- By Steve Smith
- December 6, 2021
Designing a logo is the first step in establishing your brand identity. Most entrepreneurs understand that today no company can flourish without a logo. But not everyone knows what a real logo is and how it is designed.
Designing a logo is the most common and frequent task that a graphic designer performs. Different companies require different logo designs. But the main methodology of preparing a logo design stays the same no matter what type of logo you are creating.
This article will help you understand the step-by-step procedure of designing a logo. But before we get started with the process, let us discuss the very reason why it is important for a company to have a logo.
Logos are graphic symbols that showcase a brand’s visual identity in the market and make it promptly identifiable to an audience. A logo can easily highlight the values of a company and create a connection with the customer. Graphic design software is used to make logos. You can build a logo by the use of a set of colors, font(s), and imagery to symbolize a brand.
Usually, a logo design explains more about a company than its product/service. If you are a well-known brand, your loyal customer base will recognize you just by looking at your company logo.
Before you start, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what your logo is going to represent. This phase is known as Client Discovery. A lot of the information you’ll need should be in the design brief. The client will usually send over a document that will have all the necessary details but if you feel it’s incomplete, don’t hesitate to ask the client the questions you need to.
After getting all the necessary information from your client, create a word document stating all the information that you have collected; in an organized manner. Highlight all the points you need to keep in mind while creating the design.
A piece of brief information for logo design will always help you get out of the creator’s block that you might face and will help you lay a solid foundation to design a good quality logo. Remember, a logo design brief is half of your logo. So, always try to make the best logo design brief possible.
Research as much as you can. Initial research areas should always include the client’s company history and culture, the local (and possibly international) competitor landscape, and any industry-related trends.
Professional designers will always examine the market, the brand’s competitors, their logos and identities, and modern visual trends relevant to the project before getting on with the design phase. Special attention needs to be paid to analyzing the company itself, its position, goals, priorities, mission, and values.
Brainstorming is about identifying potential ideas that will make the design in the right direction. You also need to sketch down all the ideas and concepts that come into your mind when brainstorming about your task. Some designers prefer to make lists or write random ideas from time to time on pieces of paper or on their phones. No matter what method you choose, make sure you keep a record of all your ideas and concepts. You never know when something you initially discarded might come back as the perfect solution to all your design troubles. Your current drafts may become a treasure in the future.
The goal of sketching is to find a connection between an idea and the creation of a form. Most professional logo designers first sketch logos manually on paper. This is because sketching by hand gives you an immediacy of artistic expression. Sketching your ideas to define their visual elements is a good way to save time. You don’t want to spend lots of time in Illustrator refining a concept that your client won’t like. These prototypes will allow you to work on your design with confidence, too. It is a common practice done by experienced graphic designers to give their work a solid foundation. You’ll start to notice certain threads or themes you like, and you can mix and match different elements until you find the right combination.
The design phase is all about translating your sketches into digital form and then further testing the capability of each concept. When you have a lot of sketches, you can judge them according to the client’s demand and select the most promising concepts to execute digitally. The chosen sketches can be recreated in digital format. The design part can take a very long time, maybe a few days or a few weeks before you actually execute your ideas in a way that is aesthetically pleasing.
This phase is simply about testing many different ways in which you can execute your logo sketches in order to arrive at the best aesthetics. If you do this in a good manner and don’t rush this step, the resulting logo will look fantastic.
When the client approves your logo, it’s time to deliver your final files. You need to ask your client what design files he/she needs at the start of the package (in case they have any special requirements). Generally, it is best to include:
Be sure to include basic variations of the logo, such as full color, black, white, and monochrome. Remember to inform the client about any fonts used in the logo or brand identity, just in case they want to design other applications in the future. You also need to work on a style guide that would show all the logo variations and how to use them (like safe space, placement on dark vs. bright background, and so on). This ensures that your logo will be used correctly long after you are done with the project. It also makes a great parting gift for the client and increases their confidence in the brand vision you’ve crafted for them.
Great logos aren’t designed by accident; they are the outcome of strategic thinking, thorough research, and impeccable design skills. You have to be very smart with the design choices you make when it comes to logo design.
Every brand starts off small. You don’t need to sacrifice quality design just because you’re in the initial phase of your business. The idea of designing your own logo may seem intimidating at first, but after gaining an understanding of logo design principles and learning steps explained in this article, you’ll be better equipped to create a logo design for yourself or for someone else’s company with confidence.