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The Professional Logo Design Process for Clients

Graphic Design and Branding

The Professional Logo Design Process for Clients
A logo is not a brand—it’s only a symbol for a brand. A brand is much more than a logo. — Marty Neumeier

The Professional Logo Design Process for Clients

Graphic Design and Branding

This article provides a short guide to our Logo Design Process for clients. You’ll learn the steps on how to build a logo from start to finish. While every project is different in scope, style and industry, the design process of the logo itself tends to be relatively sustainable. In the simplest terms, it is responsible for understanding the user’s needs through questions and research, creating and developing the concepts, ultimately communicating and extending the design to all.

Let’s get started. 

The Professional Logo Design Process for Clients 1

Part One – The Design Process 

Build a Creative Design Brief 

The development of a conceptual brief is the first step in every professional logo design process. We must ask questions and better understand the client’s business, market, and concerns to understand the client and their needs.

If it’s over the phone, in person, via an online design questionnaire, or directly via email, the client should be at ease.

Finally, the design brief aims to aid the designer’s understanding of the project; the more they know, the more they will be able to interact with design concepts.

What is a Creative Design Brief? 

A creative design brief is a document produced in collaboration between the client and the designer. This brief focuses on a design or development project. It’s a series of about 10- 20 questions, and it’ll take about an hour to finish. We encourage clients to spend time completing it because the more complete the responses are, the better we can interact with the design concepts.

What questions do you need to ask? 

We use a branding questionnaire which is broken down into several key areas:

Concerning your business – 

  • What is the aim of your company/product? 
  • Are there any issues to be resolved for your clients? 
  • The company, product, or service – What distinguishes you from the competition?

About your messages – 

  • What is the key message you want to convey to your customers? 

About the Project – 

  • If you already have a logo/identity, why doesn’t it work for you? 
  • What do you like best about your logo/identity? 
  • Using five short phrases, describe the desired look and feel of your brand.

Be sure to check out these other brand tips for more inspiration! 

Search & Discovery 

When the responses to the questionnaire are complete, we will go through and build a solid foundation for working from.

There may be additional questions that need to be addressed in order to understand the project.

Existing Business 

We will look into the existing business (if it is not a new business) and find out where they are now regarding their branding. There may be aspects of their business that were not mentioned in the initial consultation.

Still, the critical point in finding consumers is understanding their issues further to provide the best solution.

Sometimes the client doesn’t understand ‘why’ their brand is struggling, but an experienced brand consultant may offer concrete responses in the logo design process by looking at their current situation.

Finding the Niche 

It is always essential to work in so many different industries, learning about the specific ‘niche’ in which the client operates. We examine their competitors to see what they’re doing, and if they’re succeeding, we consider what they’re doing correctly. If they’re doing something incorrectly, we’ll be able to identify what to avoid to help our clients excel quickly.

Primary Research

For a more detailed brand identity design method,

we evaluate the levels of the brand’s research in question using qualitative and quantitative research approaches.
Since this will take a long time, the lower-cost logo design packages may skip over this phase.

Qualitative research is usually a research study. We use it to find out problems, opinions, and objectives – it gives us an insight into the whole situation and is also used to identify trends in thinking and perception.

Secondary Research 

Where possible, we will examine the client’s brand identity in more depth, looking into their brand alignment such as reports, brochures and, of course, their website. 

Part Two – The Logo Process 

The Professional Logo Design Process Sketches_1

Logo Sketches & Brainstorming 

A sketch is the starting point for all effective logo design processes. Every project begins with pen and paper, whether it’s a doodle on a napkin or a meticulously made pen sketch.

Often, combining a brainstorming session with sketching or doodling messages produces the best results.

Moodboards and image references 

Moodboards will be collected from the beginning, from time to time, with the client’s help who has submitted images that show the look or feel of what they want communication in logo design.

It can be difficult to describe ‘themes’ or colours in words, so we suggest the client send us some visuals if they can.

