Logo Design: My Step by Step Process

Creating a logo is more than a simple sketch to implement. It’s an in-depth process of research, sketching, designing, collaboration, and revising. The logo represents your client’s entire brand and their long-term goals for the company. It is a direct reflection of what their customers perceive the brand to be. I want my design process to reflect the importance of this outcome.

Through trial and error, I’ve slowly crafted a process that works for me. I am constantly making changes to improve the experience.

Here’s a high-level overview of the steps in my process. Of course, each client may vary a bit depending on their situation, but I generally use this as a guide.

  1. Client Interview
  2. Setting Expectations
  3. Inspiration Boards
  4. Sketching
  5. Vectorizing Sketches
  6. Concept Variations
  7. Final Concept
  8. Color Palette
  9. Final Logo
  10. Implementation
  11. Project Feedback

Let’s take a closer look at each step with a recent logo design I created for Sarah, owner of Fitness & Fashion, a local boutique.

1. Client Interview

I start the process with a little research. I ask questions about budget, time, company details, goals, and target audience. The more I learn, the better solution I can provide.

2. Setting Expectations

It’s extremely important to set expectations early. I lay out what the client should expect from me and what I expect from them.

They should expect consistent communication from me. I give weekly updates describing what I’ve accomplished in the past week, what I need from the client, and what I plan to work on in the next week.

Setting expectations holds everyone accountable and sets the stage for success.

3. Inspiration Boards

From the client questions, I usually have a good idea of a design direction, but to make sure, I create a few inspiration boards. The client can confirm their vision through these visuals. It’s key to establish the direction early so time won’t be wasted with an incorrect direction.

Sarah chose the Bohemian and Vintage Outdoorsy directions

Sarah chose the Bohemian and Vintage Outdoorsy directions

4. Sketching

I take pencil to paper with the inspiration board in mind and start sketching. I send photos of the best sketches to the client and get feedback before bringing them into the computer.

One of the many pages of concept sketches

One of the many pages of concept sketches

5. Vectorize Sketches

I create the chosen concepts in Illustrator.

Top sketches are vectorized

Top sketches are vectorized

6. Concept Variations

Variations are created and revisions made until we establish final concepts.

Sarah chose two directions

Sarah chose two directions

Variations of concept 1

Variations of concept 1

Variations of concept 2

Variations of concept 2

 

7. Final Concept

The final concept is created in black and white. I keep color out of any designs to only focus on form.

Final variation

Final variation

8. Color Palette

If the client mentioned color preferences in their initial interview I use that as a starting point, but take into consideration the industry and color theory. I put color options into context and the client chooses the final color palette.

Color palette options

Color palette options

Final color palette

Final color palette

9. Final Logo

We have made it! The final logo is complete!

Logo is shown with chosen color palette

Logo is shown with chosen color palette

10. Implementation

I add the logo to some pieces that the client mentioned they may use and send a final deliverable to showcase the entire design process.

Advertisement example

Advertisement example

11. Project Feedback

At the end of the project, I send an email asking for feedback. I ask the client what they enjoyed about the process, what they would’ve changed, and if the final deliverable met their expectations. I use the answers to improve my process for the next client I work with.

Final Thoughts: Enjoy the process! Creating a logo is no easy task, but what makes it fun is being prepared with the right tools and steps to take.

Check out Sarah’s shop!

Fitness & Fashion Instagram

Fitness & Fashion Facebook