I have a several years experience doing visual identity design. I primarily do them for companies from small startups to mid-size businesses.
I have been paid by a friend who used my services for their business. Now he wants a personal logo for his brand as an influencer/thought leader.
I found this to be abstract and challenging so I asked for a few keywords they’d use to describe himself which he provided. I was also given a Pinterest mood board which consisted of dark imagery. Primarily B&W photos of lions, lightbulbs and trees. The first round I got some feedback and I improved some of logos they seemed potentially interested in and provided 2-3 new ideas.
They followed up they “weren’t feeling it” and it’s not what they want. I’m a bit embarrassed I don’t know where to go from here. I’m good at understanding a companies concept and brand direction and designing around that. Based on feedback (or one of my award winning designs – no feedback!) I can resolve a logo that compliments the brand’s messaging.
I’ve done research on influencers logos as well as logos for some of the things he wants to be a thought leader in and I feel I’m not missing the mark by any sizable margin. I’ve provided different types of logos from logomark + type that felt a bit more corporate, to a graphic mark with type, a hand-drawn tree inspired logotype and even a heavy metal custom lettered logo since they identified with this “hard rock bad-ass persona” just to elicit a response.
I don’t know how to extract their expectations at this stage. I will admit this is a side project (and priced as such!) and perhaps these could be improved (but that’s the point of iterating in 3 rounds). Unfortunately I don’t know where to go from here. I thought about creating a questionnaire he could fill out but I don’t even know what to ask anymore. I thought about “check which of these logos closely resemble your vision” or something along those lines.
I could use some ideas you’ve used in the past to get more information from your clients, I’d really appreciate it.
Works like a charm every single time: “Please provide..”
- ..a few references of logos you like and why you like those
- ..a few you don’t like, and why you don’t like those
This is likely the most relevant kind of ‘briefing’ you can get in many logo design ‘situations’.
If this person is an influencer, you probably need to think big and make it a big tree, or a big lion, or a big lightbulb shaped lion-tree :)) Or maybe just make the typeface extra extra bold. They sometimes fall for that. Or look at other influencers and possibly discover they don’t even need a logo, depending on their influence level.