Design Logos Like a Pro | #2 Do Your Research


A design questionnaire is essential and will start you on the right path. But in order to assure or at least greatly increase the odds of having a successful project, you need to do some research of your own. Good research will serve as the basis for creating an identity that will work instead of merely something that might work. What’s more, you’ll earn your clients’ respect when they know that you have research to support your designs.

3 Areas You Need to do Research On and How to Go About It

1. The business and industry (to learn and understand it)

What is the product or service?

How did it come about?

What is involved in its production and delivery?

The internet is a wonderful resource. Read up as much as you can, enough to gain solid knowledge and understanding of the business. If something needs clearing up, you can always ask the client. Should budget and resources allow, a visit to the place of work will surely give one a better sense of the company culture. For those of us who work with clients overseas, photos will have to do. Any previous marketing materials sourced from the client will also be helpful.

2. The competition and the market leaders (to know the trends and avoid similarities)

What are their logos like?

What colors and imagery are used?

What type of logos do the audience connect with?

The client would have given a list of competitors with their websites. Start with these and do a search for others in the same industry, include the market leaders as well. What I do is copy their logos and put them all together in a page. Again, given the resources, questionnaires may also be distributed to the target market. It will be helpful to know how a logo affects how they buy, how loyal are they to a brand, what types of logos appeal to them, what colors are they attracted to, etc. The questions will depend on what the business is and who is the target audience. If giving out questionnaires is not possible for some reason, visiting online forums where the target audience hang out can be helpful, at least to get a general feel of who the customer is.

3. Logo galleries (to know and avoid what has already been done)

What logos have been done for similar businesses?

In this instance, use logo galleries for research, not inspiration. A few you will find helpful are

Now armed with the results of your research and being much more informed about the business than you were when you signed the contract, you should be able to know the trends and the usual design solutions employed and thus avoid them. Also by now, you understand what makes your client’s business different from the competition. One or two particularly unique features may be worth exploring while creating the logo.


How about you, how do you do your research? Do share in the comments.

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  • February 16th, 2012 /