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How to Listen to Create the Perfect Logo

There’s a big difference between designing an overall website for a business and designing a logo. A website is more technical, and when designing one, you have to keep in mind what the target audience does when interacting with the brand.

For logos, you are creating something that represents your client’s brand in the living world, It’s an image that will live on stickers, billboards, business cards, and more. With logos, you simply don’t have the latitude that you do with a website, so it’s important to ask some very pointed questions when designing a logo and then listen closely to the answers.

First: Why are logos so important?

It doesn’t matter if your client’s company has 1 employee or 100 - they need to be represented in a logo, and here’s why: it’s the most recognizable aspect of their business. Think of logos you’ve known for years: the Nike swoosh, the McDonald’s “M”, the green Starbuck’s coffee goddess. Your client’s business needs a quick, distinguishable, encapsulating way to express what it is. Their logo is their calling card, so to speak, and it is critical to have one that is unique and recognizable from others in their industry.

The questions I ask when designing a logo

Here are my standard questions when I am designing a logo for a client:

  • What do they care about?
  • What are they trying to accomplish with their logo?
  • What kind of audience are they trying to engage with?

These are my “foundation questions” for any logo design I do. They guide me as I start to work, and if I ever get stuck in the middle of designing, I simply go back to these questions and their answers to keep me moving forward.

Guidelines I use when designing a logo

First, I highly recommend you sketch with pencil and paper. I know this seems a little crazy considering all we can do with electronic design tools, but I’ve found there are just too many ideas that can’t be created easily online. Plus, for me, sketching is the most natural way to start designing.

Second, never show your client more than 3 different directions for the logos you design. This can get overwhelming for them and messy for you if you show them multiple versions of their logo. Keep it simple and straightforward.

Third, keep the revisions to a minimum. If the project is taking much longer than expected due to revisions, consider going back to the drawing board and consulting with the client about their goals - you may need to re-align yourself with the basics and start again.

As always, feel free to reach out to me here with any questions. Good luck on your logo designs!