How to design a logo? for a freelancer…

Ever wondered… How can I come up with a great logo? Where to start and how to manage your client?

A logo design process should be methodical, it should be thorough and most importantly exciting!

I will share with you the exact process I use for creating any logo design and as a freelancer how I communicate with my clients.



To start generating leads of potential clients you need to be out there, and out there is mostly online! Make sure you have a well built portfolio and share it using social media such as creating a business page for your work on facebook, instagram, twitter and more importantly Behance, dribble and similar sites. Make sure you list your contact information; you can list your email, website and/ or phone number, this allows any lead to contact you easily for a design quote.

When a potential lead communicates with me for a logo design, via my website; or via social media; facebook and instagram or via Behance asking for a logo design and how much would it cost, I reply with a ”Thanks for contacting me, and please let me know more about your business and company email”. It is crucial that you know more about that company and what is needed BEFORE you send a quote!



After you get some more information; preferably with some links to their website and social media, you start preparing the proposal with the fees and timeline, my personal proposal includes:

  1. The name of the project.
  2. Client’s contact information.
  3. Deliverables list.
  4. Price and price breakout; How payments are devided, normally a 50% downpayment and 50% after the project is done and confirmed but before you send the final files.
  5. Any other conditions you need to set such as the payment method; ( Bank transfer, cash, western union, paypal, payoneer, etc…).

Many designers do not know how to price their designs and that is debatable issue, but every designer can set their own average pricing, you can always set your minimun fee rate but keep the maximum open.

Some designers price per project a rough estimate and some go by the hourly rate, where you count how many hours you are going to put into this particular project. This varies from design to another, is helpful for calculating design costs!



After you send the proposal to the client and it is confirmed and the first 50% down payment is processed you can kick start the project, now you need to send the client a logo questionnaire.

The logo questionnaire should be thorough enough for you to understand the brand better to start the brainstorming process which includes:

1. Researching the company’s history, website, social media, press and any other link you can find.

2. Researching the competition, check what they do offer that the brand doesn’t, what are their strengths and weaknesses regarding their branding, avoid using elements the competitor use such as shapes, colors and typography styles.

3. Define the most prominant keywords that best describe the brand you want to design the logo for.

4. Define the brand’s character and personality to set the way you need to EXECUTE the idea you come up with.



This is THE most important part of the logo design process, this is where you will start creating ideas for the actual shape, look and feel of the logo specially built for that specified brand.

The process starts with a pen and paper, take the most prominent key words you came up with from the brief, place them on the paper in bubbles, start branching each word to a more descriptive word that could be translated into a certain icon or shape.

View these examples I did for some of my clients:




After setting your mind map, you can start sketching ideas by merging two or more icons and shapes you have come up with. This will lead to multiple logo design ideas, you can now at this point select promising concepts and execute them digitally.

Keeping in mind to pull out the best execution methods; ( Using perfect proportions, grids, golden ratio if needed),  to come up with a perfect design following the brand’s feel, character and attitude you have in the brief, so if a brand is a strong brand that feels trustworthy and more ‘corporate’, you can then explore a more bolder execution of line thickness, fonts, shape edges, etc…




After you create your design options you should create a proper presentation to show to present to your client, you can never just send an image of the logo options and call it a presentation. You can use a 800px wide artboard and start the presentation by adding the proposaed logo design, how did you come up with the logol, the rational; written and shown with shapes, a mood board of the elements you were insprired to design the logo elements from. Add some mockups that best suit your client’s brand, but don’t use too much of them, ideally 3-5 mockups. Mockups help the client visualise his new logo better.

Here are some sites that offer great mockups for you to use:


Send the presentation to your client in a PDF form but make sure you uncheck the ‘preserve illustartor editing capabilities’ box, so the design cannot be extracted and used from the PDF file.

Make sure you deliver the design options within the timeline you specified in the project’s proposal.

aqsa challenge-01-02.jpg



Once the client picks the logo he prefers, the logo is confirmed and approved, and you get your final payment and no more edits are required you can then prepare the logo files for the client and send them and you can send them via email or if they are large in size you can use google drive, dropbox or, but make sure if you do not send the files using your email that you also send an email stating that you are sending the files via one of the listed methods or any other method you find suitable.

Logo files should always be sent in all of these formats:

Original AI file, Editable PDF file, EPS file of each artboard (if present), a JPG image of the logo and a separate one of the emblem (logo without typography, if present), a PNG image of the logo and a separate one of the emblem too.

DOKKAN MEDIA logo design-02


This logo process when done right will assure you get great results for you and your client. The process should be almost the same for all of the designers out there, what differs is your creativity and way of thinking, which you can develop and strengthen by keeping a fresh eye for great designs; research, get inspired, follow great designers, ask questions, create an inspiration file with the best designs you can find and just keep practicing!

Inspirational site are many and here are some of my personal favorite:




IT’S ALIVE | Dynamic Identities

The world is always evolving, and it’s evolving fast!

