Logo Design Process

Logo Design Process

Logo Design Process Inkbot Design

Logo Design Process

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The first step involved in my 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?” for example. 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 logo design concepts.

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.

Initial Sketches

I always start in a sketchpad, for any project, not just the process of logo design – 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. 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. This can help to simplify a complex structure, or push depth into a specific line of thought.

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Research and Development

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.

Conceptualisation and Presentation

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 and quantity. I will also 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 of the Logo Design

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.

Final Logo Files

Everything is created within Adobe Illustrator, in vector form 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.

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Conclusion

That sums up my logo design process –  if you have any questions, suggestions or criticism feel free to get in touch.

If you are interested in hiring a professional logos designer, feel free to request a quote for work.

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9 Comments on "Logo Design Process"

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mar-shar
mar-shar

My problem in logo design is that I don’t make a lot sketches, specially when the client need it after one or two days. Just 3 or 4 sketches design, and when I have a good one I focus on it to make it better. But this way don’t work all time.
The second problem is how to choose the best color and which tone exactly?
Thanks 🙂

Stuart
I feel sketching to be very important, if not essential. It helps to quickly get a lot of visual & conceptual ideas down on paper, even if it’s very rough. I would say 3-4 sketches isn’t enough (for me) as I like to spend a good few hours doodling and jotting down concepts. Colour and tone should not really come into the design until further down the line – all my sketches and initial ideas are done in greyscale so the focus is upon the logomark. Sometimes clients have a colour they would like to see, so I will use… Read more »
mar-shar
mar-shar

BIG thanks

Alannah
I found this article via google alerts – I can see why it was a top hit for ‘logo & brand identity’. I have been trying to define what it is I specialise in and what it is I want to share with my audience for almost 10 years now, I’ve taken a break from the paid creative to focus on family, but this has really sparked the passion to get back in the game – the process outlined here is spot on – and you’ve really articulated brilliantly so that there really isn’t room for confusion when it comes… Read more »
Fiona
Fiona

Thank you for sharing this – so helpful and much appreciated !

Rosanne Simon

Good to see how another designer creates visual identities and/or logos. I have the same steps more or less in the process. I research a lot, and the visual identity has to work first in black and white before adding colours.

Lynn O'Connell
Lynn O'Connell

The free form sketching step is critical! Not to show my age, but I find that some designers jump to the computer too quickly. Once you’ve spent the time to create the actual graphic, it is easy to get “stuck” on your first few concepts. It doesn’t matter whether you’re good at free form drawing or not… just doodle/outline and let your brain play with the concept. You don’t have to worry about perfection because no one else has to see them. Just give yourself time to focus on the concept before you worry about production.

Noel Fernandez
Noel Fernandez

Thank you Stuart. This article really helped me a lot in my identity and logo design process especially in sketching and doodling. I often miss those parts. Thanks for reminding. 🙂

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