20 Questions To Ask Clients Prior To Designing A Logo

Before starting any project it’s essential to get the right preliminary information from your clients. This will help pave the way to a successful project, assist in bringing client’s vision into perspective and build a lasting relationship. Many of the questions below will also help in putting together an accurate quote for your client. Things such as deadlines, usage, etc. should take into account pricing.

Since my primary focus in is logo design, below are 20 questions to ask your clients prior to beginning their new logo design. Also, many of these questions can be applied to other forms of design, so feel free to integrate them into your questions for various forms of print and web design.

Company-related questions

1- How would you describe your services and/or products?

2- What are the long term goals of your company?

3- Why do you want a new logo? (if they already have one) What do you want your new logo to accomplish?
This question helps to understand the problem.

4- Who are your main competitors?
Having clients provide links allows you to get a better feel for their market and competition.

5- How are you different from your competitors?

6- What’s the age range of your target customer base?
Helps in creating an overall feeling and impression of the logo.

Project-related questions

7- Do you have a tag line? If so, would you like it stated along side your logo?

8- Do you have any specific imagery in mind for your logo?

9- Do you have any color preferences, or existing brand colors?

10- Do you have any colors that you do not wish to use?

11- What adjectives should best describe your logo?

12- What feeling or message do you want your logo to convey to those who view it?

13- How do you prefer your logo to be worded or written out?
Example: thedesigncubicle or the design cubicle

14- How would you like the typography to appear?
Example: script, bold, light, hand drawn, custom lettering

15- Where will you logo be used?
Example: print, web…

16- Where will your logo primarily be used?
If the primary usage is for the web, typically horizontal logos work best.

17- What’s your preferred deadline, time frame or exact date of completion?

18- Budget?
This is where I provide various pricing and concept numbers.

19- Would you like any addition design services to be packaged with your new logo?
Example: business cards, envelops, letterheads, etc.

20- What logos appeal to you and why?
Another question they can also with links and visual examples.

I also like to leave my clients with a field or extra room at the end where they can provide additional details and comments. Remember, being a graphic designer means you are a problem solver. You cannot solve a problem without knowing what the problem is – asking questions is a great start. What questions do you ask your clients prior to starting a project? Feel free to add to the above questions in the comments below.

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Discussion and Comments

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  1. This is amazing, i will print these out and alway take this with me right before i meet the client!

  2. busani says:

    also my self i will print this and be with it when i meet the client

  3. Brian says:

    Used this today before emailing a prospect! Thank you!

  4. Studio says:

    I use a similar checklist too, but, as far as I learned, twenty questions are a bit too much: I stop at 8-10.
    Cheers!

  5. Robot Gen says:

    What are these 8-10 questions Studio?

  6. I tend to ask a few less but along the same lines, good stuff :)

  7. heather says:

    i’m starting out on my own and this was very useful! thanks!

  8. Brad says:

    Thanks for initial meeting with client questions. I have incorporated almost all of them, in some way, in my own questionnaire I have my clients fill out.

    The only question I have is about #14. I don’t ask this question until after I have come up with the first round of comps. If you give the client too many options right off they might begin to feel like they have to control every aspect of the design. This is just my opinion from my own experience, that you stay away from too many design specifics and just focus on the audience and overall feel they want for the logo. Then later, when you have sketched up some ideas, you can ask more specifics to narrow your focus.

    Again, thanks for the great insights and questions!

  9. antara says:

    Very specific and accurate questions for presenting to clients.

  10. Sherwin Ree says:

    Thanks for the great help with this post. I’m also a graphic artist and one of the difficult to design is the logo for it have to be unique and is clearly associated with the firm.

  11. Jumanah says:

    More questions you can use to ask the client are:

    *How long has your company been in business?

    *How big is your company? (this may be answered in number of employees)

  12. Mark says:

    I don’t agree with question 14, that is like asking the client what font does he wants to use and what size.

  13. Perfect timing! I have a meeting with to clients today! Thank you! ;)

  14. paoling says:

    im a designer and use a similar list too. thats so funny that a few people mentioned that their list is shorter, as mine has gotten longer over time. im less and less interested in dealing with a client’s BS!

  15. Tammy says:

    Thanks! Lost my old list!

  16. Thanks for this list! I use a questionare as well but I needed it tweeked because I was spending way to much time redoing work after the first comp because of information that I should have asked beforehand. I agree with Paoling I do not want to deal with a client that has 50 revisions for a single graphic.

  17. Heather says:

    Thanks for posting. This will save us so much time! We are just getting started and need all of the help we can get.

