LOGO DESIGN

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If you think about it, logos are everywhere! 

Even if company names where not integrated into their logo design, 99.9% of people would recognize the brand. 

Still not convinced about global recognition and world domination in your industry? 

In this post, we will be dig a little deeper into why having a logo is so important and the design process that goes into it. 

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12 STEP DESIGN PROCESS:

1. STRATEGIZE

A brand strategy's intent is to provide the blueprint on which an outstanding logo can be built.  

Usually conducting a strategy involves a collaboration between the client, designer, and those other essential partners in the company. 

Why are strategies so crucial? 

A strategy provides direction. 

Without that proper up-front thinking and solid brief, you are always going to end up on the back foot. 

Some choose to go with a simple one-page design brief, yet others pull towards that highly sophisticated (and much more expensive) brand strategy. 

Let's be honest, having a clear purpose is needed to accomplish both of these. 

A strong framework to build your brand is needed if you are wanting to stand against the test of time. 

Talking to your client (you will want to get more than one person's perspective) about who they are, what exactly they stand for, how they perceive themselves, and how they want to be seen by their customers is important. 

Before the designing process begins, you will want to figure out what makes the business different. 

How will you position it in the marketplace? 

Once you have written up your thoughts, get your client to take a look over your plan and have them sign off.

This will let everyone know where they stand and what is to be expected. 

You're #1 goal is to end up with a high-quality logo design. 

2. FIND MEANING

Creating a logo requires insight and intuition, ask any logo design agency. 

Insight can be a gathering of information.

The longer you create logo designs, the faster intuition will start to develop. 

Start by looking at some of the world's most successful brands.

The meaning behind their logos is something that can be drawn out by simply looking at it. 

Keep your eyes out for something that expresses their brand message or even idea, or displays their personality. 

3. CHOOSE

A logo is not a brand. 

"Logo" is short for logotype - graphic designer talk for a custom-lettered word. 

Can you see why the term "logo" became so popular? 

It sounds quite catchy, right? 

When people are talking about logos, they are not referring to a word. 

Rather, they are referring to an emblem, monogram, symbol, initials, or any graphic device representing a company, product, or service. 

Logos are considered to be the flags in front of every organization.  

Just like people, logos come in all different shapes and sizes. 

A logo can simply be a wordmark, or can be as complex as an image. 

It's a good idea to conduct experiments with your logo design ideas.  

Just make sure whatever you end up producing, fits the brief. 

Go ahead and try a couple different approaches. 

Why not be adventurous? 

Try your hand at different designs.  

Test new formats until you find the right fit. 

What works? What doesn't? Do you think your idea works better this way, or that? 

Listed below are 5 categories, try coming up with an idea for each one, even if you already have a hunch of what your client is into. 

Just remember, clients can be somewhat unpredictable. 

Go figure! 

So test the waters. 

  • WORDMARKS: Want to convey brand personality by using typographical means? Think Tate, Braun, FedEx, and Google. 
  • LETTERFORMS: Could you design your logo by simply using the company's initials? Think Unilever, IBN, and Airbnb.
  • EMBLEMS: Are you drawn to a shape or holding device that the company name is mutually connected with? Think Starbucks, Levis, Warner Bros, and Harley Davidson. 
  • PICTORIAL MARKS: Could you use a recognisable image? Think Twitter, Apple, and Shell. 
  • ABSTRACT SYMBOLS: Can you come up with a symbol that will be a representation of the brand? Think Pepsi, Audi, and Nike. 

4. OPEN MIND

First things first! Always begin with an open mind. 

This will allow all types of ideas to begin flowing freely. 

You will be able to adjust your sails when needed.  

Once you become familiar with the structure and brand architecture of the company you are dealing with, will you be able to come up with those really great design ideas. 

Having a strong understanding of the business you are dealing with will future-proof your concepts, and will bring consistentcy to the client's portfolio. 

5. IMPLEMENT PSYCHOLOGY

Let's be blunt, you do not necessarily need to have a degree in human behavior to design logos, but it would help. 