Quick sketches and primary shapes 

From the first sketch on a notepad, visual images or shapes are attractive and worthy of improvement. At this point, we may move to grid paper or dotted paper, redesigning and extending the original design and updating with a pen for the next step.

Updating the logo with gridlines 

Further logo sketches can be created using grids and drawn lines to better balance and organise items. Regardless of how the logomark sits next to the logotype, organic shapes can be made with a built-in grid.

Concepts 

Although conceptualisation is known as ‘the creation of a concept,’ it is more of refining an idea by moving it to a computer. When viewed on a screen, the ‘idea’ takes on a new light, allowing us to spot any immediate flaws that might have gone unnoticed in the sketch.

Creating Digital Versions of the Sketches 

The primary forms will be digitally captured using a scanner or manually reproducing within Adobe Illustrator. Getting digital conversions will enable you to make fast adjustments, modifications and refine your designs.

Review in Monotone

Before applying colours to any design, the logo design process in monotone black and white shapes must be considered. These are the colour, light, and tone’s edges.

We’ve seen many poorly designed logos where the creator didn’t care about how the logo would look black and white. Overall a logo design must look good in any format and in any production.

Creating a Logotype

We’ll start thinking about how the company name will be portrayed via the logotype as soon as we have some rough ideas for the logomark. We’ll have a general idea of the typography style we’re looking for, such as contemporary sans-serif or old-style serif.

Still, finding the perfect font for the job involves browsing through an extensive font library we use Typekit.

If we want our communications to find anything that fits the bill, a ‘close-up’ font may be designed to suit the project’s needs.

This can be beneficial, as it creates a unique quality for the brand; however, extending it to a specific font could add to its costs.

Pulling It All Together

Once we have a handful of brand-relevant fonts, we’ll explore how they look side-by-side with the previously created logomark symbols. Several selected colour palettes will be integrated into the design to see which is the strongest.

Client Interpretation & Presentation 

At this stage, the strongest brand concepts are gathered in a client presentation document. We show how the logo looks in various background colours, at different levels and some logo mockery, such as rendering the design on uniforms or vehicle packages. This helps the user see their logo in a ‘real world’ setting rather than just on a page.

Color Schemes

Other colour schemes can be provided to the client at this stage to aid the idea’s ability. As previously stated, colour is highly subjective, and even minor colour changes can significantly differ.

Maybe one of the colour tones is very vibrant or a tone too light. We can create some excellent options to suit every eye.

Suitability for future verification 

Attention is paid to ‘how’ the brand may be known in the future. We believe that a logo should be timeless rather than creating issues down the line or showing a date in a few years. 

Creating Digital Mockups 

Showing clients what a concept will look like on a shirt will help them see their own concept beyond its visual quality. We spend time making sure that suitable mockups are included so they will always be successful.

Logo Design presentation for the client 

The first logo designs are exported in PDF format, allowing them to view on-screen or print at their leisure. Printing is always recommended as their computer monitor may not display colours correctly, and the embedded print profiles allow more accurate representation. The presentation can range from 5-10 pages depending on the scope of the project.

Comments & Consultation 

While initial reactions are essential, we recommend that clients spend at least a few days, if not a week, with the concepts.

Print them out, post them around the house or office, and let the eye wander over them at random, just like a real viewer might when confronted with the brand.

Get input from trusted friends and family and any regular employees familiar with the brand due to their involvement. Even if there are mixed opinions, they are all valid and provide guidelines to develop anything needed.

After that, an appointment can be arranged, or feedback can be provided via email to move forward. Sometimes, we have more questions at this stage to get even more detailed feedback from the client.

Discuss the logo concepts with the client 

We’ll spend some time with the client explaining the ideas and getting feedback. The conversation could last anywhere from a few minutes if the client finds one of the concepts to several hours if they have any doubts or questions that need to be answered and corrected.

It’s all part of a professional logo design process!

Advising and guiding a selection

Typically, when we present original concepts to clients, we will understand the outset’s ‘strongest’ idea.

