Stan Ragets Graphic Design

Logo design is a very personal thing. An individual may have had an idea in their head for a long time. Perhaps they’ve worked on a business plan for years and years. Now they’re ready to take things public. Your logo is one of the first things people will see. Your logo is the face of your company. It is your brand. It must be memorable!

As evidenced by the graphic above, good logo design can take some time. Shortly I’m going to walk through the process using this particular logo to explain everything that is involved. Recently I read an excellent article by Paul Boag entitled “Can Clients Make Good Design Suggestions?“. His thoughts exemplify something I’ve been trying to get across to other designers for a while: Listen to your clients! People have amazing thoughts and suggestions; just listen. That is how my design process always starts. I encourage my clients to share with me everything about their business, their thoughts, their ideas, their wishes, their expectations. Everything! This comes easier for some than others, and some people simply want a quick logo design and don’t want to hassle with giving details. To them, I say go find the $59 – $99 logo specials advertised on Craigslist and get yourself a cookie cutter design. This problem often occurs when someone becomes overly concerned about price, and the thing is, I don’t even charge for this part of the process (although some designers do, so be careful!).

For the Farming Independence design I contacted one of the founders of the organization after seeing their request on Craigslist for a logo design. They are the ideal example of a client for design work. After a quick discussion she wrote down and emailed me very detailed information about the organization, their goals, and what they wanted their logo to say. She also provided me with some sketches from their board members and some family and friends as well as a logo from online that they liked. It’s always a plus when I’m provided with information like this, because it gives me a nice building block after seeing what styles and ideas a client has.

Next I provided them with some quick mockup examples to get an idea of where we wanted to go. I personally wasn’t excited about these mockups, but this is what the board had requested. Apparently they weren’t very excited about them either! None of the ideas hit home with the board members and they didn’t feel that it expressed the vision for their organization as a whole. This is absolutely fine. There is no reason to be upset when a client asks for something and it doesn’t turn out the way they expected. I threw a few ideas at them that I had sketched out, but again I wasn’t very happy with these as the logos came across as very busy. A few board member’s family had sketched a couple ideas out. I took one of these ideas and built off of it. This resulted in the sun logo you see above. The board seemed happy, but it wasn’t quite right just yet. My contact provided me with the statements from each board member, which I took into consideration as I tweaked the design.

We went through a total of 9 revisions on this logo. Removing colors and adding in elements, changing the typography and making other minor changes. I was proud with the result. I also thought we were finished. After waiting for the board’s approval, I received an email requesting one final change, to make the sun “less harsh”. Not a problem. I changed the design, provided mockups in gradient, solid, and black and white versions (had been along, but now for the final) for the board to review and sign off on. The logo design was complete.

As with any design project, I strive to make the process as painless as possible for the client. I also like to keep the client very involved in the entire process. I would rather have 20 little tweaks go into the project as I’m working on it, than to have no input, and when I finish be told that it’s not what they want. That is a waste of everyone’s valuable time.

I hope that this provides you with an inside look into my design process, as well as how logos are designed and evolve throughout the process. If you would like more information about my designs, or to start a project of your own, contact me with the form above or at my graphic design site.