will be crucial to developing a design that meets the client’s expectations while allowing us, the designers, to be confident when presenting the final logo design concept.
The foundation for an effective and efficient logo design project begins with combining the client’s knowledge about their business, audience and industry – with detailed research. Below are the topics that help us plug into the client’s knowledge and their unique needs before the project is agreed on:
- Company Story – summary of the business and a brief history
- Market Position – realistic evaluation of the service/product as it relates to the competition
- Current Situation – what are the current expectations/what is bringing about the need for a new logo design?
- Budget – how much is available to produce the final logo design?
- Marketing Background – past, present and future marketing efforts of the client’s business
- Specifications – how will the design be used (i.e. size, mediums, colors)
- “The Message” – what is the current or desired brand message?
- Design Concepts – what is in mind for the new logo design (i.e. likes, dislikes, sketches, examples)?
Once Q&A’s are completed, expectations are understood and the project has been agreed upon, the designer then uses the data to move into the research phase.
Note: this should not be the phase to agree on a final design. After all, if a final design can be developed at this time, it is likely that a logo designer is not needed. Any graphic designer or freelancer would do (i.e. Craigslist, Vistaprint, logo design contest).
This is where the designer gains a better understanding of what needs to be considered prior to brainstorming an art direction. The logo designer (or design team) will utilize the data gathered in the Client Brief to power research into the industry and market demographics.
The amount of research and market analysis varies based on budget and the team’s pervious knowledge of the industry.
By now, the designer has ideas on how they want to visually convey the brand message. However, this phase is about additional research. The designer will spend time reviewing competitors’ logos and seeking out inspiration for the art direction.
By reviewing industry specific logos, the designer can judge where the new design should align among competitors to position the businesses properly.
By now the designer has solid concepts in mind. It’s now time to let those designs play out on paper. This process can take place on a piece of paper or sketching software. We find that sitting down over some lunch with a napkin can be a good start.
As budget allows, sketches are drafted with different possibilities, variables, textures, etc. This phase is also the breeding ground for developing a logo with cleaver functionalities or some type of double meaning/hidden message.
Development – design concept developed in vector format
The designer knows what the logo design will look like, but isn’t always clear on details: colors, textures or styles. However, as the design begins to take shape in Adobe Illustrator, the designer will begin to play around with textures, colors, etc.
Once completed and ready to prep for presentation, there are normally several final designs of the new logo. The final designs can differ in color, style, and calligraphy; nonetheless, they are ultimately different designs manifested out of the same logo concept. We leave it up to the designer to decide how he will present the design(s) for the presentation.
It’s now up to the designer to present to the client. There are many ways to do this, but normally a decision is made on which finalized design(s) will be presented and how they will be visually presented. One of our common presentation methods is done by placing the final logo concept on a background, such as, a website, t-shirt or business card. This gives a good feeling for the new logo design in context. In the case that we want to showcase multiple design styles, creating a PDF to present is common practice. This allows for the client to easily review different styles of the same concept.
The most important part of this phase is to present in a way that will be well understood and accepted by the client. The goal is to make sure the client is proud of their new look, while delivering an effective logo. The ability to satisfy this balance is much of what makes a good design team or logo designer.
This is about providing the client with the assets in the correct formats. Based on the client’s needs, we will deliver multiple versions of the same logo with different set of colors, backgrounds, size and formats. These needs are understood and worked into the project from the beginning based on the Client Brief.