According to this study, the average person encounters roughly 5,000 marketing messages every day.
We hear ads on the radio.
There’s a label slapped on every single item in the supermarket.
We drive by countless billboards and scroll past dozens of promoted posts.
But exposure doesn’t equal absorption. A great logo design must engage with consumers to break through the noise of these thousands of messages.
I’ll be walking through these guidelines using a past logo design project as an example. The Pink Moose, an artisan furniture and home decor business, needed a logo to accompany their new e-commerce website and growing digital presence.
Logo Design: Set the mood (board).
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: A strong logo design starts with a strong foundation. Set the tone and expectations of your project by putting together a creative brief that outlines:
- brand purpose
- target audience expectations
- your brand’s unique selling points
Once you’ve nailed down this direction, construct a mood board that brings the creative brief to life. My boards always feature a mixture of client examples, other applicable branding, photographs with potential color palettes and whatever else strikes my fancy. This is a great, free-form way to tap into a creative headspace. Pull anything and everything that inspires you. Remember, you’re only as good as your resources.Surround yourself with good design, pull inspiration from various sources and make it your own. Click To Tweet
Logo Design: Explore Multiple Directions
Once you’ve laid the foundation with your creative brief and mood board, it’s time to bring those logo design ideas to life! Start by designing 2-4 initial concepts that explore the strongest directions from the creative brief/mood board.
There’s a reason I say 2-4 concepts: Any less and you won’t have enough options. Any more, and you risk going down the rabbit hole of indecision.
It’s crucial that you stay organized during this phase. The practices you establish in the beginning will set the tone for the rest of the project and establish expectations. Keep your first round to a manageable number of options, and actively narrow down those options with each draft. If you incorporate a new design later in the game, do so very purposefully. If you overwhelm yourself, it can complicate the creative process.
If you’re a sketcher or doodler, nothing beats pencil to paper during this initial phase. This is especially helpful if you’re going the custom typography route, which I did for The Pink Moose. It’s helpful even if you aren’t a natural illustrator. Think of it as organizing all those ideas floating around in your mind. If you find yourself skipping this sketching phase, try investing in a nice sketchbook (Baron Fig) to create incentive. Sometimes I want to jump straight into Adobe Illustrator, but I’ve found that my best work happens when a logo design starts in the ol’ sketchbook.