Since developing an identity for their brand doesn’t provide immediate and measurable results, companies often overlook this aspect of marketing. In fact, they’re not always willing to bother with it. If you haven’t established who you are, how can you tell your audience? How can you get them to identify with you and be loyal to your brand? Successful companies know that a true brand identity is necessary to further market your company.
To develop your brand, you must have a clear direction in mind. You need to know how your brand’s values will affect what messages you want to convey. For example, if one of your core values is being green and caring for the environment, that may be something you want to show in the logo design. It is important to consider these things early on so you know how to communicate with the designers, copywriters, strategists, and internal teams you will be working with.
Here is our branding and logo questionnaire. It’s a big part of our brand strategy, and it’s what we share with clients before we begin any branding project.
Part 1 – Your Business
- Type your company name exactly as you wish it to be used in your logo
- Do you have a slogan, tagline, or motto? Does it need to be incorporated in the logo?
- Please describe your company. What type of products/services do you/will you provide?
- What are your business short, medium, and long term goals?
- Who are your main competitors and how do you differ from them?
- Who are your potential clients?
Part 2 – Your Logo
- Do you have a specific idea in mind for your logo?
- Which one of these logo types do you believe best represents your brand?
- What style of font do you feel best represents your brand?
- To give us an idea of the overall feeling of your brand, let us know which styles you lean towards
- Classic/ Modern
- Mature/ Youthful
- Feminine/ Masculine
- Playful/ Sophisticated
- Economical/ Luxurious
- Geometric/ Organic
- Abstract/ Literal
- What colors represent your brand?
- What colors would you not like to see?
- What words would you use to describe your brand’s image?
- What words would you not want used to describe your brand’s image?
- What attributes and/or emotions do you want associated with your brand?
- What attributes and/or emotions would you not want associated with your brand?
- Are there logos and/or graphics that you really admire?
Part 3 – Other
- When do you want your logo to be web/print-ready?
- What is your budget?
- Would you like any additional design services alongside your new logo? (eg. business cards, letterhead and other stationery, social media icons/banners, advertising material, etc.)
- Additional comments? Please state.
What we’ve learned
If we’ve learned anything throughout this process it is that every experience and every company is a bit different. We have to adapt to the client and their preferences while utilizing our design expertise.
In face-to-face wins we try to have an organic conversation about logo design. We do try to go through this questionnaire verbally, but we also do probe a bit. We may ask about the logo of the businesses around us and what the client thinks of them. For example, if our meeting is in a Starbucks, we may ask about the Starbucks logo. This allows us to hear their thoughts about different types of logos and designs.
Expressing their beautiful souls is my favorite part of the design process. While design school and textbooks may tell us that there needs to be some separation between the client and their logo, that is not always the case in the real world. Of course, the logo is meant to speak to the company’s target audience and that is usually not the client. However, with small businesses, especially newer businesses, we think it’s very important that they feel connected to their logo. They need a sense of pride in their website, business cards, and brochures. This helps them maintain that sense of confidence that is so necessary in the early years of running a business.
Here we come back to how no two clients are the same. Some have a very clear idea of what they want in a logo. Sometimes they want two completely different logos that still need to function within one cohesive brand. These are the clients that give you detailed answers to those questions. They often provide sketches or visual examples. Those are the times you feel like they’re really in charge, not you. Other times, clients have given virtually no thought to the logo and don’t want to. That can be difficult because you have really nothing to go on. Of course, they still expect to love what you come up with despite giving you nothing to work from.
Our role as designers, is to create an area where we can all learn and generate ideas together. Occasionally, we may even pass the idea off to someone else. Then, after a lot of thinking, asking, making, thinking some more, asking again, we can all come up with a solution that everyone is happy with.
The questions are an excellent way to start a conversation and relationship with a client. However, truly that’s all they are – a start.