Sketching logos is where creativity comes into play. This is where the science – which is everything I learnt in the previous phase and the strategy that grows from it – meets the art, which is intuitive exploration of conceptual design solutions. In this phase, thoughts and feelings take form. From here on I sketch logo design concepts by using the design brief and the research conducted.
Sketching logos on paper
Some designers use a napkin to sketch, some use a sketchbook. The others start right away with the computer. But I sketch my ideas by hand – using pencils, pens, china markers or paint brushes and often correction fluid, rulers and compasses. Sketching logos on paper or tracing paper is the way that works best for me. Sometimes tearing these concepts or cutting it with scissors. Ultimately it’s all about the idea.
Computer gets in the way
This is a matter of personal choice but I believe that sketching by hand gives a designer an immediacy of artistic expression. It’s just a perfect intuitive extension of creative impulses. So I begin every project by sketching using traditional methods. I’m looking for the most direct connection between an idea and the creation of a form. In the early conceptual phase, the computer’s preprogrammed functions often just get in the way.
Selecting logo concepts
The rough designs are then scanned and translated into digital artwork. This process includes a great deal of tweaking by hand. Next I print the designs, trace them, rework them by hand, scan them again, and so on. As result the logo concepts improve and become stronger very quickly. I eventually select the promising directions to be carried further. Subsequently I judge my initial ideas by asking myself the following questions:
Is it simple?
Is it memorable?
Is it appropriate?
Read more about the process of selecting logo design concepts here. After I selected the promising ideas, I reflect on them and try to find ways to improve them before I move to the next step.
Time for reflection
Sketching logos might be time-consuming. For this reason taking breaks is as important as the physical research and the design brief. It is so easy to get stuck and get tired of a project and this is why logo designers take breaks. Therefore by resting, your ideas mature and develop in the back of your head. When you go back to your project, you have renewed enthusiasm, insight and opportunity.
The eureka moment
You’ve probably heard about the fact that usually the best ideas comes in the least expected moments. While your conscious mind is consumed by by other tasks (e.g. driving a car or even taking a shower) you unconsciousness comes up with some extraordinary ideas – eureka! and know you got it! Bear with me, in the next article I describe how do I prepare a presentation for the client.