Custom Logos: The Process, The Benefits, and The Quality
Most markets are plagued by saturation and incredibly high competition. To be successful, you must differentiate your brand and products by creating an identity that is relevant and memorable to customers. Custom logos can be a great way to build your brand as your logo gives your company a “face” – a vital part of branding. Logos must communicate your business goals, image, and values. Today our team will explain the robust design process we use to help businesses like yours create their ideal logo.
Designing logos is more complicated than slapping together ideas in a graphics program. Crafting a design to match the story of your business makes your brand relevant to customers, but this requires a detailed process. Though all design projects have their own unique path, there are common steps involved in creating good logos:
- Design brief: every design project begins with a creative design brief which helps the designers understand the client’s needs. The brief gives designers the opportunity to ask questions and create a clear understanding of the business, brand, issues, and industry. This brief can be generated using a formal document, over the phone, in-person, or however the client wishes. The more the designer knows about the project, the better they can communicate design concepts.
- Research and discovery: in the second step, your design company investigates your existing business (unless a new startup) to determine the current status. This step often uncovers factors that may not have been previously mentioned in the brief so the designers will probe further to understand any issues and provide the best design solution.
- Sketches: once the preliminary work is complete, the firm will begin to create basic sketches. This could be a doodle on a napkin at lunch or a crafted pen illustration but is almost always visual in nature. During this step, mood boards and other referenced imagery are gathered in collaboration with the client who is trying to portray the look and feel of their brand. It is difficult to describe colors or themes in words so a visual inspiration is the best option. The basic sketches will be refined into more formal sketches with grids and lines.
- Conceptualization: while conceptualization is typically defined as, ‘forming the concept’, in this case it is more of a refinement of several ideas utilizing appropriate software. In this stage, the ideas take on a new life on the screen, allowing for any concerns to be vocalized that may have been overlooked on the sketch.
- Refinement and presentation: at this point, only the strongest concepts have survived and will make their way into a formal presentation document for the client. The designers show how the logo appears set to a variety of background colors at various scales and in a variety of places, like a rendering of the design on vehicle wraps so the client can visualize the artwork in a real-world setting.
- Feedback: clients then take some time to review and provide feedback on the presented conceptions with first impressions being the most important recorded reaction. A good way to evaluate these concept logos is to print them out and place them around your office so the eye is naturally drawn to them before providing feedback as this mimics what your customer’s experience when encountering your new product or brand.
- Conceptual developments: from that feedback, the designers then tweak and further develop your concept. This could be minor changes to the color, adjustments to the layout or presenting alternative typefaces. There are usually a couple of back and forth exchanges at this stage to refine details.
- Final presentation: in the same manner as the initial concept presentation, the finalized version of your new branding is presented along with additional mockups, such as business cards, to provide you with a realistic view of how your logo functions as a brand icon.
- Expansion: once your final logo has been agreed upon by both parties, the design can be expanded to encompass additional branding steps such as creating other marketing materials. At this phase, the new design will be incorporated into your social media elements and other types of brand collateral.
- Final delivery and support: the final step is delivery of the files in vector form which can then be exported into any format as your needs dictate. The vector format allows for a maximum range of outputs allowing for the design to be scaled without loss of sharpness or quality. This means that your design looks amazing on a free pen at an exhibition or large billboard downtown.
To understand why a custom logo is so important for branding, you must understand the benefits to your business:
- Brand identity: a custom design can give your business a unique personality, critical to differentiation of your firm from competitors in an ever-intensifying market. In addition to setting you apart, your logo promotes your customer loyalty by creating a distinctive culture;
- Credibility: multiple studies found consumers prefer branded items because they believe those products to be superior. Your branding provides added value by giving potential consumers a professional, high-quality package to consider;
- Marketing advantage: in a competitive market, it is critical to utilize every tool possible to grow your business. A custom, high-quality design can be an incredibly powerful tool, giving you a visible edge over the competition;
- Memorable: the brain recalls images better than words. Your customers will likely remember an iconic logo even if they forget the name of your company. When images are associated with a solid product or service, they will think of your business each time they see the icon; and,
- Send a message: custom logos tell the story you want, delivering your message to customers. The design is a visual representation of your brand; from the color and typeface to the layout, each element fits into your brand architecture.
The quality of custom logos is the most important aspect of the final product. When collaborating with a designer, they must provide your finished design as a vector file, which allows for scalability without impacting the quality for the design. You do not want to go through this entire process to end with pixelated or blurry artwork. Also, you want an agency who provides quality service throughout the process and can react quickly to your changing needs.
For more information on a quality design agency, contact Simplemachine today. We can create the custom logo your business needs to elevate your brand above the competition.