« Back to Blog November 23, 2015 | Logo Design

How to Choose the Strongest Design Concept

I’ve written before about why I believe in only providing one design concept to clients, but there is a very difficult part of that process that sometimes gets overlooked.

Actually choosing the final concept.

This can be an extremely daunting task. If you have two, three, or forty different concepts that all seem strong, how do you choose which one is strongest? It’s your responsibility as the designer to choose the strongest concept. Use all of your skills and knowledge to make informed and objective decisions that will help your client find success.

Filtering Through Your Concepts

Whether you are beginning the filtering process or are nearing the end, you always need to make decisions based on the client’s goals that were established at the beginning of the project. Goals are your North Star in a project. They are what you are striving for and all of your decisions should be based on moving closer to reaching those goals to the best of your ability.

Filtering through your concepts is a lot like playing a game of 20 Questions. Each question you ask should be eliminating options and freeing up your mind to focus on what’s left.

Ask yourself questions and then answer them based on the information you have. “Does this concept work best where the logo will be primarily seen?” If the logo is for a clothing company, you’ll need to make sure the logo is legible on small tags. “Does this logo convey the right kind of tone for the brand?” If it’s a children’s clothing brand, you should probably eliminate any concepts that are too serious and don’t fit the correct mood.

Questions like that will be your biggest ally in eliminating concepts from contention. You need to keep finding reasons to cut concepts that are weaker than the rest and make sure you can justify every concept that makes the cut.

Eliminating “good” concepts

It can be hard to admit that one of the final few concepts you have come up with is not as strong as another. Sometimes you will even prefer one of the weaker concepts. But that’s a subjective opinion you need to take a step back from. Sometimes the “coolest” concept may not wind up being the strongest, and you need to be ok with making that decision.

Narrowing down to a final concept is most difficult when you are debating between only a few remaining ones. More often than not, writing a simple pros and cons list for each concept can provide a lot of clarity and insight into what works and what doesn’t for each one. It also wouldn’t be uncommon to realize that a combination of these final concepts strengths might ultimately be the strongest concept.

There are so many variables in this process that it can be hard to pin this down to an exact science. But remember to always reference the project goals and to trust your gut. You know what you’re doing. Use your experience and knowledge and trust it to make the right decision.

Finding “the one”

It is difficult to acknowledge when you’ve found “the one.” There will always be a little voice in your head questioning whether or not that this truly is the strongest concept, or that maybe there is still a concept you haven’t explored that could be better.

You need to limit those thoughts.

It’s true, there may have been a better concept that you never considered. Someone else may have been able to come up with a better concept. But that’s not what you need to focus on. You were hired to come up with the best solution to your client’s problems that you possibly could, and if you’ve done that, you have done your job.

If you’ve done your due diligence, followed your process, based all of your decisions off of the client’s goals, and have now come down to this final concept, you have done your job and done it well. Congratulations!

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