We wrote this article to help educate you on what goes into developing a logo, and exporting a logo out for you to use. We are hoping by the end of this article you will realize "Whoa, this really is some intense work here! Props!"
You have contacted your designer for a logo. You are excited, and maybe a little anxious. The designer is probably giddy - they have an opportunity to do what they love and also help your business kick some butt. But, the designer needs as much info about your vision and your business as they can get. We usually capture this info with a phone conversation and a questionnaire. We take our time making sure the survey is tailored to you and your needs. This magical questionnaire will ask questions like:
"Why did you start your company?"
"What is your mission statement?"
"Who is your competition?"
"If you could have your company remembered for one thing, what would that be?"
After we have gathered all of this information from you, we then research your industry, your competition, and you. Seeing if there are things you are saying between the lines. We use all of this information to inform how we position you. How can we make you stand out from your competition? How do we tell your story with impact?
'The more you give, the better you set yourself up for success.' Designers thrive off info points to work with.'
Iteration & Development
After the research phase is the beautiful world of development. For us, we get right to drawing little thumbnails. Sometimes we bring hundreds of small ideas. Part of this process is getting the boring or bad ideas out, and getting to the gold. Sometimes, gold comes right away. Sometimes it takes a bit. We usually try to always go in all kinds of directions to get the creative synapses firing.
Once we have felt like we have explored directions enough on paper, we will start hopping into the computer. Most of the time we will have scanned our drawings in, and use some chosen ideas to begin digitizing. Working on the computer after drawing is mega fun. We usually feel pretty intimate with the directions we want to choose and can make stylistic choices right away.
We will also dive into what kind of typography to use at this stage. So fun! Typography can really transform a direction. We can create intrigue in our style choices. By combining type and any other logo artwork development - we are starting to get closer to developing some concepts. Weee!
Presentation & Feedback
Once we have come up with some concepts, or one, we will start developing a presentation. A lot can be made or broken here. This is our chance to show you how each logo direction could communicate your visual brand. It is easy for us to misrepresent a logo. We have to be careful in making sure we understand your goals and show how each logo can accomplish those goals. We will keep it simple and show each logo in its full-color glory, and also white on black. Then, we will show some mockups of the logo in a real-world presentation. It's kind of exhilarating!
After we get the presentation ready, guess what? We get to show you the work we have done and available for your feedback. This process can be a pain point or a super awesome time. A pain point because as a client, you do not fully realize the amount of work that goes into getting to this stage. Sometimes, the action is dismissed with an "I don't like it." What a gut punch. Sometimes it is a super awesome time because we have an in-depth conversation about what is working or what isn't. That type of communication is essential in getting to our end goal. Brand birth! Sometimes, it is an excellent time because we nail a direction right away. The client is sipping wine while we dance in the streets!
Finalizing Logo Direction
Depending on the feedback and how the presentation goes, another round is needed to refine the logo down to exquisite harmony. This phase is basically all about the little details. Fine-tuning kerning. Making sure the logo works in different orientations. Hello, websites aren't the only thing that needs to be responsive. So do logos. What does the logo look like against different colors? What kind of color variations can we come up with? At this stage, a color palette should all but be finalized. We send the logo off for your final sign-off.
All the rules and your new shiny toy!
You signed off. We are excited. You are passionate. High five. Wait, we aren't done yet. No, no, no. Now we actually have to export the logo for you to use. We also craft a spiffy logo style guide. What is that you say? It contains your logo in its different orientations, the colors palette, the typography used, and finally all the rules for logo use in the wild. It is basically your logo bible. After we create the style guide, we then prep the files and export out in the following formats:
72, 150, 300dpi JPG and PNG
Generic large sizes, Square format
Icon only(if there is one)
All for EACH orientation and color scheme of your logo. Whoa! That is a lot of chopping, dropping and mopping. But, you will be so glad. You can use your new logo in any situation on any device or medium. Solid gold.
Do you get it now?
Ok, so the next time you think a logo is 'easy' you might want to rethink that. We didn't even go into all of the brain work that goes into connecting with your vision and our choices we make to communicate it awesomely. We hope this article also illustrates just how involved a logo is, and that when you hire someone to do a logo, they are working really hard for you. So, if you don't like their work, have some compassion and try to work it out. They want you to succeed, or at least the good designers do. A good convo will only help that happen.