I think I can say I was born to be a designer. I started creating and designing logos at a very early age, like, 10. The majority of my high school education was focused on the fine arts. College taught me the organization and process of graphic design, film and video and the appreciation of seeing the composition and aesthetics in everything.
Just about every job I've had involved a creative or design component. Even while I worked at a downtown deli in Des Moines, IA, after graduation, I redesigned the company's logo and in-store menu boards, brochures and uniforms. I've worked in agencies and in-house design and marketing departments for decades. And I'm incredibly thankful for all the professionals, mentors, teachers, coworkers, bosses and managers (and, um, YouTube) for the inspiration and helping me be the creative being that I am.
The bottom line? I have accrued and fine-tuned years of design experience into the art of graphic persuasion.
So why would you hire me to give you options? You come to me to solve a problem. Do we take our car to a mechanic and tell them how to diagnose the strange noise we hear? Do we question what tools they use and how much torque to apply? Of course not. They are the experts in their field, and we don't have the competence or judgement they have. We trust their knowledge and experience.
Unfortunately, the design community has taught clients to expect multiple concepts. During the presentation, they hear rationale for why each design is great on its own merit (really, how is that even possible?). And invariably, the client gets the opportunity to make a subjective choice, based on the implied indecision presented to them by the designer. In this way, options prove to be a detriment and open the door to even more concepts and often resulting in a "buffet" logo of some of this, and some of that.
Avoid indecision with a strong strategy in place
Before I begin any design, roles are defined and a very thorough Strategic Brand Survey (SBS) must be completed. It is a thorough assessment of the client's goals, values, demographics (design and customer) and target audience.
Every step of my process will follow, and be backed up by, the strategy created in collaboration with the client. The more comprehensive the SBS, the more I will have to work with to create a bullet-proof solution. Along the way, I will be documenting and explaining every design decision. Nothing will be arbitrary. Everything will have a strategic purpose consistent with the strategy. All of this will bring forth a focused concept.
One concept is so much more than one logo
Just to be clear, when presenting the one concept, this is not to say it will be the be-all, end-all part of the process, nor is it just the logo. The one concept can include (depending on the package): primary logo, secondary logo, submarks (variable brand voice), color palette, typographic hierarchy, relevant real-world mockups, iconography, patterns and select collateral examples.
It's all about collaboration. The client knows so much more when it comes to their business and target market, while I have the design expertise, so 1-3 rounds of refinement are available if necessary to achieve the perfect goal. With so much discovery and research provided in the Strategic Brand Survey, this efficient process typically results with an approval in the first round.
These are the ingredients that will help define your brand.
Does your brand visually stand out in the sea of social media and hold up to the demands of scalability on different platforms and is easily recognizable?
How does your brand stack up to your competitor’s presence in your shared marketplace and does your brand tell a more compelling story?
Do your customers associate your logo and business with trust, credibility and competence because your brand doesn’t need to change every few years?