This is an in-depth article that showcases AE Digital Creative’s logo design process for client graphic design and branding projects. Although every project differs regarding scope, style, and industry, the design process itself tends to remain fairly consistent.
In the simplest terms, it comes down to understanding the client’s needs through questions and research, creating and developing the concepts, and finally discussing and expanding the design into the forms the client requires.
In Part One, we’ll walk through our initial steps — including everything we do and need before the true logo design process can begin.
Part One – Initial Graphic Design Process
The first step in any professional design project is to build the creative design brief. If you’re the client, we must understand you and your needs. We must ask questions and develop a clear understanding of your business, the industry, and any issues you’re having.
This initial phase of the graphic design process can be completed in a number of ways. At AE Digital Creative, it usually starts with a design questionnaire, which can be completed however the client is most comfortable — be it over the phone, in person, or simply via email.
The purpose of the design brief is to help us better understand the project. The more we know as designers, the better we can communicate through our initial design concepts.
What is a Creative Brief?
A creative brief is a document intended for a design or development project, usually created during the consultation between the client and the designer. In AE’s case, it is a set of 20-30 questions and takes approximately an hour to complete in full. The more complete the answers, the better — so we advise clients to be thorough when completing it.
What Questions do we ask clients?
The AE logo and branding questionnaire is broken down into several key areas:
About Your Business – What product does your business sell, or what service do you offer? What problems do you solve for your customer? What about your background, product, or service sets it apart from the rest of your competitors?
About Your Customers – Describe your ideal client, what is the primary message that you want to convey to them?
About the Project – If you have an existing brand/identity, why isn’t it working for you? Please share links of Brands/Logos that inspire you. What do you like best about the brand/logo? Using adjectives or short phrases, describe your brand’s desired look and feel.
Research and Discovery Phase
Once the answers to the questionnaire are complete, AEDC then has a solid base to work from moving forward. Further questions may arise, which can be discussed so we can best understand the project before getting started.
AEDC looks into the existing business (unless it’s a new brand) to uncover where you’re at currently in regards to branding overall.
There may be facets of the business that were not mentioned in the initial consultation, but the main objective of client discovery is to understand issues further so that we can provide the best possible solution.
Often, the client may not know why their brand is struggling, but to an expert brand consultant, looking at their current setup can provide meaningful answers in the graphic design process.
Working in so many varied industries, learning about the ‘niche’ your business resides in is incredibly important.
AEDC looks at client competitors to see what they’re doing from a branding standpoint. If the business is well-known and spoken highly of in the industry — we consider what elements to apply. If there is little brand recognition and they’re performing poorly, we then know what to avoid.
Primary Research – Qualitative Research & Quantitative Research
For a more comprehensive brand identity design process, we delve deeper into the research process through qualitative and quantitative research methods.
Naturally, this can be time-consuming, so a smaller logo design package will skip this step.
Qualitative research is mostly exploratory. It’s used to discover reasons, opinions, and motivations — it provides insights into the overall problem. Qualitative research is also used to uncover trends in consumer thoughts and opinions.
Quantitative research is used to quantify the problem by way of generating numerical data that can be easily formatted into usable statistics. It is used to quantify attitude, opinion, behavior, and any other defined variables. Quantitative research uses data that is measurable to formulate facts and uncover patterns in research.
Finally, secondary research is conducted. If possible, AEDC will delve deeper into the client’s existing brand identity, looking into existing brand collateral such as reports, stationery, and your website.
Our team values doing things the right way, and in the case of our logo design process — it involves proper research before diving into mood boards and sketches. If you’re frustrated with the work done by solutions offering a “logo in 60 minutes” — know that good work takes time for a reason. Let us get to know you before we design a visual representation of who you are.
To learn more about our logo design process, stay tuned for part two!