Designing a logo? Steps for a brilliant, lasting design

Steps for a brilliant logo design







A logo, unlike any other design element; is the face of a company.  Whether it is your business card, letterhead or a brochure, the first thing that gets noticed is your logo design. That’s why I will attempt to share ideas from my experiences with branding-focused logo design for the real world.

Ask questions, and create your Design Questionnaire 

Conduct a questionnaire or interview with the client to get the design brief.  Ask, ask, ask!  this is the key to know what your client wants.  Ask about the business history, how the company differ from its competitor, specific images or icons they will like to include on the logo, color preferences, etc.

Search, research and search again

Problem-solve first, design later.  Conduct research on the industry itself, its history and competitors.  Research on logo designs that have been successful and on current styles and trends that may relate to the design brief. Follow trends not for their own sake but rather to be aware of them: longevity in logo design is key.

Conceptualizing, sketching…CREATING

Who sketch anymore? Actually sketching is a great way to transfer the ideas in your head into paper. Develop the logo design concept(s) around the questionnaire and your research. This is the single most important part of the design process. Get creative and be inspired.  After that, it’s always easier to actually design it on the computer. Sketching helps to evolve your imagination: once you understand it, you will always start from just white paper.

Coffee break or Reflection time

Take breaks throughout the design process. This helps your ideas mature, renews your enthusiasm and allows you to solicit feedback. It also gives you a fresh perspective on your work.

Revise and improve

Every design have space for improvement, small modifications can result in a great design.

Show time or logo presentation

Present only your best logo designs to your client.  You may also wish to show the logo in context, which will help the client more clearly visualize the brand identity. Preparing a high-quality presentation is the single most effective way to get your clients to approve your designs.

“Canned presentations have the ring of emptiness. The meaningful presentation is custom designed—for a particular purpose, for a particular person. How to present a new idea is, perhaps, one of the designer’s most difficult tasks. This how is not only a design problem, it also pleads for something novel.

Everything a designer does involves a presentation of some kind—not only how to explain (present) a particular design to an interested listener (client, reader, spectator), but how the design may explain itself in the marketplace… A presentation is the musical accompaniment of design. A presentation that lacks an idea cannot hide behind glamorous photos, pizzazz, or ballyhoo. If it is full of gibberish, it may fall on deaf ears; if too laid back, it may land a prospect in the arms of Morpheus.” (Paul Rand)

Delivery and support

Deliver the appropriate files to the client and give all support that is needed. Remember to under-promise and over-deliver. After you’ve finished, have a beer, eat some chocolate and then start your next project.

A logo doesn’t need to say what a company does. Restaurant logos don’t need to show food, dentist logos don’t need to show teeth, furniture store logos don’t need to show furniture. Just because it’s relevant, doesn’t mean you can’t do better. The Mercedes logo isn’t a car. The Virgin Atlantic logo isn’t an airplane. The Apple logo isn’t a computer. Etc. David Airey

These are some of the basic steps I follow when creating a logo, what are yours?