How Project Management Can Help Improve Your Logo Design Process
Creating any design project, including logo design, can be a time-consuming and exhausting process.
Not only does the design team need to understand the company they are creating the logo for intimately, but they also have to research other companies in the same industry.
The worst thing a logo design team can do is create a logo that will not pass the trademark requirements.
Additionally, whenever anything crosses over into the creative sphere, there is always the struggle between balancing the structure needed to maintain good workflow, and the space designers need to support their creativity.
Proper workflow management is essential to the success of any creative project, especially logo design.
Creating a logo can present its challenges and expectations.
Utilising a competent project manager can help facilitate a smooth logo design process.
Although the designer may bristle at the idea of being “managed,” any complicated project, like designing a logo, needs to have a dedicated project manager, who can guarantee a quality product can be delivered promptly.
To achieve this, a balance needs to be struck between giving the design team the space they need to create the logo and giving them a clear sense of what they are trying to accomplish.
Having a competent project manager can help ease some of the tension when dealing with a design process.
Keep the Designers Working
There are many ways a complicated project, like logo design, can get thrown off course.
One of the easiest ways this happens, however, is getting too caught up in the administrative process, therefore not allowing the designers to do what they do best: design.
When managing something as significant as designing a logo, there can be a lot of extraneous factors that get in the way.
Requiring the presence of the designers at countless pitch meetings, work update meetings, or even just insisting they fill out a plethora of administrative work, will be detrimental to the overall project.
Soon, the designers will end up completing more of this extra work instead of focusing on what the client wants them to do, which is create a logo.
If a designer is actively working throughout the day, but not accomplishing any of the actual design processes, it is probably time for a project management expert to step in and help take control.
Having a project manager to help facilitate these tasks is key to maintaining proper project workflow.
A great project manager will understand the requirements of their designers.
This could mean a solid block of time to work without meetings interrupting their process, or a “no contact” rule for the afternoon, where the designer is essentially in “do not disturb” mode.
The meetings still need to occur, and the higher-ups (or the client) still need to be updated on the project's status, but, with a project manager, this responsibility will fall to them, instead of the designers.
A project manager will free up the designers time, allowing them to create the best logo possible.
There is nothing more distracting to a designer than constant interruptions.
With technology allowing notifications with every email or chat sent, it can become overwhelming for some people, especially those trying to get into a creative space.
Getting a notification for an important email, then answering that email, will bring the designer out of their work zone, thereby distracting them from the real work they need to be doing.
With a project manager in charge and maintaining all lines of communication, these distractions can be minimised, if not avoided altogether.
There is something to be said for intra-team communication, of course, but having a leader who can address individual needs and concerns, without alerting the whole team, is key to the design's success.
Using a project management professional can also ensure that each team member is getting the information they need on time.
Some designers may turn off notifications as a whole, which may lead to them missing an important message.
Having a project manager in charge of communication will bolster the team's efficiency, ensuring each member knows the information essential to their job.
Be a Filter
Creating a logo is an inherently personal process.
Many may not think this is the case, but a logo is the visual representation of a company.
When potential customers or clients look at the logo, they need to be able to understand what the company stands for, who they are, and what they are selling.
Creating something that can be looked at and comprehended on multiple levels can be nerve-wracking, for both the designer and the client.
It is understandable, then, that the client would want to be involved with practically every step of the process.
This can, however, cause adversely affect the designer, making them lose focus by getting too caught up in the minutiae of the client's needs.
Therefore, a proper project manager can be the buffer between the client and the designer.
Filtering out the communication that is unnecessary, from a design standpoint, will help the designer maintain their focus and produce the best logo possible.
A project manager can also be an advocate for the designer if they are part of a larger company.
Sometimes a company will impose unrealistic timetables and deadlines.
Trying to achieve these will make the designer either burnout or shutdown due to the inability to finish on time.
Using a project manager as a go-between between the design team and the company managers will allow both sides' concerns to be heard and addressed, without any negativity entering the creative environment.
Know When to Step Up
Managing a creative team often means knowing when to step back and give the team the space they need to work.
However, it also means knowing when it is time to step up and be the leader they all expect.
With too much freedom and flexibility, there is the distinct possibility that nothing will be accomplished on time.
Working for a client, this is, of course, unacceptable.
Knowing when the team needs a nudge in the right direction to stay on track is an integral part of any project.
Thus, having a project management specialist who can help keep the project moving along is imperative.
A project manager can also show its necessity if the project faces a crisis of any kind.
While a crisis is never wanted nor expected, it is good to be prepared for one.
In a time of upheaval or emergency, a project manager is an integral part in making sure the team stays on task, operating in a way that will allow them to produce the logo design that is needed.
Having a team leader, someone whom the designers can trust to help the project maintain its forward momentum is critical in assisting them to keep their creativity.
Protect the People
Creating a logo can be an exhausting process.
There are many steps involved, from researching the brand and its competitors to drafting designs and presenting the concepts.
These tasks all take an inordinate amount of time and can sometimes seem overwhelming.
The most important part of any project manager is to take care of the team.
The best project managers understand that their team is made up of individual human beings, with their struggles and ways of handling themselves.
The ideal project manager will get to know the members of their team, understand their struggles and learn how to motivate them properly.
Even though there are project management flows and frameworks that can be forced onto a team, haphazardly applying these to a group of people is hardly ever effective.
Knowing how to pull the best work out of the team given to them is a hallmark of any great project manager.
Finding the Right Project Management Expert
Locating a project manager that knows how to handle the high-stress project of logo creation will not be easy.
Ideally, the perfect project manager for a project such as this would have been a designer.
A project manager that used to be a designer would know the stresses and pressures of designing a logo can create.
They also would be the best suited to understanding the specific needs of a creative team.
Sometimes, it can be challenging to find a designer who is willing to switch over to that management train of thought, as many creatives baulk against the structure project management requires.
If that is the case, other project managers should be considered.
Even though there are many different project managers out there, there are some key factors that can be looked at to indicate quality project managers.
A membership in Project Management Institute (PMI), the globally-recognised professional project management organization, is one such factor.
Furthermore, if the project manager has completed any PMP training, or has the PMP certification, that shows they are not only well-educated in the project management field, but they also have extensive experience.
Only a highly-experienced project management professional can qualify for a PMP certificate, and only the best project managers will be able to deal with the complex creative project of logo design.
Author Bio: Christine is an assistant for EdWel Programs, a leading provider for PMP Exam Prep and risk management training since 2002.
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