Branding and Logo Design Guidelines

The logo is the key identity of a brand that separates it from the other competitor in the market. The logo does not only help in identifying but also acts as a symbol of trust and represents the overall reputation built by the brand. Having a story in the logo is not important, creating a logo with high recall value should be priority one. Period.

Types of a logo

Wordmark

Wordmark, as the name suggests, is the name of the brand that is branded using colors, typeface, and grids. A logo can comprise of just a wordmark or is paired with a brandmark to form a complete logo.


Lettermark

Letter mark, also known as a monogram, pulls out the initials of the brand name and highlights it by making a logo out of it. This helps when the brand name is too long, so by shortening it up it becomes more memorable.

Brandmark

A brand mark doesn’t include a brand name, just the graphic which represents the brand. This kinda approach needs a lot of marketing efforts to make the brand known to be understood without a brand name next to it. This approach is usually taken by well-established companies.

Lock-up

A lock-up is a combination of a lettermark/wordmark and a brandmark. This is the most common approach as this logo can be used with or without a brandmark or likewise. The brandmark creates a memorable pattern in the viewer’s mind and the wordmark tells the name of the brand.

Process

Discovery

This session is all about gathering information about the brand from the key people representing the brand. Discovery includes learning why the company started, it’s goals, the audience they are catering to, brands they are competing with.

Here is a list of questions you can choose from to ask during the discovery session
(button) Discovery Questionaire

Research

After we receive answers from the client in the discovery session, the topic can be researched deeper considering the touchpoints mentioned by the client in the discovery regarding audience set, color preferences, the styling of the typeface in the logo, etc. During the research part few key pointers to keep in mind

  • Market research: Here you research the industry this brand falls under, how people are reacting, and to what type of visuals get more attention on the shelf if it is a product. If its a service can track the impressions. Their marketing efforts and the type of visuals they design. Customer research is conducted so as to identify customer segments, needs.
  • Competitive research: This type of research is used to learn in detail about competition. What logo type most of them use, the colors they have, this helps to define our brand to stand out in the market place with a fresh look.
  • Brand Research

Researching or using the material the brand already has to learn every inch of the product or to dive deeper in the services they provide so we can create visuals keeping in mind it features, user, and future expansion

Here’s an article that explains deeper how to conduct research.

Designing

This part starts after we have well researched and have all the questions in our head answered. Now we have a clear idea of how to position this brand. This stage is basically taking the text/info we received in the discovery and research stage and converting it into visuals. 

The ideas can be either discussed during the initial phase or take it one step ahead, develop it in B/W. This helps to see the logos in one solid color and can easily see the weight it holds.

Once we have a series of options filter the options by putting them in three rounds eliminating as many options in the first two rounds. Ideally, the final round should not have more than 5 options left, out of which only three can be developed further and shared with the client. Logo options can be filtered based on their legibility, scalability, recall value, design impact, and contrast. Providing more than 3 options will confuse the client, hence 3 options are not too less not too many.

Presentation

The concept note: Having a concept note alongside the logo option helps the client to understand the thought process better and gives the logo more value as the concept note shows the depth of research and thought process put to develop the option. The concept of the shapes in the logo can be written about, the typeface used and why it is the best fit, if there are colors then color impact and the reason behind making the color choices can be noted here.

Mockups: When the logo options are put in mockups, it bridges the gap between the designer’s imagination and the client’s imagination of how the logo will look in usage. It is ideal to have two mockups one to show the macro usage (eg- hoarding, signboard, reception wall) and one for micro usage (eg- Business Cards, button badge, laptop sticker) this shows the scalability and legibility of the logos, that it can be used on small print as well as big ones.

Deconstruction: If there are any morphing of shapes involved which maybe like a hidden meaning, to make the client understand it better, we can isolate the hidden shape to highlight it explain it to the client.

The client chooses one option from the three provided options and gives his/her inputs. If the inputs given align to the brand and have a strong reason, the changes can be added and a revised logo is shared.

Packaged logo

Once the logo has been approved, the assets are created to make it easier for the client to use it on collaterals. The packaged logo folder should have 2 primary folders, web and print.

Web folder: This folder should include logos in .png, .jpeg in RGB format to be used during web designing. Three logo options to be provided- Black, white, color. If the logo has a brand mark then a version of the brand mark to be included.

Print folder: This folder has assets to be used by the designer/ printer for printed collaterals like letterheads, business cards, etc. This folder should include PDF, Ai files, both converted to CMYK and font flattened so that the font doesn’t go missing when it is opened on a different system.

Brand Book: This is a user manual for the design team so that the usage of the logo is consistent across collaterals. The brand book should have a brief about the company, color palette with HEX codes, Typeface for headings, and body. Can also include a link to the repository where one can find installation files for the typeface. It should have do’s and don’t for the usage of the logo. It should also include iconography, this defines the style of icons that will be used also if any additional patterns or shapes used for the background to be mentioned so all the creatives have consistency and look like a part of one brand.

Here’s a brand book created by the Ghaas team for one of our clients.