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A man working on logo design on a digital tablet.

It’s a common misconception that logo design is a quick and easy process. It’s understandable because by it’s very nature a logo looks (or should look!) simple. I’ve been asked many times during my career; “can you just do me a quick logo?” The reality of it is that you can make a basic logo in about 5 minutes. But will it be any good? No. Will it serve its purpose? No. Will it damage the business? Probably.

Why is a strong logo important?

Along with having a strong and consistent brand identity, having a good logo is a seriously important thing. A logo has a lot of work to do, it needs to communicate what your brand stands for, it has to define your business, it has to be memorable, and it needs to make your target audience think, hell yeah, I want to do business with them!

A potential customer usually forms their opinion of a brand based on its logo. This opinion is actually formed in under a second, but that’s a story for another blog post. With this opinion, the potential customer will make all kinds of assumptions, either consciously or subconsciously. They will decide on the quality of the product or service, how successful the business is, if they can be trusted, if they know what they are doing, among many others. Ultimately they will use this opinion to decide if they will give the brand their business, or not.

A good logo needs to be memorable, it needs to be relevant, and it needs to stand out from the crowd. A strong logo will help to gain trust from the target audience along with promoting brand loyalty and customer retention. Looking at this we can see why it’s not a suitable job for the “quick logo”.

The true damage of a bad logo

While a carefully crafted logo can help with all of the aforementioned, a badly designed, or amateur logo, can actually do a lot of damage to a business.

We’ve all seen them, the logos that have been bought cheaply online, been created with a logo builder, crowdsourced, or that a business owner has tried to make themselves. This sounds a little harsh but there’s no point in sugar-coating it. In almost all cases they make the brand look cheap, amateur, and unprofessional. This is definitely not going to help to attract and retain customers.

When thinking about the importance of good branding, I like to use the analogy of a restaurant. Imagine you walk into a restaurant and it’s grotty. It’s got scruffy carpet, unpleasant smells, untasteful decoration, spelling mistakes on the menu, etc. What opinion have you formed of the business? Would you want to eat there? Can they be trusted to produce hygienic food? Will you recommend it to your friends and family? If you do choose to stay and eat, would you ever go back?

The same is true of how a business presents itself through its branding. People will either consciously or subconsciously decide; Can this business be trusted? What will the quality be like? Is it a scam? Will customer service be good? If I buy the product will it be junk that breaks straight away? Do they know what they are doing? And so on.

Our logo design process

So, we’ve looked at just how important a good logo design is, now how do we go about creating a strong and effective logo? Here’s our process:

1. Research

It’s important to thoroughly understand the brand that the logo is going to represent. Without a good understanding of the business, it’s ethics, it’s product’s / services, and what it stands for, it’s impossible to create a logo that represents the brand. We research the company and have a really good chat with our client about their business.

It’s also vital to understand who the target audience is, so we know who to make the logo appeal to.

We also take a good look at the competition, we need to know who the brand is competing against to make sure that there are no similarities. We also like to make sure the logo we produce blows the logos of the competition out of the water! ⠀

2. Concepts

All good logo’s start with lots of ideas and hand-drawn sketches. At this stage, it’s all about throwing ideas onto paper whilst always considering the brand and the target audience. This is the most creative and enjoyable part of the logo design process. ⠀

3. Development

Once there are several solid ideas we take these ideas and develop them further, either on paper, with software, or both.

During this phase, we also look at colour. If the brand has existing brand guidelines we will carefully work the brands existing colour scheme into the logo design.

If the brand cannot supply brand guidelines we will use colour theory to create a palette that entices the right emotions with the target audience. For example; reds = fun, blues = trust, greens = natural.

4. Digitalise & Finalise

During this stage, we take the best hand-drawn concepts and digitalise them.

For this, we use vector-based software. Vector, in a nutshell, means the logo is created using a series of mathematical points and curves. This ensures that the logos will be super sharp, and can scale to any size without a decrease in quality.

Here, we complete the final versions of the concepts and different variations of them.⠀

5. Testing

During the testing phase, we look at how the logo will work in the real world. Here we look at how the logo will work in light and dark scenarios, how well the logo scales, and much more.

During testing, we also mock-up the logo into different scenarios to check how it functions.

If any changes need to be made at this point we go back and make the changes and then re-test the updated concept.

6. Delivery

Finally, we deliver the strongest 2-5 concepts to our client for them to choose from. These are the concepts that we believe will best represent, and help the brand.⠀

How much does all of that cost?

At SquareMorph we try to help every client we can, from the smallest of startups to national companies. We don’t do “cheap”, “quick” logo’s because they are a waste of time and money for everyone involved. Instead, we spend longer on the work to create a superior logo that will actually help the business.

We price a logo project based on the amount of time it will take us to complete. For start-up and smaller businesses on a budget, we can help with a complete logo package for as little as £500. For companies with a more flexible budget, we recommend that we spend more time during the research, concept, and development phases of the project.

We work all of this out with our clients beforehand so they know exactly how much their investment into a new logo will cost them.

Looking for a logo?

If you are looking for a logo design for your new business, or perhaps you’d like to refresh an existing logo, then give us a shout!