The golden arches. A swoosh over Times Square. A silver apple missing a bite.
When we see familiar logos, our minds automatically identify the brand (McDonald’s™, Nike™, or Apple Computers). Having an easily recognizable logo is critical to brand identity and success.
Since a brand’s logo plays such a significant role in establishing and maintaining brand recognition, the creation of the business logo should not be done overnight. There are several steps which require a clear strategy and a substantial amount of time.
So, how exactly does GRIT, a logo design agency in York, PA, navigate the logo development process? Discover the thrilling, exhausting, and rewarding seven-step process our team follows when designing business logos.
Step 1: The Brief
When beginning the branding journey and logo development process for a client, our creative team starts with a robust discussion about the company’s vision. We need to understand the client’s culture, values, and goals before we can create a memorable and relevant logo.
While some clients want a completely fresh start, others want to keep certain elements or brand colors intact. Client preferences are a huge component of logo development.
During this stage, our team also identifies the client’s target audience. We want the new business logo to appeal to the targeted demographics. Therefore, it is critical to have a clear grasp of what draws that audience in and what might deter them.
Step 2: Research
After the briefing stage with the client, the creative team digs deeper.
Further researching the client and their target audience is critical in understanding how to ensure their goals are met by the new branding. The GRIT team may send out surveys, conduct virtual interviews, or meet in person to gain insight from company employees, stakeholders, and customers. GRIT’s Brand Awareness Survey deepens our understanding of what is working, what may not be working, and how the brand may be perceived or positioned overall. During this research, our creative team looking for strategic themes that will help drive the logo’s design.
Additionally, a competitive analysis is conducted to examine best practices (and not so good practices) of how competitors present their brands. This data tells us what may or may not be effective in the marketplace and helps to uncover differentiators and unique aspects of the brand.
Step 3: Creative Concepting
During the creative concepting stage, the creative team captures the many themes identified in the brief and research phases. Our graphic designers begin to sketch out their ideas on paper to quickly capture concepts and ideas in a brainstorming fashion. They may create dozens of sketches and play with different themes, visuals, and layouts. Their goal is to explore all possible directions. They use trial and error to find what works visually.
Step 4: Logo Development
After the creative concepting and sketches have been completed, digital creation begins. At this point, the most successful ideas developed during the sketching phase will be recreated on the computer. GRIT’s team uses digital software like Adobe Illustrator to create logos. This is where the concepts come to life with typeface and font size emerging as key factors in making a business logo visually appealing. Often, graphic designers spend time testing and perfecting different options to find the typeface and font choices that fit best with the research and that accurately represent the brand and client’s vision. Our designers often begin with black and white designs to ensure the concept will work in its simplest form before adding color.
Step 5: Internal Review
Once the logos have been developed, our designers hand their precious work over to the rest of the team. The first proof of the new logo is sent to the extended team to gather their thoughts and ideas to push the designs even further. Once the research phase is complete, the design portion of a logo stays within our creative department, so by completing an internal review, extra sets of eyes can look over the logo designs and provide feedback. When all the feedback is collected and analyzed, the design team makes revisions with a fresh mindset.
Step 6: Client Feedback
Now the fun part! When GRIT presents the logos to the client, we usually showcase the new logo on “mockup” marketing materials to help the client visualize how the logo will look in promotion. The client reviews the ideas and responds with their thoughts. The creative team takes the client feedback back to the design studio to draft another round of proofs for review. Usually there are a couple rounds of revisions before the final logo is delivered (although we have had a few business logos accepted during the first round).
Step 7: Delivery
The final step in the logo development process is delivering the final design to the client. Once the client approves the logo, multiple file types are produced so the logo can be used for a variety of purposes. GRIT’s final logo package includes all the possible color scenarios for the brand. Most include CMYK, pantone versions, grayscale or black and reversed (or white) versions of each logo type. In addition, file types are provided for online, print, and a variety of other applications to assist the client with color information.
Further development of the brand, such as messaging, follows the development of the logo. Since GRIT is a full-service marketing agency, not only can we help design a new logo, but we can develop supporting brand messaging, strategic marketing plans, and more to bring the whole brand to life!
Dig Deeper with GRIT
At GRIT, we have over thirteen years’ experience developing logos and bringing client’s design visions to life. To learn more about our branding services, hear about our most successful logo design projects, or discover how we can help with your next project, reach out today! We would love to dig deeper and take your graphic design projects to the next level!