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Our Graphic Design Process – Part 4: Logo Design

Our Graphic Design Process - Part 4: Logo Design

In Our Graphic Design Process – Part 1 we outlined the research and development process we go through for all of our design projects. In Part 2 we looked into Our Graphic Design Process for Website Design and in Part 3 we explained our print design process. In Part 4 we will explore our logo design process using examples of a recent logo design project we completed for Wakeham Asbestos (for more information on the project development for Wakeham Asbestos, please see our detailed blog article).

Sketches

As with all of our graphic design projects, we spend a great amount of time working on paper before hitting the computers. At this stage it is more like a brainstorming process of ideas and concepts. We usually work together at this stage and try to tease out all the possible ideas we can think of. Once we have a wide range of logo design concepts (most of them fairly bad at this stage) we then go through another sketching process in order to filter the ideas to a workable amount. Once complete, we usually have approximately 15 – 20 concepts to work on.

Initial Drafts

After finalising our initial sketches we then scan our logo concepts in to the computer and head straight for Adobe Illustrator. Illustrator allows us to create a vector based designs made up of lines and fills. In our Web Design Process, we spoke of using Photoshop to create website visuals. Photoshop allows you to work on raster images and artwork. This means any artwork created in Photoshop is pixel based which can have its limitations in that there is a set DPI (dots per inch, sometimes known as pixels per inch or PPI). If the artwork is enlarged or viewed at a larger size then specified by the DPI you will see a noticeable decrease in the image quality, and the more you increase the size, the worse the quality will be. For more information on the differences between Vector and Rastor graphics, Wikipedia has a very good explanation.

Illustrator, however, is a very different tool that every designer should have in their arsenal. Vector based artwork is made up by mathematics rather than pixels allowing the final piece (in this case a logo) to be dramatically increased in size without any degradation in quality. This is obviously imperative when supplying a logo which will be used in a wide range of mediums at many different sizes. 

Illustrator also allows us to expand type and create custom lettering for logos as well as create illustratative imagery.

During this stage we normally work on a 3 – 4 logo concepts each, without seeing what the other has designed. Once at an initial draft stage we then have another brainstorm between ourselves identifying which concepts we feel fulfill the clients brief.

Wakeham logo's - presented to client

Hand Over

From the logo designs we develop, 2 or 3 are chosen to present to the client. This amount is not set in stone and really depends on the project. All logo designs are sent to the client as a pdf. We ensure each of the logos has plenty of space and display them one to a page with a full colour and black and white version. It is important that the client does not choose a logo concept based on personal preference (i.e a colour they do not like). It is for this reason that we also supply a black and white version of each logo concept. This ensures the client concentrates on the logos form and shape without being distracted by colour. However, displaying an example of colour allows the client to gain an idea of how the logo might look when colour is applied.

Along with the logo design concepts we send a copy of our ‘Logo Design Rules’, a short pdf containing some information on what should and should not be included in a logo design.

Wakeham logo's - presented to client

Amendments and finishing touches

Any feedback is welcomed as we understand that the client knows their market place far better than we do. After a discussion with the client we ask for amendments to be given by email so we have confirmation of exactly what is being asked for. As we mentioned in our last post, our terms and conditions contain a maximum of two sets of amendments to any design project. This tends to ensure the client is concise with any changes required.

At this point, further experimentation is carried out with colour. In our research and development stages we will have discussed what colour schemes would appeal to the target market. However, we still create a range of colour combinations to identify which works best. This includes experimentation with single colour or a range of colours within the logo concept.

Wakeham logo in a range of colours and tracking

Sign Off

As with the web and print process, once the logo is complete we require an official sign off from the client before we can send over the finished artwork. This ensures that they have looked over the logo thoroughly and are happy with everything from the colour to the typeface. It is so important that they are happy with the logo and have left no stone unturned, once it is on vehicles, embroidered onto t-shirts, printed onto stationary it can be a very expensive process to re-do if they change their mind. This is why we never rush this process and encourage clients to take their time.

Supplying the final files

We supply the logo in the following formats:

.eps
.ai
.jpg
.gif
.png

This ensures the client has a wide range of version of the logo for use on web and print.

Wakeham logo in a range of colours and tracking

Have your say

Have you recently worked with a design company for a logo design project? Was their logo design process similar to our own? What improvements would you make to our process?

Or, if you are a designer, how does your logo design process differ to ours?

Posted by Lu

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Posted on Tuesday, April 7th, 2009 at 1:39 pm
Posted In Logo Design | Tags: , , ,

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