Case study 1: "Clicking" logo

logo idea 2


The creative brief

Before starting any freelance job I ask clients to fill out a creative brief I conceived of and have fine-tuned over the years, tailoring it for different sorts of projects i.e. a logo brief, a website brief, and a comprehensive print branding brief.

The brief serves two purposes. First, it gives the client an opportunity to express their needs, audience, and design parametres. The brief also provides an opportunity for me to explain the stages of design and firm up a timeline. Over the years, I found this process to be essential for promoting good communication and realistic expectations. Have a look at my typical logo creative brief.

The communication question

For this project, the client was a photographer setting up a start-up photography business. The client wanted a logo for her materials which would appeal to the broadest possible audience. She was willing to do photography for events, portraiture, advertising needs (e.g. products and places), and more. In other words, she wanted to be everything and anything to everyone!

She wanted a logo that was unique and professional. She didn't want to use any photographs because choosing one might pigeon-hole her too much. As a result, she wanted the logo to communicate the act of taking a photograph, not the end product. She wanted the logo to be fairly abstract but still recognizably related to photography. She was open to any style of type, but she wanted to work with shades of orange and black.


The colours

Because she wanted to reach such a wide audience, I looked for an orange that conveyed warmth and hapiness, giving it a broad reach. As a result, I chose some samples of orange with high red values rather than cyan-influenced oranges. From my selection, the client chose: Pantone 1585. This translated to cmyk values of 0/56/90/0 and a hex code for screen of #FF9900.

Brainstorming a design solution

Initially I began working with the idea of an umbrella, used frequently in photography, using line drawing since photograghs went against the client instructions.

Black umbrella drawing

While I was working on a digital thumbnail sketch, the thought occurred to me that the last name of the client ("King") could be incorporated into a typical camera sound: "clicking".


Design solutions

I abondoned the umbrella idea and began work on 3 versions of a shutter opening using the word clicking. Since the communication question focused on the act of photography, this seemed to be an ideal solution bringing together the client name for brand recognition and a recognisable aspect of photography. I also wanted to capture the active and engaged personality of the photographer in the image.

Logo 1: An emphasis on 'focus': bringing client needs and images into focus; image mirrored in the typeface

Logo Idea 1


Logo 2: A softer solution, using a circle to represent the shutter and the wholistic range of photography offered by my client

logo idea 2


Logo 3: A modern twist uniting the photographer's camera and gaze, suggestive that the photographer has an eye for detail


Expanding the concept

The client was thrilled about the "click" idea: the concept itself was a success.
She selected Logo 3; in her estimation, it had the "cool" factor she was looking for to distinguish herself.

She felt the initial "C" was too unreadable, however, and she wanted her name to have more emphasis than her job title.

Based on these concerns, I moved to a modified version of the shutter using the second c in the text:

At this point she was really happy with the overall "KlicKing".

However the font for her name and job were no longer to her liking: she wanted a modern looking sans serif similar to the one I used in the first logo.
She also thought the bold black gave too much emphasis to her name and not enough to the job title.


The final product

Given the client's concerns over fonts, I used Helvetica Neue - a crisp san serif font giving it the contemporary look she was after.
I also put her name in gray but used a bold version of the font and a black thin weight version for her job title, trying to capture the illusive balance she was after.

Final Logo

The client loved the final product. She said: "This was so fun to do! You hit the nail right on the head. Let's work together again soon!"


Different strokes for different folks

In the end, the client featured in this case study did not choose the logo I prefer and have chosen to showcase in this digital portfolio. Logo 2 integrates typography and graphics in an elegant and gripping way, making it my favorite.