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November Newsletter

Step-by-step logo: Discovering, developing, and implementing an image

by Chuck Green at


I don’t know about you but I love to see examples of how other designers work—they reveal better (or worse) ways of doing things and allow me to gauge whether my methods are mainstream or totally whacked-out. “If anyone finds out how I obsess about this stuff,” I tell myself, “they’ll stick me in a home.”

The problem is that step-by-step examples are rare. Why? Mainly because unless you are interested in sharing such information, there isn’t much reason for recording it. And even if you are, detailing the steps can get in the way of the process. If I’m ready to move to the next stage of an idea, I am normally not interested in recording what I’ve done to get there.

The good news is I rarely let normal get in my way. There is, of course, more to a logo design process than what you see here—this exercise includes little about the typical ramp up of preliminary discussions, research, and so on—space, time, and vanity limit me to showing just a portion of the process.

I don’t know about you, but I start out on paper. I find it most productive to sketch out ideas in a notebook. A Moleskine notebook is my weapon of choice—its small and sturdy enough to carry in my back pocket.

I’m most concerned with concepts at this stage—not designs. To my way of thinking, designs emerge from concepts, concepts do not emerge from designs. My goal in creating a logo is, at best, to demonstrate the benefit of using the product or service and at minimum to create a visual symbol of the subject matter.

I often show my clients those rough ideas. I have found that getting feedback on basic concepts is best for everyone involved. It allows us to weed out ideas that look good to me but don’t work for the client. It acknowledges that the client knows the subject best, no matter how much research I do.

What may appear to me to be a great solution to the problem sometimes just doesn’t work for reasons I could not be expected to know.

The logo I’ll discuss here was designed for a helicopter transport company—Metro Aviation. I started by going through my sketches and choosing the concepts I thought had most merit.

Logo design is legalized gambling. When I take on a project I don’t know if it will take eight hours or five days. In fact what I’ve shown you here is the tip of the iceberg.

Above is a summary of some of the many iterations of the logo.

Though it is a challenge from all sides, there is nothing quite so exciting for a designer than discovering, developing, and implementing an image that becomes the visual representation of an entire organization.


Welcome to our new website

We are proud to announce our new website! This website was developed to help you navigate our products and services faster and more effectively. We are thrilled to have this new destination and look forward to helping you and your team with any branding needs. Please call us immediately to find out how Independent Custom Graphics can help you make an impact.

Thanks in advance
Nathan Linberger