• Mark Hannafin

Part 1 - The Discovery Session

The Logo Design Process.

Part 1 - The Discovery Session

Over the next number of days, I will be bringing you through my process and what you should expect when working with a graphic designer, We will be focusing on logo design but this process will be primarily the same for website design, identity design, content creation and more. If you’re thinking about working with a designer or have worked with one before this should give you a good indication of what it is like to work with a professional designer and not only make your business look the part but solve real problems on the way.


Talking with the client. This is easily the most obvious part of the process but one that is sometimes messed up by the designer and misunderstood by the client. It is easy to speak with a client and not actually listen to their needs and the issues they are having. If your designer doesn’t have a number of questions about your business, then that should be a red flag. Be careful as a client that you will be working with a designer that is going to get involved and seek to understand you and your business. It is easy for some designers to get caught up in the creating and forget that there are real issues that need solving.

I speak from experience when it comes to this. Just last year I had a client come and talk with me about redesigning their logo. We spoke. I got excited, didn’t listen fully and didn’t explain what exactly I was going to do. I went off and came up with three different update designs that I thought they would really like. To my surprise, I got this message saying, “This is not what I wanted!!” Basically, they wanted very little changed on their logo the just wanted it tweaked, to which I wondered, why even bother? Anyway, we parted ways and I lost a client. I learned from this and went on to develop a process so I would be better prepared to help my future clients.

In the first meeting, the designer should listen mostly and talk little. They need to listen to what the business is about and to what you as a client are looking for (logo, website, brand identity etc.) If as a client you’re not sure where to start, then it is the designer’s responsibility to bring you on a journey of discovery. They should ask questions like; Why does your company exist? What is it your company does? What issues are you having right now that need to be solved? What do you sell and where do you sell? What is the timeline and budget for the project? These questions and more are what you should expect to discuss when working with a designer.

The designer will need to show that they understand you and the problems you are having. They should go over what you just discussed, tell you what will be involved in the process and what the next steps are. This is to get clarity, make sure both designer and client truly understand each other. As a designer, you should never assume things because if you are wrong you could lose their trust or worse the CLIENT.

During the discovery call or in a separate call your designer should speak about your ideal client. If you know who they are already then this should be fairly easy and quick to get through. If, however, you don’t know or haven’t yet identified your target audience then your designer should be able to help you. I have a questionnaire that is constantly changing and being perfected, to help my clients discover their audience, target their niche and build their tribe.

Client Brief

After the discovery call, you should be presented with a brief. This sums up what was discussed during the discovery call. Who you are as a business, what you do, why you do it and who your audience is should be mentioned in the call. It should then describe the issue you are having as a business and describe how together with your designer you are going to solve the issues. Also included is a rundown of the process and what to expect next.

Once you receive the brief it will be the last chance to speak with the designer before they start on the research phase, if you feel things are missing from the brief this is where you should flag them to your designer. After reading the brief if you feel the designer isn’t on the same page as you then its best to jump on a call and talk it through. Your designer should wait until the brief is signed off on before starting anything.

To conclude. The first two things you should expect when working with a designer is the initial meeting which will happen over the phone, video, or face to face when the virus allows us to go out again that is. Your designer should speak with you and listen to your needs and wants for your business. They should understand that it is not just about you wanting a logo or a website, the issue is always much bigger. You need a logo to help the business stand out or you want to improve your brand identity and strategy to increase income or gain a bigger following. It should be the designer’s job to find this out through discovery and help you develop a solution using a design that bests fits the company needs. All this should be presented in a brief that should also outline the process for solving the problem and your role in the project. After all, it is a joint venture, you want what is best for your company and the designer wants to help your company be the best.

This is the first in a series of blogs and posts on what to expect when working with a professional graphic designer. Please keep an eye out on my page for more, you can follow on

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Thanks for reading.