To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail. All successful design jobs start with thorough planning. This is especially true with branding jobs. The longer you spend gathering the correct information, the less revisions you’ll have to do and the quicker the project will be. Here at Orca (our design agency we ruyn alongside Briefbox), we have a thorough, tried-and-tested approach to branding jobs which always starts with a client questionnaire, to establish what it is exactly that the client is looking for in a new brand. This process also makes it a lot easier to provide a more accurate quote for more complexed branding jobs. Giving away our trade screts here, but I’m going to outline every question we ask in our client questionairres.
What is the company name?
The first thing to ascertain is, exactly how the client wants their company name to be written in their logo. A simple question I know, but it’s just to ensure there’s no confusion over company name, limited company name, holding company name, or any other variants or acronyms that the client may want included.
Is there an existing slogan to include?
A tagline, or slogan, is a small amount of text or a memorable motto or phrase used as a repetitive expression of an idea or purpose. The idea behind the concept is to create a memorable, dramatic phrase that will sum up the tone and premise of a brand, or to reinforce and strengthen the audience’s memory of the brand. The right slogan is imperative to reiterate a brand’s values. Many slogans will be remembered just as easily, or even more, then the brand itself. These slogans or tag lines also help to affirm what it is that the company does or offers. If there is already a company slogan in place, great, if not, make sure you include the slogan creation in your pricing, this is a big job in itself and you should make sure your efforts are covered for it.
Does the company have an existing brand identity?
If so, find out what the client wants to change about it or why it doesn’t work for them. This will give you a real insight into what the new logo should be like.
What is the story of the company, how did it start?
Find out the history of the company, this will help to paint a picture of the market, the brand and the customers. Finding out more about the company will heavily influence the style of design you choose to use.
What is the company’s vision?
What are the company’s aims, aspirations and values. Where do they see themselves in 5 years?
How does the client want their business to be perceived?
Again, this is a huge insight into what the client wants their logo to say to their customers. Does the client want their brand to be perceived as fun, playful, professional, serious, young, mature? Establish these key words, it will be an invaluable help during the brand development.
What is the company’s target demographic?
In other words, what is the age/sex/profession of the client’s customers? This will tell you exactly who you’re trying to appeal to.
Does the client have a preference to the type of logo they’d like?
This will narrow down your creative process right away. Would the client prefer a crest or emblem, a purely typographic logo, an icon or ambigram or a combination of icon and type? You’ll often find that the client is open to your suggestions, but you may get an early indication to their preferred style of logo early on.
Does the client have a specific colour preference?
You’d be amazed by how many clients want to use a particular colour for their brand but don’t even mention it until you’ve presented your initial ideas. Find this out right away, it can very useful.
Is there anything in particular that the clients wants to see in their logo?
For example, is there a particular illustration they want or a symbol or an effect? Perhaps they want to include an animal, or an abstract shape or a pattern. The client may be as specific as to say, I want a white horse, for example.
Are there any logos that the client really likes?
Ask your client to provide some examples of logos that they really like. This is so important, as sometimes you’ll get clients that just don’t know how to answer the above questions, or don’t know how to explain what they want effectively. Sometimes it’s only clear what the client wants after seeing a visual example.
Is there a specific date that the client requires the logo by?
Find out the timeframe for the project. This will influence how you quote for the project. If it’s urgent and the client demands a fast turnaround, then of course, include a percentage for your efforts. Make sure neither yourself, nor your other clients end up suffering from the demands of one project.
Does the client require any additional stationery to get the business off the ground?
If there’s more work required then perhaps you can offer discounted rates or branding package prices which include logo design, business cards, letterheads, email signatures etc etc. Think about what works for you and what is in demand and create some package prices around them.
Hopefully, by following this guide, you’ll be able to obtain more than enough information to get you started on your next successful branding project! Good luck.