HOW TO BRAND YOUR COMPANY IN 4 STEPS
It's 7:00 AM, I've just finished a run with my puppy, and I've booted up my email for the first time since yesterday evening. I pop in my headphones, and I'm bombarded with chimes letting me know that I've missed 30-ish emails. I sink into my chair and begin replying to each one; answering questions, supplying quotes, and sending off files. However, there's one email I get more than any other, one email that I believe will populate my inbox for the rest of my days; "Logo Needed."
Back in April, I reached a huge personal milestone, 100 logos. To me, that's something truly incredible! At this moment, 123 (and counting) individuals, businesses, and national chains have trusted me to forge their mark and work with them hand-in-hand to create something unique. I could not be more grateful for the fantastic opportunities this has alotted me, so I wanted to share how my process works in hopes that everyone can see what goes into a logo. What follows is the actual branding process from one of my clients. It will detail how I collect information, create digital sketches, and finally present and deliver the end product.
STEP 1 - COLLECT
Information the most critical part of creating a logo. Every little nugget, tidbit, and detail that a client provides me with allows me to explore additional avenues and try out every possible creative channel. With that in mind, I'd like to share a questionnaire that I've developed over the years and that I send out to every client.
1 - What is the full name of your brand that will appear on the logo? (ex. Google, Google Inc., Google Incorporated, etc.)
2 - What is the story of your brand, how or why was it founded?
3 - What product(s) or service(s) does your brand provide? (If you offer something unique or uncommon, please describe it in detail.)
4 - Who are five of your competitors?
5 - Is there any iconography YOU WANT or DO NOT WANT to be associated with your brand?
6 - Please show me your visual design preferences. Please link to FIVE LOGOS YOU LIKE and FIVE LOGOS YOU DISLIKE so I have visual references to keep us on the same page at all times. (This is the most important question!)
7 - What is your timeline for project completion?
Once a client has completed my questionnaire, I'll send off any follow-up comments or questions before moving on to the next stage.
STEP 2 - DESIGN
We start with a process that I call digital sketching. I use a program called Adobe Illustrator, an Apple iMac, and a trackpad to draw out and typeset my ideas in black and white. Typically, I will create up to 10 iterations and present what I feel is the cream of the crop to the client. From there, I like to engage in a conversation about each individual logo and clearly define why I created the piece in the style and manner that I did.
When a client has nailed down a few favorites, I will complete any changes they had and present. We will keep this loop going until the client is absolutely in love with the final product.
STEP 3 - REFINE
Now that we have identified our winning mark it's up to me to create collateral, multiple file-formats for any occasion, and a fully customized brand guideline book that the client can present to any printers, companies, or even designers that they work with in the future to ensure that their logo is utilized correctly at all times.
While this is typically the longest of the four steps it is absolutely worth every second. I will tweak individual letters, align colors so that they reproduce across multiple mediums efficiently, dial in a consistent feel across the whole mark, and so much more.
When we’re finished, you’re left with a mark that not only emulate your brand, it connects you with your customers.
STEP 4 - HANDOFF
The final phase of this step is file handoff. I create a Google Drive link and share all of the vector and raster files, that the client has requested of me. From there, they can download and distribute as they see fit.
I distribute the files in multiple file formats and color ways to ensure that no matter where the project is going to live in the future it will always look its best. As an added bonus, if the client ever needs changes or revisions on the mark during its life I will make them at no additional charge this way we can guarantee that the mark will always look consistent.
While this is the end of the branding process, it is typically the beginning of an excellent working partnership going forward. I am blessed to continue doing work for so many of my clients after we complete branding. From annual reports and infographics to one-off projects and infinitely lasting relationships; clients from all over continue to work with me to this very day. So, tomorrow morning, and every morning after that I'll wake up, take the puppy out, and check my emails waiting for the next "Logo Needed" email to find it's way into my inbox.