Demonstrating these intrinsic characteristics to the client is often part of the conversation.

Discuss potential developments with the client 

So that result will vary significantly between projects, but overall, it is easier to develop the aesthetic aspect than the original. Such as another colour scheme or font can change the ‘look’, but it is much more difficult to change the meaning or significance. 

Concept Developments 

We will try to evolve a chosen concept based on input and discussion with the client. This could be minor changes to the colour scheme, looking at different versions, or showcasing other print types for consideration.

In almost all cases, one concept will be perfect for the client, but sometimes, we have to go down two chosen paths where a client cannot decide. Usually, only one or two developmental cycles are required at this stage, as it comes down to an element of colour or style.

Complete Logo Design Presentation 

This phase involves a more focused approach, where one concept is fully disseminated like the original concept presentation. Other mockups like stationery or business cards could be presented as the next logical step.

“The strongest logos tell simple stories.” —Sol Sender

Part Three: The Branding Process 

The Professional Logo Design Process for Clients 3

Expanding Brand Collateral 

If the final logo design has been approved, the project does not stop there due to the client’s requirements. We can now proceed to the next stage of the branding process: brand extension.

As previously mentioned, business documentation is a good example. Letterheads, business cards, and other marketing materials can all be designed.

Create Branding Stationery Based on the Final Logo Design 

Based on the client’s physical location, local stationery dimensions must be considered.

A letterhead supplied to a UK based printer is very different from a US-based printer.

We have created several templates suitable for the customer’s global situation, so it is only working to build the specific versions.

Extend the Branding to Social Media Elements. 

From the social network images to banners and headers, custom dimensions ensure that everything looks perfect for the big release of the brand identity to the world.

Provide Additional Brand Alignment Required – Vehicle Coverage, Signs, etc. 

This step of the logo design process is always individual to the client, as not every business would need external signs, for example. If you own a gym, uniforms may be required, but vehicle wraps may better match if you own a car dealership.

Final Files, Delivery & Support 

Our logos are created in Adobe Illustrator in vector format, which can be exported to any format. .AI (for potential editing if desired), .EPS/.PDF (for printing), .JPEG (for viewing), and .PNG (for displaying) are examples of popular files (with background-obvious information for web usage).

The Vector file formats allow you to scale the full output range without losing quality or sharpness. This means that a logo that looks great on a business card would also look fantastic on a billboard.

Exporting all final files. 

The project’s final files will be conveniently organised to clarify where they are to be used. All appropriate shapes and forms are included, along with monotone black and white versions for a different use background.

If there are any ‘layout’ designs, such as brochures or sales leaflets, files will be packaged in InDesign to use the images and fonts, where appropriate.

Create a Brand Guidelines Document 

Brand guidelines are just a guide to how the brand will be presented to the world. They can be provided to a web developer who can quickly see the exact colour values for use on the website and what records are used in the content. Similarly, this guide can be sent to a printer to ensure maximum accuracy when printing the documents using Pantone colours.

Send ZIP Folders to the client

Everything is sent and emailed to the customer, CC’ing any additional staff that may need access to the original files.

Ensure that the client understands all final files and provide usage instructions. 

We want to make sure the client understands how to use the templates they paid for. So we’re available to provide immediate assistance or address any questions they may have in the future.

“A logo doesn’t sell (directly), it identifies.” —Paul Rand

 

In Summary

As mentioned above, every project is entirely different, one of the most enjoyable parts of being a graphic design agency in Staffordshire. 

As a result, not every project can go through all of the steps mentioned above instead of ignoring something that the client might not afford.

If they are only searching for a professional logo design for their startup, it might not be necessary to invest a large amount of money in the branding process.
They may have already conducted market research and passed it on to us, allowing us to move on to the next level with the work already completed.

If you wanted to build your own brand identity, the above Logo Design Process for clients could be used as a guide to work from, but we recommend consulting with an expert.

We hope that helps; if you have any questions about our professional logo design process, contact us today!

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From digital design to graphic design, we’ve got you covered.

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