A breakdown of my logo design process
I’ve worked on logos for a lot of clients, and whenever I’m approached for a new one, I make sure to explain ahead of time how much is involved in the logo design process, so that my clients know what to expect of me.
Even the quickest of logo-creations takes a minimum of eight steps, as follows:
Step One: First contact, AKA Getting To Know My Clients
This stage is research-heavy; it’s the part where I talk deeply with my clients to understand who they are, identify their target audience, their goals, their values and their message. Sometimes this will involve my New Client questionnaire and sometimes, if the client doesn’t know what they want or need yet, this can take the form of an in-depth conversation over Zoom.
We discover what makes them stand out in their market and build a profile on their core identity. I then research my client online, to determine how their audience view them and research their market to figure out how I can make them stand out amongst their competition.
Step Two: Word Mapping, AKA Brain Storming
After researching, I return to the client brief and begin to scribble down my thoughts: everything I’ve learnt from my research and everything I’ve learnt from my client. I then review this and start to identify where areas overlap and build upon which areas are important.
Step Three: Prototyping, AKA Doodling
Yes, I get paid to draw pretty pictures. I love my job.
Seriously, though, this stage is crucial to logo design. It allows me to transform the data I’ve accumulated into visual assets, and develop them into draft concepts. Whilst I usually start a project with an idea of how I imagine the finished piece to look, I often do a three-sixty during the prototyping phase, and generate a concept that’s completely different from what I walked into the project imagining. This is great, because it provides my clients with options.
Step Four: The First Presentation, AKA It All Goes In The Bin
Once I’ve developed the sketched draft concepts during the Prototyping phase, I sit back and think about these concepts from a branding perspective. It’s when I have to be my own worst critique; I ask myself “is this communicating the brand?”, “does it fit the brief?” and “is it a solid ID?” and a hundred other questions to whittle away the weaker designs.
I keep going until I’ve narrowed it down to three or four of the strongest drafts. Then I neaten them up into presentable options and show them to the client.
Step Five: First Client Review, AKA Further Culling
Sometimes a client surprises me with the direction they want to take from the 3-4 drafts I present them with. Usually, though, I have a strong inclination which prototype they’re going to prefer. And they almost always have an absolute favourite the moment they see the drafts. Once they’ve made this known, we ditch the remaining drafts and focus on their new logo.
Step Six: Refinements and Alternates, AKA The Actual Work
If the client has any doubt about the logo presented to them, this is where we work to iron those out. It’s the refinement stage, where I make tweaks to the design to make it perfect. I also generate the logo as a vector file, create any colour variations (such as a monotone version) and design the alternate logos: a sub-logo, a wordmark, a watermark, etc.
Steps Five (Review) and Step Six (Refinements) repeat until the client and I are satisfied that the logo is complete and fit for purpose.
Step Seven: Sign Off, AKA The Thumbs Up
This is the part where the client has the opportunity to review the logo one last time – if I’m working with a project manager or a contact within a company who needs to get higher approval, this is when they take the logo back to the company for internal review. Once this stage is complete, the design is finalised.
Step Eight: Payment and Deliverables, AKA Project Completion
Once I’ve received the thumbs up in the previous step, I’ll generate and send the invoice. I’ll then export the logos into the various required files: PNG, EPS, JPG - which you can read about here. Once I’ve received payment, I'll send the clients files to them, either via email or WeTransfer.
And that is it. In the most basic form, that’s a breakdown of my logo design services. Sometimes, a few rounds of revisions will lengthen the process, sometimes if a client approaches me with a strong idea of what they want, the process is shorter. But this, in a nutshell, is how I structure my logo designs.