7 Tips on presenting logos to a client

Presenting logos to a clientThe research is over. The sketching is finished. Bad ideas now fill your waste basket and the best ideas have made it to the computer screen. After all the hard work, your logos are finally ready to present to the client. But how can you be sure they will be accepted and appreciated by the client? Below are some tips on presenting your logo comps to the client. Follow these rules and your logo proofing is bound to be a success almost every time.

Document and discuss “why”

Lesson in a tweet:

“Always design with a purpose and you will be prepared for anything the client asks of you.”
click to tweet it!

The most successful thing I have been able to do when presenting a series of logo proofs to a client is to document the reasoning behind my actions. In other words, let the client know the reasons you designed a particular logo in a certain way. If it was to connect more powerfully with the target audience, to simplify the identity, or to increase brand awareness, include that in the presentation.

I usually type a professional summary of my motivation for each composition. It’s also important to cite requests made by a client in preliminary dicussions: a phrase like “This concept was created according to your request for…”. Understanding the purpose and motivation behind each design will help the client appreciate each design individually.

The first impression is everything

Make sure the client is thoroughly impressed with your designs the first time they see them. This can be achieved by double and triple checking all spelling and other small details. Also, if you are presenting the logos in person, mount them professionally on foam core or some other clean surface. If you are presenting them digitally via email, etc., put your best work at the beginning, create a professional cover page, and group all the comps together in a pdf document that can be easily and quickly read.

Present practical application

Put their logo on things. Show them what it would look like if they placed any particular logo on a business card, web site, stationery, and where appropriate, promotional material like Tshirts, pens, etc. The more the client sees real-life application with the logos, the more able they will be to make an informed decision.

Make it look professional

Include variations of what the logo might look like in grayscale and in color. Offer different size variations to demonstrate scalability and present them with multiple, unique, choices–don’t just do ten variations on the same logo.

Be positive and confident

Frankly, you’re the designer. You’ve spent your life figuring out what works best for the client. Although ultimately, they make the final decision on what the logo looks like, if you’ve done your homework and asked all the right questions, you know what works best about these designs. Sell that to the client–and do it in with confidence.

Be patient and willing to listen

When a client wants to change the designs you have created, remember it’s not your worth as a person they are changing, it’s the design. Don’t get offended or defensive easily. Be patient, hear them out, and after they have told you all their concerns, have a civilized conversation about why you agree or disagree with what they have said. Always be respectful but also defend your reasoning behind your designs.

Find middle ground

If you think it should be one way and the client thinks it should be another way, find middle ground. But also remember these wise words:

“If you want to be a well-paid designer, please the client.
If you want to be an award-winning designer, please yourself.
If you want to be a great designer, please the audience.”

Remember, and frequently remind the client, that the ultimate goal is not to make you or them happy with the design, it’s to make the target audience happy with the design.

Wrapping it up

There are many important things to remember when presenting a logo design to a client. Remember to do your homework and you will be ready to explain to the client the reasoning behind the design. This will help you have a successful round of proofing with the client almost every time. What other tips would you add to the list?

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  1. says

    wicked article. You defiantly hit the nail on the head with a lot of those points. A lot of what I have read says that how you present your concept is just as important as what you present to a client.

  2. says

    And never present something that you don’t love. If it’s just okay… It it’s your least favorite… If it’s one one that you did just to illustrate how much better of an idea the others are, It is guaranteed that the client will pick that one.

  3. says

    The “why” factor is always acting as the main principle in my presentation. From my experience: the more time you spend and efforts give to writing presentation the more positive client’s reaction is. So obviously sometimes it’s just not enough for a result and then it comes to how good you can be at explanations of your decisions.

  4. says

    - “Present practical application”

    Very often their first reaction is not so good when you showed them JUST logo. Then you put in on the business card, stationery, t-shirt, whatever – and they love it.

    Most people perceive things depending on their surroundings :).

    • says

      @Michal Kozak,
      That is a very good point! It seems that the client is always more impressed when you go the extra mile to help them understand application of the logo. Thanks for adding.

  5. says

    To echo Shea’s comment, Murphy’s law applies here. If you include a logo you are not 100% pleased with, the client will pick that one. Also, if you are working with an AE on the project, be sure to sit down beforehand and explain your reasoning so they can appropriately champion your work to the client. If you don’t work together as a team, it will make everyone look bad, not just the design. Great article Preston!

  6. says

    Nice article. Anyone that is presenting full web designs should remember to create a “mockup” of their work that your client can view in a browser with a background.

  7. says

    Great article, nice tips! The first impression is so important, that there’s no room for bad logos. Unfortunatelly it is sometimes hard to convince clients of the solution that would be the best for them.

  8. says

    Your article covers almost all points.But I want to know to make a attractive background and portfolio that can help me getting more clients.I make good logos but problem comes while showing them .please help

  9. says

    Awesome article. I love being able to explain “why” I create a logo the way I do and the elements I choose to include. It does double duty as showing the client that I was listening to their wants and it serves as a barrier to keep me from including irrelevant information or elements. Again, awesome post!


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