Logo Design Process
Every designer has a different process for creating logo designs. To take some of the mystery out, I wanted to share how I create logos for clients. Below is the process I follow; it involves a lot of collaboration, feedback, and interaction from you, the client. What I’ve learned is that each client is an expert in his/her field. Paired with my design skills and experience, we can create something magical that will serve you for years to come.
Step 1: Questionnaire
I start each logo project off by talking with the client about their goals and dreams. Using my brand questionnaire, we’ll talk about the exact logo name, whether or not a tagline needs to be included as well as the intended target audience and competitors. We’ll even discuss your personal likes and dislikes. This questionnaire helps me learn more about your organization and your goals.
Step 2: Mood Boards
Once the questionnaire is complete, I assign clients a little bit of homework. The homework includes finding images of logos they like, in addition to colors and patterns. I use this to find out what types of imagery clients are attracted to, and it helps me discover some directions the logo may go. Once a direction has been chosen, I use this as guidance for creating their logo.
Step 3: Pencil Sketches
I like starting logo designs by sketching with a pencil and paper. In this digital age, it might seem backward, but I can sketch more ideas quickly and explore multiple directions on paper, faster than on the computer. At this stage, I also look for inspiration on the client’s Pinterest board, in books, magazines, as well as online.
Step 4: Digitize
Once I feel like I’ve come up with some good options on paper, I’ll take my top logo ideas and create them on the computer using a software program called Adobe Illustrator. At this point, the idea is to iterate quickly and select an appropriate font. I typically present 3-5 black and white logo concepts to each client for the first round.
Step 5: Revise & Repeat
After I present the initials round of logo concepts, I ask the client for feedback. Do they have a favorite concept? Do they like certain aspects of different logos – like the icon from one, and the font from another? How can we revise the logo while keeping in mind the guidance from the mood boards and brand questionnaire? At this stage, we also add color. It can take up to three rounds to revise and craft the final logo.
Step 6: Finalize
Once the final logo has been selected, it is time to clean up the logo. Letter sizing, the spacing between elements, and white space around each logo will be adjusted and perfected. This is the stage where I will save out all the appropriate file formats as well. Each client will receive the logo in color, black and white, and often reversed (to be used on a colored background). Files will be saved for both print and digital platforms. In addition to the original vector file format (.ai), each client will receive the appropriate jpegs, pdfs, and pngs.
Step 7: Launch
Now it’s time to launch! You’ll be able to take the files I’ve sent and update your website, social media profile images, marketing materials, and more. If any file sizes aren’t correct or you need some minor adjustments send me a note – and we’ll work together to make sure you have what you need.
Prospective clients ask how long it can take to create a logo. My answer is…it depends. How quickly can we meet to fill out the brand questionnaire? How long will it take between rounds of revision to provide me with feedback? A good rule of thumb is to plan for 6-8 weeks. Some logos go quicker, some take longer.
A logo is an investment that is worth taking the time to get right. Think about the cost of printing business cards or the time it will take to update your website and social media profiles. All of these things are time-consuming and potentially costly to repeat. Take the time to get your logo designed correctly and it will save you time and money in the future.