When you’re diving into a new logo project, there’s a lot to be done before you get to the actual designing.  It takes a strategy to get answers and deliver a successful product to the client. There are many ways to go about creating a logo, but we’ve been in the biz long enough to know what works, what doesn’t, and what sometimes works under the right circumstances. For you, our fellow reader, we’re providing a complimentary peek at how we design a successful logo, so you can apply these to your own logo design process.

Have The Talk. Before you can begin creating, you need to know what the company needs. Have a long sit-down with the client and ask some essential questions. What elements currently make up the brand? What is the history of the business? What do they do? What do they hope to achieve?  You should walk away from the conversation knowing the client’s problem (old logo? no logo? no brand?) and their goals. At Bareknuckle, designers gather this information from what we call The Code.

Do Your Research. After your client conversation, don’t be surprised if you have more research to do. Clients typically don’t have a clear plan for what they want, that’s why they hired you. When you begin the research, be sure to gather specific, imperative information. The goal is to get an understanding of possible themes to work with before you begin brainstorming. What do their competitors look like? On your own, explore the industry and stalk the competitors. Look at what’s working and jot down what might also work for your client.

Organize Your Game Plan. Design a creative brief outlining the problem, the goal and how your logo will bridge that gap. Your creative brief sets you up for the rest of the project, so be flexible where it helps and specific where it matters. Organize your information to use as a springboard for conceptualization.

Pen—or marker, or crayon—To Paper. Time to indulge in playtime with your brain, structured playtime that is. Explore themes outlined from your research, experiment with logo types—iconic, logotype, combos, you know the drill—and identify potential keywords that correspond with the brand.  When you get a solid few to develop, begin final draft production.

Walk Away. If you look at something for too long, you’ll lose perspective. Step back from it for a bit and give yourself some time to reflect. When you return to the drawing board, organize your sketches. Keep your most effective ideas for client feedback and set aside the rest.  Note: always save your sketches, they can be useful pieces in the future.

Show’em What You Got. You’ve slaved over this thing, and you feel good about it, but that won’t necessarily get you applause from the client.When you present your final product, really present it. Whether you choose a digital presentation or physical copies, it should look professional. Place your best work first, followed by second and third versions. Confidently explain your decisions and examples of its practical application. Remember, the logo is the face of the brand, not the the whole shebang. When presenting the logo, present it’s brand context also.

Want to see our process in action? Check out our logo case study here.