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THE LOGO DESIGN PROCESS

Mandy Hernaez
Junior Graphic Designer
  Back To All

If you’ve never designed a logo yourself, then learning to understand the process from the designer’s perspective could prove helpful. It is one of the most fun and most challenging projects because it entails that a lot of information be communicated through a single symbol.

Last fall, Windsor Court Hotel charged DEVENEY with creating a logo for the property’s new coffee shop, Café Anglais, which opened in November 2016. It was an exciting challenge, and while every project is different, the process we followed outlines the essential steps to successful logo creation.

1. Vision Define what the logo should communicate. The boundaries should be broad enough for a designer to be inspired, but specific enough so that no one is left guessing or spinning their wheels in the wrong direction.

For this project, Windsor Court already had a well-established brand, so we needed to create something to fit within it. The goal of the new logo was to represent a petite English café, and the color palette with hues of blue, brown and cream had already been determined.

If you’ve never designed a logo yourself, then learning to understand the process from the designer’s perspective could prove helpful. It is one of the most fun and most challenging projects because it entails that a lot of information be communicated through a single symbol.

2. Inspiration Diving into inspiration is one of the most necessary parts of logo design. This phase includes studying what other people are creating, reexamining art and art history, and taking cues from a surrounding area. Inspiration can come from anywhere, as long as it is building the narrative and a unique look for your logo. For the Café Anglais logo, we were greatly inspired by English and French cafes, particularly those with hand-painted signs. Another great source of inspiration was Louise Fili’s book, “Scripts,” a large collection of scripts – or handwriting styles – categorized by region. 1

3. Sketch After immersing themselves in inspiration, the designers can begin to draft ideas. It’s important to remember that this is only first phase of execution, so not every idea will work; this is where problem solving and experimentation begins.

4. Polish Rendering a logo can be tedious because it’s important to pay attention to details and usually involves a lot of adjustments.

 

5. Color Color adds emotion, and your color choices should strengthen a logo’s message and composition. Soft pastels and neutrals will have an opposite feel than a palette with saturated or highly contrasted hues.

Within each of the steps listed are hours of research, tons of revisions and a lot of great and not-so-great ideas. The process can be adjusted, but it’s helpful to understand it in its entirety in case you’re ever faced with defining guidelines or providing feedback.

Deconstructing logos by trying to decipher their inspiration, message and color-communicated emotions is good practice for critique. Logo design is a project that takes compromise and collaboration, but it’s most often an engaging one that excites everyone involved.

What are your key steps for successful logo design? Tweet us @DEVENEYnola using the #DEVchat hashtag.

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