Musings from a Designer

By Leza Ahrens, Graphic Designer
 
I had the opportunity to work on a logo for the Center for Entrepreneurship this summer. Thrilled with the opportunity, I couldn’t wait to get started. When the time finally came, however, I was stumped. I couldn’t think of anything to make into a logo; my mind was blocked.
I am sure many designers, writers and entrepreneurs go through this all the time. I am here to write about what I do when I run into problems like this and how to work with a client.
Where to Start?
Guidelines were given to me after talking with the client:
  • Make a corporate identity that will last for years
  • Use any graphic
  • Use any stylized letters

I could do anything I wanted – as long as it was appropriate, of course. So, how did I get the ball rolling? I did a little research (through Google and  entrepreneur.com) and started sketching.
When I sketch, I usually draw a bunch of squiggly lines or shapes over and over again until I see something. Looking at my sketches, a person can’t possibly see anything in them, but for me they spark an idea. I researched anything that would relate to entrepreneurs.
When I run out of ideas, I work on other projects. Usually when I work on other things it helps me gather ideas for other purposes. This is why I am constantly working.  
Working With the Client
After I came up with several different prototypes, I sent them to my client. He polled the other professors in the department to find the favorite ones. I took the top two, added a color scheme and  sent them back to the client where the final one was chosen. The client then wanted to see variations of the logo. After many revisions, the client and I were satisfied with the outcome.
Working with a client can be tedious, especially when you’re stuck on ideas. As long as you ask questions, do the research, rest and relax, it will end up becoming a great experience.
If you have to keep revising your work, don’t worry about it or take it personally. Always make the client happy, but don’t forget to give your input because in the end it helps both of you understand each other.

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