Strong brand awareness, or the extent to which your company is appropriately recognized for what you do, is necessary for business success. To foster this sort of association between your brand and the services you offer or products you sell, a distinct, well-designed logo that represents your brand identity is crucial.
The best logo designs are timeless, can grow with your company, and convey to your audience a general idea of what your brand does without too many written words. In order to create a successful logo design, we’ve implemented a process with our design team at Blue Fountain Media to ensure that client needs are fully understood and we are fully capable of achieving what they need from this sort of project.To highlight this, we've included visuals from the logo design project we worked on for Amunix.
Logo Kickoff Discussion
Every logo design project begins with a kickoff meeting where our team hosts a conference call with clients so that they can express what is envisioned for their new logo. This discussion is intended to gauge client preferences and expectations - allowing us to get the best possible understanding of what the client is looking for out of a logo. During this phase of the logo design process, clients will share with us various company logos they like and some they absolutely hate, color schemes they are drawn to, and competitor logos. Depending on the company, the requirements of the project will vary--some businesses will be seeking a new logo concept for their start-up company, while others may be looking for a revamped logo to jumpstart their corporation’s rebranding process. Regardless, the logo will shape the entire company’s culture and what they stand for, so it’s important that our team understands exactly what is trying to be accomplished.
Ultimate Goal: To raise any flags that might indicate general look and feel to avoid in a logo, and what to focus on with design.
After speaking with the client to understand preferences and general thoughts, the design team moves to a phase we call the “logo exploratory” phase. Here, we compile a document containing 21 different logos that our team has created in the past for other businesses.
We carefully select ones that are tailored to a specific client’s taste and what they are looking for in a logo. We avoiding using any well-known logos (especially ones in the same field as the company we are working with) to ensure that our clients have a completely fresh mindset with no preconceived notions about the brand, or more importantly the logo. The document will typically feature a variety of logos using different fonts, symbols, and more.
Clients are asked to take their time, thoroughly examining this document at their leisure, and, when they’re ready, to come back to us with their 3 favorite designs, 3 least-favorite designs and the reasoning for each design they chose. We want to see reactions, even if the reaction is that they hate some of the logos, as seeing this will help us better understand the style that they do like. The more complex the feedback we get, the closer we are to understanding the mindset of clients and what they want. Once we have the selected designs, we can move forward in our research.
Ultimate Goal: To get reactions to logos in order to develop a good idea of what the client likes, with specific examples to back it up.
Following the logo exploratory phase, we sit down with a pen and paper to create a keyword cloud. This brainstorm method consists of us putting the business name inside a circle and writing down all of the adjectives that have been used to describe what the logo should look like around it. Ideally, this will serve as the inspiration for the emotion the logo should evoke, as well as the message it should convey.
Once we have all the words mapped out, we collaborate as a team to physically draw connections from words that are correlated with one another. One of these connections will ultimately become the core concept behind the logo design. We like to focus on 4-5 connections and use that in our next phase, when sketching comes into play.
Ultimate Goal: To determine concepts to focus on that will shape the logos we create.
Research and Design
By researching the keywords that circulated in client conversations, we can put significant meaning to what each word means to help us define a logo that most closely mirrors those terms. We examine each connection we have made, and look up exactly what these words mean, as well as the symbols associated with each word. For example, if the client has expressed they want an “edgy” logo, we’ll do a search for that term, and see what comes up.
We work on this aspect of the project in pairs, and draw sketches to illustrate what we are discovering in our research. By looking up the same words, but sketching individually, we can easily determine which concepts are the strongest by seeing which of our sketches are similar. Generally, any designs that are similar to one our partner has sketched tend to be what we choose to move forward with because we have envisioned the same idea for the same words.
Once we have several concepts that we have decided on, we’ll begin designing digitally. When these designs are completed, we’ll share them with a fresh pair of eyes, and work with all of our teammates to determine which concepts are most fitting with the brand and what they’re trying to accomplish from this branding element. Based on this team feedback, we make minor edits before presenting to the clients.
Ultimate Goal: To find meaning for the logos we design and create images that reflect that meaning.
The First Presentation
During our first presentation with clients, we always follow a standard guideline for the way we share our ideas. For each brand, we typically choose three final logo designs—sometimes one or two more at most. The first slide of the presentation is our keyword cloud that we created based on various client conversations, to serve as the background for what we have produced and help shed some light on the approach we took during design. The second slide is the first logo option, in black type on a white background, and then again with white type on a black background—never in full color.
To make sure clients are focusing on the actual core concepts of the logo (the font, design, style, and symbolism), we avoid using color during the initial logo introduction. Certain colors or shades of a certain color can sway clients to like or dislike a logo for the wrong reasons—like solely distaste for the color used in the mockup. The third slide will be this first logo applied to relevant collateral. By inserting the logo into situations relevant to the company, they can see how the logo will fit into their business on a much more relatable and real level, whether it’s on a t-shirt, a truck, a sign or a chocolate bar. We continue sharing these logos with clients in this manner, until all of the options have been displayed and discussed.
After seeing the logo options, clients typically will vocalize any revisions they would like to make, or we’ll have ideas for revisions based on feedback. Usually 1-2 rounds of revision will occur and we’ll swap fonts and themes, mix and match different elements, and make relatively simple tweaks to create the best possible logo for our clients that they will love.
Ultimate Goal: To get an unbiased opinion on several logo designs, and have clients select a final logo they are happy with.
Choosing a color for a logo is far more than just simply selecting a shade that looks good. In order to make the correct choice, it’s important that we look at the overall message the business is trying to communicate with their branding. We then look to the psychology of color to determine what is most fitting since every color has an emotional effect. Roughly 80% of the color choice process is spent researching color, and about 20% is trying the different colors on the logos.
Perhaps a client wants to express a message of tranquility, while another may want to showcase that their products are organic or eco-friendly. We may focus on different shades of blue to represent tranquility for one brand, and for another we may try out different shades of green to represent some “go-green” initiatives that are important to the company values. Clients will have the opportunity to see the logo they have selected in various colors and shades before making their final decision.
Ultimate Goal: To choose a color that looks good with the logo but also reflects the underlying message the brand is trying to express through design.
Building Brand Awareness through Logo Design
Once the entire logo process is complete, usually after about two weeks—pending the rate of feedback, clients are provided with a logo that embodies the culture of their company, with a design that is a core component to their brand identity. They're supplied the logo in every formatting or size they may need, to ensure that it will work for any use in the future. A good logo is an effective way to build brand credibility and awareness through consistency in various marketing tactics, and foster a connection between your industry, and your particular offerings.