Becoming an Efficient Graphic Designer
Planning is everything when it comes to creating a brand. Logo’s can be completed in 30 seconds to 3 months depending. However with great planning you can really create a powerful meaningful branded company.
A logo/brand planned out well enough can influence the values of an entire company. This is because you are not just designing a ‘cool picture’ but telling a story of influence and change.
You are literally painting a picture of the mountain the business stands on and holds themselves to. It means you the graphic designer are setting a standard for the companies identity… With that said, Here is how you can become an efficient Graphic Designer.
Step 1 – Understanding The Creative Brief
Make sure you give you client a creative brief that is pretty details so that you can get as much information online as possible, if you feel that you would like to sit in font of the client and do it that is ok as well. As long as you get the information. Once that is done you need to go through the creative/design brief and make sure you understand the vision, goal and expectations of the client. Especially if they are very particular, like the ones that will send you pictures of their own pencil drawn concepts.
Otherwise if the client is not the phased about the outcome and they just want something professional this is still an important step. Your main concern should be “What is the first main message they want to get across?” and “How will I infuse their character/personality into the design?”
Step 2 – References and Research
Once you have an idea of what the client is looking for it’s time to do some research and look for really good references. Use the following websites to find out whats out there and how you can ‘stand out from the crowd’:
Type in the category of the business followed by ‘logo’ in the search widget of any of these websites. let the inspiration clock start ticking and you will have some creative concepts in no time. Remember to take into consideration the style of Logo you’re going for such as line art, abstract, realistic, cartoon etc…
Step 3 – Logo and Brand Conceptualization
Once you have your references and little ideas of inspired brilliance in your mind, you will need to doodle or jot down what you think will work and why. Otherwise if you have a preferred method of putting your ideas on your pad or pc go ahead and do that. However it is nice to show your clients the thought process and journey you went on to get to the concept and idea. Ideally you want to give them a train of thought and tell a story as to how you came up with the concept.
Step 4 – Logo/Icon Rough Drafts / Sketches
Play around with colors, make sure that the logo can be identified in 1 single color and in a line art design. Then you can start adding your layers of colors, shading, effects etc… Work from the bottom up.
Don’t be scared to be bold with the elements make some stuff really big and other things really small and just see what it look like, This helps make your design look creative and different. It doesn’t always work but give it a try while adding new elements in the process of the creation.
You want to have different variants of the final design, You want to be able to give the client at least 3 different examples of how this final logo can look.
Step 5 – Final Concept Logo and Overall Brand
Now that you have your concepts, pick one that you will think works the best and why. In my experience i’ve designed beautiful logos but I could not sell it to the client because they only saw a picture, they did not see the message behind the logo. Had I planned and prepared myself a little bit more on how I’m going to present this to them, it would of saved me another 2 weeks of design time. I had to go back to the drawing board.
When presenting the final logo make sure you show examples of mock ups relevant to the company. For example, you do not want to put a logo on a 18 wheeler truck when the company is a netball academy for girls. You would rather want to put their logo on a netball or on the uniforms to give them the vision of their business in action a few months from now.
If the design does not inspire the designer, how will it inspire the client?
Here we have an insurance company, take note of the process of taking them through the brand.
I always use to think that I needed incredible drawing abilities in order to become a really good graphic designer. But learnt that the talent of designing will only get you so far and you can actually go so much further if you understand a few other key elements of design and business. People are more worries about results and simplicity then they are about anything else. Understanding the client is your most important task when becoming an efficient graphic designer.