One of the biggest challenges for logo designers is having a clear process. Without it, it's easy to stumble around for years, unsure of what you're doing or where you're headed.
Indeed, this was the case for me. When I first started designing logos, I found the creative process very daunting. Although I learned logo design at university, I didn't feel like I had learnt a process that prepared me for the real world, which made me feel quite out of my depth.
As as a young, introverted designer, I had a heaps of ideas, but found it really hard to communicate them. When it came to interacting with clients, taking briefs and presenting my ideas, I was terrified. I didn’t know what questions to ask and what to say, and the whole process felt like a roller coaster ride that I didn’t know how to stop.
This made me realise that I needed to figure out how to use the strengths of my introversion (such as being detail-oriented, a good listener, and needing to process feedback alone), to learn how to guide my clients through the logo design process all the while staying true to myself.
To achieve this, I knew I needed to establish parameters and create a defined process that suited my introversion. And that my approach should not only allow me to be authentic but also deliver top-quality and meaningful logos to my clients.
Working in a time-focused studio also added pressure – so I had to make sure my process was efficient and effective. I needed to know how to navigate any situation with confidence, regardless of whether things were going well or not.
Defining My Logo Design Process
With all of the above in mind, I sat down and identified each step I took in my logo design process. I already had an idea of what worked and what didn’t based on my experiences with clients, so I used that knowledge to detail what I needed to achieve in each step.
I ended up creating 9 steps in total. I named these steps the ‘9Ds’, and they are:
- Detail - Ask detailed questions
- Define - Define your brief
- Dig - Dig for research and inspiraton
- Draw - Draw your concepts
- Digitise - Digitise your concepts
- Deliver - Deliver your concepts
- Develop - Develop your concepts
- Dispatch - Dispatch the final logo
- Debrief - Review progress, ask for feedback
Once I had defined these steps, I created a process form that I could follow step-by-step while working with a client, and it worked really well for me. The process form helped me stay organised and focused in each step, and reduced my uncertainty and fear of missing important parts of the process along the way.
I noticed that when I tried to take shortcuts and skip parts of my process, especially the sketching part, something went wrong. My ideas ended up being generic and lacking the depth of meaning that a good logo should have. But when I stuck to my process, I ended up with results that not only excited me, but also made my clients very happy.
Sharing My Logo Design Process in My Guide
By consistently following my defined process, I have gained more confidence as a designer. I strongly believe in sharing knowledge and helping others, so I was keen to make this process accessible to logo designers who can benefit from it and also boost their confidence.
So I documented everything I knew about this process, providing detailed explanations of my approach for each step, while aiming to simplify it as much as possible. The result is my free downloadable PDF guide: Create Logos with Confidence.
Creating My Logo Design Process Kit
While writing this PDF guide, I realised that I had developed several resources over the years as part of my process. I knew these resources would be helpful to logo designers in speeding up and optimising their own process. Instead of creating a course, which often goes unused, I wanted to create something of immediate value that designers could use right away.
So I compiled a kit of resources to help you optimise your logo design process. Here's what I included:
- Logo Design Process Template & Worksheet: My process form that helps you follow the 9-step process (9Ds) digitally with Notion or in PDF format.
- Brief Questionnaire: My set of refined questions to gather the right information from clients for creating meaningful logo concepts.
- Presentation Template: A simple, one-page template without unnecessary fluff for presenting your concepts.
- Dispatch Resources: A client guide on logo file formats and a folder structure to organise your logo files effectively.
The logo design process kit is available for just $35 NZD. It allows you to stay on track, ask the right questions, present concepts quickly, and deliver the correct final logo files to clients.
Now you understand why having a clear process is important as a logo designer. Being able to navigate your work quickly and effectively will not only improve your workflow, but boost your confidence (like it did for me).
I hope I've inspired you to define your own process, making your future life as a logo designer just that little bit easier.
Feel free to use my process as is or tweak it to suit how you like to work. Start by reading my free process guide, Create Logos With Confidence, then when you're ready, upgrade your process with my Logo Design Process Kit (only if it won't cause you financial hardship).
If you’re a student and financially struggling, but keen to optimise your process, send me an email with some proof that you are a student - such as from your student email address - and I'll send you a discount code.