For the branding industry, only brands the can change and adapt will stand out and live, because the human mind is wired to notice only the different amongst the normals & standards. While identities are becoming platforms & a total experience rather than static logos, the need for them to become alive requires a system that can be customised and personalise to the brand’s audience, a dynamic identity is the answer.

Technology has given identities the chance to act as living organisms, with a voice and a character presented in various social media platforms and all over the internet, such evolution needs a dynamic & variable system to build identities according to. So how can you build a dynamic identity?


A brand identity is

The Logo
The product
The name
The experience

A Brand is all of these…. And then some.

A brand is tangible; you can see it, touch it, hold it, hear it, watch it takes disparate elements and unifies them into a whole system.


A dynamic identity system consists of 6 components & its connections to
create that system. Variables create the dynamics while one component would be constant in shape and placement and that would be the main logo, for the purpose of maintaining recognition of the brand, so when other variables keep changing such as colour or imagery, people can still recognise the brand’s identity.


This crucial constant element is called the CONTAINER, were other variables are placed in it, on it, behind it or emerging from it.


CTM001C01 Logomark FINAL


City of Milbourne identity is a great example of a dynamic identity:


“The challenge was to reflect City of Melbourne’s cool sophistication on the world stage, capture the passion of its people, and provide the city with a unified, flexible, and future-focused image. The new identity needed to overcome political complexities, improve the cost-effectiveness of managing the brand, and unite the disparate range of entities (including the council, City of Melbourne’s destination brand, and an ever-growing portfolio of different initiatives, programs, services, events, and activities). We built the branding program based on the results of a thorough audit of City of Melbourne’s various identities and its long-term sustainability and strategic plans.”

Designed at: Landor Associates.

Another direction of a dynamic identity design would include the main logo (container) having a wallpaper behind it. The shapes may vary but the impression suggests the same identity of that brand.

A perfect example of using wallpapers behind the main logo is AOL:

Description: People use AOL ostensibly as a search engine, to find all sorts of things, so this identity leverages that multiplicity with a wide variety of supporting images.
Designed at: Wolff Olins


Some examples on using wallpapers with the main logo which acts as a frame also for the wallpapers. Taking into consideration that wallpapers can be treated in a certain way that reflects the design so whatever wallpaper design is added the outcome is similar and the logo is identifiable.


Main logo (container)


Added various but unified wallpapers



Implementing the identity


Other examples:




Another direction for implementing a dynamic identity is using a Formula.

This direction lets the system be the constant such as using grids or creating a language from shapes and colours then use them as the variable elements of the identity.

Here in this example,  Wolff Olins created the identity for new museum in way that it has a certain formula and language:




“In an exciting collaboration with the museum, we created a visual expression that features a spectrum of color and language, and a logo that literally moves and flexes to welcome new artists and audiences and to announce new art and the new museum. The mantra “open, fearless and alive” quickly became an invaluable tool for internal decision making.”


My personal favorite direction of using a dynamic identity is the customisable identity, where the main logo acts as a container for customisable elements that vary a lot but creates a personalised emotional experience for the targeted audience where they can interact and be part of the brand.

It makes the client the owner of the brand as stated by Irene van Nes in her publication ”Dynamic identities: How to create a living brand”;

OCAD University, Canada’s pre-eminent art and design school, is now accredited to confer degrees. It is an inclusive, vibrant and vital institution built on creativity, risk and
innovation. It needs a new identity reflecting that status. Bruce Mau Design questioned whether the visual identity could reveal the extraordinary creative energy that lives at OCAD U. Inspired by the iconic Alsop-designed building, they created a base of black-and-white pixel ‘windows’ – modular frames to hold actual student art and design. The logo literally becomes the display window for the students.


Another brilliant example on using windows and frames as the container of the logo is Autisitc Art:

“We wanted to build the identity around a symbol that refers both to the autistic people and the foundation who are behind the whole concept. This symbol has become the window – a bridge between the inner World of our beneficiaries and their environment (including the foundation and the consumer of the branded products).
We were determined to use this symbol in the way autistic people would like it the most: severely and clear-out.”


Other examples using the customised window container doesn’t have to include art pieces rather than relative icons, such as the identity of Public Space by Sulliwan Studio:



Some more examples:




A unique example here is pixus, where they used a combination between wallpaper and customised directions to build their dynamic identity:


Studying dynamic identities, I found it to be the best direction for our growing community of designers; Designers Union, where the need for a variable and adaptable logo emerged to cover all of the Union’s activities and aspirations.

“Designers Union is the largest gathering for designers of all fields, introducing truly beneficial content, discussions, challenges where designers come to learn, share their work, ask, help each other, participate in design contests and challenges, attend seminars, workshops & design conferences, create regulations to help advance the business of design not only as individuals but also as one union.”






Content sources:

Sulliwan Studio

Wolff Olins

Landor Associates

How to create a living brand by Irene van Nes