I often run into the questions, “what goes into making a logo” or “how do you make your logos” so I decided to put together a post on my process.
Designing a logo alone takes a huge amount of time and brain power and quite frankly, it should. It is the one graphic that represents a business or an individual so it must be well thought out. My process has evolved over the years to be more streamlined but since every business is different there are tweaks from time to time.
Now let’s dive into the process. The following steps give you a snapshot of what designing a logo entails in my world.
The Logo Design Process
To start off, I set a few days to research alone. It is here that I go through the brand questionnaire form that I have each of my clients fill out before the project begins. This form gives me an insight into the client’s business, their needs and wants and a bit of a glimpse into their design perspective. The research done at this stage is very important because it sets the stage for the design. It allows you to learn more about the industry you’re designing for and your client’s competitors. In addition, it gives you a dedicated time to research logos that inspire you for the project. These key research points get your creativity started and gets you mentally ready for the project.
List of relatable words & Imagery
At this stage, I use the research from the previous phase to list out random words and find imagery related the client’s business/goals, the industry, tools, and components of the trade and the little moving parts that make up these tools. For example, let’s say you’re designing for a salon, words like dryer, comb, heat, hair etc can really get your mind working and the creative juices flowing.
Here is when I take a pen or pencil to paper. I sketch out all the possible ideas. I usually sketch out between 50-100 loose sketches. This seems like a lot but it is way less than I used to do lol. Yeah, I really love doing this. At Cal State Fullerton I had to sketch at least 300 logos for a project. My process definitely evolved based on time, for me and for my clients. Nevertheless, sketching at least 300 logo ideas has been a great foundation for me as a brand identity designer.
Pick best logo ideas
Now, it’s time to pick a few ideas. I take some time to narrow it down. I sought out the ones with the most potential and transfer them into Adobe Illustrator. Depending on the idea, I would either manually recreate them or scan them to retrace in Adobe Illustrator. All ideas are comped out in black and white.
Create multiple logo versions
At this stage, I create multiple versions of each one of the developed ideas to see where they can take me. I combine ideas and deduct from others.
Narrow it down
Here, I finally choose the best 3 to review with the client. Sometimes it’s not easy for me to narrow down to 3 so, I sneak in a 4th 🙂
Finally, based on feedback, I make alterations to the chosen design or go straight to applying color to it. Then I make my final presentation.
As you can see, creating a logo can rack up many hours to get it right for whomever you are designing for. There are a few occasions where your first logo idea ends up being the best idea but that does not happen every day. A logo is the most important part of our visual identity so it should not be taken lightly.
Here are a few tips to help provide success to your logo design
- Make sure your logo is easy to read in small-sized documents
- Do not over complicate
- Use colors that stand out
- Pay close attention to typography
- Pay attention to the main use of the logo as provided by the client
I hope this has given you an insight into the logo making process. Any questions? Comment below