6 Easy Steps: Logo Design

Sometimes the hardest part about designing a logo is starting — how does one go about creating an entire identity from the ground up, one that can later grow into a succesful brand? What are the key steps and milestones?

This checklist should at least be helpful for quoting on your logo design project as well as forming a schedule for deliverables to the client.

  1. What are the core values of the brand?Your logo has to represent the brand’s values faithfully to the world and identify it within the correct industry. This is when you should meet with your client and get them to decide on the 3 core values of the brand. There may be many values but it’s important to get across the most essential ones first – remember, there’s only so much you can do with a logo.
  2. Conceptualise 10 rough logosAt this point it’s all on you. Go away and get your creative juices flowing, go for a run around the block, play the harmonica, whatever. First draw your ideas on paper and get at least ten different roughs. Quickly scan, trace or draw your concepts on the computer in Black and White (colour can come later, also don’t worry about the font choice yet). Remember, they don’t have to be perfect! You don’t want to waste time adding your favourite bevelling treatment to a concept that might not work out in the end. Also, draw them small to make sure that your logos could still work on business cards, letterheads, at the bottom of posters, etc.
  3. Meet with the client and shortlist 3 logos
    This is when the client gets to either praise your work or trash it. Be ready for both! Your client may not choose three, it might be more like two or four – just make sure they’ve chosen a broad enough range of ideas for them to be able to make a sound decision in the end. Wouldn’t want to come back again with three logos that are basically the same idea.
  4. Finalise shortlisted logos

    Now you get to really do your thing – 3D, gradients, detail – flex those anchor points! You want the client to be really impressed with these ones because one of them will be the final draft. At this point you can also use some colour and try out some different fonts.
  5. Meet again and discussI will usually send soft copies of my designs a couple of days before a meeting, so that the client can be prepared for your meeting and you can usually get a decision straight away. Some clients are honestly overwhemed with things like these and might need time to make critical decisions like these. Approving a logo is a pretty basic foundation for any company, and need not be rushed. I also like to provide a colour swatch sheet with a shortlist of Pantone colours for the client. They can point one out for you then and there, or take it away to mull it over. Hopefully they will have decided on one of your three logos and you can go away and prepare for the final delivery!
  6. Deliver complete Visual Branding PackageThis is something that the client will need should they go to someone else for their design needs further down the road. A Visual Branding Package should be a zip/tar/etc file including:
    • logo files in all formats and filetypes
    • any necessary typefaces
    • colour swatches for printers to refer to
    • documentation explaining correct usage of the logo (depending on how much you’re getting paid this could be optional). The documentation could simply be a pdf demonstrating acceptable padding limits around the logo, basically a do’s and dont’s for any would be designers out there who might eventually get hold of your baby. Here is one I produced long ago that you can use as a reference

You could also check out these great sites for inspiration: Logopond.com, and The Thinker.