A successful logo is an expression of a company’s values, culture and people. It’s main job is to be distinctive and represent a company in the best possible way.
01. Client and Industry Discovery
As designers we can’t know the what message a logo should convey without some doing some research. So when starting the process of designing a logo we reach out to the client and ask some specific questions that help us know as much as we can about their business.
One thing we do to help us see what is in the client’s head is to ask them to do a little research as well. We ask if the client can show us logos they like, or if they have something in mind already. A great graphic designer is able to mentally “see” what their client describes to them and successfully translate that into the formation of their logo design.
Once we have an idea of what the company stands for and how they want others to see them, our design team at Digital Canvas is able to inject that message into the logo design. This information helps us create a logo that won’t feel foreign to the company’s directive. We get to know how they think, so we’ll know what is appropriate for them.
The research doesn’t stop there. Once we get to know the client, we have to get to know the environment this logo will be presented in. We look at both the audience and the competition, to be sure we portray a logo that will correctly communicate to the viewer and also stand alone as a unique design.
Knowing the audience with help to discover what direction the style of the logo should take. Should it skew more corporate or casual? More mainstream or niche? The more we know about the target audience, the easier it is for us to create a logo they can fall in love with.
02. Application Discovery
This phase is about answering one question, how and where will the logo be used most of the time? This step tells us, the designer, what can and cannot be done from a design point of view.
For example, if you plan on silk screening or embroidering your logo on shirts or signs, you wouldn’t want to use any non-vector imagery. We will avoid ideas that do not work for that application, or develop separate graphic versions of your logo with the intent to use those for that purpose.
For this reason, always think carefully about where the logo will be used most of the time, so time is not wasted on ideas that cannot be executed in practice.
03. Draft Designs
Professional identity designers usually go through dozens of logo ideas during the brainstorming phase, then pick only a handful to present to the client. We take the best ideas and create some initial designs in Illustrator or other vector based apps.
We create these initial designs in black and white, then present them to the client for review. At this point we don’t bother with adding color — keeping things simple will put the focus on the ideas themselves instead of tiny details, which is much more desirable at this stage. The main objective is to get client feedback on your these ideas and identify the ones they’d like to refine.
04. Refinement and Finishing
The refinement stage involves a lot of back and forth improving and changing the initial logo drafts. Sometimes the client will pick just one idea for refinement — sometimes they will run two or three in parallel just to see where they go.
Colors and extra details are added, changed and thrown away during the final logo refinement stage.
Creating color variations can help bring out the message we set out to show in the logo. Blues can convey a strong corporate look. While brighter colors, like orange, can show a more fun and playful look. (examples shown above)
Various application mockups can be developed to see how the logo will perform in different situations. Sometimes a logo detail on paper doesn’t really work in other applications.
Ultimately, the final logo is chosen, approved and prepared for final use. We will create several file types for finalized logo.
Print use (business Card and brochures) require a vector CMYK (we often provide .eps, .ai, or sometimes even .pdf) Silk screen and embroidery sometimes require Spot colors (often .eps, .ai, or sometimes even .pdf) Low resolution RGB versions are perfect for website use (.jpg or “our web filetype of choice”, a transparent .png file so it can go against a different color background and avoid the white box look), and grayscale designs may be used on items such as a fax letterhead.
The creation of a logo design requires much more effort, creative thinking, and know how than most people realize. Need a reliable and skilled logo design company?
Contact us at Digital Canvas today and we’d love to help in the creation of your new logo!