Creative process of making a brand logo
Create or rebrand your company’s identity
What’s the point of having a logo? What’s the difference between a good and a bad one? How to create a good logo?
When anyone thinks about the word “logo”, images of big brands automatically stand out in their mind. Why do these brand logos mark our folklore so much and more importantly, how to replicate this success in your own work? Here at Jim, there are many steps (listed below) to the creation of a great brand identity. But before getting into it, let’s take a moment to define what makes a logo a great logo.
The first target of your logo is to properly identify your company. Your emblem must be easily recognizable, memorable and stand out from your competitors. To do so, the brand image of your company should appropriately convey its values. To be identified at first sight, the logo should not be too crowded visually, simplicity is a must. This allows the logo to breathe and to adapt depending of its use (web site, business cards, merchandise, wrap, etc.).
The project behind this blogpost
To celebrate the fifth operation year of my career as a freelancer, I made the decision to fully rebrand my company. The pictures and drawings shown in this blogpost come from the real process I followed to create this new brand. I also usually perform the same tasks when I make a logo for a client.
Here is the situation quickly: This is the older version of my brand’s logo. I will only cover it for a little to explain what motivated the changes. I was still in school when I made this symbol and at this time I did not think about the requirements I need today. The logo does not adapt well to some platforms. It is off-center which makes it hard to align properly and it honestly does not convey any meaning beside the acronym that compose it. Therefore, if I use it alone, without text, it is pretty useless.
Since I was going to rebrand, I decided to go all in and also change the company’s name. Why? Well, when I started as a freelancer, I was the sole worker on every project I did and I did everything under my full name. With time, I began to associate with external collaborators on many projects so I felt the need to dissociate the business side from my personal life. That’s how I came up with Jim.
Preparation step before starting
The first thing before you start is the research phase. A lot of research. This step is essential to assess your options for the artistic direction of the project. At this point, I am going to browse the internet in pursuit of ideas that would fit your company. I will also take a look at what your competitors are doing and at where the graphic design trends are going.The goal here is to build a list of images to guide and inspire me creatively in the next steps. As an example: By looking thoroughly at your competitors’ logo, it allows me to make the project stand out from them and to prevent confusion between the brands.
Producing guidelines for the brand logo
Following the preparation phase’s completion, it is now time to select a list of words that will set the tone for the rest of the project. In collaboration with you, I will write down a list of emotions, values and adjectives that represent your company. This is essential as that list will define the perception of your business at first sight. Do not forget that your logo is the first impression clients get from you.
Everything coming next in the process will be based on this, so it is important to take the time to do it well.
Exploration on paper
The time has now come to get creative. Equipped with a pencil and a ton of sheets of paper, I will spend many hours drawing sketches of logos. Keep in mind that perfection is far from the objective here. The goal is only to try ideas on paper to see what it could look like and if it’s working or not. Here, I keep the good and the bad, and I give every idea a chance.
This image is a small portion of the sketches that lead to the creation of Jim’s new brand identity. Dozens of ideas were put to the test, and that will be very helpful in the future.
Taking it one step further on the computer
At this point, I will inspect and judge every sketch and only keep the ones that have a real potential. Selected elements will be recreated on Adobe Illustrator. I then take them one on one to make many variations while exploring new directions. These logo sketches, even if they’re computerized, are still far from final products, the goal is only to create cleaner versions of the sketches while exploring a bit further.
In the end, more than a hundred of options were made for this project. Keeping the pre-established guidelines in mind, I now have to sort the good from the bad. At this stage, I want to keep only two or three options for the next steps.
Selection, colours and experimentations
To complete the previous step, I will now take the selected elements and make a final version of each option. For each of these final options, I will test many colours and fonts. Usually, this is the time where I will send you two to three final propositions for you to give me feedbacks on what you like or dislike about each of them. It is essential for me to work closely with you at this point since the goal is to please everyone.
Based on your feedbacks, I will create one last logo. This will be the future logo of your company and after your approval, if need be, I will create versions of the logo to maximize the adaptability of the brand depending on the use.
Analysis of this case
The rebranding of my company now completed, let’s assess the results. For the shape, the logo shows dynamism at first glance thanks to the angles and the bright red colour. The font used is clean and clear, it gives the company a serious and professional side. The overall straightforwardness of the logo meets the needs of memorability we defined earlier. The colour choice also helps to quickly spot the brand. The lack of adaptability issue is also solved with this rebrand as this new version can adapt to anything.
Final delivery and instructions
For the final step of the logo creation, I will mail you the files (.EPS and .PNG) of your new brand image. You can now use it as you pleased. I will also include many instructions and recommendations on how you should use the new logo to optimize your results.
The project now at its end, it’s now time to reveal your brand-new logo! By yourself or with the help of a specialist (like Jim), it’s now critical for your new logo to be seen a lot to imbed the image in your clients’ mind. Business cards, web site, wraps, flyers and marketing campaign are some of your options here to promote your new company’s face.
This topic will surely be covered on this blog later on, stay tuned.
If you want to learn more about the creative process of a rebranding, I highly suggest that you watch this web series which goes deep on the topic.
That’s all! I hope you liked this blogpost. You can contact me at anytime if you want more informations or if you want to hire me to create your new brand logo.