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How to Design a Logo in 5 Steps – A Complete Guide

  • A Picture of Waqas D.

    Waqas D.

Last updated: February 19th, 2020

Logo design is something that needs your complete focus and attention. You cannot bypass or circumvent at any stage of the designing process; if you do take any shortcuts, your results will not remain optimum.

You must follow a thoughtful logo design process that is good for your clients as well as your design portfolio. It allows you to wrap upany project competently and successfully.

Listed below are the 5 steps that will guide you on how to complete a project effectively.

Step 1: Design Directive

A design directive is essential for any project you are starting. However, it completely depends on the client how much time and effort you would be required to put in.

Some clients are easy to work with, and they are very clear about what logo they want and are well prepared with all the information. They furnish you with all the required details even before you request them.  For instance, if your client is also a designer or has some experience with how the designers work, he or she will have quite a clear idea about how everything works.

On the other hand, you may also come across clients who are completely clueless about the design. They are only aware that they need a logo and rest is left for you to deal with. Especially, entrepreneurs and small businesses have no idea about the logos.

In such a situation, it is the logo designer’s job to gather all the information that would be needed about the project so that an authoritative logo can be created for your client. 

Some questions that you can ask your clients to collect information about their project are:

  • What work does the company do?
  • What kind of customers the company usually deals with?
  • Name the company’s business competitors in the field.
  • Where does the company stand in the market compared to its competitors?
  • Does the company have prevailing design style guides (company colors, typefaces, etc.)?

These are some of the very basic questions. It is important that you extensively interview your client until you are thoroughly satisfied with all the information that you have gathered.

It is important to ratify the whole process of directives with your client — you need to take this aspect very seriously, so that your client reciprocates in the same way. The whole process of gathering information should be conducted in a formal way.

You can smoothen out this project for your client by designing a questionnaire for your design directive – a template of sorts so that they clearly know what information you require. Doing this also structures the whole process.

You can create a separate page or share a document that consists of the basics and the importance of the design directives. This portion of your website can be used to educate your clients as a guide.

Some of the most basic things that should be covered in your design directive are as follows:

  • Target Audience & Market
  • Objective of the Message to be conveyed
  • Current design style guides and spectrum (e.g., company colors, typeface, etc.)
  • Company’s Budget
  • Plans & Schedules, milestones, and deadlines

Step 2: Research & Exploration

This step entails you to find out more about the business your client is in. Contemplate the historical standpoint of your client and their trade, and look at evolving trends in the market.

This is also theright time to conduct your visual research, which may encompassstudying the logo designs of your client’s opponents in the industry. Investigateyourdiscovery: What makes better than the others, and what is it that makes a good logo stand out?

If you see a certain trend in logo designs consistent with your client’s industry, determine what is going to benefit your client – following the trend or is it worth breaking away from the norms and come up with something out of the ordinary to boost your client’s business.

Although it is quite safe to simply follow the trends of the industry to align with it, however, it is not advantageous in the long run. The biggest hitchin pursuing the design trends is that the logo designs become too clichéd and stereotypical and loses its authority with the passage of time. On the other hand, a unique design tends to remain timeless and classic, which is the actual purpose of a good logo design.

Another tip is to get in touch with other members and resources like designers to learn more about the company culture. You may interview some of their employees, as it is a very good source for triggering unusual and unique ideas.

Your design directive should definitely include a list of your client’s competitors. Make use of this list and conduct research on those particular businessesthat your clients take as competition.

You can also take inspiration from logo design galleries while conducting your visual research.

Step 3: Develop the Design Concepts

Following the research, comes the most interesting and fun parts of designing a logo – the design process itself. Give yourself a free hand at this stage and let your ideas take the main reign. Let your ideas flow on the paper. This process is exclusive to every designer, and everyone does their own thing.

This is your stint to createasubtlecombination of amazing graphics that also express the message that your client wants. In this step, you basically try to condense the varied and complex nature of a business into a small and compact design that can be appropriatelyusedfor various resources like business cards, marketing material, website design, and more.

Here are some concept-based questions that you can ask yourself each time your designing a logo:

  • Will this logo design clearly express what my client wants?
  • Will this logo correlate with the client’s audience?
  • Will this logo be able to create authority against the competitors?

Jot down all your ideas on paper and plan out rough drafts, no matter how far-reaching they seem.Go for brainstorming sessions and idea-generation sessions.

Ensure that the logo design concepts that you have come up with match the scopes of your design directive.Finally, polish the top logo design concepts so that you are able to relate it to others.

Step 4: Feedback and Review

For this step to really work, take a break away from your project, do something completely different, and just sit back and relax. Come back after a few hours, or even the next day, and then take a look. Select the best ones out of all the logo design concepts that you have come up with and let go of the weaker ones.

Make whatever changes that you need to make. This stage is ideal for getting feedback from other designers and colleagues as well and if there is any good chance from your client too.

Getting criticism from others is not easy, and it is very difficult to accept the flaws pointed put by someone else but it is necessary. Positive criticism is necessary for your growth. There is no need to take everything personally.

Instead of taking all the critique to heart, open up your mind, broaden your horizon and try to incorporate the changes that others have suggested. You can always readjust and go back to your original design but if some suggestion really works out, you could end up with a totally extraordinary design. Simply experiment and analyze how the changes will affect your overall design and how can the current design be enhanced.

Step 5: Formal Presentation

The last and the final step after all the finalization of the designs is to present the design formally to the client.

Even if the clients have asked for a variety oflogo designs, still keep it simple. Stick to the few best ones that you sorted from all the others. Keeping the concepts to a minimum generally yields better results.

With any luck, your client will totally love the logo concepts that are presented to them; however, you still need to be ready to brace and take onboard any suggestions or changes that come from them. As a professional, it is essential for you to follow this step and cooperate with the client for any sorts of revisions and it would be better for you to be prepared in advance with a revision process.

Keep your presentation very formal and professional. Whatever the medium you use to communicate with your client (a web app and Skype, or face-to-face with a client), it is of utmost importance that your presentation remains proper. However, nothing can measure up to a face-to-face presentation as it allows you to explain your concepts and answer the question on the spot. So, if an opportunity rises to meet a client in person, avail it.

  • A face-to-face presentation will give you the chance to explain your thinking and answer any questions. Take the opportunity to meet in person if possible.

Conclusion

Creating a quality logo design is no great mystery. Simply follow a well-established process, act on it, and align yourself with the client’s requirements and you will have a logo design that will surely impress them and their audience and customers too.

Summing up the five steps of a logo design guide are:

  • Design Directive
  • Research&Exploration
  • Develop the Design Concepts
  • Feedback and Review
  • Formal Presentation
  • A Picture of Waqas D.

    Waqas D.

Waqas D. is the co-founder of the branding and website agency, FullStop™. He supercharge brands by crafting memorable logos, brand identities and engaging websites Besides thousands of startups and medium size businesses, FullStop clients have included Microsoft & L'Oréal. View our portfolio or get in touch.

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