Wisconsin Graphic Designer | The Process

Sometimes my desk is array; my four cups of pens emptied everywhere and pieces of paper covering every square inch of my desk.  Well that is all part of being a Wisconsin Graphic Designer.  My process has always been messy..I mean just ask my mom, the organizer.  However, chaos is beauty...that's what I'm suppose to say, right?  As I finished up a logo and branding board this week, I thought it would be cool to share the process on how I get to the final custom logo/brand. While I neglected to take a picture of my desk (currently a large dinning table) because I'll be honest, it even scared me a little, I was sure to at least get some of my sketches.

Being a Wisconsin Graphic Designer, I am lucky enough that I'm not limited to Wisconsin.  I love this state, but getting to work with creatives all over makes my wandering heart a little happier.  So where should we start..step one makes sense, but I'm actually going to start years before that.  Back in High School, my sophomore year, I decided to take a class called Desktop Publishing because I'll be honest, I heard it was easy.  However, that class was the best decision I made in high school, or at least the top 5.  Schultzy (Mrs Sue Schultz) taught me how my mess could make something beautiful, with a little structure. Sketches to final product, not starting on the computer, starting on paper.  I mean I should really blame her for how messy my desk can get--all the paper all the places.  However, starting in a 'small town' Wisconsin school and now helping a client in California, I think I got this (: 

So step one of creating your custom logo starts just before the sketches.  I always have a client send me some of their work (in this case photography) and explain to me what they want their business feel to be.  From there I take it to the sketch book.  For example, Alexes showed me several images, but one thing I noticed throughout was the warm feel and life.  All the images she shared with me had a warmth about them and had some sort of life, from moving water to greenery/foliage to pure joy.  This set me on the path to knowing that I wanted to include something that represented that life, new leaves.  Taking that to sketchbook, you can see almost all of my sketches included leaves of some sort.  Once I finish those sketches its time for the client to take a look and decide which they think speaks to them the most.  In this case Alexes thought she liked the idea of the circle with different font, but we both agreed it was not for her, so we merged a few together to create that final sketch.

Next I go to the computer, starting with solid blacks.  I take that sketch and bring it to digital life, share it with the client and make tweaks as needed, like adding a branch or moving text over, etc.  Final step in this case was bringing in the color.  From those first images they send, I put them together and pull colors directly from them.  Again tweaking a little here and there till we have the whole color set.  I'll be honest, colors are probably my favorite part because it makes me feel like a kid again. This is where we stopped for Alexes, however as a Wisconsin Graphic Designer, we never HAVE to stop there.  I can go take those colors, that logo, that brand and create anything from business cards to billboards to help make your brand YOU in all the areas to reach YOUR client. 

I love photography, it is my milk and honey, but it all started here.  Wisconsin Graphic Designer to your rescue!

xoxo Elise Marie

If you liked this, you can check out more of my work here or if you are interested in getting started on your own logo please reach out!