Our brain is a very complex organ. 

In fact, it is known to be the body's most complex one. 

The human brain contains around 86 billion neurons! 

All of which are in use. 

Naturally, our brains are hardwired to process shapes before color & words. 

This is why a lot of businesses can use only a symbol for identity instead of using their company name. 

"A logo is not communication. A logo is identification."

Sagi Haviv  

Visual language will change over time.

Web design will change over time.

A logo should never have to change. 

Research has shown that the human brain processes sensory information in very specific ways. 

If you are wanting to leave a real impact, you will quickly begin to realize that a basic knowledge of human behavior is needed. 

Take this for instance, as humans, we tend to acknowledge shapes before language. 

Keep this in mind when you are designing a logo that will need to compete in highly congested sectors. 

Thinking about using symbols in your logo design ideas? 

Remember this, repeat exposure will make it more recognizable. 

Take Apple and Nike for example, they have used symbols to drop their names entirely.  

Of all our senses, our sight plays the most important role when it comes to creating memorable experiences of a brand.

Taking the time to think about how the brain processes logo design ideas is worth every penny in my opinion. 

Listed below are 3 elements you will want to consider: 

  • SHAPE: Shapes come first. These are needed in order to identify an item or word. The brain accepts distinctive shapes better, leaving lasting imprints on the memory. 
  • COLOR: Colors come second. Colors are used to evoke emotions as well as unique perception. "TAKE NOTE." Colors must be used carefully. Here are a few examples of companies that practically own a color: Coca Cola & Facebook. 
  • TYPE: Did you know that our brain takes the longest to process lannguage? Meaning, your content should come third when coming up with logo design ideas. You will want to keep this in mind while working with complex brand marks. 

A logo is simply the period at the end of a sentence.

It is not the sentence in itself. 

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6. DEVELOP IDEAS

Your enthusiasm is at its highest peak when it comes to generating logo design ideas. 

Possibilities are infinite. 

During this time you will want to come up with as many ideas as you possibly can. 

The real question is, "how will you know when to stop?" 

"Where should you draw the line?"

It is important to give yourself a due date and set plenty of clear goals. 

Here's an example, make a commitment to generate 10 type-only word marks in 1 hour, 20 letterforms in 2, or as many abstract symbols you can come up with in a 24 hour period. 

You will want to stick to your goals religiously! 

If you find yourself at a crossroad, ask yourself plenty of questions. 

This should help you find inspiration. 

For instance, could brand ideas come across better by exaggerating something?

Should things be taken in a literal context?

Should I use double-meaning?

Adapt a metaphor?

Does my perspective need changed?

Should I steer towards using comparison? 

Go ahead and grab whatever equipment you use to cultivate your logo design ideas - it may be a mouse, a pen, or anything else that can be used to work quickly, and translate ideas onto the page or screen as fast as you possibly can.  

Just remember, these are quick sketches. 

This is not the logo design that you will be showing to your end client. 

Avoid messing around too much, along with tweaking. 

Stop once you have reached your time limit. 

You will want to set aside a proper time to thoroughly look over your work at a later stage. 

From there, you will be able to come up with a shortlist of design ideas that you may want to develop, and proceed onward with. 

7. CONSIDER COMPETITION

Competitive analysis is worth checking into.

It is essential to building a brand style along with differentiating companies surrounding its space. 

With some luck, a lot of your ground work for your logo design ideas will have been completed in the research and brand stage. 

Final research is suggested to ensure that your idea of the perfect logo is one of a kind.

Make sure that your idea is not identical to one of your client's competitors, or even worsse - one of those best-known brands. 

Homework should be done. Make sure to check out the brand's rivals. 

The whole sector should be checked out, if I'm being honest. 

What symbols are they using? What fonts? What colors? 

Research is key. 

Strive to make the business stand out. 

Take a look at some logo blogs and check out some of the latest trends on agency sites. 

Just make sure to not copy what is already out there. 

