How do we design a logo?

Jan 10, 2022

Have you ever wondered how we design a logo? Within this article, you will get an insight of what happens when our team creates one for a new client.

First of all, what is a logo?

Logos are assets that most businesses have. Put briefly, a logo is a visual representation of a business’s identity.

A logo's job is to be recognisable and provide a positive impression to its client base, which in turn helps promote the business.

A logo can come in many forms, such as a business name in a particular font or an image that represents their business name.

Now that you have an understanding of what a logo is, let me demonstrate our very own process when we design a logo.

Step 1 - Understand the client's requirements

Logo requirements

Our first step once a client has committed to having their logo designed with us is an in-depth discussion to see what they are looking for.

On average, a client has a good idea of what they want. This is based on them knowing what colours they would like, as well as what impression they want their logo to provide.

On the flip side, some clients have absolutely no idea what they are looking for but will "know it when they see it". This is actually said quite a lot within initial meetings.

Both of these situations are great, but if I set the scene of a client coming to us with no idea what they want and our team not know what they do for a living, we would ask the following questions:

  • Provide a brief overview of what your business does and what makes you stand out over your competition?
  • Are there any particular colours that your new logo should include and exclude?
  • What buzzwords would you use to reflect the impression of your new logo?
  • Are there any businesses with logos that you really like and/or dislike?
  • Once your logo is complete, what applications would you be utilising it for? (Website, signage, clothing etc)

All of these notes are typed up and saved within the project so that the team can review the feedback.

Step 2 - Research the client’s industry and latest design trends

How we design logos

Within this stage, we utilise Google to search for competitors within the client’s industry. We cover all of the competitors within their local area, as well as branching out nationally to get a good idea of what works and what doesn’t.

As you can imagine, we’re not the only logo designers in Barnsley, or in the UK in fact. We realise that other design agencies will have similar ideas to us, so we need to make sure that any initial ideas haven’t already been designed.

On top of competitor research, we would check out the latest design trends by referencing inspiring websites such as Logopond and awwwards to see if there’s any tends that we would like to utilise as inspiration for our client.

This research is then added to a shared mood board so we can reference it while working on initial sketches.

Step 3 - Sketch initial logo ideas

Sketch initial logo ideas

At this point, we’ve got a good idea of what’s out there and what we would like to accomplish. Depending on the team member, we would grab the iPad or pencil and paper to start sketching ideas.

We’ve found that great ideas in the head don’t always translate well once they are sketched out. This stage allows us to narrow down our concepts to our favourites before moving onto the next stage.

Step 4 - Digitally design logo sketches

Digitally design logo sketches

If our sketches are done on the iPad (usually on ProCreate), we would transfer them onto our computers so that we can start illustrating them within our design software. If we’ve done traditional pencil and paper sketches, a quick snap on our phone and we can transfer them over.

Most design agencies opt for Adobe Illustrator, which is perfectly fine, but we’ve always preferred to use Affinity Designer since it was launched in 2014. Don’t get me wrong, we do utilise Adobe software, but Affinity Designer will always have a place within our design arsenal.

Once we’ve imported the sketches into our design software and now is where we convert the sketches into digital versions. This is done by outlining what we’ve sketched and filling them in with a suitable colour palette. We experiment with different colour shades, gradients and outlines to bring the sketches to life.

The lettering within each logo can either be drawn or a pre-made font can be utilised. It will all depend on the type of logo that we are creating. If we opt for a pre-made font, we would utilise commercial use fonts from resources such as Google Fonts or MyFonts.

Once we’re happy with what we’ve created, we’d move on to the next step.

Step 5 - Provide feedback as a team

Team feedback

We never send any design work off to the client until we’re completely happy with it as a team.

The entire team would review the concepts that have been created and provide feedback of what they think. Suggestions of any amendments that we feel would improve the concepts are taken into consideration.

Once the logos are tweaked and all feedback has been considered, it’s off to the final stage.

Final stage - Present the logo concepts

Logo examples

Especially since the pandemic started, we’ve been presenting our finished logo concepts electronically instead of in person. This is done via email.

We would present all concepts (either 2 or 4 depending on what logo design package has been chosen) in a beautifully presented PDF accompanied by our reasoning behind each one. This allows the client to digest the concepts in their own time to provide feedback.

And there you have it, an inside look at our logo design process.

Each design agency will have their own process when it comes to designing logos. For some, it may be a shorter process and for others it may be a longer one.

No matter which agency the client chooses, the desired result should be the same, to make the client happy.

Posted in Branding on Jan 10, 2022

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