In this digital age, everything is fast-paced, fleeting, and just a lot more than what it was years ago. It is so easy for brands to get lost in the buzz and blend in the background – something you do not want to happen ever.
What will give you that “wow” factor? What will make your brand stand out and be unforgettable? Short answer: You need clear-cut visual branding. One way to achieve that is through a logo design that screams you.
This may be the reason that led you here, dear reader. You want to create a brand that people will remember. Luckily, we know exactly how to do that. Here, we condensed everything we know and made it into the ultimate guide for your logo design process.
So, read on!
These are the visual elements that you use to communicate the identity and personality of your brand. Imagine your brand as a character, visual branding makes it easy to recognize and set it apart from other brands with the help of graphic elements.
- Color palette
- Design elements
An example of this is the show Wednesday on Netflix. When you see Wednesday Addam’s all-black outfits, you immediately think that she is serious and dark. On the other hand, when you see Enid Sinclair’s colorful outfits, you get the impression that she is friendly, bright, and positive.
What Makes a Brand Distinct?
There are a lot of things that can make your brand stand out. But, if we are talking about it at a fleeting glance, then the answer is the powerful combination of strong visual branding and emotional impact.
For emotional impact, this can be:
- Aspirational qualities
On the other hand, visual branding is translated into cues like the ones we mentioned earlier. But, for the sake of this article, we are focusing more on logo design.
Why is Logo Design Crucial for Brand Identity?
Think of it this way, you can recognize your friends and family because they have a face and defining features about them. The same goes for brands – logos are the face. All it takes is to see it and they immediately remember who you are and your name.
Of course, this is not the sole reason why it is a crucial element:
- It creates a positive and lasting first impression.
- It communicates the story and mission of your brand.
- Because your brand is more recognizable, people are bound to trust you more.
- From being recognizable and trusted, consequently, having a logo enables people to build a connection with you.
- It becomes one of the defining elements that people will use to differentiate you from the crowd.
Step-By-Step Logo Design Process for Impactful Visual Branding
With that in mind, let us focus on creating your logo. Nowadays, there are a lot of tools available on the Internet that will generate logos for you. You can even do a quick search, pick a logo that looks nice, and use it as a peg for your graphic design process.
However, these will surely just make your brand easy to forget and not stand out. Neither of us wants that from you. So, we are sharing our logo design process in this step-by-step guide so you can follow it too.
Step 1: Evaluate Your Brand
Yes, you know and understand your brand. But sometimes you need to take a step back and really look at it. Flesh it out and put it into writing: What is your brand’s essence that resonates with your people (audience)?
Here are a couple of things you need to consider carefully:
- What are your core values?
- What is your mission?
- Who are the people you want to reach?
- If your brand is a person, who are they?
Step 2: Research the Industry You Are In
Introspection is only the first step. Next, you need to look outwards—understand the industry you are in, the businesses that compete with you, and the market you cater to.
Having a clear picture of the landscape you are trying to navigate and, ultimately, aiming to dominate and lead, is also a defining element that shapes your brand.
This includes things, like:
- Target Audience
This helps you figure out what is your brand’s strategic advantage and what makes it unique. But it is more than that, having “the lay of the land” gives you an idea of the direction you want to take your brand and its mission in the long run.
For this step, you can also answer these questions:
- What are the dominant visual trends in the industry right now?
- How do most of your competitors’ logos look?
- What are the visual preferences of your target audience?
- What are the industry-specific symbols that you need to avoid or leverage?
- More importantly, how can you use your logo to communicate with your brand while remaining relatable and relevant?
Step 3. Make a List of the Logo’s Uses
Of course, you also need to be practical. For this step, you need to figure out how you will use your logo and where people will see it. Think of your logo as a long-term investment. You will be using it for the following years as the face that people see and remember.
Here is a list of ways you most likely will use it:
- Social Media Channels
- Printed Materials
- Promotional Merchandise
Step 4. Sketch a Variety of Logo Concepts
Now that you have a better idea of who your brand is and how you will use your logo, the next step is to actually design it. Start with a sketch first. Here, you do not have to limit yourself – be bold and really experiment. Naturally, you still need to factor in a couple of things.
- Your brand identity
- Simplicity or maximalism?
- How it will look in different sizes and placements?
- What are the elements that symbolize your mission, vision, and industry?
- What will capture the essence of your brand?
Step 5. Create a Digital Logo in Vector Software
When you have your top 3 designs that capture who you are as a brand, you translate that into vector art. The purpose of this step is to cement your logo and see how it will look in full color and different mock-ups.
Moreover, when you create your logo using vector software, you ensure a couple of things too:
- You can refine your logo design to make it more precise.
- This allows you to look at your logo designs on a different medium which lends you to a different perspective.
- This enables you to easily use and adapt it for several applications, from a simple small icon on your social media page to a billboard, without compromising its quality.
- Lastly, having a vector version of your top 3 selections enables you to collaborate with other people. They can take your graphic design drafts and provide different reinterpretations of these logos.
Step 6. Refine Your Logo Design
There is no doubt that you took the time and effort to design a well-thought-out logo that captures the essence of your brand.
With that said, we want to emphasize the importance of taking a step back and criticizing your work. You may even get a fresh pair of eyes to look at it to get more feedback. This step aims to put the final touches, even if it is minute, to add that ‘X’ factor to your design.
Of course, there are other reasons as well:
- Check that each visual element of your logo design is understandable, even at a glance.
- Ensure that your design captures your brand while still leaning into your audience’s preferences.
- Assure that your logo transcends the current trends to make it timeless and enduring since you will be using it for quite a long while before updating it again.
Step 7. Prepare and Deliver the Final Logo Files
Last, but not least, when you and the executives of your brand are happy with the final design of your logo, you can now reveal it to the world. If you think about it, creating a new logo is like having a new haircut and a new style to boot. It would be a waste to go through all that trouble and not flaunt it. In this case, you want to display it across all your touchpoints.
More than that, it is also another way to create buzz around your brand. It is one of the many ways to reignite people’s interest. This is especially true if your new visual branding resonates with your target audience.
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind as well:
- File Formats
- Color Swatches and Specifications
- Font Details
- Logo Variations
- Naming Conventions
- Usage Guide
Your logo design is the face of your brand – literally. It is just one of the elements that tie your visual branding story and leave a lasting impact on people. Of course, there are a lot of ways to go about this—like looking for visual pegs online and even using AI tools to generate some logos. However, keep in mind, that it may just backfire and make your brand fade into the background if the result looks generic.
So, we encourage you to be hands-on in this process. It is okay if you do not have a designer on your team. You can partner with a trustworthy agency and avail of their graphic design services. The goal is to distill your intent, goal, and brand identity into a logo.