Designing a visual representation of an entire company can be a daunting task, but if the process is done correctly, a logo can be a very effective marketing device. While there are plenty of articles out there on how to theoretically design a logo, an actual step-by-step guide on how to actually do so is rare.
I don’t know about you, but I love seeing examples of how other designers work. The bad news is that designers just don’t often have the time to record things down, and understandably so. It is somewhat of a painstaking process. OK, who are we kidding – it is a terribly tedious, painstaking process.
The good news is that us folks here at TRIO do not let things like that get in our way! The following is an example of how we designed the Dallas Center-Grimes Community School’s logo.
We always start by researching to see what is already out there. Since a big part of TRIO’s vision is helping their clients stand out, we strive to stay away from the beaten path as much as possible. For example, a simple Google Image search for “organic logos” is almost guaranteed to turn your computer screen into a tree because of all the leaves the search engine will yield. However, trends are trends for a reason (they work), so we do analyze and take note of the elements that work in a logo of a particular industry, while removing the parts that would strip our client’s brand away of all character (like the leaves).
Start exploring concepts on paper. I religiously save stacks of scratch paper just for this very purpose (always do your part for the environment, kids). With the design brief in mind, start sketching things out. Sketch, sketch, sketch. Then sketch again. And then sketch some more. Keep in mind that they DO NOT have to look good. In fact, they shouldn’t. The uglier the better, I say.
Concept 1 (image)
Right from the get go, we knew that DCG wanted to maintain having a mustang, their mascot, in their new logo. So on that end, we started exploring mustangs at different angles (I told you they would be ugly)
Concept 2 (image)
The client requested that the new horse look a little more strong and muscular than what they currently have – what better way to portray that than have the horse jumping or rearing up?
Concept 3 (image)
We also tried a couple with just the Mustang’s head and without its body.
Concept 4 (image)
A horseshoe for luck?
With a few solid concepts on paper, we now start digitally illustrating them as well as combining different elements.The problem with logo design is that you have to create finished art, have it at least 90% done. As much as I would love to create “draft” versions of digital logos, it just isn’t an effective way to communicate ideas to clients. In order to sell it, you have to help them “see” it.
This was the horse that looked most similar to their previous logo, but with a more modern touch. Red, silver and black are their school colors.
Because sports and sportsmanship were both a part of the school’s vision, we wanted the horse to look strong and muscular while not seeming overly aggressive. Because of this, we stayed away from giving the horse too much of a facial expression.
As mentioned above, we also tried a couple concepts with just the Mustang’s head in an emblem. We also threw in a couple of color variations for good measure.
Taking some creative liberty here with the horseshoe.
Helping the client see the possibilities in a design.
4. Client Review
With the first rounds of drafts completed, we send them off for client review. Fortunately for us, this particular client liked most of the designs and actually had a hard time narrowing choices down – always a happy problem to have. We helped the client out by asking specifically what he liked in each design. For example, his favorite horses were the jumping horse, BUT he liked the highlight in the running horse. He also liked the design with the Mustang’s head, but would like to be more vibrant, perhaps only in red. He LOVED the horseshoe and would like to see how they would look like incorporated into each logo. With the above feedback provided, we started refining the logos.
Tried it out in only red with the name of the schools as well as for the different sports teams.
Added the highlights that the client loved.
Incorporated the Horseshoe
The refining process can take a little time, where we fine tune elements like the fonts, sizes, and color until our client walks away with the best possible logo that fits their vision and how they want their company to be represented. This step-by-step process allows us to be strategic in the design elements we choose to create a powerful, one-of-a-kind logo that will act as a fresh face to your brand.
If you are thinking about re-branding, or are looking to design a logo for a new company, contact TRIO for a free consultation!
A little more about us:
TRIO is a full-service marketing communications company providing a wide array of integrated marketing services to meet all of your business and marketing needs. At TRIO, we understand that each client is unique; therefore we provide customized solutions based on your goals and growth objectives. All of our recommendations are made specifically for you and your business. TRIO Marketing, Branding and Advertising delivers an effective blend of creative talent and strategic thinking, delivering results that increase the bottom line of our client partners. We utilize our network of local experts in the community to execute the campaigns on the basis of design, printing and mailing.
Our Services include:
- Marketing, Branding, Public Relations and Advertising Consulting
- Strategic Annual Marketing Plan Development
- Integrated and Interactive Marketing Services including E-mail and SMS Marketing
- Promotional Products
- Media Negotiation, Placement & Spot Traffic Management Print Design & Production
- Web Development & Search Engine Optimization
- Direct Mail Services
- One-on-One Sales Team Development
At TRIO, we work hard to combine marketing talent and technology with outstanding customer service to build long-term partnerships with you and your business. Our strategies are delivered on time and in a cost-effective manner to achieve maximum response and grow your business.