Five Tips on How to Better Manage Your Logo Design Project

It is well known that most of the things we really learn come from our own experience, after banging our own head against the issues that come our way. It is preferable, though, and less painful, to learn from the experience of others. The tips presented below are learned the hard way, at my own expense and hopefully they will help someone in some way. Working your way through logo design projects, you've probably come to similar conclusions, or maybe some other great tips that may help others, thus you're invited to leave a comment and share the things you've learned out of your own expertise.

1. Describe to your client the logo design process step by step

It is very important to give the client an overview of the logo design process, a good idea of the different phases you'll go through, thus avoiding any confusion and creating the right expectations. Your client will understand approximately the length of the project, its phases and implications from both parties. It is also a good way to sort your clients… don't worry about the ones that won't come back to you after laying out the way you work and the way you expect payments… they were only meant to waste your time to begin with.

2. Always ask for a deposit

I can't stress this enough… Alway, but always ask for a downpayment. Usually 30% in case of larger projects, and 50% in case of smaller logo design projects will do the trick. By doing this, you will achieve two important things. You'll make sure that your client is serious about the project and that they certainly want to undertake it and secondly, it will give you a bit of financial contort in case the project gets delayed or canceled. This way you make sure you didn't work for nothing. Apply this tip even if taking a logo design project from a friend. If the things are clear from the beginning, at least you friendship will stay intact. This tip will help you sort your clients and avoid the ones that are not sure they want to undertake a logo design project and, most importantly, you will avoid the clients that don't pay!

3. Keep everything in writing

One of the most important things I've learned over time was to keep every conversation, or a summary of it, in writing. It makes it easer to track things and follow up and it is a great way to avoid miscommunications and "I said / you said" situations. If possible, try to keep all communication regarding a logo design project via email. There might be cases, though, when clients are more comfortable to communicate via phone or skype, because they can better express what they want, or because they are just lazy and don't like to write everything up. Bear with them and use the means of communication they prefer, but insist on having a summary email (that you'll write up) after a meeting or a call to comprise all the important things you've discussed in writing. Even if you'll spend a bit of time writing up the email, you'll save time later in the project and clear the grey areas of the logo project in this phase.

4. Research, research and research again

Not much of a tip, is it? Everyone knows that research is key when designing a logo… The important thing is, though, to know where to research. And here is the real tip. The vision of the business rely with the client, so always go back to the client as they have all the answers, even if they don't know it. Don't be afraid to enquire the client again and again on the things you feel you need to nail down. Start drafting your designs only after you covered all the angles and possible approaches with the client and you understand the business properly.

5. Balance your design concept with your client's preferences

A logo design is not "art for art's sake". It is a functional element in your client's business identity and development. If you do not understand this, you're in for a lot of frustration and headache. I'm not saying that if your client asks you for a crapy design you should give them that… You are the designer and you should advice them accordingly. What I'm trying to point out is that you should keep an open mind and avoid getting stuck with your own preferences. Listen to the client as, in the end, they are the ones that know their audiences best and they are the ones that will use that logo as their own identity. They have to connect with it, internalize it and brand themselves with it. Your logo design should represent them more than it represents you. even if it bears your own design style.