design case study
Here’s a look at my logo design process, along with snippets of different projects along the way.
Designing for people
I try to keep my work grounded and focused on real people’s needs. That’s why I start design projects by talking with people so I can understand where they’re coming from and what they need. Listening to their perspectives and watching their actions helps me design things that work for them.
Kicking out ideas
Once my head’s all full from interviewing people, I try to fill up pages (or whiteboards) with ideas. This lets me compare ideas side-by-side to see which work for the problem at hand.
Starting on paper helps me get ideas out quickly, but in my experience sketches don’t make the best impression on clients. Once I’ve exhausted all my ideas on paper, I move to a digital canvas.
Next I refine and simplify the designs that I think address the problem well, then show them to the right people; the folks I initially interviewed and anyone whose opinion matters to them.
The client understands their needs far better than I do, so I value their impressions and opinions. Where needed, I guide them through my design intentions, keeping them in context and explaining the reasoning behind my decisions. Then, I listen to their feedback, watch their body language, and take notes.
Often this results in adjustments or entirely new directions! It’s all part of the process.
I take all of the feedback from these sessions and use it to refine the design further. Ideally one or two concepts are starting to come out ahead of the rest, but not always.
BUT — the project isn’t over when the design’s finished! For the design to do its job well, I give the client a how-to guide. Sometimes it’s a bona fide brand guidelines manual, other times it’s a simple graphic showing a logo’s usage in context. With this, anyone who inherits the brand later on can use it to its fullest, even if I’m not involved.
When everything’s said and done, I strive to make work that feels genuine to me and my client. Here’s some of that work, in no particular order:
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I’m Juan Valera, a product designer in Seattle, WA. You can see what I’m up to on my personal site and on Twitter!