So you need to design a logo. You want an awesome, market-stealing, show-stopping, kick-butt logo. Where do you start? How will you get from no or old logo to awesome logo? DON’T PANIC! With IRONCLAD’s foolproof process, we’ll help take your logo from zero to hero and provide brand identity that will surely steal the show.
Know the Client. A logo needs to be a true reflection of your organization’s core values, so we kick off the design with a heart-to-heart. We ask lots of questions to learn as much as we can about the company culture, core values, the way you do business, etc. We find out what you want your visual identity to convey to your target markets, then use this message to think of adjectives or phrases that describe the feelings the brand will communicate. This helps build theme and style ideas.
Know the Audience. Know the Market. Who will see this? Where do they live? Where do they work? What do they buy? When do they buy it and why? Answers to these questions help us determine the style of your new logo. For example, if you’re trying to convey power and strength, it’s probably not a great idea to use comic sans as the font. (Actually, it’s never a good idea to use comic sans as the font, but that’s a topic for another post.) Back to the point, knowing the audience and what it responds to will help with color, font and icon style choices. The last step in knowing the market is to research who your rivals are, what they’re up to, what’s working and what isn’t for them. With that information, we can make sure our clients’ logos will always stand out from the crowd, not blend in.
Know the Application. Where and how will the logo primarily be used? As a general rule, logos should always be created using clean design. We know there will always be exceptions to the rule, but it’s important to expect the unexpected, be aware of all types of applications your logo could be used in and design in a manner that allows the logo to always look top-notch. For instance, very intricate designs that have an embossed, almost plastic look or 3D designs should not be used for embroidery, especially in small areas, as they will become a heap of thread.
Sketch, Sketch and Sketch Some More. Remember that list of adjectives in phase one and all of the questions we now have answers to? Those come in handy here. We use the words and answers to inspire images and sketch them out. Creating new ideas or combining ideas, we keep sketching until there is a wide range of possibilities. One thing we always keep in mind when sketching is to never think the first idea is best, because the only way to know how to separate the good ideas from the bad is to have a lot of options.
Create Digital Designs. We now take the top three to five sketches and create rough digital versions. We always start in black and white; if it needs color to look awesome, it’s not a great logo. By keeping our first proofs simple, we allow you to reflect on the idea as a whole instead of the small details, such as kerning and the shade of blue we chose.
At this stage, you will be able to choose which design – or possibly designs – need to be refined.
Fine Tune. Speaking of refined, now is the time we really hone in on the nitty gritty of the design and finalize the look by choosing the color or colors and solidifying the details. At this stage we also use the logo as a foundation for building your brand’s standards. By defining these standards, we are setting the stage for how your brand will always be represented.
Once the design has finished its metamorphosis from mind to paper to beautiful creation, what’s next? Show it off! Include it on everything to reinforce your brand identity: business cards, stationary and all other marketing materials. If you need help, we’ll be there.
Now it’s time we sit back, drink a coke or take a nap and glow in the revelry of a job well done!