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The Logo Design Process for Ultimate Potential

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This post is part of a series called Logo and Identity Design.
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My name is Jacob Cass and I am a logo designer, web designer and graphic designer from Sydney, Australia and in this article I will guide you through the process of creating the logo for one of my recent clients, Ultimate Potential. This article offers insights into, not only the thought process behind creating the logo, but also the creation of the logo itself.

1. The Logo Design Process

When one creates a logo, they should follow a logo design process to ensure that the final design suits the needs of the clients (not their wants)... I have written about the logo design process of professional logo designers in full on my site however here is the usual logo design process in short:

  1. Design Brief: Conduct a questionnaire or interview with the client to get the design brief.
  2. Research: Conduct research focused on the industry itself, on its history, and on its competitors.
  3. Reference: Conduct research into logo designs that have been successful and current styles and trends that may be related to the design brief.
  4. Sketching and Conceptualizing: Develop the logo design concept(s) around the brief and research.
  5. Reflection: Take breaks throughout the design process. This lets your ideas mature and helps you get renewed enthusiasm and receive feedback.
  6. Positioning: Position yourself as a contractor or build a long lasting relationship. ie. Client tells you what to do or you guide the client to the best solution. The latter is usually best.
  7. Presentation: Choose to present only a select few logos to the client or a whole collection. Presenting only the best is recommended.
  8. Celebration: Drink beer, eat chocolate, sleep, start on the next logo design. Or a combination.

2. Final Logo Design

Below is the final logo design for Ultimate Potential. Read on to learn about the process in creating this design.

3. Getting The Job

Michelle Van Otten, the business owner of Ultimate Potential, contacted me earlier this year (who found me through my blog) and she wanted to rebrand and make over their old business identity (which used to be called Ultimate Body Potential) starting with their logo and then her website. Also, If you are having trouble finding jobs, then check out this article on where to find design jobs.

After a few initial emails clarifying Michelle's needs, I sent Michelle a four page logo design questionnaire, (PDF) which was promptly filled out. I then sent her a proposal and an agreement (I never call it a contract) and then received a 50% deposit via PayPal. I also sent her a web design questionnaire for the website design, but that is for another article.

4. The Design Brief

After Michelle had filled out the questionnaire, I had most of the information that I needed to start on the logo design. There were a few other emails clarifying things but basically all the information was there.

Here is a bit of background information on Ultimate Potential:

Ultimate Potential is a life balance business that offers a variety of services that improves ones lifestyle, body and mind. Ultimate Potential offers workshops, camps, programs, personal training, life training and more.

After reading through Michelle's completed logo questionnaire, I found in short that Michelle wanted a logo that portrayed her whole business model and she needed it to demonstrate: "energy, wellness, vitality, life balance, upwards mobility, and spirit." She also requested to see if the initials U and P could be incorporated into the logo.

This was the old logo that was to re branded into Ultimate Potential, minus the word BODY.

Old LogoOld LogoOld Logo

5. Research

Upon receiving the initial 50% deposit for the logo and signed contract agreement, I then started researching what was needed for the project. This included looking up Michelle's competitors (that she provided and my findings), researching the industry and searching for other logos in the industry, among other things.

Research is a critical stage in the logo design process, as this ensures that your logo will differ from the competitors and it also sets a benchmark - your logo must be better than all of the competitors.

6. Sketching and Development

The next stage of the project was developing the logo. Developing the logo design concept is where creativity comes into play. Based on the design brief and research conducted, this is where I let my ideas run wild. I brainstormed and sketched down my ideas and then experimented with them on the computer. I also had breaks between these sessions so I could reflect on the designs and have a fresh perspective on the job at hand, which is a crucial part of the process when when designing a logo.

The challenge that I had when creating the Ultimate Potential logo was trying to incorporate "energy, wellness, vitality, life balance, upwards mobility, spirit" all into one logo while also trying to get the initials U and P into the logo too.

Below you will find one of the original pages of sketches that I did for the Ultimate Potential logo... I know I am no Picasso but it is the end result that matters. Find circled where I originally got the idea for the final logo. Remember that there is no such thing as a bad idea when brainstorming.

7. Computer Generation

As you can see in the circled sketch above, I had the idea of using the letters U and P to make up a human figure jumping or springing in the air. After I had this general idea in my head, I experimented with the concept in Adobe Illustrator. Below you can see six of my many experiments.

Take note that no color has been added to any of the designs. This is to ensure the design works in one color only. Check out the 10 Principles of Logo Design Masters.

I ended up choosing the bottom left logo (below) for the final logo design. This shape subtly hints on the initials U and P, but not in a blatantly obvious manner. The shape also portrays an abstract man, jumping or springing into the air reflecting energy, wellness, vitality, life balance, upwards mobility and spirit.

8. Typeface

Now that I had the general concept and a logo I was happy with, it was time to show Michelle the logo...

Michelle was extremely happy with the logo itself so it was now time to see how the logo could work with the text Ultimate Potential. I experimented with a variety of layouts and typefaces to see what would work best and I also let Michelle have her input into what typeface she thought worked best. Below you can see just some, of many, different typefaces we tried and circled in red, the typeface we chose Lacuna Italic, which was chosen for it's forward, clean, energetic, legible, fresh nature - one that reflects the business model as a whole.

9. Color

Now that we had a typeface and logo concept for Ultimate Potential, it was now time to choose the colors for the logo. Below you can see just one 3 color combination variation of the many that we tried. In the end we chose not to finalize the logo color until I had put the website together.

Below you can see the old website and then below that, the new website. The new website is still being developed so it is not the final design, but it should be quite similar (the rocks image won't be there for example).

10. Old Website

11. New Website

12. Final Logo

Now that the websites colors were sorted, it was now time to choose some colors for the logo. These colors had to compliment the website and also had to make the logo look great on its own.

In the end a dark and light green combination was chosen. These colors give the business a sense of fresh energy and wellness while the abstract logo of the man jumping shows upwards mobility symbolizing vitality and overall happiness, which is the goal of Ultimate Potential itself. And hey, it even managed to subtly sneak in the initials U and P.

You can see the completed logo below. If you would like to read more about my design process please head over to my website to check out the featured articles. Thank you!

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