A concept is the abstract idea, plan or intention at the beginning of any design project. Of course it’s also a key component of the logo design process. A logo design concept is the psychological and strategic support, the mean of your message and the concretization of the baggage of emotions and values your brand aims to communicate.
In the logo design process, the concept is really what makes the difference between a good logo and an unforgettable one. It’s that thing that sticks with us when seeing a logo. It’s what allows our brains to associate emotions and meaning to an image. Essentially, it’s that same message in the form of an idea ready to be made into a graphic.
Designing a concept for an effective logo is surely one of the most complex aspects of branding.
This is why I highly recommend hiring a designer who can support you in this phase and design the best logo for your brand. A designer will have an external objective vision and will be able to take the best strategic decisions for your logo.
Furthermore, I recommend you start the logo design concept process only after having defined a clear, strategic vision for your brand. This allows you to choose a concept that is really supportive for your brand, one that won’t be quickly evanescent.
While I suggest you completely trust your designer’s vision, from my designer's experience, it’s always exciting and positive when a client's tried to elaborate a purposeful concept beforehand. It won’t necessarily mean your concept will be used in your logo design — but maybe it will (as it is or readapted) — but it will surely give you a chance to have a clearer vision of your brand, and get involved in the creative process. This is why I suggest you start thinking about your logo concept on your own. It might come up naturally while you shape your brand’s marketing strategy, or while you write your website’s copy. But coming up with a good concept could also be a tricky task.
So, where to start brainstorming a logo design concept? Each brand is unique, as well as each designer will have a different approach to this. But here are a couple of ideas…
Identify a maximum of three fundamental values for your brand and try to visualise them in image form. You could try to identify a symbol, a tradition or even a myth that could be representative of your brand’s values.
If your brand has a creative naming, take advantage of it and try to imagine it in graphic form. Does your naming include some concrete object names? These could be the subjects of your logo’s brand icon, or a starting point to elaborate your concept.
Study your target and find an image that you believe could make it feel represented. Maybe blend it with a second image that represents the brand instead. This way you’ll be communicating to the right people, but also concretizing your brand’s uniqueness.
In the case of individual brands with a personal name, you could create a monogram from your initials. Try to make the monogram unique by including meaning and messages representing your values, target and philosophy.
In a personal branding logo design, you could also try and represent your uniqueness through a body or character trait that differentiates you, to tell your personal story through an image.
Other than just the brand’s message, which can often be translated into a brand icon, the concept is also a container of all the information necessary for the graphic realization of a logo design. It contains the stylistic information and choices of your logo: think fonts, shapes, lines, colors, mediums used, and everything in between.
Each of these choices will influence and, if chosen carefully and strategically, support and elevate the message that your logo is communicating. Therefore, every small component of the concept should be selected with intention.
This is just a small glance at what creating a logo concept looks like. But hopefully it gives you a nice overview of what designing a logo means and how you can help your designer during the process. Just remember to be open to new ideas. Remember, your designer knows best and you 100% need an objective perspective on your project in this crucial phase.
A creative atelier curating brand and web designs for women-owned businesses.
I design and curate intentional brand designs and websites to cultivate your idea and bring your value out there.