Great logo designs look incredibly simple. It’s easy to understand why one could think they are just as easy to create. Understanding how logos are designed is one way we can learn to appreciate logo design.
Let’s face it … it’s emotional
Remember, a logo, as art, is subjective. Is anyone objective when it comes to expressing what their emotions tell them about a piece of art? We are all designers. We all have preferences as to what we see and like. We are all creative. But this is not what makes a good designer.
Designers are problem solvers
Designers take what they hear from their client’s assigned decision-making group and the established brief and they synthesize all this information. All comments, likes and dislikes are taken into consideration. They develop a conceptual idea around the subject. With the help of the decision-makers, they build powerful words around that subject to help form the appropriate concept.
The process of logo design
One of the greater elements of logo design, beyond creating an iconic design, is, designers typically work with a group of high level decision-makers. Often C-suite and close to it. These people are smart, know their business and are able to make major decisions. We all know how important branding is. And this is where the designers problem solving capabilities come in. Bringing all this together and coming up with a visual icon is the art of problem solving.
Key to making the process easier
It is most productive if the decision-making group is limited to 2-6 of those you believe can contribute meaningfully to the process. As the saying goes…“too many cooks spoil the broth.” Less is more. Keep it simple.
The designers process
Picture this …. the designer goes into a cognitive creative space where all those ideas come together visually for them. The design reveals itself as the designer goes deeper into the creative process. The process to a great logo develops over time, with thought and creative experimentation. The designer goes through many iterations and transformations to come up with a few solid choices worthy of presenting.
Arriving at a great design
As a graphic designer, it is my experience that there are often many solutions to a great logo design but the final decision is based on the consensus of the decision-makers. We learn to rely on these people who are chosen to work on the branding and make decisions for the greater good. Once again, you can see the importance of this group.
Listening to everyone
Logo designs are presented and often modifications are made based on client feedback with the designers input. Designers will typically rein in and modify ideas that just don’t work and integrate ones that will. The reasons for making certain design decisions are not always apparent. Asking questions helps the designer discover what is not working so we can come up with a suitable solution. This, ultimately, helps people “own” the logo.
It can also be helpful to gather other opinions including appropriate prospective / current customers and internal team members, just in case there are perspectives being overlooked. Don’t react to every opinion. The designer and the decision makers have the final say.
Are we there yet
The final logo is either determined by finding the mutually agreed upon perfect solution or, unfortunately, sometimes just adhering to a designated timeline typically contingent on another event. Everyone is ready to move forward with the branding implementation.
There are many ways to get there but acknowledging everyone’s input helps build a great design that all can embrace and that speaks to the target audience.
When people react to a logo and voice their opinions online, it seems they are often coming from an emotional place, and not always a rational one. Knowing the process helps one understand that a logo is not always perfect in everyone’s eyes. Yes, often there is room for improvement needed but we never know the entire story of what is behind the logo development.