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Logo Design Creation Process from Start to Finish by Expert Graphic Designer - Angela Ferraro-Fanning

Logo Design Creation Process from Step by Step by Master Graphic Designer and Writer

We are very excited to have Angela Ferraro-Fanning guest write for us this week. Please visit her fabulous portfolio to see more of her amazing work. Many of you will find that she is a graphic designer that is very talented and experienced. She wrote this article to guide you through her own creative logo design process, from start to finish. Please feel free to contact us if you want to submit your article as well.

Logo Design Creation Process from Start to Finish by Expert Graphic Designer - Angela Ferraro-Fanning

By Angela Ferraro-Fanning, 13thirtyone Design <www.13thirtyone.com>

There are times when creating a logo can seem overwhelming. But in an industry where efficiency is key, I’ve learned a few tricks that help me to create logos that are effective, meet my clients’ objectives, and are portfolio pieces that I feel proud of. What better way to walk you through my process than by using a client case study? Meet kick (www.kickonmain.com), a shoe boutique from La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Logo Design Building for Client

Step 1: Getting to Know Your Client

When I first started working on kick’s logo development, the first thing I did was research. Because the logo is one of the single most important visual elements for a business, it is imperative that plenty of discussion is done. I always ask the same four questions:

1.What are the values of your business/company?

2.Can I see any current/previous marketing materials you have?

3. Who is your target audience?

4.Do you have any bits of inspiration for me to work from? In other words, paint swatches of colors you like or are currently using? Photos of your business or products? How about patterns/images that really identify with your business?

kick responded as follows: “We are a chic women’s boutique with a throw-back glam décor. We are located in a progressive and growing downtown area… We aim for the distinguished in tasted and in style. A woman who wants a stylish shoe that won’t hinder her daily activities; whether it be work or leisure… We have bright pink paint on our walls and we also like gold and black.”

At this time, kick also provided me with several pieces of artwork that really spoke to them and identified with their business. So now I had all the info I needed… What next?

Step 2: Generate Imagery

One of the biggest mistakes a designer can make, I’ve found, is to go straight to the computer and start plugging away at logo designs. Sure you may be feeling inspired after a chat with your client, but without really thinking, you’ll just be wasting time. Whether you’re stumped or you already have a few ideas floating around, this step has helped me out time and time again.

Sit down, grab some paper and a pen, and make a list. Title it anything you like, but the list should contain words that pertain to your client. For example, in kick’s case, I think of words like shoe, fashion, girl, woman, feminine, vintage, etc. You want to do this quickly and be sure to write down anything that pops into your head. By jotting down this list (whether they be nouns or adjectives), you’ll begin the process of generating visuals. These visuals can produce some pretty amazing logo designs. Take a look at my list for kick below.

Logo Design Concept -  How to Brainstorm and Conceptualize for Logo Design

Step 3: Logo Conception

Some designers prefer to sketch on paper. I may do this occasionally, if I have an idea that I have to put down right away. Most of the time, though, I go straight from creating my imagery list to my computer. I like to experiment with different fonts and colors on screen so I can quickly duplicate ideas and adjust them slightly if need be.

When beginning, I work my way down my imagery list. I may have an idea that utilizes just one word; I may have another idea that encapsulates a combination of them. Either way, having my list handy is a great reference and keeps the ideas flowing.

It is my policy when working on a client’s logo that I present them with three concepts. I try to create three entirely different looks while utilizing the three different types of logo formats: just type, image only, and a combination of both. Just because my client sees three logos though, doesn’t mean that’s all it takes. With kick’s logo conception, I literally created 35 different logo ideas.

Logo Design Ideas for Customers to Look at

Above is a random sampling of some of the logo ideas I created for kick. You’ll notice that several are type only, some combine both imagery and text, and one is imagery only. Now that I have my concepts, it’s time to decide which logos I will present to kick.

Step 4: Logo Presentation; Which Ones Do I Show Off?

