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.
1. LEAD GENERATION
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; www.hadeelahmad.com 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!
2. BUILD A PROPOSAL
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:
- The name of the project.
- Client’s contact information.
- Deliverables list.
- 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.
- 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, designquote.net is helpful for calculating design costs!
3. DESIGN BRIEF
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.
4. BRAINSTORMING & MIND MAPPING
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.
7. PRODUCTION & FILE FORMATS
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 wetransfer.com, 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.
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: