We are surrounded, from the second we wake until the time we lay back down, by logos. Not only do we look at them, but we interact with them on our phones, computers, and tablets. You may not always notice, but they are always present… and the ones you do notice stand out for a reason. Logos can project a powerful message, often without a single word. But how do certain logos convey meaning, grab attention, and stand the test of time while others are overlooked and soon forgotten? Our graphic designer, Chelsea Pence, gets to the bottom of this by delving into the processes and considerations behind notable logo design.
1. Why Are Logos Important?
“People often choose products based on their perceived value rather than their actual value” (Logo Love). A logo is often a consumer’s first interaction with a company, so it needs to be not only memorable, but compelling enough to convey the company’s branding and philosophy all in one. Your logo is a literal reflection of your company. When done right, logos will transmit values, ideas, and emotions to your intended audience.
2. How Do You Get Started?
Begin by talking to your client and hearing their needs. Learn about their branding goals and the image they want to establish. You want to know everything about the company that you can. What are their strengths and goals? How do they define their brand and what is their company culture like? Who is their target audience? Once you have a thorough understanding, sit down with the client to agree on a budget and deadline. From there, sketch and sketch some more. Try mind-mapping (visually organizing) your ideas. Put every possible idea onto paper and then hone it down to a few possibilities that you will further develop.
3. Are There Any ‘Must-Have’ Design Requirements?
All logos are different; there aren’t many widespread requirements, but the best logos are simple and recognizable. We all know the typeface for Coca-Cola, and the Nike “swoosh”, and what those images represent. Every logo is unique but every client requires different branding, so it’s important to know the design rules like a master. Once you get down to the process, you will make better looking sketches and have a better final result.
4. How Do You Choose Typeface + Color?
The optimal strategy when handling elements of style is to consider the form and font first, by working in black and white. It is crucial for your logo to be readable without color, however, colors are very important as they are tied to cultural and emotional values. There is much thought that goes into deciding what colors to use since this aspect most noticeably gives meaning to your design.
5. What Does the Rest of the Process Entail?
Oftentimes you and the client won’t see eye-to-eye about the design or process, so it’s important to immediately establish what the expectation will be. Make sure you know your point of contact, and if a committee will be involved in the final decision, so you’ll know how to communicate properly. Help your clients; make sure you’re able to explain the design process in-depth to all decision-makers and keep them involved as well. A good rule of thumb: always under-promise, and over-deliver. Being able to hit your deadlines and communicate clearly is key to a healthy client relationship. This process depends on communication and trust. You’re still questioning and checking with your client regularly, but it’s important to establish a good relationship from the get-go so that your client will trust you and give you enough creative freedom with the design process.
6. How Long Does the Entire Process Take?
It can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks to design a solid logo. Creating something from your client’s concepts is hard work and can often be time-consuming because of the back-and-forth communication. The best designers stick to rigid schedules and let their client know up-front what the process entails before starting the project.
7. What Happens if You Get Stuck?
No matter what, don’t look at too many other logos if you get stuck. Avoid the comparing mind, or you’ll wind up confused and discouraged. It is always good to have inspiration, but the best ideas come from intuition. It generally goes back to understanding the desired brand identity and your client’s target audience, so don’t be afraid to ask additional, clarifying questions. When in doubt, put a pencil to paper.
8. Is it a Good Idea to Buy a Logo Online?
The problem with quick and easy $5 logo sites is that you won’t receive the detailed thought that fuels the creation of a genuinely representative and artistic logo. A logo purchased online will usually be clip art from a stock image company, or at best some amateur work that today’s consumers will not give a second glance. Always choose to work with a trained graphic designer who can deliver quality work rather than using a random website.
A unique logo is a cornerstone of any prominent brand. Logos make up an international language that when designed properly, anyone can understand. Whether you are designing a logo from scratch or re-designing an outdated logo, the process is elaborate. A web-generated symbol will never make headlines or turn heads- it takes time, training, and a comprehensive understanding of the client to produce newsworthy results. If you need help designing or re-designing a logo, contact us at Absolute Marketing Solutions.