I’ve been asked by clients if logo design ideas come to me in a “flash of inspiration.” I wish! But like most other jobs, design is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. The process of designing a logo requires logical steps of listening, research, development, feedback and refinement to achieve the best results.
- DEFINING THE CHALLENGE & UNDERSTANDING THE GOAL
Answers to questions like, Who is your target audience?, How does your company differ from the competition?, What words would you use to describe your ideal logo?, What other types of logos appeal to you?, help designers and clients get on the same page regarding what is expected of the new identity.
Armed with this information from the client meeting, looking into what competitors are doing and getting a better feel for their market is the next step. This helps to understand what might and might not be appropriate for the overall message and feel that the successful logo will need to convey.
Here’s where the 10% happens! Often, after fact-gathering, designers “let it be” for a few days. Brainstorming, changing environment, asking Why?, and What if? help look at the logo challenge in new and different ways. It’s hard to be creative and critical at the same time, so the good, bad, and ugly are all included. Only when many concepts have been worked up do we proceed to…
This is when a critical eye is used, refining some ideas and rejecting others, going off on a tangent with another, and taking the viable sketches and translate them to a digital format. We present at least three different design approaches to the client for their initial feedback. All initial concepts presented are black-and-white, concentrating at this point on the form of the logo. A successful logo needs to work well in black-and-white as well as color.
- CLIENT REVIEW & FEEDBACK
Client feedback should be implemented early and often in the design process. Collaborating with the client assures designing a logo that best represents them and their company.
- REFINEMENT REDUX
After a client’s initial feedback, it’s back to the drawing board! Changes based on the feedback, possibly including a new approach as a result of reviewing the initial ideas, are all incorporated for the next client review.
- ADDING COLOR
Once the final logo design has been agreed on, color palettes are developed for the logo. Again, it’s important to understand the client’s audience and industry in choosing appropriate colors for their identity. A client meeting is held to review the color concepts, and further color refinements are made if needed.
- CLIENT FILES
Hooray…we have a winner and now it’s time to deliver the appropriate file formats to the client. These are what you should expect to receive from a designer: an EPS file of the logo in black-and-white and color, suitable for any reproduction use; a JPG and/or GIF file that is suitable for web use; a TIFF file (higher-quality than a JPG) and can be used in Microsoft Office programs. We also include a Logo Standards Guidelines, outlining the best practices for using the new logo in different situations.