5 things to research before designing a logo

By Ian Paget

What to research before designing a logo
Getting your research right is key to logo design success

Research in any area of design is essential, none more so than logo design. Research allows you to fully understand the problem at hand, which in turn enables you to design a solution that can be presented with confidence, having the knowledge needed to back up your decisions.

A well-researched project is one that’s very likely to be agreed by the client quickly (if not first time), and one that’s likely to succeed in the real world. In comparison, a poorly researched project is likely to be rejected because the designer has failed to understand the problems faced.

You can’t just guess the logo that a client requires. Research is your opportunity to discover what you need to design, why you need to design it, and how it will be used. It also makes it easier to discover a solution, as the knowledge learned should inevitably steer the direction of the design.

There’s no such thing as having too much information, especially if you’re designing a logo for a product or service you’re not familiar with. You need to ask questions, but don’t simply rely on what the client tells you – be prepared to dig deeper, reading industry blogs and information to gain a true understanding of the product and service.

But what topics should you research? Here are five key questions and areas to focus preliminary research on before designing a logo.

01. Why does the company need a new logo?

Before designing the logo it’s essential you understand the real reason you’re designing the logo. If it’s a new company the answer to this question is self-evident. But if the logo is a redesign, this is a whole different story.

If the company is young it may have designed the logo in-house or had it designed on the cheap and now it simply needs a refresh. A more established business will, however, redesign its identity to signify change.

What to research before designing a logo

Get the reasons behind the design fixed in advance

Change can come in many forms: new ownership, new management, new product or service, or a new ethos. Be it a merger, a change to the way things are done, or a new brand statement, ensure you understand all you can about the current situation and the goals of the business moving forward. This will decide if you need to simply evolve the current design, or take it in a whole different direction altogether.

02. What does the company do?

It’s somewhat obvious, but you need to know what the company does and why. Find out the history of the company, the products or services it offers, and the problem(s) it solves.

Look to understand the company’s values. What message is the client trying to communicate with its target audience, and how does it want customers to feel when they engage with the brand? This will often heavily influence the attitude of the design.

03. Who are the target audience?

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