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How we create the perfect Logo

by Adam Whitnall | 10th October 2017 Brand Identity


Well hello! Glad you could swing by. Pretty sure if you are reading this article, you are either a graphic designer researching how to design a logo?? Or you are a person in need of a graphic designer to help you with your new logo. Designing your own logo can be a frustrating process. You may have an idea or vision in your mind, but explaining that to a graphic designer can lead to misinterpretations. That’s why all good graphic designers will work to a process or stages to help crystallize your ideas.  

What are the stages?

Well according to wikihow they state 6 steps you need to do when considering creating a new logo for your business.
 
  1. Brainstorm
  2. Determine your target audience
  3. Decide if you are going to incorporate your company name into the logo
  4. Follow the company colour scheme (Unless you are rebranding this is a separate process)
  5. Be inspired by others but don’t copy
  6. Keep it simple

To be fair it’s not too far off how our graphic designers approach creating new logos for our clients. After all the process isn’t rocket science, but it’s all about how creative you are in positioning your business. I love that last point, ‘keep it simple’ it’s so true! The most iconic logos in the world are so simple yet memorable.

So let me guide you through our logo design process.

Brand guidelines
As logo design is just part of the branding process, we always ask if you require a branding process or you are looking to just refresh logo using the existing brand guidelines in place. If there are already brand guidelines in place, such as use of typeface, colour schemes, where and how the logo will be used - the guidelines provide the boundaries.

Design Brief / Questionnaire
It is at this point we either expect a design brief from the customer or provide a short questionnaire so we can gather key information. Larger companies usually go through an internal process to learn what their stakeholders expect from a new logo, so they will already have these thoughts and overview of their target audience etc. But for smaller companies or startups, they might not have the time or know how to write a brief, so for them we provide a simple questionnaire and ask questions about their business, their industry, their aspirations for their business, is it local, national or even international. We ask further questions about their customers and also how will the logo be used, is it just digital/social, or will it be used in print adverts.  

Research / Brainstorm
So now the fun begins for us. As a logo designer, after reviewing the client’s brief or questionnaire, I like jump online, but have a pad and pencil to hand. I start to search online, researching my clients competition to review how they have designed their logos, plus I like to research my clients customers. A customer perspective allows me to sketch out ideas on my pad for what I believe they will engage with, all the time mixing in with the thoughts of the client. Typeface at this point (if the company name has been chosen to be a part of the logo) can really help set the tone. After spending a good solid morning researching and brainstorming, my pad is full of rough sketches (not for clients eyes), but they really help with capturing the start of some great logo ideas.

Black and white concept development
It is really really important that a logo will work in just one colour. Remember the point ‘keep it simple’, well this stage helps with that. I have seen some really terrible logo’s over the years (no I am not going to name and shame), but they fail in my eyes, as they have had every colour and the kitchen sink thrown into the design. The result is a confusing mess. Usually, by sticking to 12 illustrations of my ideas in just black and white in an illustrator file, you quickly learn what has potential.

At this point, if the relationship with the client is strong, they are invited to have a look at these black and white concepts, for early feedback.

Full Colour Concepts displayed on relevant media to help present the concept to client
So from the 12 black and white logo concepts, 6 are chosen (with or without help from client feedback). Now is the time to introduce colour. I like to create a short presentation 1 slide per colour logo with notes on my thoughts on the choice, so that I can educate the client in the process.

At this point it really is down to the client to choose from the 6 worked up concepts. What every graphic designer won’t tell you is at this point we will have all our fingers and toes crossed that one is chosen. In an ideal world, without any changes. But logo design is very emotive - a client does need to remember that a logo design is about what will be attractive to their customers and not just personal preference.

Supply of logo in multiple formats
All that is left to do now, is to supply the logo in multiple formats in black and white and full colours and sometimes even 1, 2, 3 or 4 colour formats.

Some useful thoughts to keep in your mind.
  • Colour is important - colours have meaning - google it!
  • Keep it simple - what can I say, some of the most iconic logos are simple
  • Make it your own - to your business (don’t go generic)
  • Don’t follow the pack - never copy or follow a trend that will go out of fashion (quickly)
  • Custom Lettering - is unique
  • Proportion and Symmetry - a decent graphic designer will by their very nature do this well without any need for training.
  • Negative Space - let it breath!
  • Passive or Active - Motion in a logo can help explain what your business does

Hopefully this has helped in your quest for designing the perfect logo, I am always available to have chat on email if you would you like myself to undertake your logo design or brand identity project.

 

Article Tags

Graphic design (2) Logo design (1)

A few of the lovely clients we work with