Logos are probably the most difficult of all graphic design projects. Fortunately, there is a right way to go about designing one. Years ago, I took some independent graphic design classes with Dietmar Winkler at Southeastern Massachusetts University. I was living in Charlestown and commuted down to Rhode Island to study with him.

He was an influential graphic designer who followed the International Typographic Style of sans-serif fonts and a grid layout formula. As a member of  the graphic-design office at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the late 60s, he produced beautiful posters using letter forms and manipulated words as vehicles to express content. This innovation is still used today in modern graphic design.

Dietmar taught me that you must include your client(s) in the process of designing a logo. This is done via an interview, usually face to face, where the designer interviews and writes down words and expressions that the client feels is important to the brand or purpose of the company. Perhaps it is a group of important players in a board room. Not only does the ceo feel included in the process, but a contribution is made from many that is invaluable in the process.

The designer then goes back to his artboard (or computer)  and the thinking phase settles into a few good ideas. Combining several images to create one that expresses the right tone and message is the goal. This process can take days or weeks, which is why logos are not inexpensive. The end result is not usually the first idea and it is not the most obvious or cliche. The designer may present 3 or 4 ideas and then the one chosen may have several iterations. Colors and use in print or web also have to be considered. Different sizes for different purposes as well. On the side of a van? On a t-shirt? Or, just letterhead and website. Sounds easy, right?