[Updated and restructured as of 18/04/11] Have had a few requests to transplant my existing logo design client questionnaire into a post so here we are; the full set of questions available to you to use and modify as you see fit.
This is by no means an authoritative collection of questions, but it is a solid way to start off communications with a client, and helps you figure out the overall game plan.
I generally recommend that they don't waste time on the short form as they will inevitable have to fill out the comprehensive one at a later date should I be hired, but it is useful to have a short form available so not to scare off people that don't like long forms.
The short form also saves time if they are not even sure they will be going ahead with a project so filling in a comprehensive form based on an initial and tentative enquiry can be a little off putting to some. Once they have made that first contact and then see how cool you are you can work your social magic on them to hook them in.
What Does It Do
The client questionnaire provides you with enough information–should the client actually answer it in a detailed manor–to assess if the project is something you can or want to do and generally fits in with your schedule. It also allows you to gain an initial insight into the mind of the client and the answers can reveal aspects of their personality which is super useful to know at this early stage. Looking at how they write, how they express themselves, how keen or motivated they are to explain what it is they do and how they feel you as a logo designer can help them.
I'll be honest and say I have turned down a few projects based on the manor in which the questionnaire has been filled. If they have not taken and time or effort to explain what they do and what they need then this can be a indication of how they might be to work with. If it's like getting blood from a stone then you need to look at how this might affect your work during a long project.
The Questionnaire Is The First Step
Once you are talking with the client then you can follow up with more precise and tailored questions that would be impossible to include on a one size fits all questionnaire.
Don't assume that the answers you get for this initial questionnaire are all you need; this is far from being the end of your questions to the client. This first stage allows you to make some initial decisions and get a good overall feel for what is needed, then you take it further with more intimate and focused questions.
The Comprehensive Questionnaire
What follows is the comprehensive questionnaire, but I am also in the process of revising it slightly so I will post those revisions on here when the time comes. I will list the obvious things like contact details so it keeps the form as close to my online version as possible.
What I can't show you in this post is the method in which you can answer the questions as some are: checkboxes, radio buttons, single line text, multiple line text etc. Some questions do need lots of space so that the client can really provide detailed responses so it is important that the form is intuitive as possible. View my existing logo design client questionnaire for an idea on formatting.
I am not overly happy with my own set-up as I use Google Docs; I would much rather have a more visually refined and internally set-up questionnaire than having to rely on an external and visually limited solution. Fortunately my whole website is currently being redeveloped and the client questionnaire will be an internal solution and not external as is the case now.
I am always looking to enhance and improve my own form so I would love to hear from you if you have questions in your own questionnaire that are not on mine.
Feel free to use these as is or to form the basis of your own questionnaire.
Logo Package Options
This section allows the client to choose an overall style of logo development depending on their needs and budget. I don’t have fixed prices per sai but I do provide basic tiered budget ranges. You will obviously have your own way of charging for logo design so mine may method not be appropriate for your needs.
- Basic Logo Package Small to medium logo solutions.
- Logo & Brand Identity Design Logo and identity solutions for people serious about their business and overall identity.
- Tag line creation Not everyone likes doing these, but I find it really challenging and rewarding.
This section gives me an idea on how flexible the client can be over the long haul.
- Project Start Date I give a few realistic time frames and will alter these depending on my current work load.
- Project Completion Date It may be easier for a client to indicate when the project has to be completed by. I also find this an easier way to work out if my current schedule can be worked around.
- Express Logo Design I try to avoid taking on stupidly urgent logo projects, but some can crop up that fit in nicely with your overall style of design and you existing projects may be on hold, on proof etc. Important to add a premium if you offer super fast turn around.
Specific information relating to what the client needs a logo for. This is the section where ideally need the more detailed and descriptive responses.
- Logo Wording This is the full written name needed for the logo.
- Tag line Their existing tag line.
- About A general overview of what they do etc.
- Sum up what you do This is a refined and optimised version of above. Think along the lines of descriptive tag lines. 6-10 words is the ideal number words but if the client is struggling then as few words as possible. This helps me quickly understand what it is they are all about. Imagine you have just a few minutes to enthusiastically but realistically describe what it is you do.
- Appropriate keywords and descriptive words or phrases Similar to above, but listing keywords that best sum up an overall impression that the logo needs to convey. This is all about creating the appropriate perception in your target market.
- Perception When consumers/clients/customers view a logo or brand identity; what should be the ideal feeling or emotion you would like them to feel?
- What does the logo need to say about you or the company? Where #6 is more about emotion and feelings #7 is a more general description about what the logo/identity needs to say or portray.
- Who is the target audience or intended market? A list of people that need to be influenced by the logo when they see it. For example, who is the decision maker of the company that may be using your business.
- Are you unique or one of many? Does this logo need to compete with existing and similar businesses or is it in a relatively uncrowded market place.
- Your competitors This includes: local, regional and/or worldwide. We absolutely need to know how a clients competitors brand and position themselves before we can work on building a visual identity. This is VERY important; you must familiarize yourself with the competition before starting.
- Number of staff Useful to know exactly how big or small the business is.
- Premises of business Helps you with how the company could be perceived or the overall message they are giving off.
Technical & Practical Details
- Type of logo required Important to clarify what they are actually looking for as people often have different ideas on what the term "logo" means or implies.
- Detail of logo required This gets the client thinking about how the logo will be used.
- Where will the logo be used If the client has certain physical and practical requirements then you really need this information before you can start designing. It may affect the level of detail you can incorporate, or if you have to create a number of logo variations and styles which could affect the budget.
- It's all about the size This relates to #3 but focuses on asking the client the smallest and largest physical size a logo needs to work at. Does the logo need to be legible printed on the side of a pen and/or adorned on the side of a building.
I wouldn't say this section is crucial but it does provide you with additional information that could help you with your research. It's important to remember that you may have to battle with the clients own sense of creative style which may clash with what you feel is appropriate. If you are pre armed with their visual preferences then you are much better prepared.
It's also nice if you are able to factor in certain visual styles that you know the client will appreciate.
- What visual style of logos appeal to you Not always so important but I do find it useful to understand what sort of design might initially appeal to the client.
- Colours The client may have certain requirments or may have to be limited to certain colours for various reasons. May be easier to just ask a client what colours they really don't like.
- Specific visual requirements Their business or product may follow a certain visual style or they may just have some specific visual needs that need to be considered or even avoided if existing logo and identities fall into the cliché trap.
To Finish Up
- Have more to say? I didn't believe this would ever be filled in but in fact it has become an important part of the questionnaire. A fair few clients like to use this space to talk further about what they do and what they want.
3 Part Logo Design Series Interview on Mashable by Jolie O’Dell
Honest Logos by @Viktor
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