Every now and then I think I'm going to take one of my logo design projects, collect up all of the versions and iterations, and make a post showing a little about how I work.
I'd recently done a logo project for a new security education company called S-Curve Infosec. Since the process is still fresh in my mind, I thought that would make a nice case study, an illustration of what kind of effort goes into a design like this for me.
Typically I'll start with pencil sketches, just working out as many options as possible, getting ideas out of my head and onto paper. Or I'll go straight to the type books, start with a page or two of typographic bases, focusing on what helps contribute to or forward the key communication of the identity involved.
In this case I went straight to Adobe Illustrator - I've been using it for about 24 years so I've gotten pretty fast with it, and I can get a lot of idea iterations "on paper" pretty quickly.
I can build and carve and clip and sketch version after version, zeroing in on better and better ideas. Another benefit is that I can organize these into collections of concepts, and paginate the Illustrator document into something presentable.
So I sent the above pages to the client, just to show him some reasonably organized ideas for the core logo concept. They liked the "circular deadbolt lock with the S key insert" idea, especially page 4 up there.
So, I took that and ran with it, and worked up a couple dozen versions of just that idea. Another nice thing about working roughs out in Illustrator is that I don't have to stay in the lines if I have more ideas than will fit. Not all of these ideas are great, mind, and very few of them will survive each round of the process. But that's okay. No one but me will see most of them.
Well, except now.
But eventually I start to zero in on something that makes me and the client happy.
I kind of liked the idea of a black and antique gold color scheme. Classical and sophisticated.
The client also wanted to see something more energetic, with stronger color, so I worked up a series of reds, oranges, bright golds, blues, and greens, along with a set of simple letterheads to show it in application.
Every color variation says something different about the identity, about the company it represents. Strong contrasts are more energetic, maybe more youthful, more agile, implying speed and vibrancy. Oranges may suggest friendliness, optimism and spontaneity. Reds are bold and exciting. Blues and greens are trustworthy, strong, dependable, natural.
And here we are, only 150-200 design elements and variations later!
So, there you go. A little insight into the process. Every project is different, of course, and each one has its particulars and best approach. But, this gives a good, general overview of the amount of effort and detail that goes into a typical logo design for me.