The Logo Design Process: A Guide to Professional Logo Development

Illustration by Dmitry Lepisov via Dribbble
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Every brand and business, big or small, has a logo. You will never see any business without one, primarily because logos influence consumer perception of your brand while also helping them interact with it. Logos are unique to each establishment, and therefore, they help users identify the brand from others in the same market niche.

A good logo is striking, distinctive, and delivers the right message about the company. Given its versatility, it is no surprise that companies emphasize their need for a marketable logo.

The key to designing the right logo requires a profound understanding of the business and precise execution. It requires you to follow a pattern that ensures the client’s needs are met throughout the design process.

To get you started, we have developed this handy guide to teach you all there is to know about professional logo development. By the end of it, you’ll be able to navigate the logo design process without any difficulties.

Step #1. Know the Brand

There can be no logo without the brand; therefore, before diving into the design process, you must become familiar with the brand. Discover who your client is by asking explorative questions that give you an insight into the brand. Some examples are:

  • What are the vision, mission, and business objectives of the brand?
  • What does the brand symbolize?
  • What are its business values, beliefs, and morals?
  • Does it have a competitive advantage?
  • What is its business & marketing strategy?
  • Which adjectives would you use to describe the brand? (Hint: is it sophisticated, fun, witty, or helpful, etc.).
  • What is the brand’s personality? (Hint: is it humorous, serious, pop-culture, or traditional)
  • Who is the brand’s target audience? Does it market to teenagers, young-adults, married couples, boomers, or others?
  • How do you want your audience to identify the brand? D0, you want them to think that it’s a cost-leader, best in customer service, the best innovator, etc.

Answers to these questions will give you unique information about the brand that you can use to develop a meaningful logo that represents the brand honestly to its target market. In addition, these questions will help uncover useful patterns in your research about the business that can make your design process easier.

An in-depth analysis of the business and its target market is just what you need to develop a logo that communicates the brand’s personality to its intended audience. No two businesses are the same, and therefore if you truly understand the business, then you will be able to design a unique logo that sets the company apart from the competition.

Step #2. Analyze Industry Standards

Industry Discovery is the next step in the logo development process; analyze the logos of your competitors to discover which logos are the industry benchmark.

Although you are not going to mimic the logo of your competitor, having a look at their designs gives you insights into what works and what does not. Moreover, it tells you to steer clear of some ideas as well as warns you in case you were thinking of developing a concept similar to your competition.

Particularly, a quick look at your industry standards can reveal the following information:

  • Logo Overuse – which types of logos are being used by most companies? You can avoid these so that your brand doesn’t become part of the clutter. For example, many IT solutions companies use the internet symbol as part of their logo. If you look at more than 10, it becomes hard to differentiate one company from the other.
  • Industry Leaders – Which logos are the most popular, and why? What elements and techniques make their logos stand out? It can inspire your imagination, as well.
  • Less Used techniques – Which techniques are not being used in the industry? Can they be incorporated to develop a fresh and novel design?
  • Which Ideas Don’t Work – Look at failed logos in the industry to retrain your imagination from thinking too far left. Sometimes, the most apparent designs are the ones that work.

Step #3. Read up on the Psychology behind Logos

Consumer psychology informs us that the human brain perceives shapes, lines, and colors, in a distinct way. Our brain automatically associates particular meanings with different colors, shapes, and lines. Expert logo designers can utilize the meaning behind these to their benefit; they can manipulate the logo to convey the message they want their users to receive.

Consumer psychology tells us that logo designers can manipulate symbols and colors to:

  • Convey emotions
  • Develop trust
  • Symbolize deeper ideas
  • Create a feeling of calm or reassurance

For instance, circles depict connectedness, positive emotions, movement, felinity, and strength. Consider the example of coca cola’s circular logo that’s often associated with sports (movement) and connectedness (share a coke campaigns).

In the same way, squares show professionalism and balance, whereas triangles are associated with growth and prosperity. Vertical lines suggest sophistication, while horizontal lines can appear calm. The blue color makes us think about tranquility, while red is associated with action and passion.

Knowing these nuances and psychological effects can elevate and enhance your logo to the next level.

Step #4. Brainstorm and Sketch Logo Concepts

A brainstorming session can be the best way to conceptualize your logo design ideas and pin them down after your research. It gives you a moment to fully grasp and reflect upon the information gathered and visualize any concepts that stand out to you. Even a horrible idea can be refined to perfection with a few tweaks and adjustments, so be sure to doodle in everything that comes to mind.

A smart idea would be to think like your audience, so you’re able to come up with design concepts that would be important to you as a target customer. Additionally, don’t be afraid to think out of the box as it inspires character and makes a brand stand out from its competitors.

Step #5. Choose the Type of Logo

After a few rough ideas for the logo, you will need to plan how the brand name will be represented through the logo. There are a variety of styles to choose from, and you can test them all out to find out the one that suits your brand and its aesthetic the best.

Lettermark logos are ideal for those companies with a long or complicated name. It’s a simple and minimalist form of representing a brand and can be easily remembered by customers. On the other hand, wordmarks or logotypes are a popular type of logo as well.

They’re straightforward and recognizable since they make use of the company name as the logo. It boosts brand recognition value as it adds a unique quality to it. Pictorial marks, mascots, and abstract logos are also types of logos that companies can select according to their business requirements and target customers.

Step #6. Select the Typography Carefully

Typefaces are equally crucial to the logo design as any other aspect of the designing process. The font you choose speaks of the personality and seriousness of the brand. This solely depends on the type of business you run, but the font should complement your brand.

For instance, if you’re creating a logo for a toy company, then typography can be in scripted font, to give it a more elegant and welcoming look. However, if your logo is for a digital marketing company, then a serif typeface can work collaboratively with your logo, giving it a professional and sophisticated appearance.

Be sure to pick a font that speaks to your brand and pairs well with its personality. Poor taste in typography can miscommunicate the point of your business to potential customers and turn them away from your brand. Incorporate these elements into your logo design and make sure they work in harmony to create a modern and eye-catching logo design.

Step #7. Refine your Options

No matter how great you think your logo design is, chances are, there will be room for modifications. Use this opportunity to make your designs better and shortlist the options that look professional, seamless, and fit perfectly to the brand’s objectives.

You can ask for feedback from colleagues, potential customers, or clients since a fresh set of eyes can reveal areas of improvement that you hadn’t noticed. Making revisions can help refine the final product, so your logo succeeds in delivering an everlasting impression on customers.

Step #8. Presentation of Logo Design to Client

Present the best logo designs to your respective client in PDF format. Compiling the designs into a presentation with some context can also help in adding value to each design. Preparing a high-quality presentation is an effective way to gain the client’s approval, so it must contain valid and relevant information only.

Be sure to attach basic variations of the designs such as color, black, white, and monochrome to provide a full-scale demonstration to the client.

In a Nutshell

Great design requires talent, patience, and commitment to precision. Following this guide will help you create a prominent and outstanding logo that successfully delivers a brand’s message. Make sure to take a step back and look at the bigger picture to critically evaluate the design and reassure it reflects the company’s morals.

About the Author!

Nouman is a digital marketing expert from Dynamologic Solutions for many years. He considers bringing all the keywords to the top of his duty and constantly strives hard to achieve the best result. Along with finding & implementing content optimization strategy, he is also fond of writing interesting blogs on SEO & digital marketing related topics.

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