In choosing the logo designs for kick to consider, I first have to decide which ones I truly feel are my best work. It is important that I present clients with pieces that I’d feel happy about showing in my portfolio. Work that is published is work that will be seen by prospective clients as well. Therefore, I must be sure each concept given to the client is of the utmost quality.

After weeding out the “weaker” options, I then refer to the information that kick initially provided me with. Do the logo concepts meet the client’s objectives? Do they communicate to the targeted audience? Are they legible and will they reproduce easily on a wide variety of materials? If not all of the questions are answered with a “yes,” then the logo gets tossed out.

The following are the final three logos that I presented to kick:

Logo Design Ideas for Clients to Approve - 2nd Approval Process

When formatting the logos for presentation, I am always sure to duplicate each and reduce them in a size. This shows the client how well the logo appears when minimized. This is also the time to provide any additional color options the logo may have (such as with the circular shoe logo).

Should the client have any tweaks or revisions that need to be made, I include two additional “rounds” of design work. However, in kick’s case, no additional changes were necessary. The client chose the following logo:

Final Logo Design - Final Approval Process - Approved Logo Design

Details, Details

So what was my exact concept when creating the chosen logo? I chose a metropolitan, Sex In The City-esque font to convey the modern look kick was going for. Keeping the text black was important because not only did it create a more contemporary feel, it’s also a very sleek and fashionable color choice.

The shoe that serves as the dot over the “i” is one I illustrated myself. To incorporate a slightly Victorian or vintage appearance, I looked at several shoe designs from the 1920s and 1930s. I illustrated this shoe to represent those of the time period. I also added a bow on the shoe to play up the femininity of the design.

Finally, by adding a splash of pink as a circular shadow underneath the shoe, the “dot over the i” idea is reinforced. Furthermore, it puts a sort of spotlight on the shoe itself, emphasizing the store’s product.

If you’d like to see how I’ve carried over these design ideals into kick’s other marketing materials, some of their collateral is featured in the portfolio section of my website at www.13thirtyone.com. You can also visit kick’s website, designed by yours truly, at www.kickonmain.com.

Logo Design Inspiration Part I

Logo Design Inspiration Part II

You might also be interested in the following article:

Logo Design Creation Process from Start to Finish by Expert Graphic Designer - Mark Misenheimer

Logo Design Creation Process from Start to Finish by Expert Graphic Designer - Jose Soto

[tags]logo design, logo design process, how to design a logo, logos, trademark design, design process, graphic design process, design logos, how to design logos, logo design article, logo design tutorial, logo design lesson, graphic design tutorial, design tutorial, trademarks, trademark design, corporate identity[/tags]

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19 Comments

  1. Posted April 14, 2008 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Great article. Coming up with a great logo design is alot easier once you do your research. I think many designers overlook the idea of getting to know the client, and the market.

  2. Posted April 15, 2008 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    Thank you. It was worthy to come here. I hope first time wouldn’t be the last, but will mark the beginning of our fellowship

  3. heidi
    Posted April 15, 2008 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    it’s very a practical way to be a good logo designer..I love the way you made it

  4. Posted April 17, 2008 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Fun article! Great advice to make a list of imagery. I have to disagree that after the list is a good time to go to the computer. Sketching is an extension of the list in my opinion and it should not be overlooked.

  5. Posted April 21, 2008 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    I start with talking with clients and learning about their business and clients, and then pencil and paper. But yes, typically logo “designers” skip these two steps. That’s why crappy “custom” logos cost $79 and add no value to the client.

  6. uosipa
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 2:46 am | Permalink

    Nice work in details and explanation, I’m just curious.. are you also the one who made the font of the letters? Is it also important to make self-made fonts instead of ready-made fonts?

  7. Posted May 9, 2008 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    Thats nice info and steps to create a great logo and create good branding…and knowing what the customer wants and is looking for and to what market are they selling their stuff …good article.

