More Than A Symbol: The Logo Process

Do you know why your logo is so important?

Your small business’s logo is a crucial part of your branding. It provides your small business with an identity and emulates your core values and mission.

A logo doesn’t sell (directly), it identifies.

Paul Rand

Your logo SHOULD grab attention, be memorable, make a strong first impression, serve as the foundation of your brand identity, separate you from competition, and foster brand loyalty.

So, do you need a [new] logo for your business?

Let’s take a look at that process.

Every designer is different and every business is unique, making the logo design process complex and fluid.

In the simplest form, it looks like this:

  1. We evaluate your brand, aka Client Discovery. Some questions we may ask include: 
    • Why are you getting a logo design? What problem are you trying to solve?
    • If your brand were a person, what adjectives would you use to describe it? (clever, prudent, etc.)
    • What is your brand voice? (eloquent & formal, jokey, etc.)
    • Which beliefs and values are important to your brand?
    • What is your unique value proposition? What does your company offer that your competitors don’t?
    • How do you want your customers to describe your brand to their friends?
  2. We research your industry. This helps us understand industry standards and trends, overused techniques, and a look into your potential customers. 
  3. Plan out concepts or drafts. Our designer typically starts with sketches before moving into anything digital. 
  4. Then we create digital drafts. This is where we bring in more defined lines, colors, and typography to pull all the ideas together. 
  5. Feedback time. Once we’ve done our own refining and internal review and feedback, we present you with a variety of options and variations. The variety helps both us and you see where you may want to go and where you do not want to go with your new logo.
  6. Package it all together. After feedback and adjustments—and possibly more feedback and refinement—we put together all of your final logo pieces. This includes a wide array of variations and options for you to use throughout your marketing and branding. This includes color variations (color, white, black), icons or other logo assets, with and without typography, vertical and horizontal options, and any other pre-discussed assets. 
  7. HIGH FIVE! It’s time to show off that new logo!

Now let’s look at some examples.

Client 1: The client who knows exactly what they want

Some clients know exactly what they want in their logo. Whether it be a piece of their history, a part of their story, or a revamp on what is already there.

For example, our local Stefari Cafe. The owners of Stefari have roots in Moldova, and they wanted that to carry into their logo. They came to us with an inspired design already in mind and hand. Our designer – with a few revisions to the font – was then able to bring their vision to life.

Client 2: The client who is unsure

Most business owners do not have a specific vision in mind for their logo – and that’s okay! We are visual people, and clients need to first see something/anything to understand and find their own ideas and mission.

This often looks like trial and error and working very closely with the client on drafts and feedback. It involves a lot of “I like this” and “I don’t like this.” Often it’s not until we’ve already put some drafts on the table that the client begins to see their own vision, and sometimes that means completely flipping the design – AND THAT IS OKAY. 

It’s all about refining and refining and refining until together, we find something that connects.

Client 3: Doing one for ourselves

You are your hardest client. We learn this over and over again as we market, design, and implement for ourselves. 

The process for designing our logo was difficult. We were combining three businesses into one. We knew the logo needed to be our visual elevator pitch and be representative of our company culture. Like with any client, these factors needed to be addressed while designing our logo. Telling a story visually and simply with one graphic is no easy task. We had a dozen—okay more like 2 dozen—variations of designs. The process included a lot of back and forth. “How about we try this?” “No. How about that?” “Eww. How about this one?” “Ehhhhh…closer…” 

It was weeks of that kind of back and forth and late nights. Until, we got it right

Remember,

A logo is an important part of your brand, and makes a significant impact on public perception. 

Each detail of your logo—colors, fonts, sizes, shapes and more—can affect the kind of impression it makes on customers. Although at the end of the day your logo may not resonate with every single viewer, a robust logo design process is your best opportunity to bring your brand vision to life.

Make sure your logo is telling the right story.