Inspiration is all around.

Keep your eyes out for what is fashionable in the branding world. 

Strive to display ideas that are not only different from the competition, but are simple, yet timeless. 

8. THINK PRACTICALLY

How will your design perform in multiple different areas? 

Will it work in a tall, skinny space? 

Shallow space? 

Does it display well in black and white?

Will embedding it on a garment be a viable option? 

Can it be screen printed on balloons? 

How fast were you able to respond to these questions? 

Experiment. 

I cannot put an emphasis on this enough! 

You want your logo to have that lasting impact, right? 

Brand marks reside in a multi-channel environment. 

What does this mean in layman's terms?  

Take it this way, you want to ensure that your logo design idea will work not only as an app on a smartphone or in your Twitter feed, but how it will display on traditional media, the side of buses, or behind a secretary's desk in your client's building. 

You should have been able to answer these questions quickly. 

This will save yourself from a world full of problems in the future.

Creating a few rough mock-ups is recommended. 

As you may know, brand marks hardly exist in a vacuum. 

Not sure where to locate resources?

There are countless ones out there intended to help you achieve fantastic professional-looking mock-ups as fast as you would like. 

Why mock-ups? 

These will help you, and your client visualise the potential of your design ideas beyond what can be seen as a single image on a piece of paper. 

9. JUDGE SHORTLIST

Want to know an easy way to improve decision-making skills relating to logo design? 

Here's the secret. 

Set yourself up with some clear criteria that will help you judge your shortlist. 

Doing this will help avoid "design by committee" problems. 

It will also allow you to make the right choice for your chart. 

In the logo design world, sometimes your gut feelings will let you know where you are headed. 

On the other hand, this will vary for each person. 

Without consistency, it may be difficult to move in the right direction.

Some clients lack the confidence when it comes to making big decisions. 

We are human. 

Some find it hard to be objective and to get past decisions made on likes, or dislikes. 

It's never easy if the opinions of your project team are divided. 

Find ways to filter your client's selections, development suggestions, and feedback within the criteria that has already been set out when you completed your creative brief. 

Carefully focus on what your project is setting out to accomplish. 

Discussions should be focused entirely around that. 

Want to know how you can judge decisions from an objective perspective? 

Use a scorecard. 

Here are some questions you will want to implement on your card: 

  • Do my designs work in both black & white? 
  • Do my logo design ideas work across all media platforms? 
  • Will my concepts be able to withstand the test of time? 
  • Are the images used recognisable and memorable? 
  • Are my ideas that have been shortlisted, unique? 
  • Do my ideas support the brand's manifesto? 
  • Are my logo designs a representation of the brand as a whole?

Your brand mark cannot do everything on its own, but it can be a valuable part of the business image beacuse of the right shape, color, and typography. 

Let's keep one thing clear, you will not always be able to pinpoint the logo design your client is looking for, but with the criteria that has already been established, you will automatically be redirected back at the task on hand.

Remember this, there is so much more to branding than just a logo. 

10. LISTEN TO FEEDBACK

When you first start working on design ideas, it can be quite difficult to have a listening ear to those things you may want to avoid. 

Unfortunately, if you choose to take this route, your client may end up choosing another design agency. 

Listening to feedback constructively is a crucial part of the design process. 

Without letting go of your creative principals altogether, you may need to surrender to the fact that your personal preferences might not always work out. 

11. REFINE!!!

Wow, look at you! You have created so many different logo design ideas.

Congrats!

Now, take a step back, take a long, hard look at the masterpieces you've created.

Make sure your logo designs are legible in every different variant, size, and color. 

Do not forget to check the spacing between characters, symbols, and typefaces that you have chosen. 

12. DESIGN ROBUST MASTER ARTWORK

Here is a final tip that you will want to implement in your design process. 

You will want to come up with master artwork for each eventual application and channel that you may end up using. 

This could be full color to single color pieces on both print and digital platforms.  

All file formats will need to be tested before handing in the final artwork for implementation. 

