04 Oct 5 steps to ensure an authentic logo design
5 steps to ensure an
authentic logo design
Despite the simplicity and small size of the final product, designing an authentic logo design can be a surprisingly complex process. However, investing all that in time to deliver the perfect solution is well worth it.
Especially for commissioners who need a mark that will successfully represent their business for an extended period of time (decades rather than years).
Longevity is achieved via proven processes, adhered to by the edirect graphic design team. In this blog, we will do our best to translate these processes. Check out these 5 Steps to ensure an authentic logo design.
Technical aspects of logo design
Step 1: Brief
Drawing the logo on the computer is only a small component of this process; research and preparation often take the majority of a graphic artist’s time. A thorough design brief certainly gets the ball rolling.
This qualitative research becomes invaluable, allowing both parties (designer and commissioner) to steer the creative project in the right direction. This arms a graphic designer with solid information about what a commissioner’s business does and the industry that it operates in.
With this information to hand, a graphic designer will formulate and implement design ideas beyond mere colours, fonts and shapes. A detailed brief will help a graphic artist grasp your brand’s mission.
For example, investment companies deal with high value clients and product portfolios so need a mark people can trust, which strikes an authoritative chord with viewers. However, content providers aren’t held down by centuries of recognition and the responsibility of handling billions of pounds on a regular basis, so can be more flexible in their approach to style.
In a nut shell, when armed with detailed information about a company’s mission, values and clientèle, a graphic designer has a far better chance of producing a final logo style that matches a commissioner’s needs.
Step 2: Research
The research phase follows the brief, which is when a graphic designer will delve deeper into the nature of your company and that of a competitor as well as the marker as a whole.
By examining similar companies’ identity systems and researching current trends, a graphic artist can gain an insight into the effectiveness of various styles. This is not the same thing as copying; however, it is rather confirming current visual trends that will ensure an authentic solution.
Research can also allude to a number of findings, which can become the foundation of an authentic logo design. For example, where one logo can subtly refer to a brands geographic stance (origins), others take on a dualistic approach, symbolising both product and process.
Establishing these potential themes early in the process provides more source material to build a successful logo with, whether this be a literal or non-literal representation. This is always agreed with the commissioner before commencing to the subsequent stage.
Step 3: Concepts
Logo concepts are initially explored via sketches, adhering to themes agreed during the research stage. The beauty of this way of working is that it allows idea generation to flow and is often shared with the commissioner to give a clear indication of progression.
Concept sketches also allow a graphic designer to strip back a logo to its most basic elements. This enables all to see if the mark is intelligible in black and white, at smaller sizes. If it’s a resounding yes then you know that a mark will result in a scalable solution, which can be strategically implemented across a range of promotional media (see Stage 5).
A logo design should never rely on special effects, shines and gradients to stand out. Strong form, symmetry and balanced visual elements perform much better on the recognition scale.
A typeface often comes armed with an apparent personality that can be paired to reflect that of the business. Colours work towards the same end result but achieve this in a far more subtle way. The human mind has nurtured a strong subliminal emotional response to tone. When applied to a logo this will be the difference between portraying a business as amiable instead of corporate, for example.
Once again, these decisions are agreed with the commissioner before commencing to the next stage.
Step 4: Render
When a commissioner and graphic designer work together to nail down the finer details, the render phase becomes an agile process. That’s not to say that there aren’t challenges, as only when we immerse ourselves in one thing can we see how true we can stay to a specific creative path. Concepts evolve, change and adapt. But none of this is possible without having the technical skills to execute these ideas.
edirect’s graphic artists are well versed in leading industry software, executing designs in Adobe Illustrator to create scalable solutions. These vector images can be scaled to any size without losing quality, which becomes advantageous when applying your logo to varied marketing formats. Designing in outdated modes such as bitmap shows a real lack of professionalism and leads to serious production problems for a commissioner later on.
Step 5: Context
Without execution even a finished logo design can be rendered useless. To realise the full potential of a mark concepts need structure and context. It’s about taking that abstract mark and allowing it to fully manifest via strategic positioning and placement. That way a commissioner and subsequent viewers can find meaning within your logo mark.
This can happen by simply placing the mark on a commissioner’s corporate stationery, livery or company uniform. But it can go much further, via digital presentation (3D, projection, animation) and installation (signage, sculpture, window vinyl).
Emotive Aspects of logo design
However, we should add that a great logo is more than a technical build and authentic look. Emotional responses to your mark come from the collective values mentioned, the subtle cognitive recognition that follows and metaphoric meanings that viewers can explore.
This all culminates in an authentic logo that is expressive, easy to recognise and understand as well as being visual and tactile all in the same instance. It becomes more than just a mark, it stands as a symbol of what a commissioner’s brand offers prospect customers.
To appreciate how edirect has brought corporate logos to life, check out our logo time lapses below. Feel free to share these with your peers and the public.
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