What is a logo/What is the purpose of a logo? A logo represents what a company stands for. Your logo or brand mark is the flag in front of your business. A logo can be a simple wordmark, or something that is as complex as an image. Here are some examples of businesses that have wordmarks, lettermarks, emblems, pictorial symbols, or abstract symbols:
Wordmarks: FedEx, Google, Vans, Coca Cola, Calvin Klein.
Lettermarks: Airbnb, IBM, HBO, KFC
Emblems: Starbucks, Harley Davidson, Levis
Pictorial Symbols: Instagram, Apple, McDonalds, Twitter
Abstract Symbols: Pepsi, Nike, Taco Bell, Adobe
It is good to be adventurous and explore different logo design ideas. This helps you test new formats and see what fits best for your business. What works? What doesn’t work? Would your idea work better this way or that way?
A strong logo takes time and effort to create. Drawing the logo on a computer is a small component of the process of creating a strong logo. Research and preparation take the majority of the time. Even if the final product is “small” and “simple”, designing a logo can be a surprisingly complex process. We will be breaking down 5 key steps of what our process looks like to design the best logo for our client!
STEP 1: DESIGN BRIEF
A design brief is when we discuss the project with the client. It is super important to us that we understand the client’s goals for their logo. It is crucial that we gather as much information as possible from the client. It is also important that we learn the different uses that the logo will have in what capacity and scale. A logo that will be used for different signage will most likely contain more detail than a logo that will be used on business cards. The client’s logo should attract their target audience, therefore we will need to learn the clients audience. It is important that we discuss if the client has a visual aesthetic already established, and if the client would like to incorporate those characteristics into their new logo. If the client does not have something established or is wanting to start fresh then it is key to create a brand new visual identity with their branding in mind.
STEP 2: RESEARCH! RESEARCH! RESEARCH!
We believe that research is one of the most, if not the most important key step in the logo design process. Once we have gathered the right amount of information we then enter the research stage of the process. We make sure to ask specific, relevant, and strategic questions to the client especially if they can’t verbalize what exactly they envision their logo to be. Some of the questions we like to ask our clients to begin our research:
• What is your brand voice? (formal, casual, jokey with slang)
• What values are important to your brand?
• What does your company offer that your competitors don’t?
• How do you want your customers/consumers to describe your brand to others?
• If your brand were a person, what adjectives would you use to best describe it? (dainty, bright, clean, natural)
We like to begin our research by doing competitor research to identify the different trends that are popular in the industry that our client is in. This helps us understand the target customer’s vision of the industry and it helps us have a better understanding of the effectiveness of various logo styles. We look for ways that our designs can be recognizable, but stand out at the same time. Once we get enough information we begin sketching out different logo ideas.
STEP 3: BRAINSTORMING AND DESIGNING!
Now that we have gathered the information we need we begin the brainstorming and design step of the logo design process. We first sketch different designs out with a pencil and paper before we bring it to the computer. Once we narrow down the sketch designs that best fit our client’s needs, we then bring it to the computer. We use Adobe Illustrator for this step because it is a vector based drawing program. Once we start designing in Illustrator we begin to incorporate in the brand colors and characteristics to see what design pairs well with the client’s aesthetic. We then prepare to deliver a presentation of our logo options to the client.
STEP 4: CLIENT FEEDBACK
This is our last step in the logo design process and only the beginning of a relationship with our client! WOOHOO! After we deliver the logo designs to the client with different file types and variations, we move onto the branding process. Read What is Branding? 5 Key Steps on How to Create a Brand to learn more. Consistent branding and messaging is key to the growth of a successful brand and the relationship we have with our clients is crucial to this success. The logo is just beginning!
Designing a logo takes time, critical thinking, collaboration, exploring, failing, starting over. There is never a simple solution. BUT it all is worth it when we are able to finish the logo design process together with our client! The resulting logo becomes a valuable asset for the client’s business. The logo design process is time consuming. At Seventh Ave Creative we do our best to meet the needs of our clients and make it as enjoyable and fun as possible!