One of the first questions I get asked when someone contacts me about a logo is: How long will it take?
Every designer is going to have a slightly different approach, but I recommend at least three weeks for the entire process. To give you some insight about what takes place during this time, I’ve broken down my own process.
Round 1 – Introduction & Conceptualization
My process begins with an initial questionnaire, followed by research, conceptualization and the development of several design options before I present the first round of proofs. This usually takes place in the first week and is considered the rough draft.
During that first week I also allow some time to step away for a day or two, so that I can come back and review my concepts with fresh eyes. This gives me a chance to see outside my own perspective as the designer, and to make improvements before I present the options.
Round 2 – Detailed Construction & Further Development
Once the client has chosen which design or designs stand out the most, we move into the second round. The product from this round relies heavily on the feedback I receive from the first round. On average, I spend between two to four days putting this round together.
Here I will begin to play with font and color options, although sometimes this part is split between the second and third round. It’s important to wait for the appropriate time before introducing new elements to the design, and it really depends on the feedback I receive and how close we are to the final concept selection before I do.
Sometimes I’ll run into a situation where my client likes multiple options from the first round and I end up working on a design in the second round that combines the best of each. This may include combinations of layouts, fonts, imagery, styles or all of the above.
Needless to say, once I’ve elaborated on a single chosen design or I’ve created a new design from multiple options, the second round of proofs is sent out to gather more feedback.
Round 3 – Additional Tweaks & Final Deliverables
This part of the process varies the most because it depends on what took place in round two, but it is usually the fastest to complete. I usually spend about two days putting this round together before sending for approval.
If we are working on a single concept chosen from the first round, we proceed by finalizing fonts and colors in this round. If we have combined several options from the first round into a new design, we may actually need to add an additional round to the process for font and color selection.
Once my client has chosen their font and color preferences, and has given me any additional feedback about the overall design, I will begin the finalization process. I’ll put on the finishing touches, smoothing out curves, sharpening corners, perfecting the color palette and checking the spacing of everything. Then the final design is on it’s way to the client.
Overall I spend about two weeks with the design solely in my hands. That third week that I’ve counted is dedicated for the client’s review and feedback.
Throughout the entire process I encourage the client to spend some extra time with the proofs, stepping away for a day or two just as I do, before responding with feedback. Reviewing each design and carefully considering the significant features that make each concept unique can feel overwhelming if rushed. Especially when you consider that this will be how you are primarily identified by your audience going forward.
Try not to be surprised or discouraged if it takes a little bit longer. Most often extra time spent on logo design is dependent on the length of time the client spends reviewing and deciding what they like best. Just keep in mind that it’s better to be sure about your design than to risk having regrets.
Look at the development of your new logo as a product of teamwork between you and your designer, backed by thoughtful and clear communication. This will move the process along much faster and you’ll walk away with a truly custom made logo that you’ll be proud of for many years to come.