Design & Branding

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28
May 2019

The brand identity and logo design process

Brand Identity and the Logo Design Process

Once you’ve decided to start your new business, organisation, or product, one of the first things you’ll need to do is to begin creating its identity and the logo design process. A brand is much more than just a logo design – it starts with a story to establish the background concept behind the brand. When done right it can create consistency in almost every aspect of your public appearance to encourage customer recognition and increase perceived reliability and trust.

 

The usual steps in the brand identity and logo design process are;

  1. Gather background information about the business / organisation / project and establish the brand story. This usually involves meeting a client for a chat over a coffee to hear their plans, thoughts, and ideas.
  2. Create initial concepts including logo ideas, colour palettes, fonts, and any supporting graphics such as patterns or icons.
  3. Get feedback from you (the client), I need to hear what you like and don’t like.
  4. Revise and refine selected concepts based on the bits the client likes, or create something new and different from the original concepts to compare.
  5. Get further feedback from the client to enable me to make tweaks and revisions as time allows. Sometimes this can require additional time and cost to work on additional feedback rounds.
  6. Finalise logo once the client is happy with the design
  7. Prepare final logo files package including the logo in standard (full colour on white), reversed (white on dark), and any alternative colour options. I’ll also include any additional graphic elements or patterns that are created as part of the branding process – e.g. a logo emblem could be used independently from the typographic logotype.
  8. Create style guide outlining the final logo, colour palette (including print and web colour codes), fonts, use of any additional elements, tagline, naming conventions where appropriate or available.
  9. Discuss additional work to produce stationery such as business cards and letterheads, brochures and other marketing collateral, a website, social media graphics, and any other graphic design that might be beneficial.

 


A brand is more than just a logo design

As part of the logo design and branding process I will explore the parts that contribute to your overall brand identity;

 

Typography

Selecting options for fonts, this will usually include;

  • Fonts used to form the logo (often these are customised and tweaked to create a final logo)
  • Decorative fonts used for headings (which may be the same as the logo)
  • Body copy font
  • Sometimes I’ll also suggest an additional font.

Once we select our typefaces, I’ll also suggest the usage of the font styles, e.g. using bold for headings and light weights for body copy. Artwork generally looks cleaner and better when we limit fonts to only two or three weights and styles. Just like for colours, it’s easier to create consistency when the selection is limited.

 

Brand Colours

Selecting colour palettes, often consisting of two or three colours with additional darker and lighter shades. I’ll take inspiration from anything related to the brand or brand story to pick some suitable colour palettes.

 

Supporting Graphics and Styles

As part of the logo design process I’ll often create graphics such as icons or patterns, and help define a standard style for these elements. We might follow solid block colours, isometric, flat design, or thin line styles in the overall brand artwork. Sometimes I create custom icons for the brand, sometimes I source an existing set – depending on requirements and available time.

 

Standard Copy & Formatting

You may already have a tagline, or we might create one as a separate project – if a tagline exists then I’ll include it in the logo designs and in the style guide. It’s also a good idea to standardise how your brand name should be written (for example what capitalisation is used or if it should always be spelled out in full, not abbreviated). ow your address, phone numbers, email, and website addresses are written. These small details all helps give consistency to your brand identity.


Example brand style guides created for a variety of clients

These are examples of quick reference single page style guides. I include this in all full logo and branding design projects. Larger brands may wish to develop the style guide further into a book or online version.


How do we get started creating a brand and the logo design process?

Every project starts somewhere, and that is usually with a name.

 

What’s in a name?

Your name is a key part of your identity, but many clients rush into this decision early without fully researching the options. Don’t settle for an average name or generic acronym – let’s try to find something great. Your name can be clever, memorable, and related to your industry or personality. Usually a client will already have a name in mind when they contact me, but if not then I can help you come up with one. This usually consists of a few hours extra research and brainstorming ideas for you.

Having a web presence is vital these days (and I build websites too), so as part of the naming and branding process I’ll search for and suggest available domain names, so you can get yourbrandname.com for your website and email addresses. I can provide domain name registration services along with managed website hosting and email. It’s a first step to taking care of your online needs.

 

How long does the brand and logo design process take?

The design process usually takes 2-3 weeks, depending how urgent it is and how quickly I can find the style that suits both you and the subject matter. It’s good to give yourself time to absorb the concepts and to communicate clear feedback, just as it’s important to allow time for me to fully explore the creative concepts – particularly at the early stage. The whole logo design process is rarely completed in less than a week but has been known if there’s a tight deadline. Just let me know if you need things quickly, I can usually accommodate it.

 

What does brand identity and logo design work cost?

It can vary by project, but most projects take between 30-40 hours to complete. This is typically spread over a period of 2-3 weeks. It’s not an exact science, as some design projects can require more time, but others less. We’ll try to figure out an appropriate and agreeable estimate in our initial discussions – perhaps you already have a clear concept to follow, or an established brand that needs extending or updating, which can save time on some of the concept work.

For standalone brand and logo design work I typically work at a rate of US$50/hour, depending on the size of the project. This works out to a quotation of $1,000 to $2,000 for most projects. If we’re doing a larger overall project including stationery, collateral, and website design too then I’m happy to work out a good deal for both of us.

When we start, I usually give a firm quote for a set block of hours and require a 50% deposit. If the work requires a lot of additional design rounds and goes significantly over the estimated hours then it would require adding additional time and cost. But this only happens rarely, usually we can complete everything within the planned time. On the other hand, if we do finish quicker than expected (sometimes I do manage to get it right first time) then we can reallocate the spare hours to creating additional graphic elements, or collateral such as business cards.

 


If you’re interested in creating a brand and going through the logo design process for your new venture then please get in touch. I’d be happy to hear your ideas and provide a quotation.

You’ll probably also want to take a look at my past branding work and logo design portfolio.

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Joe Ogden
Website Design & Development
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
[email protected]