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Branding: How To Make A Logo

Logo Design Steps

So, if you read in one of my past articles, a bar/restaurant in Italy is using a logo I designed for one of my clients. They modified it somewhat, but its quite obvious that they stole it. I do a lot of logos, some I'm proud of, some I'm not. But this one, the Flannery's logo, I'm somewhat proud of.

When designing a logo, usually the client has a pretty solid idea of what they want. As the designer, it's your job to take what they say and help them reach that vision. This particular logo job was a little different, the client really didn't know what they wanted. All the really knew was what they didn't like. So it was my job to come up with a design, present the mock-ups and continue based on the feedback I received.

Designing is all about listening. Not just hearing what the client is saying, but picking up on the little nuances and feelings that they show when describing their ideas. You have to keep in mind that the client is typically very passionate about their business and the look they want to project to their customers. Obviously, there are different levels of this, but it's been my experience that every client is feels this way. As a designer, if you don't understand this fact, then you are not doing your job well. It's not about designing a cool logo. It's about designing a cool logo that invokes your clients vision to their customers.

This brings us back to Flannery's. Below are all the mock-ups done for this particular job. A few variations were left off, but this should give you a good idea of the steps taken to achieve the final look. It's kind of neat to look back at the progress. You can see that color is usually the final step. Back in college, one of my graphic design professors made the statement "If it looks good in black and white, then it will look good in color". I'm not sure if that's a 100% true, but I do think it helps get the proporations and balance flushed out prior to adding the "glitz".

Flannery's Logo Mock-Ups

The first few logos where used to try to get a sense of the direction the client wanted to go. After receiving some feedback, it was determined that they wanted something a little more traditional. I researched the Flannery surname and found their family crest. The tree was a prominent element which I incorporated into the logo. From there, you can see all the different variations until we reached the final look.

The moral of this story, is before you go ripping off someones logo, take a moment and think about all the hard work that went into designing it. It may only take you a few moments to bastardize it in Photoshop, but you wouldn't be able to do so without the hard work of others.