Watching a brand strategy and design video last night, I was astonished by the number of logo concepts the agency mocked up before deciding what to present to the client.
I’ve been working in agencies for nearly a decade and have never seen this level of commitment to challenging initial ideas and iterating on them.
There must have been a hundred or more logo ideas before they settled on less than a handful to present to the client.
Watching a creative team at the top of their game go through this process and produce an incredible result challenged my typical thinking.
You see, too often, I watch new businesses sprout up or get rebranded, and they spend so much time and thinking about what the logo should be.
However, you look at the business behind the logo, and it is often not particularly remarkable.
I find myself wondering if only the business owner or marketer spent this much time and effort thinking about the customer experience; I expect they would be much better off.
Let us assume for a moment; every business going through the branding process has its act together in terms of customer experience. If you can let me do that, I can move on with this article and share some critical takeaways from the video.
Before I do, I will repeat this; if you are not selling a remarkable product or experience, start there. Not with your colours or logo.
Here are 9 musts for creating a stunning visual identity;
- Your logo and broader visual identity matters. It can communicate a lot about where you are coming from, where you are going, and whom you exist to serve. In fact, it probably should achieve each of the three things.
- Describe each type of customer in writing to provide the designer.
- Collaboration gets a better result. Run the ideas past other designers or professionals, your customer, or your peers.
- Don’t jump too quickly on the first idea. Keep pushing.
- If you have the luxury of multiple graphic designers, use them. Even with the same brief and customer in mind, they all bring their own biases and styles.
- Challenge even your best ideas.
- Work on the details. Don’t settle for close enough.
- Make sure you test it in different settings. In color and black and white. From the small to the large. On physical products. In mock-ups in large spaces like the side of a building. Some variations will look great in some situations and not others. The logo needs the flexibility to scale and grow with you.
- Always remember; a logo is something by which your customers can identify you. It doesn’t exist to describe what you do.
It got me excited about my next strategy job and thinking about the possibility of assessing the logo and visual identity through a more precise lens.
I hope the ideas here help you too.