When a business owner approaches us, one of the first questions that they ask is, “how long does it take to design a new logo?”
To most businesses, a logo might just be a graphic element that appears alongside anything that they produce and distribute. It needs to look nice… and of course they need to like it.
A more refined logo and accompanying brand guidelines will address the business as a whole and identify who they are and where they would like to be. To sum it up, if done well, a logo creates the right impression about you and your business. To be done well it takes time and a proper strategy created by trained professionals (us creatives). It’s not straight forward enough for us to say ‘give us an hour’.
Take a look at some of the logos we have already created! None of them are the same, as they were made bespoke for each organisation.
Let’s take a look at the process we use here at Digital 22 to better understand timing and answer the question “Why does it take so long to design a new logo? It’s only one little graphic!”
At the beginning of every new client-designer relationship, it's important for us as the design agency to be extremely thorough in understanding the company in an effort to develop the most fitting branding.
Following an initial meeting and quotation, stage one begins with the discovery session. There are many questions to ask and the best thing to do is to invest as much time as possible into learning about the company in question. The best practise for us is to hold a meeting with the client and key members of the team, so everyone involved in the upcoming project is on the same page.
From here, our team are able to create a thorough creative brief that will be referred back to at all stages of the process. In addition to this, we need to identify what is visually appealing to the client and assess whether that solution best markets their company - the client might love pink flowers and comic sans, but will that really help sell laminate flooring? Highly unlikely.
Following the brief, we need to conduct our own internal research to better understand the history of the company, the industry, market conditions, audience and competition.
This is important to set the stage for creating the right visual solution, which includes everything from colours, typography and visual elements to the overall composition of the new identity. This stage is crucial, and one that most people never factor in. In order to get a clear visual, we need to know as much as possible about the company and industry - otherwise the final result will not make sense.
Research is key!
After obtaining a thorough understanding of the client, project needs and specifications, it is then passed to the rest of the creative team for brainstorming. This begins with establishing key points, laying down the foundations and creating rough sketches.
Our creative team can evaluate the different directions and narrow down to the most appropriate ideas. The next step is to work our designer magic to take these drawings from paper to the computer. From here the initial logo designs need to be prepped and ready to present to the client for initial feedback.
Now that the concepts have been designed and developed, the next step is to present them to our client. It’s an exciting meeting and we don’t ask clients to rush into making decisions - this puts them at ease and helps them regain some control over their brand.
Initial first reactions are important, but we also want our clients to have time to reflect, review and decide which direction best aligns with their vision. Furthermore, the client may need additional opinions from stakeholders or other members of the business before they sign anything off.
Another thing that people tend to under-estimate is how important the logo is to a company. Most organisations take this process very seriously, as the final graphic will be what represents them across all media, therefore it could take a while to get any clear approval.
Following the concept phase, we then work with our clients to initiate changes back and forth until our client is completely satisfied with the final designs.
After receiving final approvals, the creative team assembles the logo assets including the logo version, formats, and branding guidelines to be provided to the client for long term use.
A typical set of guidelines might include colours, fonts and logo usage instructions which will help to keep the use of the logo consistent. We may provide several file formats to a client to allow them to use the logo freely.Now you have developed your brand it is important to remain consistent. Brand guidelines allow you to roll out designs without changing the visual integrity of your brand.
It’s very important that a client consider all of the future publications where the new logo and identity will need to appear. We tend to consider things such as stationery, website design, print, social media, signage etc. It makes the difference between just having a simple logo graphic and a fully consistent brand across the board.
Once a logo has been finalised, we dedicate some time to start discussing the possibility of further design work in addition to the new branding
Implementing a new logo throughout the whole of the company can be a little overwhelming for a client. A good designer is always on hand to provide support and advice, or provide additional creative development in order for the logo to be used consistently. For us, calling them regularly is a great way to touch base!
Developing a new logo is a careful and time consuming process if you work with a good design agency and have a real passion for your business. A good designer exhausts themselves in tweaking and refining a logo until the client is completely satisfied with the final solution - something which we always do.