n this post, we will walk through the 8 stages to creating a logo. Our logo design process begins the same way all of our projects do: with a lot of listening.
When we’re starting from scratch, we often help you discover your brand, identify key elements of your business goals, and fully realize how brand touches every part of how you do business.
The interview gives us a good feeling for the personality and values of your business. Specific questions tell us more about your ideal customer, company culture, and how you want to be perceived, so we can best represent your brand visually.
We discuss Logo Application, which is really just a fancy way of saying:
“What kind of stuff are you going to put your logo on?”
This informs the design greatly, as some logos have to adapt to unique uses, such as a vehicle wrap or a soda can. It’s also important to know if your logo will be used exclusively in a digital capacity, or if it will be printed.
It’s important to know about the industry you are representing, so we do in-depth research into your field, and take a close look at the other businesses succeeding in that same industry. Understanding your competition allows you to not only observe what works and what doesn’t, but also gives us intel on the best way to stand out from the crowd and create a brand that rises above the rest.
Looking at companies with a similar target audience also gives us insight into what your audience responds to.
Next, we research the audience themselves, creating a customer profile. Go beyond the age and gender, and explore the personality of your ideal customer. Where do they live? What are their values? How will they discover your company–is it through social media campaigns, or a tv commercial?
Once we have a full understanding of your business goals, we then move on to the creative, and put pencil to paper.
We complete anywhere from 50-100 thumbnail sketches, getting all of our ideas (good AND bad) on paper before we clean up a select few to present to you. This process allows us to overcome our initial perceptions and concepts, and delve deeper into the abstract to find a logo mark that will help you stand out from the crowd.
Finally, we select a few of our strongest concepts to clean up and present to the client.
We take our strongest sketches and clean them up for presentation to the client. Often, this can lead to further improvement of the logo design. At this time, we also conduct a typography study to find a font that would complement the logo.
While the digital designs are more refined than our sketches, we still leave out color and details, to give you the opportunity to decide which concept we pursue further.
We take everything we’ve created so far (minus our less popular sketches) and create a presentation. We don’t just want to wow you with a flashy logo design–we want to educate you on the decisions we made, the data we learned in our discovery, and the thought that went into creating these concepts.
At this stage, the client can make an informed decision about the logos, and choose one or two to work on in the Refinement stage.
This is often the most collaborative part of the logo process. We work with you to push the design to its best form, perfecting the details until you’re happy.* At this point, a decision has to be made, and we select the final logo.
*or until we run out of time
From here, we are on to one of the most exciting parts: Color!
We have a simple philosophy on logos: if it doesn’t work in black and white, it doesn’t work as a logo design.
At this stage, we conduct a color study to present to you the color schemes we think will represent your company well. While this stage tends to be the most opinionated, the leading factor is the psychology of color, as well as the information learned in the Research stage.
We also create a number of mockups based on the Logo Application, to make sure that your logo will look best in it’s main uses.
At this point, you have a final logo design!
To create the style guide, we use the colors, typography, and design choices we’ve made so far and organize it in an easy-to-use guide that you can give to any graphic designer working with your logo.
A Style Guide is helpful to more than just designers. It not only has the specific color and font information but includes details like:
This simple list of do’s and don’t’s ensures that no matter who is handling your logo, it always looks as intended.