I recently had a client who wanted a logo designed for a line of diet bars. While I was interviewing him before starting my initial designs, one of my questions sparked an interesting answer from him.
He said he was afraid of his diet products appearing “too diet.” He wanted something more “frivolous and comfortable.” That is something I never would have guessed or designed for. How much time would he and I have spent on failed designs if I hadn’t known this?
So…here’s a no-brainer rule of thumb:
You don’t know what the client wants unless you ask.
Regrettably I haven’t always done this, but nowadays I check all of the following with my clients before I so much as put pencil to a stray napkin. This not only ensures the work goes faster, but that the client will ultimately get what he asked for. That alone will keep you in business as a designer for a long long time.
Here’s my checklist for logo design. Feel free to use any, all, or none of it as you wish.
Logo Design Checklist
- Is the logo for the company or a product?
- What is the overall mood of the company?
- Business cards?
- All of the above?
I know that last question is a little weird. You may even get some blank stares when you ask a client what the purpose of a logo is. After all, every client knows the purpose of a logo is to be as famous as McDonalds! But get it answered anyway because it will tell you a great deal about what the client is looking for.
And if your client doesn’t know how to answer one of these questions, make sure you spend even more time clarifying milestones and the end product. I’ve learned the hard way that the more nebulous a project seems at the outset, the more likely it will grow horns and cloven hooves before it’s done.