The logo design process is a complex one that requires work on both the creative end and on you! As the business owner/employee we will need you to draw on your knowledge of the business, the industry and the market as a means to design your perfect logo. The process becomes quite simple when we work together! We can break the process down into 7 simple steps, at the end of which you will have a new and beautiful logo!
Step 1. Evaluate the brand
Your first step in the logo design process is to understand what the brand embodies and what the business’s goals are. This is known as discovery. This is a part of developing a brand strategy which is a critical first step in order to set yourself up for success. Without this step, you may start going down the wrong path only to find out that you need to start over. Not only will this cause frustration but adds cost to the process. Basically, we want to understand your business, its history, the industry including competitors and the intended audience.
Here are just a few questions that will help kick off the process.
- Why are you getting a logo design? What problem are you trying to solve?
- If your brand were a person, what adjectives would you use to describe it? (clever, prudent, green, etc.)
- What is your brand voice? (eloquent & formal, jokey with slang, etc.)
- Which beliefs and values are important to your brand?
- What is your unique value proposition? What does your company offer that your competitors don’t?
- How do you want your customers to describe your brand to their friends?
It may seem odd that these don’t seem related to design. The natural tendency is to get right into design which is exactly what you don’t want to do. You need to develop a sense of the business, the business culture and environment and competitors. Essentially you need to discover what makes you different. This is certainly a part of the process of developing your brand, but considering that logos are one of your strongest vehicles for branding, asking these questions is a necessary first step.
Evaluating a brand is one of the first steps that we at Paramount Signs like to start with. We ask clients to define their attributes in some core areas so that designers have an understanding of the brand identity before they even start. Even taking just 5 minutes to consider where a brand falls on these metrics will help you formulate more complex brand inquiries later on.
Step 2. Research the industry
Every industry is different, and we are not experts like you are in your specified industry. We want to draw off your knowledge to ensure that we are all on the same page as we move forward! No brand exists in a vacuum. Every company has to contend with the standards of their industry, even if they are doing everything to stand out. The goal of this phase is to better understand the client’s field in order to ensure that the solutions you come up with will work for them effectively.
You need to know what works and what’s appropriate and most importantly how to differentiate the company from its competitors.
Step 3. Brainstorm
This phase is where you may create mood boards to reflect colors, illustrations, fonts etc. to try and capture component concepts that may fit the persona of the client’s business. Keywords and shapes are other components that fit into this process as well. Remember, we are not trying to design the logo during this process. It’s really to create the pallet from which we draw to create the logo.
The better an idea you have of what you do and do not like, the easier it will be for the designer!
Step 4. Sketch a variety of logo concepts
Don’t try to hit the mark during this step. Keep your mind open, you are still exploring possibilities. Take some time to sketch plenty of ideas. Sketching is cheap, easy and fast, but most importantly, it’s an effective brainstorming tool.
Sketch out a bunch of different logo ideas to see how they look outside your head. For one thing, the act of sketching alone may get the creative juices flowing. But more to the point, sketching a wide variety of concepts lets you see what works and what doesn’t. You’ll start to notice certain threads or themes you like which allows you to mix and match different elements until you settle on the perfect one.
Not an artist? No worries! Just having a generic placement of elements you are envisioning helps the designers know where to start when they take over. Even though the final design often doesn’t exactly mirror the sketches from the customers, they serve as a springboard and often are reflected in the final design!
Even after we get your sketches or your inspiration our designers will sketch and start working through logo concepts as well to help ensure that the design you have envisioned works to also meet your goals!
Step 5. Create design drafts.
Once you have a good idea of what you are looking for it’s time to pass it along to the designers at Paramount Signs. While we can work with anything from “I want a jumping horse in a circle” to “I want an approachable polar bear with Elvis’s hair.” The more you know the more affordable the logo ends up being.
During this phase, the designer assigned your project will create a digital design for approval. Sometimes we showcase one or two variations if you had multiple elements you provided you were torn between. We will work with you to create a logo design that surpasses the vision in your head!
Our goal is to ensure that the logo design we create combines elements you liked from the brainstorming phase, takes into account the industry and brand image and will serve you well. We want to make sure that your new logo gets you noticed!
Step 6. Consolidate the client’s feedback.
We will send you a proof document with the logo rendition/ renditions we came up with. By all means, give us your honest feedback! We are always open to suggestions and comments. We want you to love your logo, so don’t be afraid to make a change!
Step 7. Finalize the logo design files for delivery
Once you have approved an art design we will send you the appropriate files! You will have a beautiful new logo to use on all collateral. These files will also be compatible with large-scale printing allowing us to create any signage, vehicle wraps and graphics, or décor you may desire for your business!
In general, we include a PDF file with the colors specs, a high-resolution JPEG and upon client request, we can provide any of the following.
- Full Branding Guide with fonts, colors, logo variations etc. (this is an additional service we provide)
- Layered source vector files, such as AI
- Layered EPS/PDF files (for clients using different vector programs)
- High-resolution raster files for the web, including PNGs with transparent backgrounds
- Basic variations of the logo, such as full color, black, white and monochrome.
If you are in the process of developing your logo, give Paramount Signs a call for a free consultation.
Remember, “getting you noticed is Paramount”