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 - Mark Misenheimer

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

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:

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.

Logo and Branding Look

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.

Logo Doodles and Sketches

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)

Logo Design Step 6 - Illustrator

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.

Logo Designs to Client Tighter

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.

Logo Design Refined

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.

Present Logo Edits to the Customer

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.

Final Blackberry Creek 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.

You might also be interested in reading the following articles:

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

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

Designing A Catalog From Conception To Completion - A Catalog Design Tutorial

More Logo Design and Branding Articles

Logo Design Inspiration Part I

Logo Design Inspiration Part II

[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 July 23, 2008 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Cool process, Love to see the progression and thoughts behind work. Not sure about the final Font used, I much preferred some of the other versions that were presented :)

  2. Posted July 24, 2008 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    Cool photoshop tutorial!

  3. Posted July 24, 2008 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Nice work, although you should of done a better job selling them on the top center logo+typeface, where the “B and “Y” are uppercase, and the “Y” mimics the logo pointedness.
    Half the job of design a designer is not letting your client make decisions, but deciding for them, selling it, and letting them think they decided on it.

  4. lisa
    Posted July 24, 2008 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Nice tutorial, but I don’t understand how you came up with the little people figures…? They weren’t in your original sketch - is that something that was provided by the client? Would be nice to know how the concept of the colorful people was developed. Thx.

  5. Posted July 25, 2008 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    It’s really interesting to read other designers processes, not only how they create the final logo, but how you liaise with the client.

  6. Chris Howard
    Posted July 25, 2008 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Yeah, what Lisa said. :)

    Also wondering if you submitted that many font variations to the client?

  7. Posted July 28, 2008 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    This was wonderful to see! As I just recently dove head first into logo design, I am thrilled to see that I wasn’t too far off track. I printed this one out! :)

  8. Nancy
    Posted July 30, 2008 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    This design works great for paper print or website use but will not work well on corporate clothing. I work for a Screenprinting/Embroidery company and we run into problems all the time with fonts being to small or “frilly” to stitch on clothing. The lettering “Community Church” is way to small for embroidering on the front left chest of a garment. Please remember when creating a logo that it needs to work on various mediums (one of which is clothing).

  9. L Green
    Posted August 7, 2008 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Thanks, it was great to see the process from a design standpoint. I was also curious of the colorful people. No designer should be expected to know every nuance of every industry, the process SHOULD involve the client. It’s great being able to make their ideas come alive, and great when they love your ideas like their own.

  10. Mark
    Posted August 8, 2008 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    I love how the orange guy is punching the green guy in the face while ALSO kicking him in the crotch.

  11. Posted August 16, 2008 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    The only opinion that matters is that of the person PAYING for it. I’ve been in this game so long now that I know this for sure. It’s not about what you or your friends or anyone for that matter thinks about it - it’s for the client and his or her friends, family and colleagues – that you must design.
    Know who you are designing for and your work will succeed. God job with that graphic of the colored people. Sometimes a simple – common generic approach is best. PARTICUALRY if this is a company’s first real logo. They want to feel as though they are finally part of the upper echelon and how they achieve that feeling is simple – they just have to fit in. They don’t want to still be different – they want to be like them but unique in a subtle way. Blackberry creek achieves this with the cliché abstract group of people that represents community. The subtle differentiator they need to stand apart from the others (but not too far) is the unique font face used.

    An established company on the other hand - that’s already had a pro-logo and needs to differentiate themselves in a crowded market would need a very unique design – this does not apply to that scenario.

    In short – Know your audience and their situation. Don’t simplify, don’t design for yourself (this is not your logo) and DO NOT ignore the complicated variables of your clients situation / scenario, culture or clients.

  12. daxa
    Posted August 22, 2008 at 2:54 am | Permalink

    RE: Mark #10 comment

    :) Thats soo funny. I see how the orange guy is kicking the other one.

    Good observation.

  13. Posted February 27, 2009 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Take that green man!!! KARATE chop!!!

  14. graphicartist2k5
    Posted May 1, 2009 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    i wholeheartedly agree that graphic design is about the designer meeting the need of their client, which means that the designer HAS to listen to what their client wants from them, and NOT assume that they already know. not the other way around. design is way different from art in that aspect, as well as other aspects. from my experience thus far, it’s ALWAYS the best idea to come up with at the very least 3 different concepts for a logo design that are all based loosely on what the client wants, and keep building on the changes the client wants made to their design of choice. it’s EXTREMELY vital for a graphic designer to stay open to change, because inevitably, your client will want you to change something that you thought was a good design simply because their vision of the design is different from yours. i personally think the fontface for “blackberry creek” is excellent, mainly because it’s different from what’s already out there, and maybe that’s the point of the design, to tell people “we’re a Christ-centered church that’s not your usual church steeped in human traditions”.

  15. Posted September 1, 2009 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    this is the most useless stoopid thing ive ever seen!!!! GRRRRR

  16. Posted September 18, 2009 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much !

  17. Posted October 30, 2010 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    after many years of freelance work and dozens of projects under my belt i eventually came to the sad conclusion that as a graphic designer you really aren’t an artist. If someone wants something ugly and they are willing to pay, you just listen and take the beating like a man. Its a business, not the museum of contemporary art. ONCE in a while a sane client comes along that gives you some freedom to do something half decent that follows normal standards of what we like to call “good design”, but other than that, you just a pixel pusher for hire.

  18. Posted March 7, 2011 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the post, good to see the process built from scratch.. keep up the good work!

  19. Posted March 14, 2011 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    Nice, creative and informative designs! Thanks for the tutorial!

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  6. [...] Logo Design Creation Process from Start to Finish by Expert Graphic Designer : Mark Misenheimer - 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. [...]

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