When I was exploring the logo design territory a few months ago, trying to get a grasp on how it all worked, I came across many well-written articles on the process of logo designing and what questions to ask before starting out and even what files to include in your final delivery package. But I was hard pressed to find any that explained in depth what your logo presentations should be like. Today, I am going to walk you through my style of presentation.
I have had both local and online clients. When the client is local, everything from the initial brief to presentation is done face to face. More about that in another post, today I am just going to talk about presenting your logo to a client online. How do you wow a client who is not physically present in the same room with you? How do you convey your concepts to the client and get him excited about your vision for his identity?
The two most important things to remember when presenting your client with the concepts, whether it is a face-to-face presentation or an online one, are;
- Present your strongest concept first.
- Less is More.
I usually do two concepts in any logo project and I have a pretty good idea about the strength of one of them. I name that as Concept 1 and the other as Concept 2. I do give equal importance to both in terms of presentation. My presentation has a short commentary of my thought process behind each concept and clearly explains what the logo is trying to achieve. It has the complete logo shown in full color along with a two-color variation. Additionally I have a few Logo "Mark" color variations and "Type" variations accompanying it all.
1. LOGO PRESENTATION – THE COMMENTARY
When you have an idea and a concept, it is best to elaborate it as accurately as possible in a logo presentation. You might have a process, where after sending the files to the client, you might get in a chat or on skype and discuss everything. Great! But it also helps to write down all your thoughts in the presentation so that the client can mull over them later, when he is deciding which design to pick.
2. LOGO PRESENTATION – THE VISUAL
If you are not very sure if the client is going to like the direction of your design process, don’t show them initial sketches or rough drafts. For logos, the transformation from sketch to final design is that of an ugly duckling to a swan. Many a times, what starts out as an idea or sketch on paper, although same in concept, looks nothing like the initial draft after the final execution. As designers, we have the ability to picture those seed of thoughts into blossoming trees and maybe some clients do, but not all of them. You don’t want the client confused and scared because all he could see in the initial draft was a few scribbles and nothing more. Present the final completed logo in the presentation. Add a full color version and a two-color one so the client gets a pretty good idea of the complexity and the simplicity of the overall design in one go.
3. LOGO PRESENTATION – THE CHOICES
I did say "Less Is More" didn’t I? Why then am I asking you to provide the client with more choices, you ask. When you go to buy a tee, you don’t just look at one do you? The shop assistant doesn’t just shove one under your nose and refuse to let you see different colors in the same print, does he? Even when you go to the supermarket and you want to buy apples and the rack is full of only apples, it is but human nature to pick up two or three and examine them trivially while your mind is already skipping ahead to the movie you are going to watch later that night. We like choices, everybody does. Having just 2-3 more choices makes us feel more in control of our ability to make decisions. Take those choices away and we get on edge and become snappy.
If you have done a detailed logo questionnaire before starting the project, you must have read in between the lines and will have a clear idea of what colors and fonts the client prefers, what kind of look and feel appeals to him. Just use that knowledge to slightly vary your first visual, to give your client the choices he rightfully deserves. This will expand the spectrum of your strong concept and make him see it in a few different variations, something that can go a long way towards making that final decision. I usually find that providing these few choices which are very similar to each other within the realm of one concept, save me a lot of back and forth, because the client doesn’t have to ask for variations to "see what it looks like".
In the Envision CustomWorks logo presentation, a few different color variations were shown which came from the same palette of green, organic, earthy hues. The type was varied ever so slightly to satisfy the look the client was after. In the second concept that was presented to the client, the color and type variations were presented as one, because in this case the logo "mark" and "type" needed to stay together to make the right impression.
4. LOGO PRESENTATION – THE EXTRAS
All logo projects are different, even the two concepts you will do for one brand project will be different. That difference alone calls for different styles of presentation. Some concepts will have extras. Sometimes when you are developing a concept/logo for a client, you develop a progressive vision which you want your client to be aware of. That progressive vision might sway them towards that particular concept, because they can see their brand expanding and going places. If you have that vision or suggestion as to what their brand/logo could become, then present that as an extra along with your concept presentation. It might be something that the client has not thought of yet and might really take a shine to. In the iSmyle Concept 2 presentation, the thought of naming the mascot-based logo and making it very dynamic was an "extra" that was presented to the client.
To sum it up, go the extra mile and do something special in your presentation that expresses your unique style. Design should never be by the book and creativity should not be limited by rules and regulations.
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