Creating a logo from the wisp of an idea is an exciting process.
I’m going to show you the exact steps my team goes through when we design a logo for a client.
Our client, José Balcells, volunteered to serve as a case study to demonstrate how the logo creation process worked for him. José came to us with multiple logo challenges. He is starting a non-profit educational center dedicated to providing learner-centered, interactive biblical studies education.
Challenge #1: Multi-Lingual
The center is based in Puerto Rico, and José’s audience is equally divided between Spanish and English speakers. His logo needed to communicate his brand in both languages.
Challenge #2: Business Name
Before José began thinking about a logo design, he needed to name his business.
He brainstormed Centro de Estudios Bíblicos Interactivos, which translates to Center of Interactive Biblical Studies. José reserved eight website domains relating to those two business names so he’d own the URLs in case he decided to use that business name.
As he continued to fine-tune business names and domains, the name Iodea emerged.
Pronounced yo-DEY-a, Iodea is extrapolated from a Hebrew word or root ידע, which means to know someone intimately or to know something through learning or experience. [Read more here.]
Since the mission of José’s organization is to help people know God intimately through interactive biblical instruction, IODEA felt like a perfect fit. Plus, Iodea is short and easy to pronounce and spell in both Español and English.
Challenge #3: Reverse Engineering
This process is opposite to how my team usually designs logos. Most new business owners don’t have a website. We design their logo first, and then we build a website that complements the look, feel, and color palette of the logo.
But José already knew what color palette he wanted and had already built most of his website, so we reversed our strategy and designed a logo that complemented his website. No problem!
Challenge #4: Brand Messaging
Before we got started on the logo, I worked with José to help him edit his business plan and the key content on his website. Again, because everything is in two languages, we wanted to make that his brand message was absolutely clear in Spanish and English.
Once José’s Vision and Mission statements were ready to roll, our graphic designer geared up to begin the logo design process. (Yep, a lot of work goes into a logo before you even begin designing it!)
We started by sending José “logo homework” – a brief questionnaire that would show our graphic designer what feeling José wanted to convey with his logo and what style of logo design most appealed to him.
José sent us several examples of logos and logo elements he liked, and we got on the phone with him to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each. We agreed on a logo style and color palette, and our graphic designer created three “looks” based on the logo samples José liked best.
Initial Logo “Looks”
Version 1: Dalet
This design uses the Hebrew dalet in the icon. There are seven of them in a circle (a divine number), which forms a 7-pointed star in the center. The concept is that the Divine is the source of all knowledge.
Version 2: Crown of Thorns
This design has a crown of thorns as the icon. Seven branches form the divine circle. In this case, the idea is that knowledge comes alive at the moment of Christ’s death. Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection is the source of enlightenment.
Version 3: Spirit Dove/Fire
The “spirit of fire” sets the heart and soul aflame with insight.
José liked #1, but felt that the icon was too similar to another organization’s. He asked us to come up with a different way to present the icon, and he asked to see his tagline in both English and Spanish.
When I review logo designs, I put myself in the place of a person who is viewing it for the first time – of someone who is not acquainted with the brand. I ask myself questions like:
- Does the color palette resonate with me?
- What feeling does the icon convey?
- Is the type font attractive and readable?
While I am a big fan of purple and gold (the colors of our home team, the University of Washington), I know that José graduated from rival Washington State University and might not enjoy being reminded of UW every day of his life.
More importantly, while purple is the liturgical color for Lent and is also used during Advent, purple is considered a “female” color and is the least-liked color by males. Since José’s audience is half-and-half female and male and since his website does not include purple in the color palette, I encouraged José to consider different colors.
When I looked at the Hebrew letters inside the gold circle, I saw apostrophes, 7s, and Ns (I cannot read Hebrew, nor am I one of those people who can squint at a picture and see hidden pictures within the image). And since Hebrew is read from right-to-left, it made sense to move the icon to the right of the text.
We mixed-and-matched colors from José’s website and came up with three variations on the color scheme:
“Wow, I really like the second one with the earthly colors. Great idea to emphasize ancient Near Eastern colors and archaeological materials (i.e. clay colors, etc.).”
José tested all three versions on his website, ran the designs by several of his colleagues, and opted for this design:
We sent José his logo in five different file formats so he can use the logo on any type of marketing material you can imagine.
We also “pulled apart” the logo, and gave him versions that contained…
Business name + icon (without tagline):
Spanish and English:
All-in-all, José came away with 30 different versions of his logo!
Here’s what José says about the process:
Laura and her team did a great job developing an effective logo that represents elements from our vision and mission. She reviewed our organizational identity objectives and brainstormed ideas to refine an image that would transmit these ideals. The entire project was done in a very professional way and finished on time. I would highly recommend the Blogging Bistro team for others considering this type of project.
Work With Us
We’d love to work with you to fine-tune your brand, design a logo, and build a custom, mobile-friendly WordPress website.
Whether you’re in the early stages of planning your business or you’re re-branding, the Blogging Bistro team will help you establish a professional online presence.
Contact us today and let me know whether you need help with:
- Brand messaging
- Logo design
- Custom website design & development (including multi-lingual websites)
Founder, Blogging Bistro, LLC