“Logo design? That must be easy – you could probably knock something up in a couple of hours”. Is that what you think? Here’s what really happens!
1 Before I start work on a logo design, I have to do some research. I talk to my client about their business, finding out as much about it as I can – what they do, what kind of image they want to project, and who are their target market. There are other things I need to know, like:
a Where will the logo be used?
b Should any text be incorporated within the logo?
c Are there any colours that they particularly dislike?
d Are there any existing logos that they like – and why?
2 The next thing I do is research the competition. I have a look at competitors websites to see what their branding is like. Here’s what I found when I was looking for insurance brokers logos:
I then make sure that I do something different, as the whole point of having a custom-made logo is that it is unique.
3 After that, I set to work on the design. Most designers work on top of the range iMacs, and the application we usually use for creating the logo is Adobe Illustrator. This is because it’s a vector face (i.e.mathematically worked out rather than using pixels) and that means it will work well at any size, from a postage stamp to a hoarding.
4 All designers are different, but before before I start working out designs on the computer, I always start with a pen and paper. I like to make scribbles of shapes or images that I can use in the logo, or play around with the lettering (usually about 4 sheets’ worth). From these, I can tell what will and won’t work. There are a few things you have to remember when you’re designing a logo, and these are:
a Keep it simple. It has to be memorable, and also work well when it’s small (like on a website banner)
b Make sure it works in black and white as well as colour. You can have 2 very different colours, eg blue and orange, but if they are tonally similar they will both convert to the same shade of grey.
c Don’t follow trends as your design will look like a thousand others, and date quickly.
5 The next stage is working my scribbles up for the client. This shows what I did for Neil Maloney, owner and director of My Home Surveyor. I usually show the client 3 concepts, but this is what they don’t see:
From this, I whittle it down to 3.
6 They then choose which one they like best, but usually there is more work to be done (keeping the concept but experimenting with different colours, drop shadows and fonts).
7 Finally the client choose the preferred logo, and I save it in different didital formats for them.
My client Neil was delighted with his logo as he felt it reflected the professional yet friendly ethos of his company.