What makes a difference between a premium designer and a beginner?
At first glance, the logos of a professional design studio don’t seem that much different from a freelancer’s work. That’s just the first glance, though.
The truth is, there’s a whole other layer of design process that beginners ignore. It’s presenting your work to clients.
Logo presentation makes the world of a difference
In this post, I’d like to share a logo presentation strategy honed by many years and trial-and-error attempts. Over years of work, it became clear that presenting logos is a science, not an art. Just like in science, there are methodologies and conventions to follow.
A good presentation allows you to:
- Sell your logo designs to prospective clients
- Present your portfolio in a fresh, detailed brand book
- Display your creative vision and create the appealing end result
A logo is the product of your work, but its presentation is the packaging. Who if not designers should pay attention to packaging and presentation? After all, it’s why people hire us.
Also, good news – logo presentation can be automated, saving you a ton of time. With tools like Gingersauce, you can generate detailed logo presentations simply by uploading a logo. Armed with understanding and technology, you’ll be able to create a pro design presentation, right after finishing this post.
Presentations makes the first impression
The client hasn’t seen any of your logos yet. It’s time to introduce them to your creative vision. Keep in mind that clients have huge expectations getting into this.
When I work with beginner designers, they choose a simple strategy. They attach jpg files with different logo versions to an email. Usually, the files are accompanied only by a short explanation. Clients get a pack of visual information with no context and explanation.
The traditional approach is deeply flawed
When you send your logos via an email, you treat your client as a team member, and not as the end audience. It’s almost as if you expect the client to choose among 5-10 variations and give you some artistic direction.
You should be responsible for the creative vision – and don’t expect the client to outline the direction.
Clients are not designers
Sending an email with 10 attachments might be okay if you are working with fellow designers or art-directors. Clients, on the other hand, might not have the skills that are needed for choosing among logo variations.
Explain your concept and vision and don’t expect clients to identify a creative direction for you.
Don’t treat your work like a draft
When you send your logos via an email, clients can’t approach it as a final version. You give them a reason to believe that it’s a rough draft. Don’t be surprised to get 10-15 revisions – after all, you were the one to lead clients to believe your work wasn’t complete.
If you were to pack it in a fancy presentation with engaging headlines and wholesome design, the results will definitely be different. Presentation reduces the number of revisions to 2-3 sessions.
Act like a senior
If you want to increase your rates, it’s important to take a look at your practices and abandon junior habits. If you want to get premium rates, you need to constantly prove that you are not a junior anymore.
So, go the extra mile and pay attention to details that beginners ignore. This is what sets you apart from the rest of the market. This is how you can get the biggest slice of the pie and finally transition to the premium segment.
Professional logo presentation is a solution
Designers want to charge a lot for the logo, but don’t spend enough time learning to justify the price tag. If you want to charge more for your current work, it’s time to go the extra mile besides designing.
So, we already established that sending logos in the email is NOT a logo presentation. Now, let’s throw in the criteria for actual professional design presentation.
You know your logo presentation is awesome when it:
- Presents multiple design choices to your clients without confusing them;
- Answers all questions about design and concepts in your presentation before a client even thinks of asking them;
- Describes the mission, vision, values behind the logo;
- Makes file navigation comfortable both for you and your client.
Let’s take a look at visuals and tools that you’d need to accomplish this goal. You’ll be surprised, but you might not need much additional information. As long as you apply available resources in a smart way, you’ll be able to impress clients.
Rule #1 – Let the client know the process
For non-designers, the logo design process might seem straightforward. Your clients could think that it’s something that can be done in an hour. They aren’t to be blamed – you should be the one to introduce them to the intricacies of creative work.
Creating a logo takes a lot of research, experiments, and creative thought. If you demonstrate the step-by-step process to your clients and prove that every stage of the process was valuable, they will be ready to pay more.
How to present the process to the client?
- Show logo variations and explain why you chose your favorite option: show a client your experiments and explain the process behind your brainstorming and creative search
- Display applications of a logo: seeing a logo on different backgrounds, colors, mediums helps the client to understand how universal your chosen concept is
- Introduce your clients to the scientific side of the process: walk them through the dimensions and proportions of your logos, explain why you chose a particular composition standard, and show examples.
Letting clients get a peek of your creative thoughts increases the transparency of the cooperation. Most importantly, this is how you demonstrate your hard work and argument the price.
