Do you need a new logo, but have no clue where to start or what to expect. Let me guide you through what you SHOULD expect, to get the results you want.
Yesterday, I randomly got chatting to a lady in a toy shop who had recently commissioned a logo design with a local company, based upon a supposedly reliable recommendation. She was incredibly dissatisfied with the process and what she’d seen so far; having been given limited options which didn’t at all adhere to the brief she gave. So much so, she ended up spending 2 hours finding examples of graphics she liked on a stock image library to guide the designer in the right direction. Not ideal.
I wanted to write a post about what I believe you should get from a designer with regards to a logo design, to give you the confidence to ask for what you want, get a logo design you are overjoyed with and most importantly, fulfils its purpose.
This post covers a generic overview of the logo design process, which can vary depending on the requirements, scale and story of the whole brand identity.
Starting with a questionnaire, interview, or likely both, communication is key at this stage to establish exactly what you the client wants and needs.
This usually includes things like: why you need a new logo, purpose, the story behind your business, likes and dislikes, technical details (what needs to be included), target audience, where and how your logo will be predominantly displayed, and deadlines for design and delivery.
If you have seen anything you like as a source for inspiration, now is a good time to show it to your designer. But DO NOT expect them to copy! Your designer should take all your information as a source of inspiration and produce a new concept which suits your brief.
This is a key part of logo design and where your designer should do relevant background work, including research into your industry, competitors and target market.
3. Ideas & Concept
I personally do lots of sketching at this stage before I get anything on to the screen. Colour, fonts, shapes and symbols all come together at this stage as the designer refines their ideas.
As a guide, I usually work on three concepts based on the initial brief. If I have more I think are worth showing I will work on those too.
How your designer chooses to present logo options to their client can vary. I sometimes present in black and white initially to focus the customer on the concept not the colour in the initial stages, as some find it hard to see past colour and therefore will scrap a good concept. If the logo is particularly reliant on the colour, then I will present coloured drafts.
Your designer may also present other options you didn’t discuss, but could appropriately solve the brief. Take their guidance on fonts and colours on board if they try something different, as they know and will have researched what is appropriate for your target market. Some clients can be very specific about what they want, and until they see other options, don’t think they will work.
Don’t expect your designer to be always be too literal – just because you are a software company, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need a computer in your logo (!) – there are lots of clever ways your designer may find to incorporate hidden meaning.
This is another stage at which communication is important so you can feedback to your designer clearly, and move on in the right direction. Have a good chat through your likes and dislikes and don’t be afraid to ask for something.
N.B The draft and feedback stages can go back and forth, as this is the development stage of the logo in which your designer will show you progress at intervals before gaining feedback.
6. Sign off
Once happy with the outcome and finals tweaks are made it’s time to approve the final draft!
7. Final files
It’s common for logos to be needed in different formats for different purposes and your designer should supply you with everything you need.
Typically a logo may be required in landscape and portrait formats, and you should expect to receive print and web appropriate files (jpg, png), and most importantly vector files. This can be an eps or ai (Adobe Illustrator file) and are important as these files are infinitely resizable. Don’t expect to be able to open the vector files yourself though if you don’t have the correct software, but are perfect for keeping for printers, sign writers etc, should you need them.
This is an outline of the process I would work through to get the outcome the client needs. Don’t be afraid to ask the designer if you have any questions about their process. I hope I have given you a bit of guidance and you feel well equipped to get the results you want.