UPDATE 24.10.2017 – My design process has changed since writing this blog post. To read about the current brand & website design process, head over to this page
“As a creative entrepreneur, I’ve been able to establish my own creative process for custom logo designs. It may seem like creating a logo, illustration or any other graphic design piece is easy and only requires drawing in Adobe Illustrator* for few minutes.”
Find out why is important to have a process in my previous post of these series.
Today I’ll share more about first and second steps of my creative process for custom logo designs, which are “Get in touch” and “Questionnaire”. These steps are essential in any client’s project and they help me (and you) assess whether we are the good fit.
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STEP 1 – GET IN TOUCH
The first thing I like to do with a new client is to talk via email to get to know each other better, discuss your brand vision, ideas and goals. As a designer, my goal is to help you solve your problem. Here’s a list of some problems you might have:
- You have an idea for your visual brand (logo), but you don’t know how to translate that into actual design
- You experience difficulties with evaluating your tone and style
- You are not selling enough products/services
- You don’t know how to convey your business mission
- You’re not sure how to reflect you and your brand via logo
- You don’t know how to attract your target market
Sounds familiar? I bet it does, but fear no more – I’m here to help you out!
Side note: I’ve had the same problems with my personal brand, but finally I was able to establish a brand, that I can stand for and be proud of.
The consultation phase includes many questions, some clarifications and a lot of listening. Before I ask you about your design needs, there is a set of questions regarding your business like: “What your business is all about?”, “What is the mission of your business?”, “What services or products does your company provide?”, “What is your target market?”
During “Get in touch” step, I take notes and convert all your answers in my mind – they are essential for next steps and the whole project. In my creative process, communication with clients is fundamental. It helps us both to figure out the needs and goals of the project, also, help us constantly reach out to each other in case of additional questions or uncertainty.
I use email in communication with clients because most of the people are visual learners. Emails are easy to use anytime, you have all information in one place and you can always re-check data if you forget or misunderstood anything.
I work with client one-to-one and I’m available for you when you need me and I work hard to visualize your ideas through logo design. As a small business owner myself, I know that these days visuals are super important and with them, you can grow your business more effective and faster.
STEP 2 – QUESTIONNAIRE
After the initial consultation, now it’s time for more detailed questions regarding your contact details, company details, brand details, project details and style preferences. For me as a designer (aka problem solver) this step is the most important because it allows me to get to know your struggles, current situation, goals and target market.
My questionnaire is divided into five sections:
1. Contact details
In this part, you fill your name, email address, the country where you currently are and your current time zone. My clients are located all over the world and it’s very convenient if I know what time is it in your country when I write to you (I don’t want to drop you an email at night or disturb your family time)
2. Company details
Here I’ll ask you about your company name, tagline (if applicable), business location, years in business, type of services or products and your competitors.
3. Brand details
At this stage, there will be questions regarding your brand so: how did you come up with a business name, adjectives associated with your company, target market, overall message. This part is extremely important because my goal is to reflect your brand (all your answers) into logo design.
4. Project details
Here I’ll ask for your website address (if applicable) and whether you need other services apart from logo design.
5. Style preferences
In this part, you can really show me what you like. It’s great if you have a vision about a type of logo you’d like to have. There are five logo types: (there will be a separate post about this topic)
- Wordmark (just text)
- Lettermark (initials)
- Symbol or Icon
- Combination Mark (Text and Symbol)
- Emblem (Text Inside Symbol)
Most of my clients choose combination mark because it’s the most versatile type of logo. You can easily disassemble your logo into small pieces for different purposes, for example at the top of my website, you can see my main logo (wordmark), but I also have a mint leaf as a symbol, which I use for some social media profiles and in my blog post graphics.
Remember Winning Moments logo? It was also a combination mark and I’ve prepared an alternative version of the main logo, for social media profiles purpose. I’ve just taken “W” and “M” with two stars.
Some of my clients already had an overall idea, but couldn’t translate it into a logo. Pinterest and Google Images are the best sources for an inspiration. Clients usually send me other’s companies logos they like, colour palettes, images associate with their adjectives (from brand questions) or sometimes their sketches. Images that I’ll get from you says a lot more about your brand and your preferences than you think.
Important! You have to remember! Your logo should represent you and your business, but it also has to fit into your audience needs. Let’s see it in an example:
Mary loves pink, she owns a small shop with men’s clothing. Even though she loves pink, it’s not a good idea to have this colour in her branding, if her target market is men. You get the idea, right?
At this stage I also ask you how do you want your logo to be worded (upper/lowercase/spaces/no spaces), if there are any specific images that you want to include in your logo, or don’t want to see (for insane some photographers want to have an icon associated with photography, some want icon connected more to their personality or speciality). As mentioned above, I also ask for colour preferences, so colours you like or don’t like. Of course, there is an additional space for any other details or your comments.
After this comprehensive questionnaire, I have an idea of the overall scope of the project before diving into the design stage. As I’ve mentioned before, during our project, there’s a constant communication, so in case one of us has any questions not included in initial consultation and questionnaire there’s always time for them. Sometimes questions pop up into head over design stage, but it’s also fine – I’m happy to answer them.
The goal of two steps above is to help me define your problem, get to know you and find out what I’ll be designing for you. Next week I’ll share more about my next step in my creative process, for custom logo designs.
I’ve shared my first two steps now it’s your turn. What steps could you have in your own work?