Logo design: Process for clients

Brands are not logos

Logo Design: What, How and Why.


Logo design is an important part of a branding strategy. What is a logo? What makes a good logo? What is the process of designing a logo? Many people design logos with little or no research. They create a logo that fails to support their brand and doesn’t impact their target audience. The goal of a logo isn’t to look pretty. So, what is the purpose of a logo?

Logos are a visual cue.

Many people mistake a brand to be a logo. They’re one piece of your branding strategy. They’re a visual cue to what your brand represents. A brand is your promise to customers. Your brand is your company’s core values. Majority of your brand development won’t viewed by  your audience. They will never be aware of the planning that goes into developing your brand.

Graphic Designers create visual identities that support your company’s brand.

Before you design a logo you should know the following:

  • What values does your brand have?
  • What are you promising your customers?
  • What are your brand drivers? What are the attributes of your brand? What are the benefits? For example, does your brand promise to save the consumer time? Does it promise status?
  • What is your brand persona?  Your brand persona is the humanistic characteristics that customers would expect. The brand persona should support your core values.
  • What is your brand name?  Your name should reflect your company’s values and purpose. It should be easy to say, unique, memorable and create associations with your brand.
Why your brand is not a logo

Some graphic artists can assist you in developing your brand research. Check with your graphic artist if this is a service they provide. Your graphic designer will be able to choose colors and typographic treatment that support your brand. They will be able to develop a style guide on how and when to use images and their style. They will also be able to define a consistent tone to your brand identity. Is it conservative or informal?

Logo design is one segment of your visual identity. Your visual identity is one piece of your branding strategy, but it is not your brand. Everything that your consumer comes in contact with affects your brand. Everything must support the promises you’ve made to your customers. A brand is your promise. Your logo is a visual cue that supports this promise to your customers.

Characteristics of a great logo

The goal of logo design is to represent a company or organization quickly and effectively. Logos represent a company’s brand through a visual identity.

Some good principles to follow when designing your logo are:

  • It should be clear and readable small and large. For example, the logo should be able to go on a pencil or on the side of a vehicle and look great. Depending on the medium, some logos have variations. The main elements of the logo should remain the same.
  • Don’t get caught up in fads. Logos should be timeless. It should be relevant in 10, 20 or 50 years from now.
  • Make it memorable. Logos need to make a good impression on the consumer. There is a short amount of time that your audience will see your company’s logo. Does it make an impact on them? Will they remember it?
  • Does it attract the right audience? Your logo should influence your target audience. Your logo should support your marketing plan.

Developing a logo: The Process


  • External factors: What's the industry like. Your graphic artist will research what the competitors are doing. They'll figure out what tone the industry is using. Is it conservative or informal?
  • Internal factors: What's your company's marketing plan? Your graphic artist will discuss with the client what their target audience is. What's the business goal? What makes them different from their competitors?


Graphic artists will many quick sketches of the logo. The designer will present the strongest versions of the logo to the client. These versions are refined before shown to the client.


The client will decide which logo to go forward with. Small changes might be requested. Once approved, the graphic designer will start to produce the final version. The designer will also create secondary variations of the logo for different mediums.

Final Output

The graphic designer will produce the different variations and file formats required.

Logo design takes research, planning and time. A skilled graphic designer will be able to design a logo that your target audience will resonate with. The logo should support your brand’s values, persona and objectives. If you’re interested in having a logo designed for your business, visit my Logo Design Page and request a quote for your project.

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Erin Gleig

Erin Gleig

Erin Gleig builds marketable online identities for small businesses and busy entrepreneurs. She is the owner of EMG Design, a digital design studio in Delta, Canada.

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