Breakdown of how CSI logo was brought to life
In early 2020, I was roped in to design the Laboratory of Cell Stress & Immunity (CSI) logo, a part of KU Leuven (Belgium), Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. I have always ever designed logos for tech startups, and this was the first time I was about to jump into designing something that is well out of my comfort zone. But having a fair bit of experience and interest in logo designs, I decided to trust in the process and go one step at a time while working with the client in unpacking the expected outcome.
It is always important to remember that the logo is a symbolic representation of the company/brand; and it often requires inspiration and art and research, analysis, hard work, and rigorous testing to design it.
Pencil sketching, Adobe Illustrator
I wanted to do my own research around competitors in this space and color palettes that are not favored in this domain. The logo design is for a lab that focuses on cancer cell death’s immunology, and for starters, I know nothing about this field and its technicality. So I send across a questionnaire to the client to help me steer in the right direction and start building a mood board of shapes, color palettes, and inspirations. Here are the questions that I chose to ask —
- What is your Logo Wording — full written name needed for the logo (English/Dutch)? Can you give me a general overview of what you do?
- Do you have a tagline or a slogan? Would you like to see it incorporated with the logo?
- Can you provide me with a listing of keywords that best sum up an overall impression that the logo needs to convey?
- When consumers/clients/customers view the logo, what should be the ideal feeling or emotion you would like them to feel?
- What does the logo need to say about your company?
- Who is the target audience or intended market?
- Are you unique or one of many? (In other words: Does this logo need to compete with existing or similar businesses, or is it is a relatively uncrowded marketplace?)
- Can you send me a list of competitors? (Please provide addresses to their websites if available)
- What is the type of logo desired? (Mark + Word Type) (Play on Word Type)
- How much detailing should be there in the logo? Do you have any particular point of emphasis you want to see in the design?
- Where will the logo be used — print, online, signs, or other materials? What are the immediate plans for logo usage?
- Is there a certain look that you like (include URLs or company names if possible)?
- Are there any elements that you would like to see included in your logo design? What elements from your old identity do you like or dislike?
- Do you have any preconceived ideas about the design of your logo?
- Are there any images or concepts you DO NOT want to see?
- How would you like the typography to appear?
- Do you want your logo to include text-only, text and graphic or graphic only? Do you have any specific visual requirements?
- Do you have any color preferences or existing brand colors? Do you have any colors that you do not wish to use?
- What’s your preferred deadline, time frame, or exact date of completion?
- Would you like any additional design services to be packaged with your new logo?
- What does your business do? Can you explain your business and who your audience is in simple laymen’s terms? How would you explain your business and what it does to a 5-year-old?
- Is there anything else in particular that I should know about? (like what according to you and your business looks like a bad example of logo design)