A logo is an important asset to any company. It is a symbol that stands to make an organization or individual instantly recognizable, and represents everything a company stands for packaged in a simple visual. The process of designing a logo involves time and research to ensure uniqueness and trademark eligibility. Let’s take a closer look at how a professional logo is created.
GATHERING NECESSARY INFORMATION
The first step in the process is to compile all of the pertinent data that will form the basis of the logo’s design. Questions need to be asked regarding the businesses background, mission, products/services offered, potential competitors, and target audience/market. In addition, some thought must be given as to the message that will be communicated and the goals that should be achieved with the logo.
At this stage of the design process, all technical details must also be decided. These include what type of logo is needed, such as logotype, symbolic, or combination mark. Some examples of existing designs should also be obtained to get an idea of what is desired in the new graphic.
RESEARCHING EXISTING DESIGNS AND COMPETITORS
An important part of the process is gathering information regarding existing logos. It must be determined whether similar designs exist that may be in use by a company with a similar name, using the same symbol or within the same industry. This is to ensure a truly unique design that will stand apart from the competition.
Potential competitors must be identified to determine what types of designs are being used and what message is being conveyed in terms of visual communication. Color plays an integral role in setting the right mood based on the company’s industry, background, and goals. Likewise, a font style must be chosen that properly reflects the brand’s image, mood, and message.
CONCEPTUALIZING THE DESIGN
The initial design process begins with sketching and experimenting with different fonts and colors. During this time all of the information gathered in the first two steps is utilized to prototype potential ideas for the final product. This brainstorming phase can take anywhere from a day to a week or more.
PRELIMINARY CANDIDATE DEVELOPMENT
After the brainstorming has been completed we arrive at a clear direction in which to go in creating the end product. In this stage, more polished designs emerge as symbols are finalized and typography is refined. Typically, there will be several different variations using alternate colors or fonts, which will serve as potential candidates. These designs are then evaluated to determine the perfect specimen.
PRESENTING TO THE CLIENT
The best design is applied to mockups and photos so that the client can get a clear representation of how the logo will look in real life situations. Mockups would include simulations of billboard applications, banners, walls, windows, t-shirts, and other products. It is very important for the client to get an accurate feel for how the graphic will appear in various forms of media and in different scenarios.
REVISING AND REFINING
It may be necessary to further refine a design based on the desires of the customer. This is a normal step in the process in which edits and tweaks are made so that the logo conforms to the client’s needs. A project could go through several revisions before a final result is reached.
Once the client is satisfied with the logo, it is time to prepare the design for delivery. Several different file types are packaged to facilitate the logo’s use in various applications and media. This would include files suitable for both print and web use in full color and black and white.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Designing a winning logo takes a lot of time and effort. Great care must be taken to avoid putting together an image that is generic or seemingly random. It may seem that the process is long and too great of an investment, however, keep in mind that your logo is a graphic representation of you or your organization.
Your logo is often critical in presenting a good first impression to potential customers and partners. In addition, a well-designed logo can be instrumental in building customer loyalty, establishing brand identity, and putting forward a professional image of the company. Not having a professionally designed logo could be detrimental to your future business.
Simply using clip art or stock images found on the web in your design not only appears unprofessional, but can also cause you problems down the road. Using a stock image will prevent you from being able to trademark your logo since it has probably been used in other work. There is also the possibility of being sued for copyright infringement due to using someone else’s work illegally. Improper use of logos found online can result in fines of as much as $4,000 per use.
HIRE A PROFESSIONAL
Trying to create a logo on your own is something you should also avoid. It is always best to hire a professional graphic artist to design a logo for you. Hiring a professional will ultimately save you time and money in the long run. An experienced artist will know whether a design can translate well to various media and promotional materials.
While the cost of design services may be a concern, consider that it is a one-time investment in the future of your business. A good logo will stand the test of time and last for at least 10 years. This longevity should be factored in the cost.
PROTECTING YOUR LOGO
When you have a professional design that will last for generations, you will most certainly want to protect your investment. You can do this by applying for a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Acquiring a trademark for your logo is important because it will allow you use the design anywhere you want and also prevent other companies or individuals from using it.
Now you should have a better understanding of the design process and how to protect your logo. You understand the importance of a professional design and how it can impact your company’s image. Knowing all of the facts will allow you to make a more informed decision. You can rest assured that you have made a sound investment for the future of your business.