We get to know our new client by asking them to fill out a New client questionnaire. The workbook has a range of questions: some that are designed to get to know the market this brand will operate in, like “What is your target market, who would you like to be targeting that you aren’t already?” and others that help us to understand what the client is looking for, like “What are you drawn to? What colours, patterns, shapes, typefaces?” and “List companies whose branding you both love and hate.”
After reviewing the workbook, we create our own Pinterest board and collect images and example of branding that help to clarify the brand direction we will be proposing to our client. From here we will create a moodboard that reflect our ideas for the branding.
Once we have a good idea of the brand personality and direction we will take the brand in, we create three initial logo designs to present to you the client and then from here we narrow down the choices and really start to see the brand identity emerge.
So as you can see a logo is important to your brand it’s the starting stone to a strong brand.
Of course hiring a brand designer is preferable but if you cannot afford a designer use the following points when you are designing your own logo.
1. Research, Brainstorm and Sketch!
Do your homework. This is why we ask all our client a wide range of questions even when they think they are a little silly. We want to know and understand your product or service, the market and the person behind the brand.
Some questions to ask yourself are
- What brands are you are drawn too?
- What elements appeal to you
- Is it the colour?
- The shape or textures?
- What feelings go with these brands?
Check out your competitors
- What Businesses, blogs and brands are your target market drawn too.
- What is it about these brands that stand out
- Even talk to your target market and see them what attracts them
Create a moodboard on Pinterest with images that captures your brand.
Once you have a good idea of your brand concept, start drawing your logo on a piece of paper. I find by creating 4-6 design’s to start with: Keep It Super Simple – KISS and don’t complicate it. This is where if you are DIYers will have problems they will try to create something complex when – Simple, Clean and Relevant will be better in the long run.
Don’t follow trends when you are designing your logo as with most things it means you may inadvertently imitate the work of others and have a very limited shelf life.
2. Selecting Fonts
Only pick one or two fonts for your logo. If you choose more they can make your logo look messy and unprofessional. It will also make it easier for you when you are working across different marketing areas for your business for eg: Website, business cards or even your social media.
Another thing to take into account is the character of the front you are choosing.
Some fonts give a feeling of being fun and playful some other fonts give a authoritative feeling of boldness and stability. Compare the font personalities to your brand personality this is a great way to have consistency across your branding.
You can also adapt a font and changing the letters can be effective in giving your logo font character.
3. Be mindful of Sizing & Clarity
Your logo might be used at different sizes. So the issue here is that sometimes you reduce it and it becomes unreadable. This is the case a lot of the time when your logo has lots of very fine details.
To make sure this is not a problem I find the by making a list of where you will be using your log to be handy.
Here are some ideas
PRINT: Stationary, Notepads, Books, Signage, Welcome Packs, Business Cards, Letterheads
ONLINE: Image Watermark, Social Media, Website Header, Newsletter Header, Profile Images, Landing Pages
4. Create Logos that have Alternative Variations
One thing that I find is the best and I love to do is create logos that have variations. This means a brand identity that can be adaptable with logo variations that can be used in different places.
So before you start your logo design brainstorm all the places you will be using your logo and if there are any requirements.
For example; Social media profile images look better if they are done as a square or if you need a white logo in order to use it as a watermark overlay. Knowing how you will be using the variations is the key in creating the right alternative logos and having this in mind will make it easier for you to design a consistent brand.
Here’s a example of The Sweet Room logo and variations. They all work together as a team to make a cohesive brand, but the different options can e used for different points of your marketing.