Logo Design Process
The first step involved in any logo design services, in particular the logo design process is to work out a brief based on questions I would ask you if we were to have a face-to-face interview. Basics, like “What do you do?” I will direct you to my quote request form if you have not submitted one already, which outlines all the questions and breaks the project down into manageable sections.
Some answers require a little depth to convey the message, “How would you describe your services and/or products?” for example can be answered with a one-word response, such as “Private Equity Firm.” However, this does not adequately describe what you do in enough detail for someone to really ‘understand’ the company. A better answer would be a couple of paragraphs outlining in layman’s terms how you would sum up the company, possibly the mission statement, a little background and generally information relevant to what you would include in an “About us” page on your website. The more I know about what it is you do, the better I can communicate through your brand.
Once I’ve received the submission I will respond with a quote / invoice for consideration. When the 50% deposit is made we are good to start.
Irrespective of the nature of the client and the intricacy of the project, the process remains the same. What changes is the depth of consideration given to each phase of time and the resources it is allocated.
I always start in a sketchpad, for any project, not just the logo design process – outlining the project details and highlighting key points. The first priority is to understand the company / organization / product, so the brief is an essential aspect of getting the basics laid down. I will always check their website if applicable to see if more information can be obtained over what was given. Even at this point, I may have a few concepts sketched out, but without much depth they are likely to be the ‘first thing that comes to mind’ – in other words cliche. It’s good to get these cliches out early so progression can be made away from them. If for example I’m researching a logo for a lawyer, at some point I will have most likely drawn a set of scales. It may not necessarily be a cliche, but it’s certainly overused – and now I can move on.
Alongside the doodles I will be brainstorming and collating a mood-board (actually a collection of screengrabs in the client folder on the computer). This can help to simplify a complex structure, or push depth into a specific line of thought.
Further research consists of looking at competitors to see how they succeed, and where they fall down. This expands upon an understanding of the market itself, where their competitors may do much better than the client I’m designing for, allowing me to offer suggestions on improvements. I will also try to see if any of the concepts I am looking into have been created before, mainly by scouring google images and various logo sites using key words.
Moving from sketchpad to computer can be done by a scanner, or by re-creating by hand in Adobe Illustrator. I will try to get as many concepts created as possible to make the filtration of good / bad more accurate. Thirty ideas may be filtered down to five good ones, which in turn could be filtered to two or three potentially great ones. It is my job as the designer to make considered choices on what is presented; too many and the client could feel inundated, too few and there may be complaints of not enough choice. In my experience, presenting three or four is a good balance of quality / quantity, usually I will give my own thoughts upon which I feel to be strongest to the client.
My ‘usual’ timeframe of 3-4 weeks for a logo project is based upon prompt responses from the client, not just from initial concepts, but from every aspect of development. The feedback upon the initial ideas from the client is central to moving into the next stage. Usually something from the initial versions stands out as something to move forward with, if not I will ask more questions and find out what needs to be focused upon for further concepts.
Development varies greatly between projects, but overall, it is easier to develop the aesthetic side as supposed to the conceptual. Aspects such as an alternate colour scheme or typeface can change the ‘look’, but the significance or meaning behind a logo is much harder to modify.
After a couple of revisions, tweaks and amendments, we will reach something the client is happy with putting their name to. If there is no further collateral to be designed then I can prepare the final files to be sent to the client – once any remaining payment has been completed.
Everything is created within Adobe Illustrator (CS5) in vector format and can be exported to any format required. My standard files are: .AI (for future editing if desired), .EPS / .PDF (for printing), .JPEG (for viewing) and .PNG (with a transparent background for web use). The Vector file formats allow for the maximum range of output because you can scale the size loss of quality or sharpness. This means that the same logo file that looks great on a business card will also look great on a billboard.
That sums up my logo design process – if you have any questions, suggestions or criticism feel free to get in touch.