Logo design process

In this short basic logo design article I will go through the different things you need to think about when creating your logo or the points you must consider when hiring a professional designer to do it for you.

When thinking about your brand you want a logo that is easy to remember and identifies what your business is about straight away. When people first see your logo it should install trust, authority and professionalism in your particular industry. Easily identifying what your company is about, the period of the company, have the target audience in mind and the personal story image you are trying to portray.

For example if your company creates fine art paintings for a living, the target audience is a wealthy class of people and your company as been around for over 100 hundred years keeping the family tradition, you will want a logo that shows this. The fine points of your business should always be represented in the company logo. This could involve not only the things I have mentioned but also the personality of the business, is it humorous or professionally serious?

Here are a few questions you could ask yourself to make the logo design process easier for the designer or yourself.

  1. How old is my company?

  2. How big is my brand/company?

  3. Do I want the age of the company to be reflected in the logo?

  4. What tools, shapes, letters,colours, materials or words best describe my business and industry type?

  5. Do I want the logo to be in a modern style or from some other period?

  6. Who is the companies target audience?

  7. How old are the average buyers of the product or service I offer?

  8. What is the main personality type of my average buyer?

  9. What represents trust, authority and professionalism in my industry type?

  10. Have I researched how different colours, shapes and words effect people?

  11. What is my companies mission statement?

  12. Do I have slogan or catch phrase I would like to include in the logo?

  13. Would I like my logo to be text based, image based or both?

  14. When thinking of my business what first springs to mind?

  15. What tone and mood should my logo have?

  16. What impact do I want my logo to have?

  17. Do I want my logo to have a hidden message?

  18. Do the logo examples I have created fit all of my products ? (T-shirts,mugs,pens,key-rings)

  19. Have I researched other company logos in my industry?

  20. Do I want my logo to represent one business or many services/products in a brand?

  21. What is the story I want to tell with my logo?

Once you have the answers to some of the questions above, it will be far easier to create the branded logo you desire to represent your business brand.

The creative process should be a fun time in which you create many designs and concepts using different methods. Colours, shapes, materials, theme concepts, history, the business story, industry tools, the business personality, the professional work ethic and much more should be thought about to be included in the design concepts you create.

You should also research some books on your industry type and look at the different shapes, colours and materials that are associated with your business. Each logo tells its own striking story with this combination portraying the company that it is representing, so make sure that the concepts you create strike the right tone to the customer.

The first logo concepts

This period is more about free-styling letting your imagination take control creating many styles of logo’s. Have a notebook to hand at all times to sketch ideas that spring to mind and take down notes that you think are valuable to aiding your logo creations. Below is a list of objects, books and tools you can use to think about different logo designs.

  • Industry type books

  • Locations where the industry is present

  • the culture and traditions of the business

  • Book of font styles

  • Book of slogans and book a of related poems

  • book of shapes, colours and materials

  • Real objects that are used in the particular industry

  • A dictionary to find words related to the business

  • Toys, materials, tools, posters, pictures, and other real objects you can find to get inspiration from

  • List of different logos that other companies use

  • recorded interviews of the business owner and his/her story

  • The list of answered questions from above

  • other media of the industry type including pictures, radio shows,documentary’s

  • researched market analysis of the target audiences mind set, what they like/don’t like, what they search for in this industry type and the price range of the product/services

The more information you have at this early stage the more design concepts you will be able to create. With these objects I want you to look at the shapes/colours, touch and feel of the objects, read the story of how they were created and what meanings they represent. With the information you have on the history, market research and industry standards you can have a feel of the company and what people expect to see.

In the beginning stages of creating our logo simply take a notebook or sketch software on your computer and use the information you have from above to start sketching what first comes to mind. Having the questions answered, the books of shapes, colours, materials and other researched material next to you to refer to as you sketch.

