7 Steps to Designing a Professional Logo

April 8, 2014 / Uncategorized / 0 Comments

1.  Discovery

Everyone has that vision in their mind about having that perfect logo, and sometimes they know what they want that logo to look like, or parts of it.  But most people don’t have any idea what they want, just that it has to be incredibly polished and professional.  Whatever your needs are, this is the first step in completing a logo design.


Your designer should be asking imperative questions to spark conversation and dig into the mind to find that vision.  Tell me about yourself, your company, what do you do or sell, how long have you been in business, who are the intended audiences, etc.   This will allow the designer to get a firm understanding of what the requirements are which will lead them into the next step.


2.  Research

Logically this is what should be happening next and can take the most amount of time.  When asked ‘why can a logo design take so long to be completed?’  This is because we have to learn about everything; our customer, their business, products, services, visions, accomplishments, mission statement, history of the industry and so on.


We can accomplish this through any kind of avenue’s through internet researching, books, radio, friends in a related industry and even bouncing ideas off our parents!  That’s right.  Its’ likely that they know more about a lot of things than you do.


3.  Sketch

With the advances in technology this term could be a computer-aided design (CAD) or some designers still break out the ol’ pencil and paper and doodle some images in black and white.  It may be easier, quicker and more consistent to move some objects around on the monitor than it would be to re-draw them each time you get an epiphany but that doesn’t mean the traditional ways are dead.


Either way, whatever the designer does behind the scenes shouldn’t be that important to you as a customer.  You probably never see this stage so it is a moot point, but it is always good to know what’s happening with your logo.  Sketching is important to the designer.  This is where those “creative juices” start to flow.  Whatever sparks that creative fire and vision to come up with that compelling sketch is really all that matters.


4.  Design

Once that alarm goes off from the eye to the brain and the idea’s are jumping off the paper (or out of the monitor) it’s time to design it into a draft form that we can send to the customer.  It’s likely that this process has to happen on 2-3 occasions to give the client a couple of different variations to review.  This keeps the customer engaged and also shows them different directions they could go in.  It also creates an opportunity for the customer to combine different parts of each of the logo’s.


5.  Propose

We bring the client back into the process at this point and unveil our creations.  Usually in black and white.  It’s common to have some dialogue attached or connected to the Proposal to explain or allow for an understanding of what and why things were created to look like this.  Sometimes a logo can require no explanation but generally we elaborate on the decisions we made coming up with the icons.


6.  Refine

Here we wait and hold our breath as the customer provides their feedback to us.  What did they like or hate, questions they have, what else they want to see, colours they might want to use or update.  If you have done your research and discovery correctly and thoroughly there should be no need to re-invent the wheel here, it should simply be a review of what logo they like best, adding some colour and changes to the selected design.


After this review we revert back to step (5) and create a new proposal.


7.  Execute

After the customer approves the final changes we deliver the final product electronically in any formats required.  All source files, fonts or layers that the customer asks for they get.  After all, they did pay for it and now they should own it.

Top 3 Things to Look for When Contracting a Website

March 3, 2014 / Uncategorized / 0 Comments

1.  Technology


The technology your website is created on is one of the most important factors to your overall website and can even outweigh the information on it!  Nobody wants to wait for a page to load, and even worse, nobody will come back to your site if it doesn’t load the first time.  We are in the digital world where everything is available to everyone, basically everywhere.  The day I saw “free WiFi” at Tim Horton’s I knew how important being “connected” was to people.


Most people are staying connected through internet and devices, and most of them are not on stationary home or work desktops.  So why is your website formatted for a desktop?  In September of 2012 at the “Google Engage” Conference in Canada they reported that 97% of internet users access the world wide web on their phones when at home.  97%.  I would think that you would agree with me when I tell you that its pretty important to have your website display properly on a cell phone.  This is called being “Responsive”.  Having your site “Responsive” will automatically reformat the display based on the device accessing your site.  Yes, it knows what device is accessing your site.


Just like cell phones have dramatically changed from the brick-phone released by Motorola to fuel efficiencies in automobiles to flat screen TVs, computer languages and program’s have also dramatically changed – and for the better.  Building your site on the ‘newest-latest’ allows you to have a responsive, quick loading site that is visually appealing to your users.  Don’t make the mistake of saving a few dollars and buy a website that is already years behind.  Do your research, spend the extra cash, and have a site that is ahead of its time, and more importantly, ahead of your competition.


2.  Using A Template


A lot of people think that using a template restricts the originality of the site or takes away from creative inspirations of your vision or the designers.  Although this can be partially true, there are so many benefits to using a template that will heavily outweigh the restrictions.  You can still have almost endless input and flexibility while still using a template from any of the big platforms.


The purpose of the template is that hours upon hours are saved in the project because all of the ground work has already been done.  This translates into savings on you, the customer.  Designers use a template to keep project timelines respectable and budgets affordable.  There are still plug-ins to be installed, sliders to be customized and layouts to be formatted to make your site original and beautiful!


3.  Static vs. Dynamic


Lets start with the definition of these two terms, then we’ll talk about the benefits of both.  Static websites can only be updated by a designer and requires an understanding of the programming and languages used to build the site.  Dynamic websites give more control to the end user (the customer) and allows them access to make updates themselves – and quite easily too.


Most people looking for a website for their small business, real estate listings, or informational page-postings don’t know that you have the ability to update your own website, and its easy!  Some designers and customers can be either for or against these “dynamic” sites.  The pro’s are that the customer can update their own data.  This allows the designer to focus on new projects and continue to create websites instead of updating data, pictures or links.  It also allows the client to keep to their budget while doing the updates themselves and not paying a designer an hourly wage.  The con’s are a potential lack of revenue as the designer is not engaged in future updates and the customer has access to the entire site.  With this access it IS possible to delete some of, or all of the website.  But that’s probably not going to happen, right?


One last side note to take into consideration is the portfolio of the designer, or lack their of.  Its actually not a bad idea to work with a new company or individual that doesn’t have an extensive portfolio to share with you.  It’s likely that this person has recently made the decision to go out on their own, or, have just finished their education and are literally ahead of the curve with today’s expertise.  This will get you a hungry, educated, cheaper designer that has everything to prove to the world what they are capable of.  Make sure you ask these questions before selecting your designer and you will be well on your way to a great website!