When we start any significant branding project, we ask a number of questions to lay down the goals and parameters for the project. The primary questions for a logo project are simple but powerful enough to launch us into conversations that guide the rest of the project.
Whether you are developing a logo on your own or hiring a professional, there are three things we recommend you think about deeply prior to putting the first line on paper:
- If you have an existing logo, what do you like or not like about it?
- What other logos or samples of artwork inspire you?
- Are there any icons or symbols that you wish to include or avoid?
These few questions will help you get the concept right from the beginning. Logos have a magical quality about them in that they convey the identity of your organization quicker and with more lasting power than words can. The logo can be a graphic, a special treatment of text, or a combination of both. Once you get the concept right, you can concentrate on the form that it takes. Before that, you don’t have enough information to ensure that your new logo will have meaning unique to you and your organization.
After the concept is settled and the basic form is underway, there are secondary questions that we follow up with, for example, color preferences, intended applications (embroidery? desktop icons?).
For our recent logo project with Arcane Technologies, the partners were inspired from the beginning by the word arcane which means “information understood by few”. From their existing logo we had salvaged only the color. And not necessarily the actual colors as much as the inspiration of the colors – blue and silver.
Their visual inspiration was archaic alchemy symbols Our research expounded on that. We rounded up a range of imagery centered around that starting point and that visually spanned the board. The goal of this exercise is to find the boundaries. Google Images is our top tool for finding thousands of images quickly.
The symbols they wanted to avoid included anything computer related. This is a highly recommended tactic as well – the first things to be overused in any representation are the tools of the trade. When we did a logo for a surveying company, they were open to anything but a transit and plumb bob.
The first draft above had three main themes that came out of our idea generation: one based on The Alchemy Index cover, one based on the sun chart, and one on a mysterious combination of geometric shapes.
The first revision added details, shading, gradients and transparency effects of the logo design.
The second revision refined the geometry, shading, transparency and colors. The geometry of the logo was finalized.
The final version of the Arcane logo design had one more slight detail modification.. We helped write the tagline and place it with the logo to complete the identity.