MY LOGO DESIGN SECRETS EXPOSED

Want to know the secrets of DesignbyChing Logo design experience.

This article will reveal exactly how I create logos. It will show the design process that I go through to get you the final logo design.

The Design Process:

1.     The Design Brief

2.     Research

3.     Visual Research

4.     Mindfulness & Meditation

5.     Sketching & Conceptualising

6.     Reflection

7.     Positioning

8.     Presentations

9.     Celebration

The Design Brief

Nearly everyone would agree that the initial accumulation of information from the client is the most important step, either by a face-to-face interview or a questionnaire. Check my Design brief to see how it covers all areas to capture a complex snapshot, which will then transfer a story into a symbol of few lines and shapes.

Designer, John Homs says “You really need to understand your client very thoroughly before you get started. Logo Design is never just shooting in the dark. It’s just the opposite.”

Research

After moulding the design brief, getting to know my client’s businesses is the next crucial step in making the logo successful. Research includes general reading on the industry itself, sometimes on its history, and on its competitors. If budgets allow, external research can be carried out.

Visual Research

This is research not into the clients business, but into the actual logo style. This is where I seek out a look, a style, an approach or attitude, usually to attain a period or style that we are unfamiliar with, or to refresh ourselves with what is new or successful. Eg. Find logos of similar business’ and critique them. This is where I look for inspiration.

Note: Some designers actually refuse the use of visual research, preferring to use their own mental source book, however others say that doing so, is limiting your design solution.

Mindfulness and meditation.

Studies have associated mindful meditation with many cognitive and psychological benefits, such as:

o  Improved task concentration

o  Sustained attention, empathy, and introspection

o  Enhanced memory

o  Improved learning

Many of these are central to creativity. Neuroscientists who study creativity have found that creativity does not involve a single brain region or even a single side of the brain, as the “right brain” myth of creativity suggests; instead, it draws on the whole brain.

 

Sketching & Conceptualising

Developing the logo design concept(s) is where creativity comes into play; this is where I create the logo by using the design brief and the research conducted. Some designers use a napkin to sketch, some use a sketchbook and some use the computer as paper, this is all a matter of personal choice, however I personally use sketchpads and iPad (as a digital sketch book).

When conceptualising, some designers are mainly concerned with the graphic style and image of a piece while others try to convey deep meaning or some sort of visual puzzle (such as the arrow in the FedEx logo – look between the e and x). These types of logos have a bigger impact on the viewer and when a designer creates one, they know it straight away. It will be unique and will add a dimension to the experience and to the whole identity.

Reflection

Taking breaks is as important as the physical research and the design brief. It is so easy to get stuck in a creative cul-de-sac and get tired of a project and this is why I take breaks. By resting, my ideas mature and develop in the back of my head. When I go back to my project, I have renewed enthusiasm, insight and opportunity.

 

Positioning

This is about how I choose to work… either position myself like a contractor and take orders according to my client’s wishes (ie. Don’t advise my clients of design matters) OR position myself like a business and build a long term relationship (ie. Guide clients to a more appropriate solution much alike how a lawyer does). So I have to choose how I wish to work depending on my client. Personally, I try to find a happy medium.

Presentation

 Image source: From the movie "The Counsellor". All right reserved by 20th Century Fox.

Image source: From the movie "The Counsellor". All right reserved by 20th Century Fox.

This is where I present my work to the client. Usually designers can choose whether to show the client a huge variety of logo design concepts (if it is hard to gauge a clients taste) OR they could choose to showcase just a few select logo designs. This is another debatable issue. I personally, present only the best 1 or 2 concepts with mock-ups to show the client how it works visually in the real world.

 

Celebration

In a survey conducted to 75 top designers, when the job is finally finished and approved, 31% of designers celebrate by drinking beer, 12% head for chocolate, 22% head off to bed to catch up on sleep and the other 35% can’t celebrate because they must start on the next logo design. My preference is a shot of beautiful hand picked single malt scotch, to say cheers to your new logo and wish you all the success & abundance to come…

Summary

Below is a summary of the whole design process for quick review.

1.     Design Brief: Conduct Questionnaire or Interview with client to get the design brief.

2.     Research: Conduct research focused on the industry itself, on its history, and on its competitors.

3.     Visual research: Conduct research into logo designs that have been successful and current styles and trends that are related to the design brief.

4.     Mindfulness & Meditation: Mindful meditation sessions for effortless creativity flow.

5.     Sketching & Conceptualising: Develop the logo design concept(s) around the brief and research.

6.     Reflection: Take breaks throughout the design process. This lets your ideas mature and for you to get renewed enthusiasm. Receive feedback.

7.     Positioning: Position yourself as a contractor or build a long lasting relationship. ie. Client orders you what to do OR You guide client to the best solution.

8.     Presentation: Choose to present only a select few logos to the client or a whole collection.

9.     Celebration: Drink whiskey, eat chocolate, sleep, start on next logo design. Or a combination.

If you are interested in getting a professionally designed logo, I am currently available for hire.

 

Acknowledgement: Thanks to my long-time online graphic design mentor Jacob Cass for teaching me the best tips on running a graphic design business. 

Sources: 

The secret logo design process that 75 top designers told to Leslie Cabarga in his book The Secret Life of Logos: Behind The Scenes With Top Designers.

Mindful creativity: the influence of mindfulness meditation on creative thinking