In today article The Logo Creative is going to talk about How Long Does It Take To Design a Logo.
Now there are a few things that can affect the time scale of a logo design project and the main thing is the process that your designer will go through when creating your Logo / Brand Identity. I thought it would would be helpful for both clients and also other logo designers who follow me on social media if I run through my logo design process today to give you an idea of how much attention to detail I take through my process and you can then compare that with other designers and see if they are someone that you want to work with or if you would rather work with a designer who follows a similar process to my own so let’s take a look at that process and see what’s involved.
— The Logo Creative™ ✏ (@thelogocreative) April 12, 2017
Meet The Client If Possible
Step one in the process is probably one of the most important things and this is to meet the client now wherever possible I’d like to meet the client in person if they can’t travel then a video call is the next best thing (If the client prefers email that’s perfectly fine but more difficult in the long run) now why do i prefer face to face and the reason I do this is because I like to see eye to eye with someone and speak to them face to face because you can pick up on little mannerisms and things when you’re asking questions that maybe the client’s not getting the full answer or its an answer they are unsure of and by seeing them in Person or on the video you can ask them to clarify or maybe open up a little bit more.
Having the client on video sometimes when they’re giving an answer you can just tell by the way they’re acting or their mannerisms that the answer is not a full one or they want to see a bit more but they may be a little bit unsure of their answer and you can help by just coaxing that answer out of them and by doing that it means that you can find out if that client’s a great fit for you and also if you are a good fit for your client.
This is hugely important and I found that out over the years that if the client relationship with you isn’t the best then the project may struggle, so it’s important at the very beginning you find out if you can work really well with that client.
Design Brief & Project Proposal
So step two after I’ve had the initial meeting with the client and found out their design brief (This can also be submitted on our website for client further afield) I will go ahead and create a project proposal which basically just outlines everything that we’ve talked about and gives a action plan that I will take to create that client’s new logo / Brand Identity. Once the client has received the proposal and approved it I will then send them an invoice for fifty percent of my design fee and once paid we can then move on to Step three.
Step three again most of these steps are important but Step three is the research stage now in this stage what I will do is research the client’s business area their services their products and in the case of a re-brand I will look at the client’s current brand assets and see what they’ve been using and see how they’ve been targeting customers in the past and whether that’s something that we will take forward or we remove. we need to look at a new plan of attack for that and reajust their brand message and strategy
I also look at my client’s competitors by doing that we can see if we can leverage an advantage for my clients new branding sometimes competitors can drop the ball on their branding and its just really poor or maybe it’s a safe market, And they feel they don’t need to take a step up and have some professional looking branding and this can be a stage where my client can really jump ahead of the game in terms of their brand identity over their competitors.
After the research stage what I’ll then do is move to step four which is my inspiration stage I’ll look at my logo reference library I will visit inspirational logo websites because what that does is that just kind of gets the gears kicking in and the creative juices flowing for this project I’m not looking for any guidance or any specific type of logo at this point all I’m doing is just kind of getting my brain into logo design mode and by looking at inspirational logos and other designers and this really get me in the mood for the next step.
Sketching & Concept Drawing
Step five is sketching and I love using my sketchbook and soon to be upgraded to the remarkable and i’m quite good at drawing you can see my concept sketches within portfolio projects i was was always good at drawing in school and passing A Level art and design at collage. But not all graphic designers are good at drawing and I think that’s a misconception is that a lot of people think graphic designers are really good at drawing but it is more of an illustrators job they’re really good at drawing, I’m really good at sketching concepts and ideas when it comes to my sketchbooks the ideas just seem to flow out of my head starting in pencil once i’m happy with the sketch and its been refined i outline with a black sketching marker this helps me see how the logo concept idea will look in black and white.
But for those designers who are not good at drawing it doesn’t matter how messy or loose it is it’s all about just getting everything done sort of a brain dump on to your sketchbook to get all of these concepts that you could potentially have into a book and solidified so that it’s there. I must admit i spend quite allot of time on this step even though some other designers may rush this step or just bypass it altogether which is a big mistake in my opinion.
Take a Step Back and Have a Break
The next step number six is another important step you have to take time away from the project so I’ve spent a lot of time on my research and sketching and just really putting a lot of focus into these early steps so it’s important I take time away so that I can just let my brain forget about it come back a few days later look at my sketchbook and look at it in a critical way and look at some of the design and the concepts that I thought were great at the time as they were coming out in this flow of consciousness and then go well actually that’s not such a great fit for what we’re trying to do for this client so taking time to kind of move away so that you’re not as the saying goes “you can’t see the wood for the trees” you need to take that time to let your brain come at it from a fresh point of view.
Going Digital In Adobe Illustrator
Stage seven and it’s time to go digital So what I’m going to do is take maybe up to six concepts take them into a Adobe illustrator which is my software of choice for logo design and I will work up those concepts and polish them off and get to see them and how they look on screen in a more finished way.
