Logos, logos, logos!

June 8, 2015

Visual Eavesdropping

I love eavesdropping visually on other people’s creative processes. It’s fascinating to see how creative projects evolve over time.

In today’s note, I thought I’d share the steps from some of my logo design projects so you can do your own visual eavesdropping.

Logos offer a great combination of free-form creativity with the restrictions of client needs, preferences and reviews. The following captures a glimpse at the balance between creativity and feedback– a process that, while it may not always be simple and straightforward, helps lead to good design and products clients will love.

I hope you enjoy!

We Speak Franchise

This project began with the fairly open direction of a clean, simple and bright logo for a new public speaking and events management company that focuses on the needs of the franchise industry.

Round 1. We started with a round of broad sketches to explore various color palettes, fonts and icons. The goal of this round was to gather client preferences and focus in on a possible design direction.

We Speak Franchise Logo Concepts Round 1

Round 1: A range of sketches

Round 2. The client had two favorite concepts from round 1 and wanted to see different color variations for one and different layouts for the other. Armed with this input, round 2 explored the two preferred directions further.

We Speak Franchise Logo Concepts Round 2

Round 2: Variations of two concepts

Round 3. The client selected a color for their preferred logo but also wanted to see a few more color variations for another design. This final revision round explored font options for the first logo and a few color options for the second.

We Speak Franchise Logo Concepts Round 3

Round 3: Final color and font variations

Final design. The client selected their preferred logo. It’s bright, clean and modern and will look great on everything from business cards to posters.

We Speak Franchise Final Logo

Final Logo

IntraNerve Brand Family

The IntraNerve family of companies (IntraNerve, IntraDiagnostics and PRNRead) specializes in medical monitoring for complex brain, spine, vascular and other surgical procedures. Going into our project, IntraNerve knew they wanted a clean and modern logo that used its existing beige/burgundy color palette and could be varied for its three companies. They wanted to explore icons suggesting nerves, graphs and brain activity.

Round 1. Round one presented iterations of three concepts: a ‘satellite brain’, a ‘graph brain’ and a ‘nerve kaleidoscope.’

IntraNerve Round 1

Round 1: Iterations of three concepts

Round 2. The client strongly preferred one of the ‘satellite brain’ designs, so this round fine-tuned the design and presented color variations for the brand family.

IntraNerve Round 2

Round 2: Refining a concept

Round 3. The final revision round continued to refine the preferred design, exploring different shading, placement and scale options.

IntraNerve Round 3

Round 3: Additional refinements

Final design. The client selected a final design, a sleek and modern logo. Branding guidelines were established for the three companies.

IntraNerve Final

Final Brand Family


CRECE is the Center for Research, Equity and Collaborative Engagement at the California State University, East Bay. The center wanted a logo that represented its three core facets (research, equity and engagement). They also requested an icon with open hands to represent their open, inclusive philosophy. Our logo design project was condensed into two short rounds to be as cost and time efficient as possible.

Round 1. The first round presented two logo options, both using the concept of open hands with three leaves to represent the organization’s three facets.

CRECE Round 1

Round 1: Two concepts presented

Final design. The center selected one of the designs, a warm and friendly logo, to use in outreach materials.


Final Logo


StashWall, an online tool for organizing digital materials and simplifying lives, wanted a bright, modern logo to symbolize its misson and inspire its growth.

Round 1. Round one included a few general sketches to get the client’s input on concepts and colors.

StashWall Logo Round 1

Round 1: Initial sketches

Round 2. Round two explored additional concepts involving boxes and security, as well as color options for a preferred box concept.

StashWall Logo Round 2

Round 2: More explorations

Working logo. The client selected a “box” concept initially as a working logo for early prototypes.

StashWall Working Logo

Working Logo

Final design. During design of the application, one additional logo was presented. The team liked this direction best and decided to move forward with it.

StashWall Final Logo

Final Logo


Porcellino (piglet in Italian), a new restaurant in San Francisco, was looking for a simple and casual logo. They preferred a black and white palette with a customized script font.

Round 1. The first round presented a variety of customized script fonts to get input and preferences.

Porcellino Logo Round 1

Round 1: Font options

Round 2. The second round explored different ‘piglet’ icon concepts with the preferred script font.

Porcellino Logo Round 2

Round 2: Icon options

Round 3. In this round we fine-tuned the script font and explored options for incorporating a flying piglet icon.

Porcellino Logo Round 3

Round 3: Incorporating font and icon

Final design. The client selected a final script logo. They also selected a flying piglet icon to use as a watermark and stamp in marketing materials.

Porcellino Final Logo

Final Logo

Porcellino Final Watermark


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  1. Alexandra Dickerman

    This is so interesting, and so much more complicated than I ever thought, on so many levels. The ability to really listen is a rare gift, and along with your exceptional talent it makes you the very best! Thanks again, Sarah, for a marvelous essay.

    1. sarah

      Thank you! xo

  2. Rosie

    Thanks for sharing this! I love seeing how creative you are with other projects. I think Porcellino’s round 3 and final flying pig icons were my favorites. 🙂 (Great, now I have to go eat there.)

    1. sarah

      Thanks Rosie! It is fun to see what people like best from the mix!

  3. Yoli

    I love the concept of visual eavesdropping! Great insight into the creative process. Thank you for sharing:-)

    1. sarah

      Thanks Yoli!

  4. Jeanene

    I love all the logos, although CRECE’s particularly stands out for me; it’s quite lovely. I am impressed by the caliber of clients who seek your help! You’ve also introduced me to some companies/organizations I’m now interested in checking out as well. Interesting to see your work process; so talented.

    1. sarah

      Thanks so much Jeanene for taking a look and sharing your thoughts!