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A logo can be almost anything, designed by anyone, and used in any way a business owner or marketing manager sees fit. So what goes into creating a professional logo design that doesn’t happen when a logo is designed by a five-dollar logo website or the office manager’s sister-in-law who has a ripped copy of CorelDRAW?

First: expertise. While it might seem easy to grab some clipart or ‘appropriate’ some existing designs found on the Internet, there just isn’t any substitute for years and years of design and branding experience. And this experience isn’t just in doing logo designs … the experience that really counts is years working with companies to create and build brands. Years of experience in business with knowledge and insight into keeping a company or brand viable and profitable. And experience with people, because at the end of the day a brand is a very human thing that speaks directly to a company’s employees, management and customers. It affects morale, business decisions, and purchasing habits.

Then there’s the more practical aspects of creating a professional logo.

Research is a big part of the design process, which for a smaller company usually involves talking to the owners or managers to gain insight into the business and its customers, looking at their products or services, plus a bit of competitor investigation and analysis. For larger organisations, the research component can become quite comprehensive including high level business planning and strategising with senior management, employee surveys, market research, detailed competitor analysis, and extensive work with HR to form powerful messaging and mission statements.

Once the research is done, the design phase can involve tens or even hundreds of concepts, ideas and different variations to then develop and refine the final design. The design will take into account all the messaging and other information from the research to create a logo that will not only stand out from the competitors in the marketplace, but will also convey and symbolise the message and story of the brand. Shape, colour and font choices all influence the connotations that the logo will evoke, while name choice and visual messaging also affect the effectiveness and emotional connection people will have to the brand.

And while logo design is the topic, the simple fact of the matter is that if you get a professionally designed logo, it’s never just a logo on its own. The logo comes with a whole corporate identity package that can include messaging, taglines, fonts, colours, textures, backgrounds, images, visuals, and more. And that’s definitely something you won’t get online for five dollars!

Ben Johnston

I’m Ben—a branding strategist, graphic designer, photographer, videographer and writer. Evocative is my own communications and branding consultancy. With over ten years experience in all things creative—plus an honours degree in design majoring in corporate identity—I’ve specialised in branding and visual communication.  

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