September 23, 2016 | Marissa Noble | PR + Account Executive

Five Tips to Avoid Logo Heartbreak

After a year of observing and working closely with the Westwerk design team on a variety projects, I’ve picked up on a thing or two along the way, including the many ups and downs of creating a great logo! Designers have all experienced a “gotcha” moment in the logo design process. They dedicate time and energy crafting the perfect logo for a client only to hit a road block that sends them back to the drawing board. Heartbreaking. Here are five helpful tips to help avoid the heartache:

Do your research

Have you ever presented a logo option to a client that you both fell in love with only to later find out it already exists? While this is bound to happen with the reductive nature of logo design, there are ways to avoid that awkward conversation with your client.

Start with a preliminary search on platforms such as Dribbble and LogoLounge to make sure the idea doesn’t already exist. Once those sources clear, move on to the deep, trademarked search using the Official United States Patent and Trademark Office’s search system: TESS.

Using TESS, search trademarked symbols using a variety of criteria including form, shapes and subject matter. If it clears that super detailed search, then please continue.

Kill your darlings

Design can be extremely subjective. That’s why it is important to follow objective standards, such as a creative brief. You might create something beautiful that is hard to let go of, even though it might not be appropriate for your client. If you’re amazing logo doesn’t clear the creative brief, then you might just want to pocket that design for later.

Try designing in black and white

When it comes to execution, try designing without color. Deriving too much meaning from color can be a tricky thing. It can distract from other elements such as form and relationship, and can leave you with an unadaptable mess. This is especially true when it comes to formatting for one color printing or designing for accessibility.

If meaning can be derived from a silhouette of your logo, it will work in color. Rarely does it work the other way around.

Ex. Instagram Logo

Test size often

Speaking of adaptability, always consider how the logo works at various sizes. This is especially true in our day and age of responsive design and small screen sizes. If the details make or break the logo, chances are you need to take a step back and decide if this idea is worth pursuing.

Involve the client during each phase

Sometimes you are so in the zone, it can be easy to get carried away creating high fidelity, polished ideas. After you invest all of your soul (and budgeted hours) on your logo that is truly original, extremely appropriate, works in every medium and screen size just to find out the client hates it, you’ve probably reached ultimate heartbreak.

Remember, this logo isn’t for you. It’s for the client. It’s up to us to help them usher along the project to completion. That means getting approval every step of the way from sketches to mock-ups and iterations to ultimate hand-off. Not only will this help you save time, but it will also help create a healthy relationship with your client.

Interested in learning more about our design process? Check out our creative service offerings!

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