I will work on those and narrow it down to three final concepts, I will work in black I do not work in colour as this can have a lot of effect on how the client sees the logo and also how i myself see the logo so it’s important that we just work in black right now so im fully focusing on the shape and the form of the logo / icon. If it’s a word mark then obviously i will be looking at typography and fonts, if it’s not a word mark but it’s more of a brand icon then what I will do is take a very basic type font just to set it up so that I can see the balance of the shape with some text I won’t go into any finalised font choices just yet that’s in a later stage.
The Review Meeting
So once I’ve got those three concepts all solidified I then go into the next step which is the second client meeting again I’d like this one to be face to face so that when I present the logo concepts then I can view their reaction, that can be difficult to do if it’s by email or even by telephone by face to face meeting then I can see whether there’s any sort of leaning back from it or yes i kind of like those expressions.
I think that’s important that you have face to face meetings with a client when you’re at this critical part of the of the logo design process. You can also find out whether the client is giving you feedback based on a critical viewpoint of the logo being for their brand in their business or if they are being very emotional about it and giving you their likes and dislikes. Likes and dislikes are important but this is where I always bring out the statement to my clients the logo is not for you the logo is for your customer base so what we need to do is ensure that this logo is going to trigger an emotion with your customer which will then bring up brand associations for your customer.
You need to as a client take a step back and try to think of your logo from a customer’s point of view and not a personal business owner point of view and once I can get the client back on to that track we’ll then re-look at the concepts and take it from a viewpoint of OK is this going to work for your service your product and be effective pulling in new customers and also helping current customers just associate with your brand.
Logo Refinements / Revisions
After that meeting i go into step nine which is the refining process here i have now narrowed it down to one final concept I will take that concept and do a few variations of it and tweaking little parts of it and at this point I will finalise the typography that needs to go with the logo but we’re still working in black no colour has been introduced as of yet.
So we’ve now got that concept and we’ve got a few variations of it now in Step ten we start to add the colour, colour can be dangerous and what I mean by that is that everyone has different colour tastes and kind of like what i said earlier “the logo is not for you” we need to make sure that the colours we’re choosing work in the interests of the brand and the logo design itself and it’s not about personal taste so for example take red as a colour and it can be seen as passionate, bold, energetic, fiery, but it can also mean danger and a warning or a stop sign so that every colour has its positives and its negatives and we need to look at colour to make sure that it’s a good fit for their industry now it may be that they want to really stand out and be bold and not kind of blend in with all the other businesses in their industry so for example say it was the financial sector which in the main use blue which is a safe colour but my client may want to use bright purple (like a previous client of mine ak Financial just to stand out that little bit more so colour can play a really crucial part in your logo.
Once the colour is sorted and agreed i then move on to Step eleven which is logo presentation now up until this point I’ve been working with the client and we have been working on a logo on a white canvas so look was in isolation and it’s flat and in a sea of white.
What I will do now is take the client’s logo design and I will present it in various markups so for example stationery design or how it might look on the side of a vehicle or some shop signage there are lots of different ways the logo / visual identity can be presented which is really good step as by doing this it lets the client really visualise how their logo will appear to their customers on such things like clothing and billboards and signs as I’ve mentioned and it really lets them see and at this point they get excited! because it’s now getting very real and this is one of my favourite parts of the of the logo design process is creating these mock-ups because I can see as well wow this is going to be really great here or we can take small sections of this this logo and use it here it really gets the ideas going on how we can actually utilize the logo design.
Logo Style Guide
Next step I will create logo style guides now this is basically a document that the client can use in future if they want to give the logo to another designer to create a piece of artwork the logo guide basically outlines fonts, colours, sizing, and spacing those are the basic ones but it will basically say do not use this colour always use this colour if it’s going to appear on a dark background then you must use this version it just keeps the consistency for the client’s logo and consistency is key in terms of awareness so that people are gradually built up even subconsciously to being aware of this new brand and this new logo I would not say the logo guidelines are set in stone but they are there as the name suggests as a guide to keeping the logo as close as possible to its original form.
Final Payment, Files & Copyright Transfer
Then we are on to step thirteen which is basically me invoicing the client once the client is paid the final balance I will send them their logo or in all the major file formats such as Adobe illustrator, EPS, SVG, JPEG, TIFF, PNG, and I will also assign copyright over to the client it’s a simple form that just says the client is now the copyright holder of that logo design.
Take a breather….That’s a lot of steps isn’t it, it just goes to Show how much work goes into creating a logo it’s not a quick turnaround and project if you’re looking to have your logo / Brand Identity designed rather than going to somewhere like fiverr or fivesquid where you’re only going to get charged a few pounds or a few dollars for something that proberly copied for an original source and they’re saying you’ll get your logo within 24hrs WARNING SIGNS!!! as you can see here I have a thirteen step process I believe everyone should follow a process similar to that and that’s going to take two to four weeks if it’s followed correctly so if you want to have a successful end result for your logo then I would say How Long Does It Take To Design a Logo….
About two to four weeks.
Also published on Medium.