Logos are more than a picture–it’s a visual representation of your brand. Logos are how your customers get to know you and how they spot you in a sea of competitors. Are you fun? Serious? Conservative? How does your brand make them feel? Can they trust you? All of these and more are questions that can be answered by your logo and, with a lifespan of at least a decade, your logo is one of the most important (and long-lasting) parts of your overall branding.
Logo Process: How We Get Started
At Envision, our design and our marketing endeavors are based on data, information, and collaboration. With that in mind, each of our projects begin with a Discovery Meeting. We sit down with the stakeholders on our clients’ team and we ask them a lot of questions (you guys, it’s A LOT of questions) about their business, what they think of it, how it works, where it is, where it wants to go, etc. From there we start our own process.
We’ve gotten a lot of questions as of late about how we approach the design of logos for our clients so we tapped into the creative minds of our designers and asked them what you’ve been asking us:
“What is your creative process from research to conception to creation of a logo?
Logo Process From Our Designer’s Point of View
Daniel: What does the company stand for?
When I begin a logo project, I typically dive straight into research before ever trying to come up with a sketch. A logo is a mark that must embody everything a company is. It should have meaning, be deeper than just a pretty thing.
I start by looking up the name and if there are any historical or secondary meanings to the name. I evaluate these things to what the company is trying to do and if anything aligns, I make a note of it. I also research the general industry to not only look for inspiration but also to find imagery and connotations that I should stay away from. A logo must be unique and stand apart in a sea of competition. So from researching the competition, you can learn what does and doesn’t work for visually representing the industry.
Next, I will research various elements that relate to the company to see if any of those have heavy importance to the individual company. I also feel it is important to do an expanded search on the core values of a company and look at all the symbolism for what it is the company stands for. These marks can be helpful because they can be incorporated into the logo as well.
Once I have collected my notes, I step back and look at the bigger picture. What does this company stand for, and why do they want people to come to them? I begin to start weaving different threads and concepts from what I have collected and rough out some thumbnail sketches. These sketches are quick, loose, and fast. Once a number of those are down. I ask myself the question again. What does this company stand for and why do they want people to come to them? I select a few of the stronger ideas and begin to work them into more refined sketches. Sometimes I have several ideas that fit, other times just two or three. Once those are sketched, I will go around the office, asking friends, peers, the nearest dog, what they see in each mark and why. This feedback, coming from someone who is not close to the project gives me an unbiased, honest opinion that I can then use to refine the good ideas and sometimes spark new ideas.
Once I decide which designs are the strongest,, I do a proper drawing of them (I think through the problems of the design better when I work by hand). Once I have finished the drawings I present them again to the same people and get more feedback.
Once this feedback is collected, I go digital with the drawings and make the edits, corrections or suggestions into several versions and begin to narrow down what works and what doesn’t. Throughout this entire process, I continue to remind myself what this company stands for, and why they want people to come to them.
Once the logo variations are digital I will and look good as a single color, I research a color palette that carries symbolism to the company and begin testing color variations. Once this is done, it is time to present. The rest of the logo process, if all goes well, is refinement until the clients feel that the best possible solution has been reached.
Holly: Method in Madness
When it comes to starting new branding projects, especially logo projects, I kind of like to think of myself as a collage designer. After I’ve gotten a feel for the direction, look and feel of the type of logo the client wants, I search for some inspiration on sites like:
and just start to run with it and begin throwing ideas on an artboard.
I start trying anything and everything, exploring all my options, there is almost no method to the madness from an outside standpoint. However, I do feel like I have a pretty good eye for what colors work best together and will make the logo stand apart.
Don’t even get me started on choosing a typeface. I recently raised some eyebrows for having 2,000+ fonts on my computer because apparently, that’s an “InNsANe AmOUnT.”
Once I sort through the clutter and find some pieces that work, I start to refine them but still create a large number of options which is alarming because I’m really bad at making decisions but you just don’t know unless you try it, right? I have a major case of FOMOOTPL (fear of missing out on the perfect logo).
Anyways, I know this all seems like such a lawless, roundabout way to approaching a logo but I’m not really the go-by-the-book type of girl.
Logo Ideation Isn’t For the Faint of Heart
As you can see, there is more than one way to create a logo and the process can get overwhelming if you don’t have experts on your side to get you to where you need to go. Whenever you’re embarking on logo design or a re-design, make sure the people you’re working with have your best interest at heart. If they’re ready to go with options before you’ve had a chance to sit down and teach them about your business–chances are they’re re-using a design that someone else already rejected (or, in some cases, already approved).
Want to learn more about our design process? Contact us!