Step 5: Digitise
You’ll most likely spend most of your time in this step bringing the concepts to life.
How long you take will vary depending on how well you know the vector program you use, but in general you should be aiming for 4-6 hours to digitise three concepts.
Create the digital renders
Make sure to always render your concepts in vector format. Vectors can be infinitely scaled in size without losing quality, which means they will always look crisp and clear.
When you enlarge a logo that’s been made from a photo, it can create a blurry ‘pixelated’ low quality image. It also makes it much harder to produce the logo in other media, such as embroidery or signwriting.
Educate your client on this if they ask for a photograph to be incorporated into their logo; they most likely won’t know the limitations that will result from this request.
Use Adobe Illustrator
Illustrator is the leading vector editing software in the market. With Adobe Illustrator you’re able to control every aspect of the digitising process, with tools for shape-building, making gradients, perspective grids, brush effects, and more.
In Illustrator, create an artboard for each concept. I like to use a square 300mm x 300mm board for each of my concepts. I find this size ensures there’s enough vector points to work with when I go to tidy it it up later.
Work in black and white
Colour naturally has an effect on the way things look and feel, so while you’re concentrating on getting the form and function of the concept right, digitise in black and white.
Don’t get stuck on the details
It’s likely you’ll see small details that need tweaking the more you look at your concepts...
“Ah, I’ll just soften the curve of that line. Perhaps adjust the kerning slightly as well...”
Suddenly you’ve been at it for hours!
Remember, you’re creating concepts to get feedback, so they won’t be finished designs.
If your ideas are coming through in the concepts, then leave the small tweaks and refinements for later on when your client has chosen one to develop.
Allow yourself time to explore the concepts. Try different fonts, adjust position of objects, and so on. But make sure you’re aware of the time you’re spending. If you can’t get something to work in your concept after 20 minutes, let it go and move on to trying something else.
Check each concept is ready
When you think your concept might be ready to present, ask these questions:
- Is the idea demonstrated in this concept?
- Does it fit the brief?
- Do I feel excited about this concept, does it give me the feeling that it’s working?
If any of these questions return a ‘no’, figure out specifically what you need to do to get a ‘yes’.
Talk to a fellow designer, and ask for their perspective.
It can help to step away from your computer, focus your eyes away from the screen and then come back to your screen and take note of what your immediate thoughts are when you see the concepts again.
Once you can answer ‘yes’ to all questions, you’re ready to deliver your concepts in the next step.