Start writing the company name in different fonts, use different colours, make some letters in upper case and lower case, draw tools that are commonly used in the industry, use words that are regular said, include slogans and much more. Here is a list of things to consider when creating different concepts

  • Font size

  • font style like Arial or Tunga

  • font colour- blue-black-orange

  • Background colour

  • single letter logos

  • slogans and words

  • mixed colour tones like black and grey or pink and blue

  • different shapes like squares, circles, triangles.

  • Materials like wood, metal or earth

  • trick of mind images that change from different angles

  • objects like swords, lights, hammers

  • machines like computers, 3D printers or manufacturing

The mind can create anything that it as been given the tools to create it with, so plant them seeds of knowledge and nature the growth of your designs building the company brand.

The creation phase

Once you have a good handful of design concepts on sketch, now is the time to do different variations of the same designs. The slightest change of colour shade, materials used and font style can have a huge impact on how the logo is perceived. So what you should do is start with the basic shape of the logo in your illustrator and start to make little changes to it.

Step by step you can duplicate the logo each time you make a change to it. So once you have the finished product you can show what you did from start to finish and this also helps you to do different variations of the same logo. So once you make a change, then copy it, make another change then copy it again, you create a time trail.

Creating the pieces before hand in the illustrator also can help you mix and match different shapes/elements faster. In most illustrators you have the option to create different shapes and object so they are pre-made for future illustrations by saving them. This is wise to do as you will save a lot of time in future and you will be able to make different variations faster.

Test your logos on different values, like dark values and light value backgrounds. If it doesn’t look so good on these or is hard to read you can change the colour shade of your font and try different font sizes. Remember to test your logo in black/white and different colour options to get a feel of how flexible it is. It may look very good on a computer screen but once it blown up on a truck or car, the quality might fade.

It is also recommended to have illustrations of trucks, hats, t-shirts, pens, vans, cars, mugs, business cards and other merchandise so when you have your different logos you can test if they look good on these items. All companies will use their logo on different bases so the more you can test it out the better you will know if it is a good fit for you.

Just remember to have fun creating the different logo design and let your imagination run free. Keep it simple, easy on the eyes, descriptive to what your company is about and the industry that you represent.

Good illustrators to use are:

  1. Adobe illustrator cc (Paid)

  2. Inkscape (Free)

  3. Coral Draw x6 (Paid)

  4. Affinity Designer (Paid)

  5. Skencil (Free)

  6. Karbon 14 (Free)

They’re many different illustrators you can use to create logos but these are the ones that I recommend you use. Most have good tutorials on how to use them and doing a simple YouTube search on the illustrator will bring up many home-made tutorials from professional users.

Hiring Professionals

However if you don’t feel like creating your own logo or simple don’t want to deal with this side of the business, you can hire a professional freelancer or logo design company. The price that you pay and the quality you receive from each place you deal with will change dramatically from freelancer to company.

Having the questions answered above and having made some sample ideas to show to the designer, will speed the creation process up for them and give you higher chances of them creating the exacting picture logo in your mind. Most design companies and freelancers will have a questionnaire already pre-made for you to answer so they can create exactly what you are looking for.

Make sure that the freelancer or company that you choose to use as many good reviews, is priced well by comparing others, as experience in the business that you are running and as a good portfolio of work you can check. It is important to know as much details as possible about the designer you work with and you to be involved in the creation process as much has possible.

Don’t be afraid to ask them questions on their past work or to test them if they are familiar with your industry type. Professional designers will always be happy to show you the work they have done before, be open about their experiences and knowledge they possess. Having a designer who understands your business will bring better quality results than someone who doesn’t.

Here are some examples of freelance sites and some sites where freelancers compete against each other by submitting different designs they have made from your request. The one that you choose to use gets paid for the service.

  1. Freelancer.com

  2. Odesk.com

  3. Elance.com

  4. Fiverr.com

  5. peopleperhour.com

  6. 99designs.com

  7. logomyway.com

  8. designcrowd.com

  9. logofactory.com

  10. logosauce.com

If you want to seek out a professional design company rather than using freelancers then make sure to keep the above points I have made in mind.

Thank you for viewing this article about the basic logo design process and I hope you found it useful. If you know anyone this article might help, then please share it with them.

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