Six steps to the perfect logo

Getting the right logo is an important part of designing a website. And logos aren’t just limited to the web, but can of course be used in printed material too. This week’s guest blog comes from Vicki Willingham who runs VictoriaAnnDesign.com. It’s all about the steps she takes when designing a logo.

6 essential steps to design the perfect logo

I’ve been designing logos for a few years now. It started off as a hobby, and now I’m lucky enough to have turned it into work. Whenever someone asks me to design a new logo for them I always stick to the following steps.

1.The Brief
This bit is about asking the client the right questions. I’ll make sure I have all the details I need from the client including: style; preferred colours; orientation; and the message they want their logo convey.

2.Write it all Down
I’m someone who likes to think on paper, so I write down everything that comes to mind about the company and scribble thoughts and ideas around that. For example, if I were designing a logo for a financial company I might write jot down the words money, wealth, success, banking, saving…then continue with further words relating to each.

3.Start Drawing
Once I have my ideas and thoughts down in writing I begin to scribble them out as images. I keep drawing until I find an idea I’m happy with and can develop into a logo. I’ll usually also jot down colour ideas.

4.Get it on the Mac
Now I have my logo draft/s I’ll hop onto the laptop and get the idea onto the screen. Depending on what I’m doing, I might also be tracing the draft using a pen tablet. I’ll usually come up with a multitude of styles and variations and I’ll disregard probably 80% of those and work further on the 20% I choose to keep.

It takes time
This part of the process can take any time from a few hours to a week. Usually, if I have done the previous part of sketching out ideas properly, this shouldn’t take all that long.

It takes colour

I’ll usually design in black first to check the shapes come together well, before I apply colour. As well as designs looking fab in colour, it’s also important that logos work in black - it can look a mess on a photocopied corporate header otherwise! There are a few exceptions to this, I’m sometimes asked to make a logo that will only be used online for web based companies and that won’t be used on print at all. In that case, things are clearly a bit different and I feel happy to throw colour in from the start.

5.Get feedback from the client
The client is sent a copy of the logo to view. At this point I encourage revisions to ensure we’re all happy when the project is completed. There’s no telling how long this can take, but if we both understand the requirements at the beginning then it really does help.

6.Send the final version
So, when the logo is done, the files are ready and I’ll send them over to the client. Typically, I will provide an ai file; pdf; small jpg; large jpg; transparent png; opaque png; gif and a tiff.

So that’s about it.
The process looks really clear and straight forward, but life isn’t always like that. There are always some unforseen bits and pieces that get thrown into the works. But that’s the basic outline.

Vicki Willingham

Vicki is a freelance graphic designer and owner of VictoriaAnn Design, living in Suffolk, with her partner and young daughter. Vicki is an expert in logo design and corporate identify as well as designing brochures, posters and more.


Feb 1, 2010
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