A logo can take a couple of hours, a couple of days, weeks or even months. The time it takes to design a logo depends on the designer, client, time, money, type of logo needed, and on the goal of the logo.
Patience is key in logo development because a rushed logo is something that neither you, your employees, nor your customers will readily identify with. Think of your logo as a long-term investment. Even if you think your company will never be known worldwide doesn’t mean that your business would not benefit from a quality logo. Don’t sell yourself or your company short. A quality logo will pay for itself over time. You are not just creating a picture to put on your letterhead, you are creating a brand and identity for you company.
Here is a quick breakdown of what a good logo process entails.
- Company/Creative Brief – The first phase starts with getting to know your client and what the company is about. Who is their audience? How do they want to be seen? Who are their competitors? What colors do they like and dislike? How and where will the logo be used? Why do they want a new logo? These questions will help with the structure of the logo, the colors, and the typeface and will reduce time wasted with ideas that won’t work once the logo goes into production. The more information gathered at this stage, the smoother the logo process will be.
- Research – In this phase the designer looks at other competitors, what’s trending, what makes a logo successful within the industry, and inspiration. The designer shouldn’t only look into what logos work, but also what doesn’t work and why. The logo ideas begin to formulate during this phase within the framework provided by the client in the company/creative brief phase.
- Sketching – The sketching phase involves brainstorming and putting ideas on paper from what the designer learned in the Company/Creative Brief phase and Research phase. The designer will sketch various ideas and usually the more sketches the better. A note to fellow designers: ALWAYS SAVE YOUR SKETCHES! You never know when an idea may be useful for later projects or even future clients.
- Breaks – This is not really a phase but as a designer it’s encouraged to take breaks. It helps to clear the mind in case there is a creative block. Stepping away from your work can spark up new ideas that were not thought about before. A five-minute break can help you realize something you have been staring at for hours without seeing before.
- Design & Present – Now it’s time for the designer to put what they have on paper onto the computer. Often times the designer will present logos in black & white and keep it simple. This helps the client to focus on the idea/concept of the logo rather than focusing on color. It’s also helpful to present the logos on mockup items and in various sizes to show how the logo can be affected by its placement/usage. It makes the logo “real” and helps the audience relate to it as an actual piece.
- Refine – After the designer meets with the client on the logo ideas/concepts now it’s time for the designer to come back to the computer and refine the logo or logos according to the clients input. The client’s input might mean going back to square one, combining two logos together, adding details or going right into color. This process continues until the client is satisfied.
- Identity – After the logo is chosen and final now the designer can develop brand identity guidelines and create different stationary items, signage, and other design elements the client will be using.
As you can see, a great logo involves various factors and phases. A finished logo might look simple, but the process behind it takes time. In the long run, a carefully thought out logo will be worth it.