IMPORTANCE OF A LOGO:

  • REVEALS IDENTITY

Familiar with cattle branding in the West? Cowboys used to do this to mark ownership. 

Your logo should somewhat aim towards that exact same thing (just do not include the red hot branding iron). 

Imprinted on products, website, and business cards, your logo's intent is to communicate ownership.  

This will reveal to the world/potential customers your identity, what services or products that you sell, or benefits that you have to offer to your consumers. 

Take a look at some of these logos: 

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Just by looking at The Swirl Frozen Yogurt logo, you can tell right away what they are trying to sell. 

On the other hand, the Noble Pillow logo identifies the company's regal-sounding name and communicates a pillow brand that is fit for a king. 

The owl, as you may know, is typically a symbol of wisdom. 

Little Minds Book Box's logo speaks of the benefits to its consumers, ie,. smart kids.

  • CUSTOMER INTEACTION

As you should know by now, we do not live in a monochromatic world. 

People have an eye for interesting logo and design. 

While adorning your storefront and marketing packages, your logo should be designed to draw interest and spark curiosity of potential customers.  

This, in turn, will hopefully prompt them to at least look, or even purchase your product. 

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Gentle North is a skincare line.

Their logo perfectly describes the benefits of its products-fresh, natural, gentle, and healthy. 

The effectiveness of this sort of simplicity will make you want to grab it right from the shelf and put it into your cart. 

The Forager's Table, a resturant that specializes in farm-to-table cuisine, attracts eaters into their establishment by choosing to go with an organic style logo. 

Using this logo on signage, menus, and on their website will draw in those hungry customers who are looking for this type of dining experience. 

  • SETS YOU APART

Certain symbols represent particular products or industries. 

Let me give you an example: 

How many of you have come across a pizza place who's logo features an Italian, mustachioed chef wearing a tall white hat, giving you a wide grin? Maybe even holding an oversized pizza?  

You want a good logo. 

Why?

It is a reflection of who you are, but it should also set you apart from the rest of the competition. 

You should try to be different. 

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Take a look at Midnight Pizza's logo. 

It is the complete opposite of that grinning Italian chef we are so used to seeing everywhere. 

Plus, who can't relate to that wolf howling for pizza late into the evening? 

When we think of investment comapnies, we don't usually think of a bear in the woods. 

The Bear Creek Capital logo does a good job at differentiating its company by choosing to go with a rustic image that matches its name perfectly. 

  • ENABLES BRAND LOYALTY

Every now and then, a company chooses to redesign their logo. 

This is usually done to update their look or to be a reflection of some other corporate change. 

As a marketer, I totally get it, but as a consumer, not a huge fan.  

You become accustomed to a favorite brand's logo after a while.

If they decide to go ahead and change it, you'll need to retrain your brain to look for something new. 

Brand loyalty is vast and needs to be looked into. 

A logo that is recognizable and familiar will go a long way when it comes to building brand loyalty.  

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These logos are bright, distinctive, and interesting. 

Placing them on products would make locating them on a crowded shelf quite easy. 

  • OMNIPRESENT

Logos can be placed everywhere! 

Want to get noticed? 

Placing your logo on all of your marketing, products, packaging, website, social media, etc. is a great way for you to advertise your brand and your message dependably, whether you choose to display in stores, consumer's homes, online, i.e., everywhere you desire.  

Have you developed your brand message and successfully tied it to your logo? 

If so, you should know that everything you do and create ties into your logo and the brand. 

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Logos like these transition from signage to merchandise, to mobile marketing with ease. 

Simple logos are the best if you are wanting to reside on different materials or media. 

CONCLUSION

Convinced yet? 

Having a logo is so important and is necessary when it comes to your business's success. 

Don't have a logo yet for your business?

Check out our logo package options. 

Endless possibilities await........

MALINDA hostetler

Malinda is a Content Creator/Web Designer @ Troyer Websites, a full service Web Design & Marketing Firm located in Orrville, Ohio. 

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