How We Work
While every one of our logo design projects is technically unique, they all follow the same basic process. Here’s what you can expect when working with our designers.
Let’s take a look at this handy graphic that outlines how our studio works with clients on logo & brand identity design projects:The circular arrows indicate an ongoing iterative design phase, the ‘back and forth’ of the process itself. The other phases are more straightforward and linear. Let’s break the steps down with some tips and pointers for each:
The Creative Brief.
This initial question & answer phase is the most critical step to developing any logo or brand identity – it’s when the client and their designer flesh out the brand goals and intentions that are to be designed into the DNA of the logo itself. More simply, what the client wants their brand to “communicate” clearly and succinctly to their marketplace and potential clients or cusomters. There’s lots of room for free association – typical marketing buzz words – cheap, high-quality, fast, exclusive – and their antonyms and synonyms. We’ll need to determine the direction the project will take – a re-design of an already established brand, or as a newly created beacon of the brand itself. You should also discuss predicted applications of the brand artwork itself (every logo should be adaptable as a matter of course, but some uses may require technical preparation than others.) It’s at this point your designer can give his/her advice on how the design process should pan out, as well as begin assembling some basic ideas, whether they be by sketchbook, digital or napkin doodles..
Researching Your Market & Competition.
It would be desirable if designers were experts in every niche business are that has ever needed a logo (and there are people who specialize in designing logos for particular arenas) and even more have designed a lot of logos from similar industries as yours, but in the absolute, almost every designer will have to perform some background research of a client’s target market. It’s also a worthwhile exercise to view the brands of your “competition” especially if they’ve been around for a while. That’s not advice to begin copying logos but you do want to see what others are doing, not plagiarize already in use logos.
This is the stage where a lot of projects stumble, even though it’s the opening of a potentially lengthy process. Clients can expect that designers – especially those with experience – to design an award logo with every concept, first time, every time. This isn’t a realistic expectation.This stage is supposed to be a time for exploration, not the production of final results.
Finalize Logo Concepts.
There’s nothing that lengthens the timeline and/or budget burn-up of any creative project than trying to work with dozens of logo concepts, with a dozen different permutations of each. This may seem like “value for money spent” for some but is actually counter-productive in honing inon a final logo. Pick one or two concepts to work with. That’s it. Nothing meets your fancy? Get your designer to propose new concepts altogether. It’s not very likely you’ll micro-tweak a sub-par preliminary concept into one you’re happy with.
This stage always runs the danger of turning into an endless stream of “Move this over here” and “flip this over there” meaningless revisions. Here’s something to bear in mind – by the time you’re appraising a semi-final logo design, it’s been flipped, spun, sheared, moved over there, moved over here and rotated every which way.Clients must be able to trust that their designer is only presenting the very best version of that particular concept, after having already tried every single variation beforehand. Key point: you hired a designer to design your logo. Don’t attempt to design it for them.
Finalize Your Logo.
This is the point in the logo design process you’re going to move beyond it being a process and more about using your logo to market your enterprise. Eventually, you have to pick a final logo. This is that time. Pick yours.
The closing stage of the logo design process is the one most misunderstood by the client. In the absolute sense, colour doesn’t matter whatsoever when it comes to designing your new logo. In fact, most logos start off as black and white art, with colour added later. Many designers work in tones, rather than colours, so that they can see approximate contrast (or lack of same) and how that impacts the visual fidelity of the design. Any logo that is “held” together by colour is probably a very bad logo to begin with. That’s not to say brand colours aren’t import – they very much are – but not in the intial DESIGN stages. Once you’ve finished having your logo designed, this last quarter of the game is where you get those colours just so.
Technical Setup & Delivery.
This final phase of the logo development process often gets short shrift by designers and this is alas, a particularly “vulnerable” time for the client. Logo files can look great when viewed as a bitmap version on a monitor or smartphone, or using a PDF reader, but what lies “under the hood” can only be viewed in professional design software and even then, you need to know what you’re looking for to see if it’s actually missing. The importance of this step cannot be understated – make sure your digital assets are in the correct formats, resolutions and colour palettes..