Hey, wondering how much time people typically soend on a logo design from project kick off to Round 1 presentation and what people’s process looks like. How much time do you spend researching, sketching, engaging/involving client, working in your program of choice (Illustrator for me). I feel like getting to a few options for Round 1 is the hardest part.
About as long as learning to play “Oh Susanna”. Why?
The question is too vague. It’s like asking how much time it takes to make dinner. Is this a quick bite as you head out the door, or is it Thanksgiving dinner for 30? Somewhere between 1 and 100 hours?
As long as it takes to get it right?
Definitely not a quick bite. Much higher visibility than small biz logo but with 1-2 year lifespan. Been at it all week and nothing is clicking yet. Getting mild anxiety about the gig.
Maybe you need to spend more time with the client?
I usually start with a two-hour interview with the head of the company about their core values, motivation, history, skills, products, competition aka let them talk. Sometimes I walk through the production and try to get as much information/inspiration as possible. This is where ideas start to emerge. I come to the meeting prepared with knowledge about the client and similar companies and how they look.
Even with clients I know well for many years that is my process.
After that I refine and complete Informations on my own. More ideas come up.
Usually, after two or three more days of design work, I’m ready for a first presentation of 2-4 logos with 1-3 variations each. Some of these I can show in mock-ups.
After a day’s work, I like to sit on the couch and look at the designs and think about them, sometimes sketching a little.
I refine some of the designs a little more before the presentation date.
That’s a lot. If I’m not being productive I look to sub contract or refer them to a colleague.
I think we all probably agree that the beginning of every project starts with a conversation. It also seem pretty standard to bring lots of questions so you can keep it going until everyone runs out of useful things to say. At that point, you need something to look at to move the conversation forward. It usually takes more than an hour… not more than three. My estimates seem pretty similar to Joe’s.
I usually think of it in rounds vs. days, it makes it easier for me to estimate timing. First round and second round are at least 2 or 3 days worth of work each and a final round with one or two days. Production might get lumped in with other deliverables but a day or two for that depending on complexity.
Generally, I gather inspiration and sketch at the same time. I like to ideate with markers and I move the ideas that have legs into illustrator. I think differently with different mediums so, I try to fool around with as many as I have time for.
When I worked at design studios and ad agencies, the logos we created were usually part of larger branding and visual coordination projects. Clients were typically mid-sized, such as television stations, hospitals, or already-existing companies that needed a visual identity for new products and services. Designing a stand-alone logo was a rarity.
In these situations, we typically worked with people in the company who had some marketing, public relations, or communication education and experience. They usually understood the importance of visual branding, what it involved, and understood the processes involved. They were also prepared to spend 5 to 150 thousand dollars or more on those processes.
We often spent weeks on projects, with multiple in-person client meetings, team meetings, market research, focus groups, paid surveys, legal advice, subcontractors, and various kinds of design and production work.
These were fun projects.
On the other hand, when freelancing, the situation is typically reversed — small clients who often want little more than a logo and understand next to nothing about visual coordination. They usually approach logo design as a one-off thing akin to ordering a made-to-order hamburger at a fast-food diner. As often as not, they’ve been thinking about their logo and already have some awful ideas they expect the freelancer to bring to life in ways that tickle their fancy. They’ll sometimes show their own attempts that they assume the freelancer can fix.
Quite often, they will have browsed the crowdsourcing sites and concluded that a logo might cost them a couple of hundred dollars. Their communication style is often little more than hurried text messages dashed off on their cell phones from a parking lot. They will interfere, delay, and throw obstacles into the path at every turn. They will make idiotic requests, such as “I like this from that idea, and this part from your other idea. Blend them, and I think we’ll have something.” Rather than viewing a logo as a strategic business asset, they view it as their personal brand that embodies their dream of owning a business. In other words, they view their logos in terms of themselves rather than their businesses or customers.
These have never been fun projects.
As a solo designer easing my way into retirement, I go out of my way to avoid logo projects from small clients. I’ll occasionally agree to do them for existing clients or when they’re part of larger projects. But I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t need the aggravation of working with naive small business owners who seem baffled that I can’t bring their bad ideas to life over a weekend for a couple of hundred dollars. I have better things to do with my time.
I have found that if I am working with the business owner with maybe a couple of side managers, I can get the job done no longer than one week. But logo design is as more about the creative process than anything. And it’s almost impossible to put a time frame on the creative process.
The worst situations are when you are dealing with a committee. That can take much longer. I can tell you this—you must be able to show proof as to why the logo you have created fits with the project. If you can’t defend the design, you will never get it through the approval stage.
There is an old saying that goes like this, “The definition of a Camel is: A horse that is designed by a committee.” —And God help you if you have one or more committee members who have a spouse or kids that think they are a designer!
One more thing—don’t make the mistake of showing a small handful of designs (only show the one or possibly two that you really like and can defend.) IF you throw in a design that’s your worst effort, I guarantee that the committee will pick the worst one!
Assuming that I have a clear idea of what is required, as long as it takes to make it as good as it needs to be, not exceeding two hours.
The time required to design a logo can vary widely depending on factors such as the complexity of the design, the level of detail, the number of revisions etc. Some logos may be created relatively quickly in a few days, while others may take several weeks off work.
Following a process can improve the amount of time needed, I generally use the following steps: Research and discovery (1-2 days), Concept development (2-5 days), Design development (3days), Feedback and Revisions (1 weeks) & finalisation (2-5 days)
The time for logo design varies. Typically, it takes 2-4 weeks. Complex designs might take longer. Factors include revisions, client feedback, and the designer’s workload. It’s crucial to balance creativity with client needs, ensuring a unique, memorable logo within an agreed-upon timeframe.
I’ve worked for companies that bill clients up to 2 hours for a logo design. That is, including all changes and edits. If you charge a flat fee, then you spend as long as you need, but if you charge by the hour, and your client has a certain budget, determine a ‘minimal’ time and go from there.
As stated here multiple times, logo design is most often not a stand-alone project. Logos are part of a larger parcel of a business’s branding and customer experience. A logo design should be in a category above “hourly rate.”
You might charge a flat fee, then you spend as much of your time as budget allows, not as long as you need. If, thru vagaries of client indecisiveness your flat fee becomes exhausted, be sure your contract has a stated review point at which a change order can be introduced. Goes along with a ‘kill-fee’ where if a client isn’t getting what they want, you still get paid for the work done to date if they fire you.
Sounds like you’re in stage 3 or 4.
The Six Stages of Logo Design
- This is great.
- This is harder than it looks.
- This sucks.
- I suck.
- This isn’t too bad.
- This is great.
Your dedication to understanding the client shines through your meticulous two-hour interviews and immersive approach, even for long-term clients. It’s impressive how you weave their core values and production details into your design process, ensuring your concepts have a solid foundation. Taking that extra moment on the couch to reflect shows the thoughtful artistry that goes into each design iteration. Bravo.
That can really vary on what you initially offered to the client, like is it just a logo design, or did it also include, identity design, branding, etc. Also, what the client preferences or requirements are can also influence the time spent. It really varies widely and the price paid by client and what was promised has to play a role; experience will tell you and will come with time.