How do I design a logo?

So you're embarking on a new venture and looking for a fresh design to identify your business? A logo that represents you well is critical to building your brand, because it forms that first impression and communicates so much consciously and subconsciously. There are heaps of aspects to branding, but let's talk about the logo first. 

The design process for a logo is tailored towards the client - ranging from those who approach with a clear idea of what they want, to others have no clue! The process can be adjusted depending on complexity and budget. This article goes through the process for both scenarios. 

Starting from scratch

BRIEFING. First, we need to have a chat about what your business is about, your values, characteristics and who your target clients are. What would you like to get out of the design? How will you be using the logo in the future? 

RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT. Then I will do some research and develop some potential designs. Usually I present three initial concepts. 

REFINEMENT. After you choose one concept to develop further, I will refine the logo at your request and send the final logo for approval. There may be another round of refinement if required. 

PACKAGE. Once approved, I will send a package of files in the relevant file formats, in colour and greyscale. 

ROLL-OUT. The logo is now yours to use! If you'd like, we can discuss the design of some other applications for the logo - perhaps a business card, letterhead, brochure, menu, T-shirts... 

EXAMPLE CASE : LIPMANN

final

Lipmann provides commodity trading and advisory services for customers based in China, with suppliers from around the world. The company is about opportunity and limitless potential. The client wanted something impactful yet simple. 

Aside from the obvious use of the initial, the logo also represents a square with two boundaries removed. The upward slanting edges suggest dynamic growth. Red was a bold colour and in this case particularly suitable for the Chinese market. Research into competitor companies showed a tendency towards using blues and greens, so this logo will definitely set Lipmann apart.  

Concept Development

Refinement stage

Already have an idea? 

If you already know what you want and just need someone to turn it from a sketch on a napkin into a useable file, the process is much simpler. Just send me an image of your design, and I will format it for you! 

Sometimes you have an idea you can't put down on paper - that's ok too! Let's have a chat and see if we can work it out!

EXAMPLE CASE : ALEXANDRA DENTAL CLINIC

alexandraclinic

The client wanted to refresh his dental practice and has a rough idea of what he would like the logo to look like. His concept was to use the grooves in the top of the molar tooth to suggest a smile. He sent me a rough drawing made using Paint and I developed several options: 

  1. A near-exact conversion of the image to standard logo file formats. 
  2. A refined version of the image. 
  3. Two alternatives using the same concept of a smile in the tooth. 

After consulting with his staff members, he decided on the refined version, but with a couple of refinements. Once changes were approved, I prepared the file package in colour and greyscale. Tada! 

L: the original file, the conversion, refined version and two alternatives. 
R: the final set of logos in colour, greyscale and monotone.

Inspiring Illustrations

TN monkey

A little while ago I was asked to provide some illustrations for a booklet created to teach children financial literacy. Jamie was passionate about education and very creative about communicating her lessons. Her Kids at Switch workshops provided an energetic, fun learning environment, which I wanted to reflect in the illustrations. 

After our discussion, I sent a few drafts back to Jamie to make sure we were on the same page, and she was happy to give me free rein over the rest of the illustrations. 

See a sample of the illustrations here. 

Sweet Dreams: The Design Process

There is often a lot more to a design than meets the eye, with a lot of behind-the-scenes experimentation. 

This brief was to design the poster and identity for a horror film festival, including the name of the festival. I developed some posters, tickets and invitations to show the concept would roll out across the festival. 

I started with some brainstorming and quick thumbnails (click image above to enlarge), before deciding on the name "Sweet Dreams". It was a toss-up between having little teeth hanging off a tree like a child's mobile, or cupcakes with blood dripping off them, so I explored both. 

The tree idea had a quiet, eerie look, but I wanted something more gory and impactful. So I consulted a baking extraordinaire friend, and made the most grotesque cupcakes I have ever seen. This was more like it. 

The final result can be seen here