  18. Lisa King says:

    Thanks for this list! I too have just picked up a new project and am using these questions as guidelines to get started. I would also want to ask about the eventual size and positioning of the logo on the website, assuming this is the primary place it will be used.

  19. Robert says:

    This is a great list, and a prefect reference point for anyone wanting to create a comprehensive design brief. My only disagreement is question 14 –

    14- How would you like the typography to appear?
    Example: script, bold, light, hand drawn, custom lettering

    Surely deciding on an appropriate typeface is the designers job? For example if your client is an I.T company and you ask them this question, to which they respond ‘we want a brush script’ simply because they happen to ‘like’ brush script typefaces at that point in time, is that going to result in the best design solution? Surely our job is to figure this question out from the design brief itself….

    Just my opinion

    Thanks

    Rob

  20. z1 says:

    If your clients know answers to all this questions you are luckiest designer in this world. In (my) reality it does not work that way.

  21. Poinfre! says:

    It all depends wether you want to act as an Agency, a Studio, or just a Freelance.

    As an Ad Agency you will go through all the steps you may find in any marketing book (competitors, strenghts & weaknesses, market…) and more if it’s a multinational Co. Plus it usually comes with other services. That would probably mean a deep interview and at least 40 questions to ask.

    As a Freelance, if your client is a local struture, or simply an entrepreneur, you may just listen to his very brief or email, and go for the visuals. You may settle for half the questions above to gain time if you feel they could be picky.

  22. No one seems to like #14, but here’s a workaround: since WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE have WAY TOO MANY “fonts” on their desktops, WAY TOO MANY CLIENTS have WAY TOO MANY OPINIONS – so it’s kind of a necessary evil.

    One solution: present a minimal “flyer-style” “The quick brown fox” type sampler, with serif, sans-serif, decorative, etc. – to get a FEEL from the client about what he/she HATES, LOVES, etc.

    You can always throw it out the window, if YOU come up with something perfect that doesn’t “matchy-match,” or – heaven forbid – they tell you they’ve always adored Comic Sans.

  23. canndy girl says:

    Great post. You seem to have a good understanding that how to design a professional logo. When I entering your blog, I felt this. Come on and keep writing your blog will be more attractive. To Your Success!

  24. Your insight and willingness to share saved me a whole lot of time tonight. I pray your unselfishness comes back to you tenfold. Thank you so very much!

  25. I use a type sheet with the companies name in about a dozen serif and san serif fonts. I suggest that the client take a look and circle or cross off fonts that they love or hate and then we discuss.

  26. Sharri says:

    Comprehensive guide. Great work, especially for budding freelancers!

  27. arun says:

    This 20 questions nice Information.If you give the client too many options right off they might begin to feel like they have to control every aspect of the design. Thanks and keep share always

  28. john says:

    Thank you, very helpful!
    I designed a logo for a relative, I charged them like a regular. Made the designs, and then he backed out, and said he was going to keep the artwork I sent him… I don’t know what to say now.. I don’t get paid, but i made those sketches… he quits and leaves… what can I do?

  29. Brendan Maxwell says:

    This is a great list. Although I have to say that asking questions that are too specific can limit the designer. Questions like specific imagery can get something stuck in the clients mind. Once you’ve asked these questions you’ve limited yourself. The client can get it stuck in their minds to expect you to not do these things. but they lack the foresight to imagine the final comp. As far as color, I try to present black and white proofs initially. People can have very surprising emotional reactions to colors. If you present a logo using a specific color, and the client happens to hate that specific color they can get it stuck in their minds that because they hate the color, they also hate the logo and any attempt to change the color would still exist in an awful logo. I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t limit yourself creatively by asking strict questions. Once again, love this list. Thanks

  30. Monica says:

    Thanks for the list – I’m heading to a client meeting later today and needed a double-check to see if I left out any important questions.

    To john:
    Did you create a contract? When I was starting out, I’ve been burned this way too, which is why I ALWAYS create a contract for ANYONE I work with (even friends and family). In it, it should state information about canceling and what happens if the client chooses that, as well as information about copyrights. I clearly state in mine that I own all copyrights until all payment is completed. Make it clear that he does not own the artwork and cannot use it.

  31. This is a great list, thanks. Not only are the questions great, but I have come up with a few more just from reading this list. Thanks so much, I’ll use this in the future for sure.

Brian Hoff
About Brian Hoff: Designer, Writer and Speaker

I’m a graphic designer living in Brooklyn, New York who loves creating compelling and useful websites and memorable interactions across the web. When I’m not designing I can be found writing, speaking and occasionally part-time teaching at colleges — all on the subject of design. I started this blog to share my passion and experiences with designers and clients. I'm most active on Twitter; say hello:


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