  8. Posted May 20, 2008 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Wow, a super great article. I wish I have read it earlier. I liked the technique of writing down the words associated with the company before going straight to your computer. What I always did was open photoshop and play, and that I found is not the most creative way.

    P.S. we are choosing a logo for our blog, can you help us pick the best one? If you don’t mind i post the address here: http://themilliondollarplan.net/which-logo/. I like the one with a pig.

  9. panerdante
    Posted June 5, 2008 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Nice job..Great article deserves a thumbs up..You know why? I like the details which broad and complete..You can easily understand in this content…I like it!

  10. JMac
    Posted July 17, 2008 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Funny that you chose to put a line over the letter “i” in “kick”… anyone who knows about pronunciation marks knows that a line over a vowel turns it into a long vowel, thus turning an innocent brand like “kick” into… well, in this case, a derogatory word for a member of the Jewish faith.

    Way to be on top of things and do your research! Please.

  11. admin
    Posted July 17, 2008 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Dear JMac. Thank you for your comments. I am sure that Angela didn’t intend to create a derogatory word from the logo Kick. In fact, if you look at the last image in the article, you will see that the line over the ‘i’ isn’t a line at all, it is a pink dot that you would put over a lowercase i. So it isn’t a line at all.

    Thanks again for your comment.
    Rachel
    Admin

  12. Posted July 25, 2008 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Hi Angela, love your logo, being a shoe - a - holic myself too!

  13. Posted October 21, 2008 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    The article is very interesting! A perfect logo design is easier once you read and do the research. Very good advice on writing a list of imagery

  14. Posted November 1, 2008 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Very nice!

  15. Posted December 23, 2008 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Ok first of all I would have to commend you on how the logo process was simplified for easier unnderstanding. Second, I hope that this logo example was made quickly as an example and was not actually made for a client. The logo looks amatuer and does not follow the principles of Graphic Design.

  16. Posted April 2, 2009 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    This was really helpful. How do you go abouyt pricing or charging for a logo design that really adds value to the customer (such as this article). Do you usually charge by the hour, or a flat rate? Thanks

  17. swirlface
    Posted October 29, 2009 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Thx for the article… I agree with Jmac (#11). The dot/line over the “i” is unnecessary. The shoe is already “dotting the i”, and would have worked better in pink.

  18. Posted January 27, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    This is an excellent blog, some really interesting information. I enjoyed reading and will certainly arrive back again quickly!

  19. Posted March 2, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful logo design! Thanks for the details and information… very creative!

16 Trackbacks

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  2. [...] through her communication with the customer, how to conceptualize and brainstorm, and much more. read more | digg [...]

  3. By pligg.com on April 16, 2008 at 12:34 pm

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    There are times when creating a logo can seem overwhelming. But in an industry where efficiency is key, I’ve learned a few tricks that help me to create logos that are effective, meet my clients’ objectives, and are portfolio pieces that I feel pro…

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  7. [...] logo design process from start to finish - kick Logo Design Creation Process from Start to Finish by… - We are very excited to have Angela Ferraro-Fanning guest write for us this week. Many of you will find that she is a graphic designer that is very talented and experienced. She wrote this article to guide you through her own creative logo design process, from start to finish. [...]

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  9. [...] Logo Design Creation Process from Start to Finish by Expert Graphic Designer : Angela Ferraro-Fannin… - We are very excited to have Angela Ferraro-Fanning guest write for us this week. Many of you will find that she is a graphic designer that is very talented and experienced. She wrote this article to guide you through her own creative logo design process, from start to finish. [...]

  10. [...] http://www.allgraphicdesign.com/graphicsblog/2008/04/14/logo-design-creation-process-from-start-to-f... [...]

  11. [...] the owner of 13thirtyone talks about some of her processes in her walkthrough of the logo creation for shoe boutique; Kick: It is my policy when working on a client’s logo that I present them with three concepts. I try [...]

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