Present a Brand, Not a Logo

So you’ve just made an amazing logo and now it’s time to show the client. As most of us know or will find out, crafting the delivery is almost as important as creating the logo itself during the project. There are plenty of ways to do it, but I’m going to tell you what has worked best for me. It all revolves around this strategy:

Show the client their brand, not a logo.

While building a logo step-by-step with sketches first, followed by black and white digital comps before colors, etc. will ensure you have a strong logo, that doesn’t mean the client needs to be taken through the same process.

The best solution (which the client could love when expanded upon) could be sent to the scrap heap if they can’t visualize what you have planned. By taking the guesswork out of the equation it allows the client to make a more informed decision.

When a designer sees a sketch or black and white logo they can see how it will evolve with an idea of colors, typographic style and how it it will be paired with photographs, illustrations and textures. More times than not, when a client with no design training looks at a sketch or black and white logo, they see it for what it is: an unfinished logo.

So sell it for all its worth and show the client what you see. By presenting the logo in color, with textures, patterns and mockups you’re giving your client the product that they’re looking for right off the bat. They can visualize how it will actually look and how they will be represented on their product, in their store or wherever else they need it to appear.

Plus 9/10 times it’ll look like you went above and beyond when they’re only expecting to see the mark. ;)

So let’s break down a presentation and see how this will look.

Step 1: Set Expectations

It takes time to develop all the additional branding elements and this shouldn’t be rushed. Let the client know that these directions are initial explorations and will be expanded upon during the next round.

Step 2: The Build Up

You’re about to show the client the face of their company, but before you do that you want to set the tone of the direction as well as show them how you came to your decision. Describe your research and the vibe you want to convey along with presenting mood boards to show that you’re providing a well thought out solution that aligns with what is right for their audience.

Step 3: The Reveal

Now it’s time to show what you’ve created. The client is excited and in the right frame of mind after seeing mood boards and hearing your thought process. Start off with the logo in color and on a background so they get the full effect right off the bat. After that follow with secondary logos and black and white versions so they see how the logo can work in different applications.

Step 4: Mockups

Finally show your logo in mockups to allow the client to see how it will look in real life. Signage, t-shirts and business cards are usually a good starting point and then additional mockups can be tailored to the clients brand. This step can really sell your direction pushing it to the next level and creating the beginning of a brand rather than just a logo.

This all might seem like a lot of work for directions that might not even be used, but by front-loading the process the client will be impressed, the heavy lifting of the brand elements will be completed already and the client will be able to see everything you see in their brand.

After plenty of trial and error, pitching logos/brands in this format has improved communication, expedited the finalization of projects and created an overall smoother experience throughout the branding process. Hopefully it will do the same for you! If this was helpful give it a heart and/or share.

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