If you are a beginner, you probably ask yourself or “Google” the above-given question a lot, in order to plan and organize your time according to your obligations and needs. However, in the designer’s world things are never absolute because the creative process sometimes takes weeks and other times only a few inspirational moments. That is why we cannot state an answer which will be definite, because most of the time it depends on the individual, the project, the client and the experience that the designer has. Nevertheless, there are a few steps you have to pass in order to get to the final creation, which for most designers will take the same amount of time. Since to complete those steps there is an average number of hours that are predictable, we elaborate on each step so you can see for yourself.
1. Get to know your client first!
Before creating anything, you have to meet or at least spend about 2 hours with your client in order to get to know something more about them, their business, the needs and the design they will want. It is essential to get a grip of their target audience they aim for and whether the client needs a re-design of an old one, or a brand new logo. Questions such as: What logo design would you like me to avoid and stay away from?; How are you different from your competition?; What kind of logo designs do you like?; What is your budget?; What is your deadline?; etc. should be asked on the first meeting with your client, so you can get the whole picture of their expectations from the very beginning, and move on to step two.
2. Think about whether you can accept the project or not
After you summarize all the information provided by your client it is about time to think about the conditions they offer and make a decision whether to accept the project or reject it. If you decide to accept the project, you should prepare a project proposal with your terms and conditions, including the deadline that you can finish to and also the price that you will require for your work. Once you put together everything, for which you will probably need about 45 minutes, just share your project proposal and hopefully sign a contract.
3. Research and discovery
Once you have a positive answer and a signed document you can start your thorough research, according to the answers that you have got from step number 1. You should dig into the particular industry of the business, their goals and the motto of the company. That will inspire you to create a logo that will serve its purpose and will be appealing and suitable for the target audience. The initial research is quite a crucial step that you shouldn’t cut short, but prolong it as much as possible, because it will serve as a good basic starting point.
4. Check the competition
You should always check your competition before creating something, in order to see how far they’ve reached, if they have some good logos and also get some inspirational ideas, which you shouldn’t copy, but use them to create something new. Making a research of the competition and finding more about them will require about 2 hours of your precious time.
5. Brainstorm and get inspired
Get inspired from the variety of alternatives and ideas out there and put the most valuable ones on paper. Start your creative process with some associations of words and draw a bunch of pictures which can make some good logos. The brainstorming process is the initial process when you shouldn’t bother if an idea is worth putting down on paper or not, since it is a moment when everything that can serve as a logo creation should be sketched, while the process of choosing what is good and what is bad comes later. The brainstorming should take you about 4 hours, however it ultimately depends on you.
6. Create about 6 of your ideas
When you have already completed about 6 potential logo designs on paper and know in your head how they’ll look like in their digital form, you should turn on the computer. Start by illustrating them in Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator, or whatever program you use for your logo designs. In this step, you shouldn’t bother about getting all the details right, but just make a rough first draft. This is the step when you should put in most of your time, around 4 hours.
7. Get down to 3 logo designs to present your client
Only 4 out of the 6 designs should be presented to your client, so they can choose the one they like the most. Therefore, make sure that you refine 4 of your logo designs and bring them close to perfection, so you can present a good product to your client. For some final touches you will need about 2 hours.
8. Get the feedback and do the editing
Prepare an initial presentation for your client in order to get their feedback and do some edits according to their preferences. You will probably have to meet your client in person in order to avoid misunderstandings and provide them a satisfactory product. After hearing their opinion about the logo designs you may probably have to do some edits concerning color, typography and other logo details which will require about 3 to 4 hours.
9. Final Presentation
The last step of your work is just presenting and handing the logo design and files, which you have agreed to work on to your client and get your final payment.