A logo is the first impression of a brand. It is a visual representation of everything that a company is and stands for. A logo design is the fundamental symbol of brand identity. It is a mark of your brand’s image and one of the most powerful tools for an effective branding and marketing strategy.
You can use a logo to emphasize your brand’s personality and image. It is the single most way to connect to your target audience immediately and leave a lasting impression. This is how customers recall and remember your company. A picture says a thousand words and a successful logo does exactly that and more.
Designing a logo is a creative process. It takes time, effort and money to create a successful logo. Irrespective of the design and purpose, every noteworthy logo has the following features that make it stand out from the crowd:
- Simple: Like every marketing design element, a logo must also be simple. It should be clean, unassuming and recognizable. Your logo should not be distracting or confusing to the eyes. If it has to be explained, it’s probably not good enough.
- Adaptable: A great logo design should be versatile. It should work well across different media and across different sizes without compromising on its quality.
- Appropriate: A successful logo should connect to the appropriate audience. It should resonate clearly with the sentiments of the target audience.
- Eternal: A symbol of a great logo is its timelessness. A logo is profitable if it renders well even after a decade. Or more.
Now that you know the characteristics of a good logo design, let’s delve into the creative process of actually building a logo. We at Dreamscape handle a lot of branding for clients and we follow a series of steps or mini processes for designing logos. Since, it involves a lot of research and brainstorming, designing a logo is a time taking process. Here are a set of steps that surround every logo design practice.
1. The Briefing
This is the very first step of the logo design process. This is where the client, the designer and other stakeholders sit together to discuss the project requirements in detail. As a designer, you should ask as many questions as possible to the client at this stage. Get to know all the major and minor details about the requirements.
As a designer, you should, in this process, understand the goals of the company. This will help you later design the logo in alignment with the company’s goals. Ask questions about the company history, what it does, who are its target audience, what are the company’s core principles. Get to understand the voice of the company, their value proposition and ask them to explain the nature of their product or services.
Make sure, during your client discussion, you are aware and fully grasp the purpose of the logo, its usage and the client’s preferred choices in terms of colors and design. Go back and forth with your questions and get an absolutely clear brief. This avoids misinterpretation at a later stage.
After you have had a good, clear discussion with the client, it is time to research and dig deeper. Your research should involve a detailed market research about the company. You should also do a good deal of competitor research to find out more about what similar industries go about their brand management. Your groundwork is important since talking with the client can only give you so much information.
A detailed study, both online and offline about your client’s company will provide you deeper insights about the company culture and about an outsider’s view into the company. It will also give you a sensibility of the settings the logo will thrive in. Another vital information you will need to dig is the target audience. Study the preferences of the target audience. Find out the trends and features that influence the target audience behavior. Get to know their choices and what resonates to their pshycological and emotional senses.
Your aim is to find out the specifics that you can use in your logo design that will appeal to the target audience, make the brand stand out while also keeping its core principles intact.
3. Analysis and Abstraction
Once you have enough information in hand, you can begin drafting the initial versions of the logo. A great step to begin this process is to start jotting down words or phrases that identify the brand and the values of the company. These textual ideas will influence visual representations in the form of shapes and designs.
The idea here is to come up with several conceptualizations that represent the brand objectives and goals. Include the guidelines that you gathered during step 1 and 2 and incorporate them in your sketches. Maintain consistency with lines, color palette, shaping and placement. Once you have put out a few drafts on paper that best resonate with the brand and the requirements, it’s time to move to the next step.
4. Draft Production
After the initial round of pen and paper sketches, it is time to move on to digital implementation of the logo design. This is usually done on Illustrator, a vector-based drawing software. The best ideas that you drew on paper are recreated as digital art. You add more precise detailing to the designs. You use colors and fonts and tweak the design to fit the client’s expectations. Alignments, spacing and other technical aspects of the logo are taken care of according to the brand guidelines document. Background options are discussed and implemented. You can also add motions or animations to your design if that is the requirement. Once you are happy with the outcome, you are ready to present the options to the client.
5. Client Presentation
The final step of the magic process is the client feedback. You present the most appropriate choices of your draft for consideration by the client. Usually, along with the logo, you also include a couple of descriptive text explaining the vision and intent behind each logo design. After this step, the client selects the option that most resonates with them or they might suggest some more changes. This would need to be tweaked and incorporated again till everyone reaches a happy agreement.
A logo is the visual keystone of a company’s branding initiative. An eye-catching logo not only helps in awarding recognition to a brand but it also helps in attracting new customers. As creative and taxing a logo design process is, it is also a massively fulfilling task. It is like creating a visual magic.