The design process can be daunting and overwhelming and confusing. So I’d you are new to design or have have an idea of what happens when you work with a designer, I’ve put together a step by step guide to what happens when and what is expected of you as a design client.
1. Initial contact is made. You will most probably want to find a designer who fits with your ethos and style. Creativity and design are very individualistic and personal disciplines. And so is setting up your own business. So, it’s worth looking through designers past work.
2. Once you have chosen your designer and made contact, you will discuss what you want: your designer may have some previously set out packages that she has put together or they may just go with your lead and formulate a bespoke project plan for you.
3. You and your designer will then decided on a course of action. You will be handed a proposal document. This document will be your point of reference detailing everything you agreed on and the price that was agreed on.
4. At this stage, your designer will be getting to work on some ideas. If its a logo design, she may begin by putting pencil to paper. This is the quickest and easiest way for a designer to get rough ideas out. At this stage, nothing will be refined and perfect. There may be some use of colour, or not. There may be a lot of scribbles, notes and little diagrams. But on the whole, there should be a few emerging ideas based on the design brief and your specification.
5. Your designer will send you some sketches, with some of their thoughts on how the idea could or should work. Your job now is to decide which one or two of the initial ideas you would like to see digitised. You could tell your designer that you like an aspect of one idea and a part of another and would like to see those two elements combined, or you might like what your designer has sketched out. Either way, you should be getting close to figuring out what your logo will look like.
6. After digitising the chosen concepts, you should get another round of ideas. This time, they should look more refined and polished. All that hard work at the beginning (ideation, sketching, refining, re-sketching, collaboration and discussion) should make the rest of the process a bit easier. Getting close to a final design is exciting, but its important to make sure you are working closely with your designer to ensure that you are getting a good quality logo that stands out (but also, doesn’t infringe copyright, look like everyone else’s, and is also appropriate for the industry your business will be in!)
7. Once you have looked over your final draft designs and have given your designer your feedback, your designer will get to work on finalizing your logo, either in illustrator or photoshop or any of the other design programs available out there. Generally, Illustrator is the best program to use and is one I have been using for years. I loves it 😊
8. Final designs should be (fingers crossed) sent to you now and the project is almost at an end. At this end stage, you will normally be sent a digital folder of documents as agreed with your designer. People generally use their logo designs as their profile images for social media business accounts, so as part of “The Simple Logo Design” package, the files you will receive from me will be .jpg, .png, .pdf and .eps all in high resolution and then another set of files ready for your social media, labelled for ease of use.
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post. Let me know in the comments below what you think, and what your experiences of working with a designer has been like.
The Simple Logo Design
hoarding illustration project
Around 18 months ago, I was approached to create a series of illustrations, that would be used to decorate the hoarding being put up on a local schools fencing. The children’s playground was open to the car park (apart from having the fencing, which obviously anyone could look through) of the school and the adjacent local secondary school, so the problem that needed solving was the lack of privacy for the children and staff. But in having the paneling fitted to the fences surrounding the school, a second issue arose. Plain sheet metal isn’t the most inspiring to look at for any adult, let alone a child, so the headmaster decided it would be best to have some illustrations created so cover the plain and boring panels.
The initial brief was to create something that reflected multiculturalism, education and a sense of welcomeness. Following a brainstorming session with the headmaster and the director of the chosen signage company whom I worked with on this project, we decided on 4 main themes – Classroom, outdoor learning, welcome to the school and physical education/sports.
The images shown are mock ups of the illustrations, and not photos of the work in situ, so as to afford the school some degree of privacy.
“DESIGN IS SUBJECTIVE. WE KNOW THAT MUCH. WHAT ONE PERSON THINKS IS A GOOD DESIGN, ANOTHER WILL THINK ITS UGLY OR USELESS”
This is a statement I wrote back in December 2018. It’s taken me awhile to get going on this blog post.
- Because I’ve been busy with client commissions and
- Because I’m a procrastinator and have dealt with serious creative confidence issues over the last few months.
Is it a good statement? possibly. But the issue here is the fact that it’s taken me almost 5 months to get back to writing this blog post. Why? I hear you ask… Well, dear friends, like I said above, I’m a procrastinator. I have so many “projects” on the go, that my head is spinning! I start a project, and quickly lose interest, unless it’s something I have to do, like commission work where it pays my bills, or watching Game of Thrones (Can that be classed as a project even?!) or the blanket I’m knitting for my soon to be born niece.
In many ways, creative confidence and procrastination go hand in hand. If you’re confident in your creativity, then procrastination shouldn’t get in the way as much. That’s my opinion anyway and confidence in my creativity is something I’ve been secretly struggling with over the last couple of months. It got to a point where I was not enjoying what I did (that lasted all of half a day!) So I did something about it, and continue to do so every day. So here I present to you a list of the “things” I did to push past this confidence block and keep building myself up.
