My friend Matt at Worry Free Marketing shared the secret of his business growth. He and his business partner made a list of the things about their job that they didn’t like and outsourced them instead, allowing them to focus only on the things they feel passionate about. Inspired by this approach, I decided to get rid of logo design revisions. I’m not in a position to outsource them, so I tossed them out entirely.
The Problem is the Process
Perhaps the biggest puzzle a new designer has to solve is how to organize the logo design process. Even designers who use the flat rate, 3 completed logo designs formula have steps to lay out. I too started with the flat rate approach and its seemingly infinite rounds of revisions.
One of my first clients loved my logo design work and hired me to create a logo for her. I studied her field and tailored my designed to evoke her core values. Her name was unique, so I chose fonts that were easy to read. I considered every last detail, down to the accent mark in her name, but she wasn’t happy with the results. She was appreciative of my work, but they weren’t what she wanted. She walked away without her logo files and never came back. She didn’t even ask for revisions. Now, that feels even worse than a client who asks for a thousand revisions. I wanted to get rid of revisions, but not like this!
Your Clients are Visionaries, Too
I never wanted to have an unhappy client again. So I took a hard look at the typical logo design process. I realized it was ill suited to my clients, who are not CEOs of megacorporations. One megacorp is about the same as the next, and the person getting the logo didn’t create the conglomeration with their bare hands. My clients are real people who are personally connected to a line of work they feel passionate enough about to throw caution and security to the wind to pursue. Their businesses are their babies. They’ve made it this far on street smarts and spunk, so why would they relinquish full creative control now? Maybe, we ought to trust their guts as much as we want them to trust our expertise.
So I tried a new approach. An approach without resentment. I got rid of revisions entirely. Now, if you take out final logo design revisions, you have to make your customers happy BEFORE the design is complete.
A Change in Perspective
It’s possible a majority of life’s problems are solved not by changing the situation, but by changing perspective. Practicing gratitude, for example, changes everything without changing a thing. No, I didn’t learn to be grateful for revisions. Instead, I moved client input to the beginning of the process. Gone are the days of building complete vector images and hoping for approval. Now the logo design process is a conversation between my clients and me, and I don’t begin building any vectors until they want me to.
I introduced my clients to my sketch book. Now, our initial meeting already includes logo concept thumbnails. My clients are go getters who are ready to hit the ground running, so they appreciate this. They don’t mind that the drawings are messy and unpolished. In fact, they appreciate the glimpse into the creative process.
Clients Have Good Ideas. Use Them.
Often, a client will proceed with my initial concept proposals. Even if they don’t use them, it provides a jumping off point for a conversation that leads to more ideas; ideas that they have a hand in, and very frequently come up with themselves. When you set the stage for a conversation that allows the client to discover their own meaningful imagery, you’ve fostered a personal connection to the logo. Some of my best logos were client conceptions. Does that make it less me? No. Because I helped them discover or uncover it. Take care not to shoot down any client ideas. Write them down and make a sketch. The results will surprise you.
Now you understand how I create meaningful logo designs without revisions. Concept sketches are a lot more fun because they are full of all the hope of the beginning of the process. Revisions try to salvage something that wasn’t quite right to begin with, and they can have that beating a dead horse feel. I’ll never do them again. My final client encounters are fun stuff like choosing brand colors and trying new typeface options. We part happily as friends, and they tell their friends how much fun they had working with me.
Want a detailed account of my process that leads to happy clients with no logo design revisions? My ebook is coming soon to my shop.