When Ideas Happen: Logo Design
A little exploration into when viable logo ideas come to life during the design process. By Shawn Hazen
A new client was asking me recently about the logo design process and whether he would see pencil sketches or something more refined. I pointed out that I can bring the client in at different points in the process. Sometimes, to save time and money, I can share the preliminary list of concepts, before sketching even begins. But there are drawbacks to doing this and limiting the number of directions so early.
In explaining why this is, I found myself describing the process in terms of three distinct phases, each of which helps weed out the weaker concepts and also produces new, stronger ideas. Being a visual type, my inclination was to make a diagram showing how this works.
So above, you’ll see a typical logo design project mapped out. The initial phase is brainstorming. It yields most of what will be explored. The sketching phase begins to vet the ideas that merit exploration. It also reveals new directions through exploring the relationship of type and other forms. Bringing sketches to the computer during the design phase and refining them presents another opportunity to discover new formal possibilities, while also determining which ideas from the previous rounds are actually going to work.
In all, a couple dozen (or more) concepts may be considered, but only a few will actually become designs. And of those, a smaller few will actually be strong enough—and meet enough of the client’s requirements—to make the final cut. That’s the time to present.
The best way to for the client’s input to inform the process is by having thorough conversations before it begins. Then all the concepts start out on the right foot and are measured against the client’s goals throughout. So after the process runs its course, everything shown should be on target.