Have you ever looked at logos of large corporations and recognize them immediately? Such as Apple. Coca Cola. Nike. Under Armour.
Why are their logos so iconic? Is it their colors? Complex design? Stylish symbols?
It maybe a combination of all of the above but there are various factors in designing a logo.
First thing is they are UNIQUE, even though they maybe too simple. It is the most important factor in a professional logo – it stands out from the rest and makes the brand recognizable within the design limitations.
But how do professionals create this unique identity?
I will share with you design process for client for a hair braiding salon. She wanted bright colors and her clientele were mostly African American women.
CLIENT KNOWLEDGE – Learn about your client’s business or organization. Whos is your client? What do they represent as a company? What business area do they niche in? Who are there customers? Customer base will provide a target market audience knowledge. For example, if they are teenagers your logo will gear towards attractive & fun colors. If they are young professionals, you will give it a conservative color scheme. It builds a basic guideline and direction for your logo design.
APPLICATION – Where will your logo be used most of the time? This is referred to as “logo application.” It is important to know this so your creativity in designing a logo is broad. An example of this is, if you are a hot air balloon company, most of the times your logo will be placed on hot air balloons and hence scale factor will be taken into consideration. Another example is if it will be mostly print based or utilized online. Then designing a logo with RGB will work better for online companies as clarity on screen is more important than on print. This way designer is given a base to start the project correctly.
SKETCH – Professional logo designer will always begin the design process by sketching several designs on sketch pad to narrow designs to few worthy ones. It takes designers several sketches before they begin drafting it to online software using illustrator.
DRAFT – After narrowing down a few worthy sketches, professional designer will begin to bring the sketch to reality by initially designing it using professional software like illustrator or other apps. Client is given a simple draft to review for feedback and revisions. As you can see below, the client was provided with three different variation of logos utilizing similar color combination.
FINAL SELECTION – A logo design goes through various design style changes before being finally narrowed down by the client. It is a lot of back & forth between client and designer to streamline the design. Colors, details, font styles, and placement of icons with text are drafted, compiled for review, revised and then edited before the final selection is made.
BRAND EVOLVES – A logo then embarks on a new journey of brand identity where it will be placed on various business stationery, signage, outdoor sign, business cards, and promotional products for the organization. At this stage, the logo is staged and standardized in a brand guideline called “brand book.”
So now ask yourself this question again – is logo just an image?
Or behind the image is hard work with several stages of designing to create a unique “symbolic image” that stands out in the market.