- I decided to take a really good look at what my style was, my brand, my ethos. I closed down my main Instagram page and decided to start up a new one, so that it was fresh, and clean and very very focused. I didn’t like that. I felt constricted, so I went back to my original Instagram page where you will find the odd photo of my children, some random quotes about design and Insta stories about what I’m cooking for tea. I’m not just a designer. I’m also a mum of three and a wife. I work from home, as does my husband, and to hide that side of me would be like only showing half a tv program. Pointless. and you wouldn’t get the full picture.
- Stopped comparing myself to other creatives. This can be really tough, when there is so much competition in the world to be the best at what you do. Especially in the creative industries. Social media doesn’t help either. But what the hell do you do when social media is part of your job? There isn’t much you can do to be honest, apart from take a break, limit when you access social media or, do what I do. Re-frame that negative thought and send out positive vibes. Comparison is the thief of joy!
- Took a break. No one can keep going without taking a break. It’s a simple fact of life so over the Easter Break, we took a trip down to Weymouth to see friends and explore the area. We stayed at the Little Sea Haven which was perfect because there were so many activities for the children to do. We also went to Durdle Door which was amazing in itself! If you’ve never been, it should definitely be on your to do list.
- Bought a book. Written by brothers Tom and David Kelley – Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All I’ve followed David Kelley since I watched one of his TED Talks many many moons ago. He is the founder of IDEO and in my opinion, is one of the greatest designers and thinkers of today. Granted I haven’t ready the book yet (its downloaded onto my kindle, ready for prosecco hour tonight ;-)) But I have read around the associated website, and what he and Tom say is so absolutely true “Creative confidence is like a muscle—it can be strengthened and nurtured through effort and experience” – Which leads us on to the next point.
- Made more time for practice. Its true that practice makes perfect. Or as near perfect as you can get, because no one and nothing is perfect. And that’s something we all need to remember when learning something new or practising existing talents. Mistakes do not equal failure. Mistakes prove that you are trying, and practising your craft. I have countless sketch books full of drawings, ideas, notes and more. They are all part of my creative process. the practice, the “Ideation” stage if you will. I’ve learnt so much from them, and will keep them as reference to look back on. When life gets busy, it can be so easy to forget about that little bit of time you need to just practice your craft. especially in design. We are working to so many briefs, and most of them are other peoples briefs. We are meeting their needs, their ideas, their creative input is in there. But what every designer should do is spend time on their own creative briefs. Even if it’s just putting down some doodles to turn into a sticker pack, or writing a blog post. Do it! and thank me later!
With all these steps taken, my creative confidence has improved, a lot. But it’s something that I will continually work on no matter what. I’d love to know how you get through a creative confidence block. Let me know in the comments!
Following on from the success of the Ysgol Cybi Logo Design, I was asked to work on the branding and logo design for Ysgol Santes Dwynwen; the third super school to be built by Anglesey County Council, in line with the school’s improvement programme “21st Century Schools”
As with the work done for Ysgol Cybi, I was presented with a series of children’s drawings to start the process of deciding what route to take with the logo design.
It was decided, by myself, Headteacher; Ms Manon Williams and Rev Canon Emlyn Cadwaladr Williams that the love spoon design, sketched out by pupil Caitlin would be the best route to take. Caitlins simple, but effective love spoon idea, which represented the love story of Santes Dwynwen at Llanddwyn Island was a perfect fit in what would be the brand embodiment of the school.
Back in summer of 2016, I was asked to design a logo for the new super school being built in my home town. This was a biggie for me. Not only was it possibly the biggest design job Id had up to that point, but it was something that was going to last quite a few years, be seen by hundreds if not thousands of people, and my children were going to be wearing it every day in school!
Id known roughly what the brief would be. The children had come home one day with homework to design their school logo. So after a long chat and a coffee with Reverend Kevin, who had contacted me about the design work, I set about sketching out a few ideas based on the three key themes I had been given and the few ideas that my children had thought of.
The three key themes that came from all three schools homework were
- St Cybi’s Church
- Holyhead Mountain
- The Breakwater in Newry
The colour chosen for the school uniforms was turquoise which was in keeping with the colour of part of the new section of the school being built.
So after setting about to sketch and come up with a number of ideas, presenting the ideas to the board of governors and the headmaster, and then tweeking the favourite ideas, the final logo was decided upon.
The final design is a simple, clean and recognisable logo mark which translates easily between black and white and colour, is applied easily to stationery, signage and clothing and will hopefully last a good few decades!
I would love to hear some of your thoughts on the final design so please post some comments or send me message through Facebook or the contact page here !
Bye for now!
Nia Sian xx