Our logo design process

Hello future client,
Let’s talk about Brandacadabra’s process in creating unique and life lasting visual identities, commonly reffered as “logos”.
There are 8 phases:
1. Organization discovery (together)
  • A professional custom logo is a reflection of your organization’s values and culture. This discovery phase lets us learn in a discussion (interview type) with some of the members or with one person delegated from your committee. Our goal is to acquire as much information as possible about you, why you do what you do, and discover what makes you different. We need to know how you think. Beyond hearing it from you, we’ll also take our research team to the streets of Google and learn about your industry, your competition, and more.
  • The interview will take place on-line (via Skype or Zoom).
2. Set benchmark (together)
  • After the Discovery — we will collect a variety of resources and design elements that we think you will “Like.” We’ll put everything on an Inspiration Board on a Google Document shared with you (or any other web-based software). This enables us to have a visual point of reference on what to use and what to stay away from during our initial designs. We will work with you to establish what colors, fonts, layouts, and styles you like best, and share what we feel is appropriate up front. Almost 9 times out of 10 this enables us to get very close to what you’re looking for on our first presentation. Once there are thumbs up across the board, we will start sketching and drafting our initial designs.
  • Imagine this like creating together the Logo Creative Brief – we don’t like to have you do all the work in this phase that is why we feel is very important to stay together with this one
3. Sketch / Draft Designs (agency side)
  • So, while sketching might seem like a waste of time, it really is essential in opening up the creative corners of our graphic designer’s mind. Once we have 4-5 concepts we believe will help you truly be yourself in your “universe”, we can move into a vector-based application, to bring our conceptualizations to life.
  • The reason why this stays in-house is because very often clients think these sketches are final drafts, and they reject some very good ideas just because they’re not… “crispy”.
4. Share Initial Designs
  • Just because we are nerds and we have done the logo design dance a trillion times doesn’t mean that we aren’t human. When we send our designs to you for the first time, we schedule a follow-up to review our initial concepts with you. Then, we wait.
  • Our presentation deck will include 3 options even if we’ve have created 10 in our in-house process. We vet these 3 options very careful from a brand strategy point of view. It is not like we’re hiding something from you but offer the strongest options. Especially in a multi-person decision making context, it really helps not to have too many options while it prolongs the process from weeks to months.
5. Collect Feedback
  • There are usually four outcomes on the initial call when we review our logos:
    1. We nailed one concept, but just need to make a few refinements.
    2. You like bits and pieces from each concept and want to mix and match.
    3. You love them all and have no idea how to choose.
    4. We missed the mark.
  • For outcomes #1 and #2, we can wrap up our call or meeting in typically 30-minutes or less and move on to the next stage: Refinement.
  • Outcome #3 tends to result in the client asking us: “Which concept do you like best?” In this case, other agencies don’t opinionate, but Brandacadabra is not like other agencies. We will give our recommendation from an objective, brand strategic point of view. Again, that is IF we will be asked to give an opinion. It’s like in chess, we see ahead 11,5 moves ahead.
    • There are contexts in which you will want to ask your Organisation Members – if your committee members have a hard time choosing, we defer to your members. We can do this via a Newsletter Quizz, or Facebook Group (if there is one) Survey.
  • Outcome #4 rarely happens, but we would be misinforming you if we did not include it. Even careful preparation, years of experience, and advanced resources cannot always combat the unexpected, mysterious variables.
    • It might be best to use an example to illustrate how we would handle Outcome #4: About a year ago, our graphic design team in worked with a local start-up who had a very specific “vision” for their logo design. They had bookmarked fonts, icons, shapes—you name it, they had it covered. We completed steps 1-3 as outlined above and presented our work. Unfortunately, the client did not love any of the initial logo concepts.
    • Here’s the quote of the century from the owner that sums up logo design better than any quote we’ve seen to date: “Guys, these logos are great. You did everything that we asked for, but it’s just not what we are looking for.”
    • Though slightly befuddled, we did not panic. What we suggested was for the client to first walk us through each concept and articulate what they did not like. We had them focus on core elements like positioning and layouts, as opposed to little details like fonts, and worked back off of their earlier examples to compare and contrast. In addition to collecting as much feedback as possible prior to moving into refinement, we informed our client that we would assemble a second design team to work on additional concepts. The thing about design is it is ALL subjective. On occasion, all it takes is a second pair of eyes to get a logo design right.
6. Refinement
  • You are not going to bowl a strike on every frame. With that being said, an edit-friendly agreement and strong communication will almost certainly result in achieving the goal of the Logo Design Project, which is not perfection (that cannot ever be assumed).
7. Deliver Final Files
  • What is included in the “All formats package”:
    • Adobe Illustrator source file and scalable vector formats.
    • Utility files: jpg, tiff, pdf (print), png, SVG (web)
  • What else could be included (for an additional budget):
    • Brand Manual (the one that states the rules and contexts of usage),
    • Stationary (business cards, letterhead, etc.), or
    • Collaterals (powerpoint presentation templates, booth design, name tags, folder design, car branding, etc.)
    • Web design and Web development – we are very good in keeping the same tone and personality and morphing it in Digital Tools
    • Social Media materials (thumbnails, cover pages, micro-content, etc.)
    • Corporate materials (brochures, pamphlets, flyers)
8. Further brand development – the Brand Strategy Itinerary
  • The answer to: “What we want and how to accomplish it now, that we have a new visual identity?”
  • This is another session in which we can offer our perspective on how the Organisation objectives and goals could be met from the branding perspective. Together, we can decide on new actions and tools that need further development. This would be complementary offered as part of ending the Logo Design Process – it’s our way to tell you what you need to do next from this branding perspective. The deliverable is a 3-page report with next recommended steps.
If you have any questions, call us, write us!
© 2016-2017 Brandacadabra

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