Let’s be honest, now a days anyone can design a logo and call himself or herself a designer. However, not everyone can design a good and effective logo and that’s the great value and difference of a professional, well-designed logo. One that attracts the right audience, stands out from the competition, provides instant recognition, memorability, versatility and that will save you money in the long haul by maintaining its effectiveness through the pass of time. Read more about this in my previous blog post.
So yeah, while even you can try to become a designer yourself by using an online logo generator or hire someone through Fiverr’s $5 logo service, if we keep the honesty going, how good do you think the outcome will be? How much research, time and effort do you think a designer will put towards designing your business’ most important image if you’re paying them $5? Here’s a link to an undercover study of $5 logos from Fiverr that AIGA (The Professional Association for Design) conducted and where to no surprise, found all the logo concepts submitted by the 3 different Fiverr “designers” to be complete rip-offs of either an online stock art site or other people’s work.
A good and effective logo requires a great amount of research, study and brainstorming to provide deliverables that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but can also work in any size, medium and that are completely unique. Plus, I cannot stress enough, to avoid possible copyright/trade mark issues. It is a professional designer’s main skill to create and deliver a mark that can adapt and make an impact wherever it is applied.
With these facts out of the way, I want to provide you with my logo process:
1. Logo design brief/questionnaire
My logo design brief is the first step in my design process. It’s basically a questionnaire I provide prospective clients in an attempt to learn as much as I can about their business such as goals, values, products, etc., Once I receive the brief, I study it and preferably like to set up a time to meet with the client or talk over the phone to discuss specific deliverables and prepare the proposal. Once the proposal/quote and timeline is agreed upon, I require 50% down in order to begin work.
2. Research and discovery
In this phase, I research the business competition: What their logos look like, who they’re targeting. Also study the industry in general, the business’ history and their values to give me my main clues on where I need to take the logo and/or design style wise. This is probably the most important step in the design process. Without it, you’ll likely receive a generic logo that looks a lot like your competition, which will only make you one more out of the bunch. This part of the process allows me to define what type of logo would work best for my my client (a wordmark, a lettermark, a brandmark, combination mark or emblem). You can read more about the different types of logos and view examples of them here.
3. Brainstorm and sketch ideas
This process includes mind mapping with the goal being to find unique relationships or key words that will serve as a base for design concepts to sketch. Sketching allows me to put ideas on paper as they come to mind and then to quickly sort out the bad ones. It is the only way to separate the good ideas from the bad ones. Once the sorting process is done, I normally like to keep 2-3 ideas to further develop into actual concepts that lead to the next step.
HERE’S SOME IMAGES OF MY PROCESS
4. Concept presentation
As mentioned in the previous step, normally 2-3 concepts/ideas make it into this stage. Ones that I believe will meet all the prospected goals and will be a successful candidates in representing your business and/or product. Normally, I would do an in-person presentation but in the cases where that’s not an option, it will be an over the phone or online presentation where we can discuss the options presented. These concepts will meet all the requirements of what a good logo should have as outlined in my blog “Why is a good logo essential to your business?” The presentation will include mock-ups of how the logo could be applied and work in different mediums such as business cards, t-shirts, store signs, etc. This helps the client visualize the logo in real world settings, rather than just a piece of paper. We will review every solution presented to arrive at a preferred one together to move into the next phase.
This phase entails the edits that need to be made to the chosen concept in order to make it perfect and completely successful based on client feedback. Usually, at this point, only one or two revisions are needed, as it comes down to color, element refinement or typeface. One thing to keep in mind when providing feedback is that we need to leave subjectivity behind and focus on what’s important to the success of the business. Things like, “I don’t like yellow, or circles, or squares” are very subjective and personal choices that in no way will add any value or effectiveness of the logo. Remember, as harsh as it may sound, it’s not about you but how it will work.
Upon approval all necessary logo/design files will be prepared along with a logo design style guide. This guide will document all design specifics such as colors, typefaces, and provide specific instructions on how to use the files to make the most out of your logo as your company grows. Final payment is due at this stage in order for me to provide final delivery.
7. Delivery and support
Upon final payment, you will receive full ownership of the files and a digital package including:
a. Logo style guide
a. Original source files in vector format (EPS) in color and black and white
b. High resolution (300 dpi) JPG files in color and black and white
c. Web resolution (72 dpi) JPG and PNG files in color and black and white
Finally I want to make sure that my client understands and knows how to use the files provided so if at any point there’s any questions or assistance needed I’m always here to help and answer any questions.