Step 1: Detail

The first and one of the most crucial steps, is to get information from your client by asking them some questions. This is generally referred to as taking a brief.

A brief, put simply is an outline of a project. It provides you with knowledge, insights and constraints to help you get a good idea of what your client needs. 

A good brief will help you narrow down the scope of the project, stay focused and create something both relevant and meaningful for the brand. 

As well as details your client gives you, a brief can also include self-sourced information, where you have used your intuition and ‘read between the lines’. This can happen in conversation with your client, or if you are at the brand’s headquarters you can look around for any clues. 

Getting the right ‘detail’ out of your client is very important. If you ask the right questions from the beginning, you’ll be setting yourself up for a smooth-flowing process, successful result, and most importantly, a happy client!

Get detail with a questionnaire

A questionnaire is a great way to ensure you get crucial information right at the beginning, and there are a few ways you can approach asking these questions. 

Each way has advantages, and the appropriate method will most likely depend on where your client is in the world and how available they are to answer them for you.

Email / online form

The advantage of emailing your questions or sending your client an online form is that they have the time to do some research and really think through the answers.

Many times I’ve sent clients my logo questionnaire and they’ve commented on how they appreciate the questions and how they’ve made them think about their business, what they want to achieve and how they want to be visually represented.

Set up a questionnaire with an online form builder (such as Jotform), or ask them via email – either in the email body or attached as an editable PDF. 

In person / phone call

Taking a brief in person or on the phone is a great way to get insights of the personality behind the brand. 

Have a copy of your questionnaire with you to reference as you go. If you tend to get nervous in these situations or easily forget things you want to talk about, referring back to the questionnaire will help you stay on track and give you confidence that all questions will be covered.  

Over time, you’ll probably find you don’t need to refer to your questionnaire as much, as the conversation will flow naturally and you’ll be well practiced at helping your clients to open up and speak about their brand.

If the meeting is taking place at their office/premise, you may notice elements that are significant to their story. Ask about them. They may contain meaning that could be incorporated into the logo design.

Be conscious of how much talking you are doing in the conversation. The more you can get your client to talk about their brand, the clearer your brief will become.

Make sure you avoid leading the client into agreeing on how you think the logo should look. 

Let them talk, and listen

Questions you can ask 

The key to successful brief taking is to ask open questions. Closed questions (yes or no answers) don’t give your client space to go into detail, and you want that detail – that’s what this step is all about! 

Some questions you can ask during a logo briefing are:

  • Who do you help, and how?
  • Are there any brands out there you like the look of, and why?  
  • Who are your competitors, what makes you different?


Bringing the principal of open questions into your everyday conversations is a great way to practice and become confident in taking client briefs. 

Next time you’re having a chat with someone, ask “What have you been up to lately?”, instead of “How are you?”, which tends to lead to the stock-standard answer of “I’m fine thanks, how are you?”.