Logo redesign … and redesign again!

A lot of times when a new client approaches me to create a logo, they haven’t quite figured out their desired “look.” Just as important as the logo itself is what, and who, it will ultimately represent. I like to start out with a much larger conversation in order to drill down to the heart of their business. Important kick-off questions include:

  • Who is your audience? (age, gender, profession, etc.)
  • What “voice” do you want your brand to have? (playful, serious, professional, etc.)
  • What “style” do you want your brand to portray? (traditional, modern, minimalist, artistic, etc.)

Once I’ve collected the above information, I like to turn to the finer details that will inform my designs. Questions like:

  • What colors do you like? Dislike?
  • Do you have any logos that you prefer? (I often refer them to Pinterest in order to search for existing logo designs. It doesn’t matter if a logo is within the same industry – this simply helps me see what type of style they tend to lean toward).
  • What exact words do you need included in the design? (Some clients want taglines, others want a “TM” symbol… however much text needs to be included definitely helps shape how I approach the design).

Sometimes the process is incredibly smooth – the client provides the above information, I provide 3-4 initial design concepts, and one design is tweaked until a final design is approved. However, other times the process is clunky and takes many, many rounds of revisions to get where the client wants it to be. That was the case with my client Gail Zelitzky.

I’ve been working with Gail for many years now, having designed her website and providing marketing materials for her various business endeavors. She’s a business savvy entrepreneur who is constantly growing and expanding the services she provides.

Wonder Women was one such new venture, and she asked me to create a logo for the new initiative. The name itself is pretty unique, and already my wheels were spinning with ways to incorporate a comic book feel. I also wanted it to feel cohesive with her existing brand (“Gail Zelitzky, Life Coach”). My initial thought was to use her existing color palette (dark red/maroon, white, grey). Well – like I said, sometimes the process doesn’t go according to plan!

“Wonder Women” is an elite group of experienced business owners and professional women. With that description, below are some of the initial design concepts I presented, all of which weren’t quite right.

Gail initially wanted something with a woman’s silhouette, although she was concerned about having them appear too young or too old. I played around with a few ideas and thought at least one of these would hit the mark.

Sometimes a client isn’t able to articulate what is working, or not working, and that’s OK! It’s my job as the designer to hone in on the unspoken “problems” and work through them. Gail didn’t like any of these options, and I thought primarily because of the chosen color palette. So I then presented her with a new design direction, but still using the full woman silhouette.

Taking design #3 a bit further and applying new color options.

Gail’s feedback on these options were that not only weren’t the colors working, but the silhouette wasn’t working either. I suggested really going for the comic book idea, and provided the below options in a few different color schemes.

This hit the mark! For now at least. Gail used Logo #2 (in black) on marketing materials and external communications for the first 5 months, until she came back to me and said that the feedback from her client base wasn’t where she wanted it to be. We had another round of discussions about how it could be improved, and ultimately decided that some minor tweaks would do the trick (adding an additional female as this is for a group and refining the hair design to look less “talon-like.”). So with that in mind, I worked a bit further and provided the below option:

And we have a winner 🙂 The 3 women have unconventional hair colors in order to avoid excluding a specific race or age and the text brings in her current color palette of dark red. After much back and forth and a longer time than usual, I’m happy with the way this turned out (and more importantly, so is she!).