The Logo Design Process: How Professionals Do It
We receive many request for logo designs, and from some conversations with some of our clients, we realized that many are interested in how we come up with our designs. There is no right or wrong way to go about creating a logo for a client, but any great designer would tell you, they have found a process that works for them and they stick to it. We’ve written an article already on 5 Characteristics of a great logo design but below we will walk you through our 4-step process that we use to create great logo designs.
Here is a brief overview of the process:
Creative brief– This is a questionnaire or interview with our client to get the details of the design.
Research– We research our clients current competitors, industry trends, and target audience.
Conceptualizing – We take all of our research and information from the creative brief and use mind mapping, and sketching to come up with some concepts.
Vector/Mock-Ups– Here we take our sketches and digitize the concepts we feel are the strongest using Adobe Illustrator.
Presentation– We present the concepts we feel are the best and strongest for your business. This could be a little as 2 concepts to as much as 5 concepts.
When we’re contacted to design a logo, or even re-brand a client that already has a logo, the first thing we do is send out a simple questionnaire or we hop on a 30 minute client interview call. In our questionnaire we ask questions like;
Who are your main competitors? How do people learn about your product or service? Questions as these will give us a better understanding of your business, and your target audience and leads us right into our research. Take a peek at our Logo Design Questionnaire here.
After we’ve gathered the information needed from the questionnaire, we take time to research our client’s current target market, competitors, logo design/Industry trends and much more. The best ideas come from deep research and knowledge we see and obtain. Doing great research also ensures that your logo will be different from your competitors. We never want our clients to look like their competition, kind of defeats the purpose of a new logo design right?
During our think stage we can put together a client profile which will help us in our next stage. Check out the examples below from our think stage.
We have our creative brief and we have our research. Now we start by mind mapping method our thoughts and thumbnail sketching our ideas. A great Graphic designer and author by the name of David Airey uses this method. David Airey wrote a book called Logo Design Love. If you haven’t read it I’d highly suggest you buy it, you will not be disappointed. Mind mapping helps you collect your thoughts, generate more ideas, also group similar ideas together and get rid of ideas you thought were good.
The Sketchpad is a very essential part of our thinking process. Some designers neglect this stage of design, but we find it to be very helpful. When developing sketches, you have no limit; you can put all of your thoughts in a visual form. If you happen sketch an idea that don’t work, save the idea for a later project. I’ve sketched plenty of ideas I didn’t use right then, but later on down the road it came in handy for another project.
Conceptualizing is done its time to vector our ideas. Moving right along to the next stage.
The next stage in the process is putting these on the screen. We take our mind mapping and our thumbnail sketches, and we start to create a logo from the elements we’ve written down and sketched out. This part of the process is my favorite because you get to see what was once no paper come to life on the screen.
When designing a logo it’s good to use a vector base program such as Adobe Illustrator. There are some designers that will use Adobe Photoshop to create a logo, but most of the time you’ll find that same client coming back to get the image adjusted in size depending on what they are using it for. I will go in to deeper detail on another blog on why your logo needs to be designed in a vector program and not Photoshop. There is always a battle of the software, but to each it’s on.
Logo is vectorized it’s not time to keep it moving to the next stage.
We’ve made it to the last step in our process. It’s been a fun journey, now we get to see all of the ideas we’ve collected, and sketches we’ve done come together into a finished product mock up for our client. We call this step our deliver process. As a designer this part of the process makes me feel like I’ve just given birth to a child. You get to see your ideas, actually come ALIVE, and you get to share them with your client. During this stage we are now ready to make our final design look presentable. So put on your sales hat.
When we’re presenting our final mocks to a client in person, we print the logos in black and white, color, and the Pantone color code we’ve chosen. We also have the printed mocks matted as well, remember presentation is everything! This shows our client how their potential logo will look on paper, and also show that we care about their brand just as much as they do.
When we’re presenting our final mocks to a client via email, we send over a .pdf presentation of their logo in black & white, inverse, and in color. We also list out the color palette, and typeface used.
Once our client has chosen their logo, and there are no revisions, we then package them up in web and print format, and email them over to them. All of our clients also get a file included with their new logo design that explains the file formats and how and when to use them.
Thanks for stopping by, please drop your comments or questions below. If you loved this article and would love to see more articles outlining our design process let us know in the comments as well.