Every logo you’ve ever seen started with a series of questions being answered about its purpose and the entity it represents. Research is highly important to properly design anything. No sense creating before you know why you are creating. For example, a lot of college logos pull from the essential visual cues found on the campus of the institution itself. You have research and observe to know what makes the entity you are designing for unique. What is the main identifier? When I see THIS, I think of THIS! Know the message or image you want to communicate through the logo. Learn the market and the audience that will see the results of this project. Your knowledge of the brand combined with your creative skillset will yield great results if you put in the work ahead of time. Have the conversations and delve deep into the thought process of those who are approaching you to work on this project.
The design process itself should start with pencil and paper. I’ve written about how your sketchbook can help you achieve logo greatness. This stop is important for your future sanity. This is where you take all the information and notes you’ve collected thus far and make it visual. Your sketchbook is your playbook. Each sketch is a possible play you can run to score the perfect logo for the project. Unload your mind onto the page.
Now, we have arrived in one of my favorite neighborhoods. The Adobe Creative Cloud is my creative weapon of choice. Usually I will take at least the top 3 concepts and construct them onto my Illustrator artboard. Many times, I’ll combine some of the concepts I’ve sketched out into a new idea that may turn out to be the solution I’m looking for. The work you’ve done prior to arriving here makes this stop a more efficient one.
This is where color theory and choice reign supreme. After you have determined the right shape(s) for the project, you’ll need to choose the right color(s). In my pre-client questionnaire, I include a question about color preference. Color communicates as much as shapes do. Emotion and mental stimulation are influenced by the color we recognize. Looking at a finished logo that sends the right message through its shape and color is an incredible feeling.
The extra mile will bring you here. Previously, I’ve talked about branding identities I’ve created and the steps it took to create them. The top brands in the world surround their logos with visual elements that enhance their profile and communicate their personality. During this stop, the logo / the identity becomes actionable and brought to life in the market.
Enjoy the process, constantly improving and evolving. Cherish the opportunity to work on these types of projects and build identities from the seed of an idea.