Logo design process

Before you start…

Research your client

This is a crucial part of the design process; a lot of designers get an idea in their mind and begin designing before they even consider the businesses grass roots. Ask your client for the backstory on their business and if there are any elements they would like to see portrayed through their logo and brand.

Research you client’s competition

Also, a very important step in the design process, you need to understand who you are competing against and how to stand out from the crowd. Research the local market and direct competitors as well as leaders in the industry, this will give you a feel of what level your brand needs to appeal to.

What will the logo be used for?

Before putting pen to paper you need to consider where the logo will be used, is it a single use logo or will it be used across various media. This is important as you want to get the ratio of text to icon right. Consider how it will look across web versus print, and, is the logo still legible at a smaller size. All these things need to be considered before the design process begins.

Okay, you can now begin

Sketch

A good place to start is your note pad, even if you’re not the best at drawing you can still put down a few ideas to remind yourself when you start designing on screen. I like to draw any icon ideas I have or font types I like, it all helps.

Concepts

This is the fun part for all designers. Starting the design process isn’t easy but hopefully after your initial research you will have a few ideas in mind. Usually my first design isn’t my best but once you have something down, your design will grow from your initial concept. I find it hard to just design one concept, usually I will present several concepts to the client. Some might only be a font or colour variation but I like to have a range of ideas to present as your favourite won’t necessarily be your clients.

Refine

Once you are happy with your concepts take a step back to reflect or simply take a break from the project itself. Ask a friend or family member their thoughts, quite often you will get attached to your design and not be able to see past further improvements.

Presentation

Presenting your logo with an image really helps sell the emotion of your design. Another effective way to sell your idea is to mock up your design. Whether that is in; signage, website, clothing or stationery it will help your client visualise how their brand is going to be applied in real life.

Changes

No doubt whether you present to your art director or direct to the client there will be changes. This is no different to any other design process. Take the feedback on board and apply the changes but if you still feel the original design is better keep your design on the table and explain why you feel it is the better option, but at least you can show your art director or client you gave their ideas a go – they will most likely choose their idea 😉

Export and style guide

Once your client has signed off on the chosen design you should supply them with a full suite of logos. I like to include: JPG, PNG, PDF and EPS, I also supply these in both large and small sizes as well as CMKY, Pantone, Mono and Reversed. Doing this adds professionalism to the project and value for your client.

Depending on the size of the client it is always good to supply a style guide. whether it is a simple one page document outlining colours, fonts and logo use or a full in-depth guide on logo positioning and brand elements. Again, this will add professionalism to the project and value for your client.