Quite often when I take web design jobs it is paired with logo design. I have a very specific process when designing logos (or even just website header images) and it is very often the thing I spend the most time on when designing a website. Browsing through del.icio.us this afternoon I found my new favorite feed.
Through this (small) feed I found this great article – Rules of logo design.
Show the logos in black & white ONLY. I explain that we will work on colors only AFTER the final design is approved. The reason is simple, you don’t want to give them yet one more thing to focus on. The client WILL spend a ridiculous amount of time just thinking about the color scheme instead of what they should be thinking about, which is how well the logo conveys their brand/image.
I almost always follow this rule, although I have done it on personal preference rather than actually thinking of it as a (great) design principle. But for a recent project I did this and the client was bewildered, claiming he’d never had a logo presented to him in such a way – and asking me if I really was a designer! Certainly I am no Jon Hicks or Veerle, but upon hiring me I do expect clients to review the portfolio I provide them where my talent (or lack of) can be judged.
My final bit of advice is to think ahead.
I admit it. Sometimes I am guilty of not following through on this. I work on something that looks great on a website, letterhead and business card – but when I had tried working it onto a t-shirt, hat or mug it fell apart. To counter the “blinders” that I wear when I don’t think ahead, I’ve stuck a post-it note on my monitor (in an unmissable neon green) that says “What if it were on a _____”.
Moral of the story – the most important part of designing is to slow down and think about what you are doing. Rush, rush, deadline!, rush will never churn out a good project.