Logos. The cornerstone of a brand. For something so small, a lot of work is required to make it just right. I admit that it can look simple; I mean, you see the Nike swoosh, Mac’s apple with a bite out of one side, Target’s, well, Target, and it makes you wonder why large companies spend hundreds upon thousands of dollars on their brand marks. Without getting into the nitty gritty details of the precision, the size distribution, the golden ratio (if you are interested in some really neat design knowledge you will enjoy this google search though!), etc, we just wanted to show you how we here at Chickadee design a logo.
Now, of course everyone will follow different steps and procedures and as graphic design is a beautiful collision of art and business things are never identical for every project. As much as we love the process and discovery, we agree it would be much easier if we could just slap something on paper.
Step 1: Initial Meeting
First things first, we have to get to know one another. If you’re local we like to meet up for a coffee – because, well, we love coffee and it’s a big part of the process as well at times. We are all special snowflakes with different visions on how we want our businesses to be portrayed and we need to understand what your view is. We get to know you, your business, things you like, things that inspire you, things you cannot stand, and then we give you our take on what our thoughts are, what our vision is. Basically we marry these ideas into a (hopefully) functional idea of where your brand is going. We also end up talking about dogs a lot… we can’t help ourselves.
Step 2: Your Homework
We like to keep our clients involved in the process as much as we can. We know what we like, but sometimes what we like isn’t what someone likes (this is the art part of things – beauty is in the eye of the beholder you know). So, after our meeting we ask you to put together a collection (often using pinterest because it’s a brilliant tool) of your thoughts and feelings for your brand after our meeting. Colours, fonts, styles, shapes, everything you find that inspires you.
Step 3: Time to Play
One of my biggest beliefs is that as a graphic designer you have to “play”. You have to try things you normally wouldn’t, put things together that really shouldn’t go, push yourself outside of the box. One of my instructors in college once told me that your first idea is very, very rarely your best and I have found this so true. Normally we walk out of the initial meeting with a dynamite idea of exactly how the logo is going to look. Do you want to know the percentage of times that concept even makes it to the client? Rarely.
Step 4: The Concepts
After much playing and working we put together a collection of between 3-6 unique logo marks and send you a digital proof. We almost always have a favourite and are crossing our fingers you go with it, but, as we said earlier we totally understand that your vision may be different than ours, that’s why we belief in choice. Once you receive these concepts you let us know what the next step is. Sometimes we get lucky and it’s spot on! Then we tweak it until it’s perfect and voila! Sometimes we play with fonts, colours, mix and match a bit, you know, make sure it’s perfect.
Step 5: Delivery
Once we have agreed that the logo is perfect we deliver to you a zipped folder with all the files you will ever need. As we end up doing alternates, one colour and b/w versions, most of our clients end up with quite the large collection of files. Don’t worry, we also send a PDF that explains how to use each file. At this point we often go on to produce marketing materials such as business cards, brochures, etc as well.
In addition to the benefits of our collaborative process, your logo is put together by professionals using professional software. We hear a lot from customers who have had logos designed by creative friends and while they may be pretty to look at, they are not practical and the business owner becomes stuck and unable to use it. We really recommend using a professional from the beginning. If you’re in the market for a new logo, we’d love to work with you! Drop us a line and we can chat!