Through many conversations with clients and potential clients, I get asked what exactly goes into a logo, time-wise.
For the non-designers out there, there is usually a bit of surprise when they see what kind of time investment there is designing what will end up being their brand identity. You are looking at a multi-stage process, back and forth communication between the client and the designer and a lot of researching. Here are some basic steps I take through my design process and a rough estimate of the time needed.
Each project presents its own set of challenges and can increase or decrease the time needed at each stage of the process.
The Design Brief: 1.5 – 2 hours
As the designer, I need to learn a lot about you, your business, the industry you work in, who you are competing with and so on. I need to know as much as possible about you and what you do so I can more accurately dial in the design down the road. Without this information, a lot of time could be wasted during the brainstorming phase with ideas that miss the mark.
Once all of this information is in place, I can more accurately put together a price quote, a list of what you will need from me at the end of the project, as well as deadlines and terms for the project.
Once the client has signed everything sent to them and agreed to the terms set up during the design brief and proposal stage, an initial deposit is made to begin the project. This is a percentage that is agreed upon by both parties and is included in the original price quote. A deposit or down payment is standard practice in many industries as it establishes a commitment to the project for the client and designer.
Research and Inspiration: 3 hours
At this point in the process, it’s time for me to dig deeper into the information you gave me during stage one and research your company, the industry you reside in and also dig into the competition’s logos and how they present themselves to the customers you will be after.
Sketching and Brainstorming: 6 – 10 hours
All of the ideas gathered during my research go into the sketching and brainstorming stage. I’ll be filling a few pages with rough sketches or word lists to fine tune what I’m going to be presenting to you at a later stage.
The sketching and rough process can take several hours to compile a good number of ideas.
After this stage, I will then select my favorites and begin the process of translating them into a digital format.
Polish and Presentation: 1.5 – 2 hours
Once I have narrowed down my sketches into digital illustrations, I select the top three to move onto the next round. At this point, I take the designs and polish them to a near complete stage to present to the client.
Client Presentation: 1 hour
This is the point where the client and I meet up to go over the design ideas and their application in their business. Most of the time this will be face to face unless we have agreed to work remotely (if you are in a different location than I am, for example). Feedback is collected and most importantly, your choice for the final design direction.
Final polish and Payment: 30 min – 1 hour
Once I have final direction from the client, I can take their feedback (if any) and put the finishing touches on their design work. Once the final edits are made (another meeting might be needed) and the client approves, the final payment is received. Upon receipt of the final payment, the client will receive digital copies of all of the art agreed upon at the beginning, in various formats and other materials they may need to accompany their new logo.
On average, from start to finish, a client can expect their designer to spend around fifteen to twenty hours.
Understanding this process and looking at how important a good design or logo is to a business is important to understanding the value and the time spent on your design. Remember that the time spent on the various stages of design can vary from project to project so communication in both directions is key to a successful project.