An In-depth Look at My Branding Process - Part 3: Custom Logo Design
As I said, in the second stage of my process we gather inspiration for the look, type treatment, patterns and colours for the brand and I usually request clients refrain from pinning other logos (or at least logos of companies operating in their industry). This helps me keep a clean and fresh mind for the concept development, not having any specific style or layout in the back of my mind guiding my design. Instead, I use the inspiration board to find a predominant shape, style of typography/lettering and use the overall aesthetic to guide me.
A while back I touched on the importance of sketching an idea (albeit for hand-lettering) and I wasn’t kidding. This has become the most creative part of my process, allowing me to scribble, scratch and make plenty of mistakes. Because I am working with a pencil on paper, I am not too focussed on perfect alignment, small unnecessary details and getting things to look perfect.
It’s the best place for my thoughts to go wild and usually makes for much more interesting designs than if I start right in Adobe Illustrator.
Once I’ve developed some unique concepts I take to Illustrator to start drawing them up. Here I use a variety of resources and fonts together with the pen tool to create the desired shapes and logo forms. This could be simply adding to an existing font to increase interest or drawing up something totally unique from scratch.
I aim to refine at least 3-5 concepts for my clients, each one with a different (but relevant) layout and style. Then once I’m happy with the selection and feel it accurately represents the inside of their brand as well as adhering to the styles we defined in the inspiration board, I draw up a proposal. This proposal always contains the ins and outs of their Brand Discovery Workbook, detailing their brand words, USP, dream clients and main goal. At the end, I insert each logo in its own page with plenty of breathing room.
Oh yes, and I send it through in black and white.
I’d hate for my client to choose one concept over the other because of its use of colour rather than listening to how the logos made them feel. It’s important for them to take a step back and envision how their dream clients would feel about it and what values it would represent to them. And if you’re stuck with feeding back on artwork to your designer, be sure to check out my post on the 8 secrets to providing great feedback!
From here, my clients get back to me with either their favourite options or a detailed list of what they do and don’t like about each one. This helps weed out the elements they don’t connect with and refine those that they do. I allow for 3 rounds of revision at this stage and with each round my client and I work together to create something perfect for them (and their clients!).
In the second round of concepts I add colour and an alternate application of the logo, and in the third and fourth rounds, I include a submark and/or monogram option. This helps my clients visualise how their brand can be carried across various platforms and assists them in making their final decision.
After the final logo design is chosen I go through and refine each and every part of it. I meticulously balance them and set rules for clear space and colour. This ensures that not only is their logo perfect for every application (print, web, lasercutting, and anything else you could imagine) but it is also beautiful and super pleasing to the eye. And after all, isn’t that what we really want? For our brand to look beautiful?
And all this would mean nothing if it weren’t for the Brand Discovery Workbook and being purposeful with each design decision. Not pretty for pretty’s sake, but really a visual representation of their values, tone and voice. So that their brands can start connecting with their dream clients and they can make a difference in their industry.
Are you ready to go through a branding journey and work with me to get your custom logo (and patterns, colours and touch-points) designed? I would love to hear all about your project and become your brand's biggest fan! I'm taking bookings for June and can't wait to hear about yours.