We create new logos and designs for our customers all the time, so you’d think that when it came to designing our own 25th year anniversary logo, it would be easy for us. Well, it wasn’t quite like that!
Firstly, let’s run through the steps that we would typically take when designing a new logo for a client:
1. Understand the customer’s brief.
We ask many questions at this stage, because it’s so important to understand everything there is to know about how you will use this logo, who your target market is, who your competitors are and where your logo will be used. For example, a logo these days may need to be used across various social media platforms as well as a website, plus used in print, on promotional merchandise and more. Where a logo will be used is likely to have an impact on the designs we present, and whether you might need different versions, so it’s really important to understand this up front so we can adapt the designs accordingly.
2. Do some planning, researching, and rough sketching.
It’s important to get in the mind-set of our clients, to truly understand what is needed, as well as understand the marketplace and competitor landscape
3. Create (at least three) different logos, using the ideas from the brief and planning stages.
This is a good start to understand what the client likes and dislikes. Sometimes there will be three totally different approaches, and sometimes three variations on a theme – it all depends on the initial brief, and eventual usage.
4. Present the initial logo ideas to the client.
Typically clients will like something from one idea and something else from another. This gives us some clear direction in how to develop the design further.
5. Work with the client, using their feedback, to develop further ideas for the final piece.
The final logo design is formed from a combination of all discussions, ideas, likes and dislikes. Some logos may require alternative versions depending on usage; for example, what may look striking and impactful on a high resolution computer screen may well lose its detail when embossed on corporate merchandise, so you may need a line art alternative, or different colourways for different uses. That’s all part of the process.
6. Present and finish the artwork, ensuring the client is happy with their final choice.
It’s easy to know when the design is spot on – the client’s face lights up, and you know they just love it!
7. Prepare the files for the customer.
The artwork that we prepare is paid for by you, and it’s yours to have in whatever format you want it. We won’t hold it to ransom – you’ll need it time and time again, so it’s completely yours at this point. This will include any variations you require as mentioned above.
8. Store the files for potential future use.
Although the artwork is owned by you, we do keep it too. That way it’s always available should you, or we, need it for your print products, saving clients time and effort for future jobs.
The most important step in this whole process is developing and understanding the brief. Your company logo can be surprisingly important, and there are so many opportunities to use it, and reinforce your values, your brand, and your identity. Often though, the customer isn’t really sure of exactly what they want, how they want to use their new design, or of all the “must haves” that are required. But often what they do know is what they don’t want. Since we’ve seen this hundreds of times before you’d think that we would be good at preparing our own brief. The problem for us what that we all had different ideas – in fact, the term “too many cooks” springs to mind – and too many “experts” with differing opinions.
Our first idea was that we wanted a new design, to use as a stand-alone logo, instead of our current one. But, it had to be “Victoire themed” and so based on our current logo in order to be recognisable when used in its place. The studio came up with some initial ideas.
Then somebody (not mentioning any names!) decided that we should actually have a logo that we could use alongside our current logo. And that meant it being something very different, so that it stood apart and didn’t clash. This made for a very interesting Friday afternoon “discussion”, as we now had to come up with a new brief … and fast. Time was ticking, our anniversary was approaching, and we had a lot to do with this new logo!
Back to the drawing board we went … with our Studio department laughing at how we were behaving just like our own customers! Fortunately they’re used to taking it all in their stride so were very patient with us.
Our new brief was very different. We still wanted it to feel “Victoire”, so it needed to be clean and clear with no fuss, but portraying an obvious message. And it needed to be contemporary so that we would continue to like it for the next five years – until we design our 30th logo!
We’ve got some amazing creative talent in our studio, and so it didn’t take too long for them to come back with some fresh ideas.
What’s great about seeing new design ideas is that you instantly know what you don’t like. Sometimes it’s difficult to pin-point what you want instead, but at least you are eliminating ideas, which does help to develop your final design, and so it’s just as important to dismiss suggestions as much as it is to think of new ones.
Luckily we all agreed on our favourite logo.
So there we have our new logos; yes, that’s right, we decided to keep both logos and use them both, but in different ways.
One was to be used on our celebration biscuits and cakes, and will be used online and in advertising & promotional materials. Our silver logo we’ve put on all our stationery and will be used alongside our current logo. Who says you should only have one logo when you can have two … or even three!
This was a really positive experience for us. It was good to feel like a client, and to remind ourselves of how difficult it can be for our customers when briefing their own concepts. And it was also good to do something creative for ourselves and see a finished result that we all love. And ultimately that is what it’s all about: does your design do everything you want it to do, does it portray the message you want it to, does it tell the story you want it to tell and do you love it? Are you proud of it? If so, then you have created the perfect logo – with a little help from us.