Logo Design Process Overview by The Logo Smith

A cursory walk-through on what a typical Logo Design Process might entail; not to be taken verbatim, as each logo design project is so unique, and my logo design process often needs to be adjusted.

My Logo Design Process – which many of my previous clients in their Testimonials have commented very positively about–and general way of thinking is that there is often one ultimate solution to be unearthed, rather than a scatter gun approach of 3-5 weak logo design ideas.

Getting to-the-point of developing that ultimate Logo Design idea takes a mixtures of skills, and of course, a fair bit of time and experience, of which I have a fair bit of: over 28 years within the Graphic Design, Commercial Printing and Advertising & Marketing Industry.

Example of a Logo Design Process for Pure Storage

Pure Storage Logo Design Grid and Construction-designed by The Logo Smith

#1 Research

Research is the key: A logo and brand identity designer needs to spend adequate time getting to know, and understand, your client and their needs, as well as understanding what direct/indirect competitors the client might have.

If you don’t fully understand the clients’ competition, or even know what their companies logo’s look like, then you are not really designing for the client at all.

#2 Brainstorming

Brainstorming unlocks the hidden, and often overlooked, “it’s right in front of you”, logo design solution.

Brainstorming often consists of: mind-maps, sketching in numerous scrappy note books, writing down what ever ideas and thoughts come to mind, furiously messing around on a huge 4000px x 4000px Adobe Illustrator page, and copious quantities of post-it notes.

You can view past and ongoing examples of my brainstorming process at: Case Studies

#3 Where to start

There are 3 possible starting points for any logo design project, and choosing which one is dependant on the brief, and other client requirements:

1. Often, I’ll start a company logo project by focusing on finding a selection of typefaces before thinking about any kind of logo mark, or symbol.

Why? Some brand names emit a strong emotion, so choosing the right font seems essential to help amplify that emotion, then I’ll work on developing the visual element further down the line. 

2. Alternatively, i’ll start the logo project by trying to develop the graphical component (logo mark, symbol, icon, brand mark, etc) of the project by sketching, and the above process of brainstorming.

3. There is a third direction: some logos need a solid and descriptive tag-line, so this will be developed first as this will create a form of narrative, that helps define the brand name. 

This narrative also then gives me a framework from which to base the visual part of the logo from.

There is no set process with the above, it just depends on the project, the client, and brief in question, and what ingredients I have to cook with. 

There really is not one size fits all approach, as each client and brief is so different.

#4 Client & Logo Designer Collaboration

There are several ways a logo design project unfolds when it comes to how much client collaboration there is during the actual progress of a project.

Some clients like to be part of the brainstorming and overall creative process right from the very start; happy to see really rough logo design sketches, and napkins doodles, as they occur.

Other clients find it hard to interpret these sketches, and struggle to visualise how a rough scribble could look all polished and gleaming.

Therefore, in these situations, a client would generally be happier seeing a more polished logo design idea a bit further down the line.

I’m happy to accommodate both approaches.

#5 Project Duration

I’ll be frank: I’m not always the quickest logo designer; I do like to think things through, ponder, deliberate, try this and try that, etc.

I don’t like to rush any logo project, as ideas have a habit of appearing when you least expect them, and often a small break from a project is when that idea will hit you.

If there isn’t a mad rush, then having time on side is very useful, and very valuable.

There is no promised deadline guarantee I can/will give a client when it comes to the progress and completion of a logo design project.

However, I always try my best to keep some element of forward momentum going, on the project, for my clients.

Timelines vary due to: specific client needs, challenges, requirements and project scope.

Any kind of ‘implied’ deadline is also dependant on the client in many ways: if said client takes a dislike to a number of my logo ideas, or is not timely with return feedback, then I’m hard pushed to keep that forward momentum going.

A typical logo design project, on average, will take 4-6 weeks. 

However, if I find an idea early on, then the project could be completed more quickly than usual, say 1-2 weeks at the earliest; conversely, it can rumble on past 6 weeks, especially if the project is proving challenging in any number of ways.

I can be quick when it’s needed, and I have done projects that were super urgent in 24 hours, but it’s far from ideal. Suitable expectations need to be set from the start for rush jobs.

#6 Project Management

I currently use Dropbox Paper to: upload, and present all my logo design ideas, sketches, digital mock-ups along with appended comments, to each project.

This is a super handy way for both client, and designer, to see progress at a glance, and refer back to other past ideas, comments etc.

It’s super convenient as it works well on Desktop as well as mobile devices, and notifications of update etc are quick and easy to access.

With DropBox Paper, the client can also add notes to the screenshots, create tasks for me, and even download the various images.

It helps keeps everything neatly together, and provides for quick reference at any point in the logo design process.

#7 To the End

From managing the project in Dropbox Paper, the logo design process simply continues until you the client are happy with the proposed final logo design idea.

There are a number of ways a logo design project is finally wrapped up, and these are all dependant on the client brief, and any other agreed aspects.

Your Complete Satisfaction

Rest assured; you are never ever put in a position where you end up with a logo design you do not like.

My process is very organic and transparent; as such, any ideas and directions that you don’t like the look of during the exploratory phase, can be put aside early on in the process.

This isn’t to say you’ll like every single idea I present you, but the process is such that even a No from the client is a positive step forward.

This simply means we have eliminated a certain direction, and can focus on another, until you are happy.

Patience and trust in my process and abilities is absolutely paramount.

Many logo design projects can hit snags, become a challenge, take a wrong turn, but I never give up until the client is happy.

Hire The Logo Smith

If you like the sound of how I work to design really solid logo designs for my clients, then maybe you might feel inclined to hire The Logo Smith.