Presenting early-process logo comps to clients can sometimes be a difficult process because not everyone can visualize finished products like designers can. A monotone rough draft on a white background doesn’t translate the look of the logo in action, and many clients aren’t going to be able to make an informed decision or provide useful feedback this way. It’s quite disappointing when you know you hit mark and the design will look incredible in use, but the client can’t visualize it.
To combat this issue, my approach to logo presentation is along the lines of a moodboard design. I present various comps accompanied by photographic or graphic visuals that will appeal to the client. This resonates much better with non-designers, as it creates an mood and gives them a better idea of how the logo design will work for their business. It becomes much easier to convey my vision, and greatly reduces difficulties that can occur when communicating visuals. This is especially true for designers like me, who start with many comps and chisel it down to a polished, finished design, as this method is overwhelming and confusing for clients otherwise.
My initial template is simple: multiple, relative photographic backgrounds, usually blurred, with single color logo designs arranged in labeled grids (shown below). I’ll add subtle design elements such as opaque frames, fancy fonts, “instagram” masks, etc, where appropriate. The intent is not to have the client chose a final design from the comps, but to set the project down the right design direction, which ultimately saves time and energy. Once the logo is more refined, I present far fewer, more focused comps in action mockups, such as on business cards or letterhead, and gradually introduce color variations.
It’s worth noting that I also provide context as we move through the process, detailing the reasoning behind my design decisions. A logo should be meaningful, not just trendy, and it’s important to communicate to the client the significance of these design elements. This further adds purpose to the designs, and helps the client solidify their decisions. This method has greatly improved my work productivity, and has allowed me to produce better brand design.
The following are some presentations I’ve used with clients.
This is a sample from The Garden showing early logo designs. These comps were presented to the client after a discovery period, and were meant to help define the design direction. The next set included more focused comps that were further refined into the finished logo.
Once a design direction is set, the comps are refined and narrowed down. Usually we’ll end up with 2-4 finalists that resonated with the client, which are then presented in various action mockups. The goal is to allow the client to make confident, solid choices that they’ll be happy with going forward. A waffling client is not only frustrating for the designer, but indicates that the client is not 100% sold on the design direction. This unfortunate quandary is often prevented with effective conveyance of the vision throughout the stages of design.