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 a crucial piece of a brand’s success.
Since a brand’s logo plays such a significant role in establishing and maintaining brand recognition, the creation of the logo cannot be done overnight. There are several steps requiring a clear strategy, the right minds and a substantial amount of time. It’s been said that a brand is not only its logo but also having a logo does not mean you have a brand.
When GRIT completed our own rebrand, we ultimately created a new logo and all the necessary supporting parts. The process was equal parts thrilling, exhausting and rewarding. And we loved it.
But how exactly did we do it? How is a logo is created? Discover the seven steps that our team follows when designing a new logo.
Step 1: The Brief
When starting the branding journey and logo development for a client, the creative team begins with a robust discussion about company 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, the team also determines the company’s target audience. We want the new logo to appeal to the targeted demographics. It’s critical to have a clear grasp of what draws that audience in and what might repel 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 to understanding how to ensure their goals are met by the new branding. The GRIT team may send out surveys and conduct telephone 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. The creative team keeps looking for strategic themes that will drive the design of the logo.
GRIT conducts a competitive analysis 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 designers begin to sketch out their thoughts 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 really 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 logo visually appealing. Often, 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
Now the 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 allowing extra sets of eyes to look over the design once again. When all of the feedback is collected and analyzed, the design team makes revisions with a fresh mindset.
Step 6: Client Feedback
Now the really fun part! When GRIT presents the logos to the client, we usually showcase the new logo on “mock up” 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 logos accepted during the first round).
Step 7: Delivery
The last 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. GRIT is a full-service agency with the capabilities of creating all the supporting marketing materials and digital branding as well.
Are you interested in in learning more about how GRIT can bring your logo visions to life? Give us a call at 717-885-0014 or email us at [email protected] We’d be honored to bring your vision to reality.