The 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”
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?