What is a logo?
A logo is a symbol of your business. Your professional identity. The first impression people get of your company.
What is the purpose of a logo?
The primary purpose of a logo is to be easily recognizable as yours. Meaning, it shouldn’t be similar enough to other logos that it could be mistaken as someone else’s. The secondary purpose is to provide a foundation for your entire brand identity. Without a solid and well thought out logo design the brand structure can become unusable. This can waste time and cost a lot of money in the long-term.
What is the process of making a logo?
Visual Designers have a process to creating superior logo designs that ensure you are getting a quality basis for your brand.
Step 1 – Design Brief
Interview with the client to ask questions about their business. Discussing things like the business demographic, preferences on colors, styles, and short and long-term uses for the design. Discovering what the client has envisioned as their potential logo. Offering suggestions to take their ideas a step further. Good design briefs should include information about things that you don’t like and don’t want as much as things you do.
Step 2 – Research
The designer spends some time learning about your business and the industry. Gathering information and keywords that are related to your product or service. They also search for your competitors to ensure you don’t have a logo that can be confused with theirs. In this process many designers create a word cloud of sorts to help them have a number of options and directions to take your logo as it develops.
Step 3 – Resourcing
Learning which logos have been effective in this field is important. Timeless classics are valuable to the creative process. This is also the phase where the over all style tends to be narrowed down. Trends and current styles should be considered in this portion to ensure the logo doesn’t look out of date before you’ve even launched your brand.
Step 4 – Initial Concepts
Some designers sketch out their first ideas, others use programs like Adobe Illustrator. Either way they churn out a series of thoughts about your logo. During this phase they will weed out ideas that fall short of their expectations. It’s during this portion that I find two or three ideas seem to stand out.
Step 5 – Review
Designers take breaks during the creative process, the largest of these is during this section. Stepping back offers the chance for new ideas to grow about the logos that seem strongest. Sitting down with refreshed eyes often sheds new light on the progress so far. Allowing ideas to develop, mature and get some feedback is vital to success.
Step 6 – Presentation
As each logo design is different, so is the presentation phase. Some designs sessions can provide 2-3 different logo styles to discuss, others are a collection of designs that are a variation of one idea. Either way there will be plenty to discuss. If I can’t speak with a client when I deliver the samples I will often provide a detailed email explaining various choices and what I find valuable about each design.
Step 7 – Revision
If a designer has done their job properly to this point, revisions should be minor and quick. If the rough drafts have been a collection of variations on one idea then the adjustments should be easy. If the rough drafts were 2-3 different options, then usually a client will pick one and offer small change requests. Sometimes they like elements of two logos and want them combined, if possible.
Step 8 – Finalize
Once the rough draft has been approved as the final logo design a series of files should be released to the client. These files should cover any potential needs for branding and advertising for the client. There should be several files for print and several for web/tv use. If you’ve paid to own the logo outright then you should also receive the fully editable files that can be used by any professional designer you work with.
Step 9 – Happy Dance
Everyone is so thrilled with the new logo that we all enjoy one of our guilty pleasures. Things like glass of wine, or chocolate, or Netflix binge watching.
The time that this process takes can be very different from one project to the next.
- Make sure you and your designer are agreed on hard or soft deadlines
- Respond to your designers’ emails in a reasonable time frame
- Choose a designer you feel comfortable bringing your ideas and adjustments to