Designing a professional logo
What is frustrating about being a designer is most clients have no idea the process involved in designing a professional logo. When clients ask for a quote and I tell them, they usually respond saying ‘Oh, that’s too much money’. They have no idea how long it takes, the amount of hours invested into creating and delivering a logo that is unique and will stand the test of the time.
This post explains our design process in getting to a professional logo design. It takes careful planning, hard work and an understanding of the client’s requirements and wishes, but ultimately you are there to give them what they need, not what they want.
The Logo Design Process is as per below:
- The Brief
- Initial Research
- Visual Research
- Concept Conceptualising
1. The Brief
The initial growth of information from the client is the most important step, it should be a face to face interview or if that can’t be done then a questionnaire. This is where you must establish the design brief. It’s critical to really understand your client very thoroughly before you get started. Logo Design is not just guessing.
2. Initial Research
After establishing the design brief, getting to understand your client’s businesses is the next important step. Research includes general reading on the industry, analysis of current and future industry trends, sometimes the businesses history, its competitors. If you can convince your client to invest the extra budget some external research can be carried out.
3. Visual Research
This is where we seek and find other logo’s similar in the clients industry to get some ideas and inspiration. In short terms we find logos of similar business’ and critique them, and collate a collection of ideas. This is where we look for inspiration.
We look more for techniques to ask ourselves why a certain logo looks like it does, what makes a really good business logo: or for why do we like this logo and dislike the other. All designers should do this to get a better understanding of the industry and competition.
4. Concept Conceptualising
Developing the logo design concepts is where creativity comes in, this is where a designer must create the logo by using the design brief and the research conducted as per mentioned above. Some designers use a sketchbook to scribble down their ideas whilst some use the computer as their sketchbook, it all comes down to personal choice, however we believe using the computer first is not the best first step.
Taking a break is important because. It is easy to get stuck in a creative cul-de-sac (learn how to be creative) and get tired of a project which is why designers take breaks. By walking away and having a rest means your creative ideas mature and develop in the back of your head. When you go back to your logo, you have insight and a clear head. It also is a a good time to get feedback from your team.
It’s time to present our work to the client. We usually only show the client three logo design concepts because if we present too many it actually makes it more difficult for them to choose. We pick the best out of the bunch, we pick what we feel meets the briefs requirements.
When the job is finally approved we like to celebrate by drinking 🙂 Being in the creative field can sometimes be daunting, just like a writer get’s ‘writer’s block’, so does a designer. Not all the logo’s we design are quick and easy, it takes time and planning. It is after all a business face to a name.
Moral of the Story
When given a brief, every designer interprets it in their own way, and if the assignment is given to 50 different designers, it would return 50 different logos, few of them would look like each other. We must remember, the ultimate judge of the logo design may only be the satisfied and paying client.
The moral to this story is to work hard, but not be too hard on your first concepts as the process itself, is the key to ultimate success.