I am a professional graphic designer who has nearly a decade of hands on, actual work experience under their belt; my forte and passion within the industry happens to be within logo / brand design. I love the challenge of getting to grips with a brand represents, and acting as a visual mouthpiece to convey what they want to say within the business world. If done professionally, this is not something that can be done overnight as the ‘logo design process’ is something I have never taken lightly.
I myself on average will spend 2-3 weeks from start to finish on a logo / brand design project. A large proportion of that time will simply be research and generating initial concept design ideas. I remember flicking through a logo design based book a few years ago that explored infamous and high profile logo designs. One of the design agencies that was selected to have their project rundown mentioned in the book stated that they spent 6 weeks alone on research! Now, for most clients this may be too much, but it demonstrates my point, the logo design process is very crucial indeed for a professional and relevant logo design outcome.
In a period of time where you can hop onto the internet and purchase a logo design for as little as 5 dollars, I think the logo design process and it’s fundamental importance needs to be emphasised more than ever. Lets delve into my very own logo design process.
The very first thing I do when I embark on a logo design project is to conduct research. I have a set of questions that I send my client in the form of a Word document which they answer and return. They are questions such as;
‘what is the USP of your company’
‘preferred deadline for project completion’
‘brand title and strapline’
I do this so that I can get all of the relevant information I need to know early one. You do not want to waste time guessing specific parts of the logo design puzzle, so with a questionnaire you can obtain all of the info you need. From there I delve into the history of the company if there is one, and I take a look at the industry of work they are affiliated with. You need to have a strong grasp on the field of work that they operate in to generate a relevant brand or logo design for them.
The next phase revolves around using a pen and paper. I start to jot down words and phrases that revolve around their brand name and the sector of work they operate in. Sometimes a word in their brand title may lead to a strong direction, or it may be something such as the fact that the brand is a music equipment based brand. But I scribble down many ideas and ‘feelings’ that are associated with the brand in general.
Using the words and ideas I have written down, I then often start to draw idea concepts on paper. I do sometimes use a Wacom at this stage but I prefer to use pen and paper to get down initial concept ideas at this stage.
When I have several strong directions to head into, this is when I jump into Adobe Illustrator and start to digitally generate these ideas. This can take a short space of time, or it can take a long time, it depends on my mood, the brand and how tricky the process has been up until this stage.
When I am happy that I have several ideas digitally down, I send the client some designs to look at and mull over. I then await their word and we discuss the designs together. We talk over what works, what doesn’t work, what has promise and what we can work with. I take on board everything that has been said and I refine in the specific direction we agree to go on. Depending on my designs and the type of client I am working with, this can again be a short or long period of time, but eventually there will be a final logo design solution met.
What are your thoughts on the logo design process and how important do you consider it to be? Is your process for designing a logo something similar to mine?