Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

the Process: how WE'LL WORK TOGETHER

I consider myself a seasoned professional but I by no means have all the answers. My professional priority in life was working at an agency or internal creative department and observed. Now, I'm taking a more serious look at making my business succeed and am beginning to harvest all the tidbits of information I've seen and learned over the years. But how I like to work with you will be very different than other designers. I like to involve you early and often in the journey to tell your story. This is what I've done and the feedback I've gotten has been positive.

01 / strategy before the Logo

I've found that sitting down with you to ask a few questions about your business and how you want to track success is the best. I like to work with you throughout this journey because it's the only way to create not only something you really want, but what your audience expects. Lots of other things go into supporting your logo, to begin creating a more complete brand. A brand is not a logo. A brand is the confidence, trust, belief you instill in your audience and customers when they see your logo. They may recognize your logo, but if they had a very good, or poor, experience with your business, that logo becomes synonymous with that impression... either "very good" or "poor". Your brand is how they feel about you. Your product. Your service. Whether they come back to you for more business. Or if they tell others how poor their experience was, keeping potential new business away. You can have the best looking logo, but if your customer's experience with your brand is met with less than their expectation, then you start with an uphill challenge. Social media is everywhere and instant. Your brand can impress and thrive because of joy, or disappointment. In real time. 

  1. Creative Brief and follow up in-person conversation: Answering a few questions early on go a long way to learn the most about your business and goals. It also keeps me efficient and on target with this reference. I also believe it's important to meet in person to follow up because conversation unveils much more than a few paragraphs on a form.
  2. Brand Strategy: It isn't wise to simply slap together a logo without plotting a full outline and timeline of all the elements, uses, and messaging. This is a step that a lot of people want to skip because they "just want a logo, we know our clientele." This step simply can not be taken lightly. What is the pain point you want to solve for your audience? Your audience determines your brand, not your logo.
  3. Concepts: I usually create around 20 exploratory sketches; I choose the top ten or so and begin to see hard edges in Illustrator. At this stage, I only work in black.
  4. Collaborative Round: I will show you these initial, very rough, early explorations. I have in my mind which one I'd like to pursue more, but I want you to experience all the shapes, stylings, and directions for the first time. Something may really strike you and your initial, gut reaction is critical in giving me direction for the next round.
  5. Feedback Round: After your feedback, I'll narrow down to about 3 concepts, and then explore some directions with each of these. Concepts are still black at this point. It's important you don't get distracted with color choices before you decide on a mark. Keeping it as simple and focused as possible here.
  6. Third Round: Further feedback and discussion has us one step closer and more focused on the final mark. Black will define the legibility and confirm density and shapes. I will create a vertical and horizontal orientation of the mark and will introduce colors at this stage.
  7. Final Round: Usually with colors, there will likely be one or two 'primary' colors, and about 2-4 secondary colors. There are many ways to implement colors now. But I will use best judgement to show you the best color pairings and combinations. We will discuss colors until a final choice is decided upon.
  8. Export, creation and delivery: Once the logo, black and white, color, horizontal and vertical, are approved, I will export and save out all the necessary formats you will need.

02 / Constructing the brand

Once the logo has been finalized, then a few extra steps need to be discussed and pursued.

  1. Your Promise: Number one above everything else is the promise of what you will deliver will precisely meet the expectations of your audience. 
  2. Secondary logos: While not obligatory, your logo may be altered in a way that can enhance your identity. Usually simplified, initialized, or reduced in some manner. Your primary logo is front and center, while your secondary logo(s) can break the monotony of a single, whole logo, and add some additional personality to your marketing and visuals. It's like having several different watch bands or eyeglasses to change things up a bit, but will always be consistent and tied to your original mark.
  3. On-brand supporting design: Additional graphic elements enhance and stretch your brand can be real assets. Creating a pattern that can be used as a secondary graphic element can help build the brand. Iconography style can be a tool to help tell a story in a visually attractive way that is unique to you.
  4. Tone of voice: How you communicate to your audience and how you portray your personality must align with your brand. Confident? Intelligent? Educational? Empathetic? The words you use and how they are delivered help strengthen your brand.

03 / Launch and MAINTENANCE using social media

Congratulations! You've got a brand new logo. It's on your website, business cards, maybe you've shared your news on LinkedIn. But in today's digital world and instant access, it's a good idea to think about a social media strategy. I've learned to understand the importance of social media for promoting your business or events and keeping yourself distinguished from your competition. It's a good idea to attract followers and stay top of mind in your industry. They may not need you today, tomorrow or next Thursday, but when that time comes, they'll remember the impression you made and how you market yourself. 

  1. Create your business presence. You probably are very comfortable using a platform like Facebook and LinkedIn for your personal presence. Maybe some others like Instagram and Twitter. You post pics of your family, friends, places you've been and talk about them. Friends and family see your posts, and sometimes they comment, or they don't. Either way, I've noticed that when I meet up with people they will comment about what I've posted. That's pretty cool. It's like we've stayed caught up and are up to date with each other. Imagine doing this for your business. But instead of being just caught up with what you do professionally, they use your business and pay you for what you offer. 
  2. Setting up accounts. This might require setting up a second account with the platforms you already know how to use. But instead of posting pictures and describing how good that Thai dinner you had with the family, you post pictures of your services and talk about how you can help your audience. You start promoting your business presence on your personal sites. You've got a built-in audience and if you ask your hundreds of friends to visit your new business account on these platforms, chances are they will support you and follow, maybe even share to their networks. 
  3. Post and comment frequently. When you post at least once daily, you make yourself visible to everyone who follows you. A hit. A look. You become more familiar. Using tags, hashtags and sharing links opens yourself up to an entire planet of people who use the same tags. A great way to get new and unique followers. For instance, if you offer wedding photography, and you post pictures of your work and use hashtags like #weddings, #photography, #events, and others, you begin to cultivate a following of like-minded people. If you follow others similar to yourself or businesses who compliment what you offer, (and use hashtags like #lighting, #catering, #cakes) and comment on their sites, you're showing respect for what they do, and they will likely reciprocate.