There’s a certain process to logo design, it is a well established format that has been used for many, many years. We do our best to educate each client on the process and the expected results. Whilst we recognise that each client is different and not every logo design will follow set rules. In quick succession we have had two very different customers and this makes an interesting story.
A logo design needs a brief from the client, a new business owner will normally have a good idea of the ethos of their business, have an idea of what they like and dislike and finally have a fully formed concept of their business. If they are uncertain, we ask a range of questions which sometimes proves difficult to answer. But no need to worry here as there is a simple briefing guide that you can use to focus your mind on what is important. Get it here:- Download PDF here↯.
So The Tale of Two Logos begins!
1. BRIEF TAKING STAGE
Client A had specific ideas of what they wanted, in fact almost spelt out in detail their vision for the logo. Two people in our studio were briefed ready to get to work.
Client B also had a good brief, knew to a degree what they wanted, but were open to other ideas and did not want to constrain us too tightly.
NOTE: A logo can be over-briefed and under-briefed, ideally there needs to be scope for the designer to develop ideas.
2. RESEARCH AND THINKING
For both logos, as with all logos, we do a lot of groundwork to be sure that we come up with something unique within the brief. We research their competition, think about typography to fit with their business style and finally put pencil to paper.
3. SKETCHES AND DIGITISATION
We move away from the computer and get our pencils out! We draw up unique ideas and create icons, shapes and graphic devices to give a visual message about the business. By the time we have sketched out ideas a few hours have gone by.
4. FIRST DRAFT SUBMISSIONS
The sketches get digitised and more ideas may be explored and worked up into vector format. Logo design is always created in vector format at the outset, this is to ensure easy adjustments and to enable a crisp, scaleable, clearly defined logo. The key to good logo design is to simplify, hone the parts down to the bare minimum to give as strong a result as possible. Sometimes the brief may dictate a more complex idea, we work to that too, but will endeavour to keep the ideas as simple as possible.
5. FIRST DRAFT FEEDBACK
This is the most crucial part of the process! Our clients get provided with approximately five design solutions all referencing their brief. We may explore alternative ideas or a new angle, but everything is open for discussion. Normally, a phone call takes place and the merits of the logos are discussed. A client may not like any of the ideas, but when asked why, they realise the reason they may not like something is down to something very minor which can be changed very easily. Others may love all of them and be undecided which to go for – but most often there is one or two that stand out that can be taken forward.
NOTE: A logo design is teamwork between designer and client. After all, it is your business the designer is trying to capture in one simple image.
What happened next with the two clients is worth noting…
Client A disliked everything, but did not give any objective reasoning, in fact refused to speak on the phone. I am 99% certain that a phone call would have got to the bottom of what was missing. I have turned around logos before when the client simply misses the point, but if you cannot speak, there is not much hope to rectify the situation.
Client B liked most of the designs, and was particularly grabbed by one. After a phone call I was able to give depth to the design ideas and improve the chosen logo. Talking things through is always good as detail can be agreed and refinements made. Most of our logos follow this pattern.
6. FIRST ITERATIONS
Refinements are made to the favoured logos and at this stage colour is usually introduced. Once one or two of the most favourable logos are fine-tuned, they begin to take on their own personality and move towards representing the business in the way the client wants. it is good for the client to listen to the designer as you may get a little carried away, or have seen something online that we are trying to avoid getting too close to.
7. SECOND ITERATIONS
Final tweaks are made and a colour scheme agreed upon, normally taking the design to a professionally polished result. A logo design should endeavour to aim for longevity, it should be S.M.A.R.T:
Check out Logo Design Principles here by Paul Rand of Logo Geek.
8. THE RESULTS
Client A walked off and asked someone else to have a go at the logo. I don’t believe another designer has managed to achieve the right result as it would have been better to rethink and change the brief. If a brief changes, which it has done with another client, the client can end up with a logo that is a far better design than the original brief dictated. It’s a shame the client did not feel able to reassess their brand identity, read the quotation properly and get a grip of the work involved.
Client B has a unique logo that has a strong identity, is not close to anything else – but then the subject matter has not been tackled very well by anyone else.
NOTE: Logo design is going to be about a day’s work, minimum. Be prepared to pay a good designer for their time to work through ideas, allow thinking time and allow the brief some scope.
BUT WE STILL LOVE LOGO DESIGN!
It’s rare to fail, but fortunately 99% of our logo projects do as Client B.
Logo design needs the client and the designer to work through ideas and to change direction if the original ideas and brief are not right for the business.