It's not so easy to design a good logo, is it? Sometimes we struggle to come up with a good idea. Sometimes we make a mistake from the start and the end result is not even close to what the client had in mind for his brand. The whole creative process can be very frustrating at times, but there are a couple of steps to it that can help us design better logos that perfectly represent the brand.
We asked Konstantina Gavala to explain what it takes to design a good logo. As an example, she used the process of making the logo of their company.
Yellow is a design and audiovisuals studio based in Barcelona and home to a group of creative professionals spreading from graphic designers and animators to photographers and branding specialists.
The studio was founded in 2011. Last July we decided to take the big step and renew our brand design, creating for ourselves a new, strong identity. With new people on the team, and our services varying from graphic to interior design, to animation, photography and marketing, we had to rethink what would represent us all and -of course- a way to reposition us on the market.
The most important tool: the Briefing
The first step was filling in our own brand design briefing questionnaire (which was a little tough to do, to be honest). A brief is a working tool we always use with our clients. It consists of a list of questions about both the client and the project, and it helps us understand the characteristics we need to take into account before we start designing the brand's identity. These questions provide information on the product/ service the client is offering, the target group he/ she is aiming for, his/ her style preferences etc., and we collected/ edited them from experience gathered throughout the years.
This is one of the most important (if not THE most important) parts of the whole procedure of creating a brand's identity. A detailed briefing can save you from a lot: misunderstandings, hours of reviewing and correcting, problems in communicating with the client, etc. It also helps you get an insight on whether you really want to work with this specific client or not (I know sometimes you cannot afford to say no to a client, but believe me, it's always a good thing to do when you see from the beginning it's not going to work smoothly). It's generally a good idea to use a printed questionnaire for your brand design briefing, give it to your client to take home, sit down, think and fill it in. It always makes things clearer for him/ her and helps them understand better what they are looking for.
[caption id="attachment_51780" align="alignnone" width="560"] Our briefing questionnaire is an 8-page notebook we ask our clients to fill in.[/caption]
In our case, filling in the brief document took us quite a long time. It's always more complicated when you are both the client and the designer. When we were happy with our answers, we finally moved to the next step:
The moodboard is a collage of images or sketches we think best describes the idea behind the brand. We use this as a visual helping tool when we start the design process. With a background in architecture, I'm used to expressing thoughts with images. For me personally, it's a way to take notes without writing my thoughts down. It doesn't really matter where the images come from: this is a private tool (one that you normally never publish or even show your client) and you can use any material available to you found online or from magazines, books, sketches, etc.
[caption id="attachment_51781" align="alignnone" width="560"] The menuboard is a graphic representation of our ideas for the brand.[/caption]
This is the moodboard I made for Yellow Studio. It's a graphic representation of things we realized during the briefing process this brand should be about. A creative interpretation of the brief, the moodboard's use is to explain words through images. It is one of the most difficult, but also the most creative of processes we use.
Sketching and designing
After finishing with the análisis of the brand´s goals with both words and images, we start sketching different ideas for the logo. It is very important for us to start this process with pencil/ pen and paper before concluding on a specific design and creating the digital and final archive in Illustrator. We always make sure that the final design works perfectly with bright and dark backgrounds by either choosing a colour that works well with everything or creating the logo´s negative. For our brand, I chose to create a graphic logo, one that has a yellow background and no transparency behind the name.
[caption id="attachment_51782" align="alignnone" width="560"] So here it is the final version of the logo![/caption]
What is different about your logo designing process? Share your ideas with us in comments below.
About the author: Konstantina Gavala is the creative director at Yellow Studio in Barcelona. She studied architecture, design and photography in different universities in around Europe. Her studies include a Masters degree in Architecture, and postgraduate degrees in "Design, Image and Architecture" and "Design and Photography".