Creating the Logo / Identity for “Blackberry Creek Community Church”
This article was written by the very talented, Mark Misenheimer of Misenheimer Creative, Inc. Mark is an expert freelance graphic designer who has been in the design business for years. He has documented the design of a logo from start to finish in order to help other graphic designers. I know that you will learn something from this tremendous logo design article. If you are a graphic designer, then please consider documenting your graphic design proecess to help other designers as well. If you need a talented graphic designer then take a look at his site and consider him for the project. If you are a graphic designer yourself, take a look at Mark’s website to get some design inspiration.
Step 1: Learn about the project from the prospective client
Have them review your web site, then have a meeting or phone conversation, sharing your past work samples in person or via email. Discuss needs, learn more about what they like and do not like, ask if they have a budget, and what the timeline is, and finally and prepare a
Step 2: If the Client approves the provided Estimate:
Send the Client your “Creative Brief”, a list of questions for them to tell you about logos that they like, logos that they do NOT like, color schemes they have in mind or that are already in use in the industry, and etc.
Have Client sign said Estimate fax/scan/mail it back to you, along with 50% of the fee, BEFORE you begin any work.
If the Client did not approve the Estimate, see if you can find out if they chose another firm or decided not to proceed at this time, or etc. This will help you know where you fit within the marketplace.
Step 3: Got some $ in Hand? Good, Online, start doing competitive research on other firms or organizations that are in the same type of business space as your Client, so you can develop a logo and branding look that will equal and hopefully rise above the competitors, thus helping your Client and you.
Save local low res/review copies on your computer, if you choose to refer back to later. Also review logo books, like Big Book of Logos 5, where about 70 of our logos for Clients appear, and other sources.
Step 4: With your Creative Brief back from the Client, start doodling! WIth the ancient piece of equipment called a ‘pen’ on tracing paper.
Start drawing the things that come to mind, like in this case for the Blackberry Creek Community Church logo, ‘blueberries’ were something i had to get out of my system to see if that was going to work. The tracing paper will allow you to move your drawings over one another, so use several sheets, and explore combinations, rotations and etc.
Step 5: Keep the communication goal of the logo in the forefront of your mind at all times. The Concept is king here, not just a cool drawing/icon/doodle. You want to be creative, but in the end, if the logo does not clearly communicate in a variety of sizes and formats exactly what it is that your Client provides to its prospects immediately, your logo will be less successful. Same with typography choices.
What does your Client do again? How does your visual represent either that or a quality about the firm that needs to be highlighted?
Step 6: After working and letting it ‘rest’ for a couple days, go back and sketch some more then take your top 5 to refine a little tighter in Illustrator (so that you can have a resultant vector file)
Scan your sketches. Stay loose but use Illustrator’s fine tracing tool, and bring your top 5 in. Clean up some, but not too much, since only 1 of these will be used (or not)
Step 7: Provide tighter roughs from Illustrator as pdfs to the client
Step 8: Get feedback from Client, making sure they are clear about what you did, and making notes of their requested edits, hopefully to their top 1 or 2 of the roughs.
Step 9: Provide ‘Edits, Round 1’, logos to Client.
Step 10: Get new feedback from Client, making notes of their requested edits, hopefully you are now working on their top 1 choice. Make sure they stay on course, and watch for ‘scope creep’ (unplanned additions to the original quote, or number of edits, etc.)
Step 11: In Illustrator, refine and perfect the chosen logo, making variations; also, make one in all black and white, to make sure your logo will hold up on a fax or a photocopy, and then create one in the colors, showing the black and white to the client first.
Step 12: Present ‘Edits, Round 2’, logos to Client in B/W, and later, or sep. email, send the color version over. You don’t want the colors to unduly influence their perception of the overall logo.
Step 13: Make Round 3 edits if needed; Or, Client approves and you finalize and prep the final .eps and native Illustrator file for him/her, making sure that you have reviewed the logo enlarged on screen for any remaining “less than perfect” edges or areas, and also insuring that you have converted all fonts to outlines, so that no actual font is embedded in the final logo.
Step 14: Client pays promptly and gives you a free bonus trip to Hawaii. Or something like that. Paying promptly would be good enough.
Step 15: Referral from the Client, and next project! Booyaa! Don’t forget to include this new logo on your site’s samples and also print a copy for your portfolio, to show to the next prospective Client.
This article was written by the very talented, Mark Misenheimer of Misenheimer Creative, Inc. If you need a talented graphic designer then take a look at his site and consider him for the project. If you are a graphic designer yourself, take a look at Mark’s website to get some design inspiration.
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