Today I wanted to take you all behind the scenes and show you my logo design process. This logo was a special project in particular because I made it for my mother. She has been blogging for over 10 years, and I wanted to help her update her web presence in order to better serve her audience, our dearest family and friends.
Step 1: Values
In my last post, I talked all about how brand identity is values plus visuals. So before I did anything, I talked to my mom about the purpose of her website, what she wanted people to feel when they visited, and what kind of values we wanted to embody in the logo and subsequent branding. Being her daughter, I already had a pretty good idea of her values, but it was good to put it in writing and talk about it out loud.
She values faith, family, hard work, and self reliance. She wants people to feel uplifted, encouraged, and educated when they visit her site. Her style is traditional, and she likes order and comfort. We also discussed the idea of finding peace and calmness amid busyness. During our conversation, she commented, “I’m not sure how to best portray that in my home or on a computer screen.” That remark lit me up because that is my job as a brand identity designer – to visually reflect these abstract concepts in a way that makes sense.
Step 2: Inspiration
I always start my process by gathering inspiration, usually from Pinterest. This helps me get an idea for where I want to go and opens my mind to some techniques I might not have thought of myself. I look for fonts, colors, textures, mockups, and layouts that look intriguing. However, I always have to be careful because too much inspiration hunting can skew my creative process and soon enough, my designs will start looking too much like the inspiration. These are three images that caught my eye during this step (click picture for source). After I’ve found a handful of good ideas, I step away from the computer and start sketching.
Step 3: Sketching
Sketching is advantageous because it allows you to get a lot of ideas out on a page quickly. It is much faster than trying to create the same thing on a computer. I did about a dozen sketches in my notebook and presented a couple ideas to my mom to see what she thought. This step helped me to quickly focus the direction for the logo and helped her articulate what she wanted. The next steps can get very time consuming, so it was important that we figured out some concepts she DIDN’T want, so we could move forward more productively.
Step 4: Typography
The next thing I do is look for fonts. I knew she didn’t want a serif and she wanted to keep it simple. I thought about doing a custom handlettered logo, but ended up finding fonts with the handlettered texture I was going for. I can spend hours scouring the internet for the perfect fonts. The picture below represents about half of the typefaces I looked at before choosing my favorite. The final logo features Avera Sans and Brixton Ln. Both fonts are free for personal and commercial use (Bonus!).
Step 5: Graphic Elements
The next step was adding some greenery and bullet points to frame out the type. Since this logo is mainly going to be used as a website banner, it was important to have the slogan in the logo to immediately call out the purpose of the blog to readers. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I got the graphic elements from my vector subscription with Freepik. Below are some options I considered.
Step 6: Iterate, Iterate, Iterate
This is my favorite part of the logo design process. At this point, I added color and started experimenting with different combinations of layouts, spacing, graphic elements, and everything in between. This is where my attention to detail comes into play because I can spend literally hours tweaking spacing and alignment. It sounds tedious, but I love it. Normally, I would only present one or two logo options to a client for them to decide between. But this being my mom and knowing she would be easy to work with, I gave her all five of these options to review.
Step 7: Finalize & Deliver
After showing her my iterations, we decided on option D, but with the Brixton Ln font for the slogan. I quickly whipped up some alternate logos, a favicon for the website, a couple mockups to share on social media, and a rationale that explains how the design embodies the values we talked about at the beginning. Overall, we are both really happy with how it turned out! You can see her logo in action on her website, neverboredlife.com.
Did you find this interesting? Thoughts on the process or final logo? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below!