Rule #2 – Build a visual identity, not a logo
When you say “a logo”, a client imagines a small icon that can be generated by any automated creator. Even if they acknowledge the value of custom work, it’s still just one picture. Naturally, there’s a limit to how much you can charge.
However, if you conduct proper research and present them with a full concept, you aren’t working on a logo anymore. You are creating a visual identity for a brand – and that entails a lot more than just a logo.
Turning logos into visual identity isn’t difficult.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Describe the values and inspiration that you considered before building a logo. Present your thoughts in a structured, researched manner.
- Offer multiple options for different applications. It’s not difficult – because you likely already have these variations. Now, instead of hiding them, demonstrate them to clients, as variations of an identity. Show mockups that demonstrate how logo fits into multiple mediums and backgrounds – websites, paper, outdoor advertising, merchandise, etc.
- Create fonts and color palettes that complement the logo. You don’t need to do it manually – there are tools that can do it for you (but we’ll get to that later).
A tip: there are tools that walk designers through the process of creating logo presentations and brand books. The editor will suggest what to upload and how to group it. You don’t need branding experience.
Rule #3 – Tell a story
Several years ago, the New York Times did research where journalists were set out to understand how much the story behind the product impacted its final cost.
The journalist who was working on the experiment collected items with an average price of $1.25. These were very typical items – a plastic bottle cap, a room key, a cup. Nothing special.
The next step was to contact professional writers who wrote a story about each object. They wrote engaging stories about each object. Then, he updated the description of objects and waited to see for how much they’d sell.
In the end, the plastic cup worth 0,99 was sold for 62 dollars. He spent 197 dollars to buy all his items – and made in total more than 8000 dollars. The intrinsic value of products didn’t change – but their presentation did.
You can and should apply the same strategy to your creative work.
How to tell a story about a logo?
- Describe values, mission, and vision. Use bold, creative images to create the vibe about your work. Remember, designers get paid for out-of-the-box concepts – not only for the final combination of lines and figures.
- Let the presentation show your work in the best light. Prepare your presentation in brand colors. Create a stylish layout that would drive attention to logos.
- Make it relevant. Underline the fact that all the context is based on the careful research of the company. Analyze current logos and positioning before offering your own vision. You need to show respect to current style of the company before offering a new vision.
Most importantly keep your story engaging. If it’s a story, it should be fun to read – and look at.
Rule #4 – Show respect for your own work
If you are a designer, you are also an artist. Artists are very picky about how they demonstrate and interpret their work. You should have the same mentality towards your logos, too.
Letting clients use your logos however they please is not what an artist would do.
Reglament use cases for your logos
No matter how great a logo is, it won’t look good if someone were to stretch it disproportionately or put it on the unfitting background. As an artist, you have a right to come up with constraints for your logo usage. It will help clients achieve better results and show them how seriously you treat your work.
- Define use and misuse cases for your logos. Let clients know if the image can’t be stretched, rotated, or placed on a certain background.
- Show allowed alternatives. Demonstrate the best-looking modifications of your logos, the ones that express your vision, and don’t violate the composition rules.
Present your work as if it’s art. It will make the client respect your expertise and creativity a lot more.
Rule #5 – Use the right tools
Even if designers are ambitious about logo presentation, they make it manually in Illustrator or Photoshop, spending hours.
At first, you need to modify each logo alternative manually. Then, you have to put all these modifications together on a single page. Formatting, converting, and organizing takes a lot of time – almost as much as the design itself.
When you see how much time manual strategies take, it’s no wonder that many designers get discouraged.
Isn’t there a smarter, more awesome way to present your epic logos to clients?
Try Present Your logos in Brand Books
Gingersauce is an automated brand book builder that lets designers build a professional brand book around their logos.
The platform creates a PDF presentation of your logos that explains a designer’s vision and generates multiple logo variations a client can review and approve of.
You can do in minutes what others are accomplishing in hours:
- Generate a PDF presentation with logo variations, use cases, automatically generated palettes, and fonts;
- Tell the story behind your logo concept and design process
- Earn 2-3 times more just by changing the presentation of your logos
- Generate a full visual identity automatically just from a logo – Gingersauce generates palettes, use cases, fonts;
- Forget about sending multiple attachments via email – instead, give your work a premium look and feel.
After packing logos in a brand book, you’ll be getting fewer questions and edits. The brand book will sell your concept. Clients will get a professional result, which will likely be far beyond their expectations.
Do you have any other logo design presentation tips?