Where do logos come from? (The birth of a logo)

Some things you can do yourself… others should not be attempted

The conception– When I design a logo, the first stage is to meet with the client and gather all the information possible. We discuss the service or product the company is offering, who they’re targeting, their likes and dislikes in regards to colors, etc., and of course, the name. In this meeting, we must discover the feel of the company in order to put together the right look. From there, we go into brainstorming; sometimes this occurs with the client, and other times it is an internal process with the Imagine team. From this brainstorming session and meeting, we have what we need to move on to the next step, which can be compared to the process of being pregnant, though usually it doesn’t take quite as long.

The 1st trimester– During this phase of the logo process, I do what I call a mental flush by writing any words or short phrases that have anything to do with the client and the service or product until nothing further comes to me. This process allows me to open up my mind and to move through the obvious into the original. At the finish of this process, I take my list and start circling the words and/or ideas that will take me to my next step.

The 2nd trimester– After I put all the ideas on paper, I pull out my pencil and a pad and begin drawing while consulting my list of words. At this point, the drawings are very simple, just enough to communicate the idea. I will try many variations of the same look as well as creating completely different looks; the further I can delve into it, the more original it becomes. At the end of this process, there can be anywhere from a page to several pages of small sketches. Of these sketches, I will once more go through and circle the most promising ideas.

The 3rd trimester– Once I have chosen the ideal sketches, I will saddle up to the computer to recreate the sketches digitally. I then provide the client with three completely different versions of the logo. I have found three to be a happy number, not so many as to confuse, not too few to lack variety.

The birth– Of the three versions, the client might choose one right off the bat. Or I might have to go back to the drawing board, where I will tear the logos apart, reconfigure them and present them once again to the client. During the birth of a logo, it can go back and forth between designer and client multiple times, or it can go quickly and easily. Just as in childbirth, there are no real deciding factors. Once the final logo is born, I bundle it up and send on its way to live a long, full life making the client happy.

NOTE: A good logo makes the company look good. By the same token, a poorly designed logo makes the company look bad. Therefore, designing and deciding on a logo is a delicate process. Since a logo identifies the company it represents, hiring a good designer is a great investment. There are people who will “design” a logo for $20, and there are “logo designing” programs that can be purchased. However, many factors are taken into account when designing a logo that truly represents a company. If done correctly, your logo will be a true reflection of your organization’s identity.

Cynthia Carbajal serves as Graphic Designer for Imagine Marketing.

Email Cynthia at ccarbajal@imnv.com.

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