Logos are not necessarily the most important part of your brand, but there is not denying that they are the face. After all, don't we often recognized house-hold brands just by their logo? So, as a small business or blog, you want visitors and followers to immediately associate a logo with you. Your logo will likely be displayed on the top of your website, on social media profiles, in front of your business cards, among other places. So, let's talk about this key element, while I walk you through my logo design process.
Before I start putting together a logo, I first ask the client several questions (usually as part of a branding project):
- What is their main goal, and what is their audience?
- Why would they read / hire / sign up to what you offer?
- Are they branding themselves, or branding a product / service?
If you are wondering about the difference of branding yourself or a product, it's one of the things I talk about in my blog post Determining Brand Needs.
Next, we talk about preferences in colors, materials, textures, natural elements even. We talk about words they want people to think of when they see their brand. And we talk about different font styles, and if they have any preferences for them.
The last step before starting the logo process is tapping into my client's inspiration. I ask them for websites and images that they want me to use as inspiration. I ask them for a Pinterest board, or we do one together, where we can visualize how they want their logo to feel.
Doing all this background information helps me understand what my client wants, and creates the foundation I need for the project.
Pencil and Paper
Then starts the brainstorming. This part I do by myself, because it could overwhelm the client. I write down ideas, select the main keywords from all the previous research, and try to find ways to connect them. I start the doodles! For the visuals of this post I'll be using a recent project, Ariel Elizabeth Designs, as an example.
I do several pages of ideas and doodles. Even if they seem silly, I put them all out in paper! I mean, what better way to have an overview of all those ideas otherwise? There are usually some 20-30 pre-concepts from that. I determine a few winners, and we move on to digitalize them.
For the next step, I consider the following:
- How big and how small will it be displayed?
- What media will it be on? Just digital, or also print?
- How should it look on a website footer, business card, an image seen on a mobile device.
- What if I need to fit it in a square? Or a circle?
- How will it look if it needs to be all in one color? Black and white? Against dark and light backgrounds?
I take into consideration all those details when choosing the colors, font, sizes, icons, and anything else that will be part of that logo.
There's no right way to create a logo. It could just be a text, an icon, text with an icon, or a monogram-it varies a lot depending on the project.
Now, I always create options. Even if you think you like the idea you developed, create one or two more options. You might find that your second or third idea works best!
Depending on the service package, I polish 2 to 4 concepts on digital and present them to my client. From there, we go into a few rounds of narrowing down. We mix and match elements from different concepts: decoration, colors, fonts, positioning, etc. Our rounds look something like this:
First round, where I take some of the doodle concepts that fit the most with what we talked about, recreate them on Illustrator, and present them to my client.
Second round, where we've narrowed down which concepts and elements the client prefers, and continue developing the idea in that direction.
Third round, where we adjust the final details for the concept that was chosen. And in this example, we also worked on the submark at the same time.
Once we have the logo, I start working on alternative logos and submarks that can cover the needs that the main logo doesn't cover. Think of colors that might not have a great contrast against the main logo, or fitting it in places where it might look out of place. I create alternatives for those situations!
And then we're ready! From there, I start working on other elements, like textures. In the image below you can see how this logo and a matching texture were used on a temporary "coming soon" page, while we worked on creating the website for Ariel Elizabeth Designs.
Interested in MY SERVICES?
If you like my work process, and would like me to help you with your next project, learn more about how we can work together: