7 Questions Your Designer Should Ask Before Designing Your Logo
Updated: Nov 6, 2018
My process for designing logos changes for every client, and as someone who is a lover of routine, order, and hard deadlines, the chaos makes me crazy.
But the thing about a good logo is that it's more than an image. It's so different from drawing a picture or designing a flyer because the meaning transcends the surface image. Every line, every dot, every color and font choice has to cohesively come together and say "This is our business. This is what we represent. This is what you should expect from us in the future."
Though my process for coming up with ideas may change, I have 7 questions that I consistently ask before I delve into a project. These questions usually lead into deeper conversations and deeper understandings of the brand.
1. Tell me about your business. The name, the vision, where you are now, and where you hope to be in the future.
Pretty involved for a first question, but necessary. This question determines how deeply my new client has thought about their business. Logo design shouldn't be the first step in a business's creation. A business plan should be in place.
I'm not just a graphic designer - I'm a copywriter and a strategist, and I can't just shove those parts of myself to the back of my mind when I design. I want everything I touch to succeed. If someone came to me and said they wanted a logo but they didn't have a vision or any plans for the future, they're probably not ready for a logo yet.
2. Who is your competition?
Have you ever been shopping and decided to pick up a new product just because the packaging was so different from every other container on the shelf? I know I have! A good logo is different from those around it, whether it's on your storefront or on labels next to similar products.
3. What message do you hope this logo will convey? (Or give me 5 words that should describe this logo)
Is this a soft, gentle, family brand or a dominant, loud, in-your-face young adult brand?
4. and 5. Do you have images or symbols you'd like to see incorporated into this design? / Do you have color preferences?
Questions 4 and 5 focus on visual aspects clients may prefer. They're usually pretty helpful to know and may help designers provide iterations of different designs.
6. Who is your target audience?
There are so many rules to logo design, but I believe rules are made to be broken. Many say that logos should be simple, clean and elegant, but if everyone is making simple, clean and elegant logos, then they're all going to start looking the same. So I'm all for catering specifically to your target audience. Finding colors and symbols that appeal specifically to them, rather than everyone as a whole.
7. Where will this logo be used?
Though I just said it was okay to break design rules, it's important to take your logo placement into consideration. More detail-oriented logos will be a bit more difficult to fit on small items like USBs and colorful logos will be pricier to print on t-shirts. I'd hate for a client to fall in love with a logo that couldn't be translated to all of the materials they plan to use it on. Some brands do have multiple logos that are used for different purposes, so this may be an option for clients who need logos for a range of items.
After I ask these questions (and oodles of follow-up questions), the client and I will have reached a mutual understanding of the brand and I can work (non-sequentially, of course) to develop a logo that speaks to them and the people they serve.
About the Author: Katria Farmer is a freelance communications consultant in Wilson, NC specializing in copywriting and graphic design. Her B.A. is in communication studies and her M.A. is in strategic communications. She serves Wilson, Rocky Mount, Raleigh, Chapel Hill and surrounding areas. Learn more about working with her: https://www.katriafarmer.com/about