I'm a branding expert and graphic designer based in NY. I specialize in the development of brands: brand strategy, identity & web design. Need help with your project?—Get in touch
I have mastered this presentation methodology by years of experience working with some of the best design agencies.
So if you're wondering how to present logos to your clients—you're in the right place!
Before we go into nitty gritty of how to present logo design work, first it’s worth to mention that:
Presenting logos is a science, not an art.
If you follow my proven process, you won’t have to sell nothing to your client, they will be sold on their own.
If your logo is the product that you sell, then your logo presentation is the packaging of that product.
As we all know, we buy with eyes, so that your logo presentation just as packaging must be very attractive.
How you present your logos is as important as the logo designs themselves.
PS. If you prefer watching a YouTube video—check it out my channel.
Of course, before you proceed you have to have some logo concepts to show and someone to show them to.
I’m not going to talk here about how to design a logo, but I will just focus on the presentation itself—so let's assume that you have some logos designed.
First, it's important to establish some rules—let’s talk about the DO’s and DONT’s of presenting logos.
The first biggest mistake you can make is presenting too many options.
How many logos should you present?—Show only three logos.
I’ve heard of designers presenting even 20 to 30 concepts—that’s way too many!
My client recently called me and said that some other designer presented them with 15 logos.
All of which were really bad, they didn’t like none of them.
You might be thinking that the more logos you present the greater the chance your client will like one, but the reality is that it will only confuse them.
Not even mentioning the energy and creativity you have to dilute over those 15 concepts—most likely you would end up with mediocre concepts.
It’s much better to focus on presenting only three strong logo concepts!
Behind the scenes you can sketch hundreds of logos—no problem, just don’t show them all to your client!
The second biggest mistake you can make is sending them over by email, in an attachment.
Is best to present logo and identity design projects either over the phone or in-person.
I usually present my logo design work via Zoom video call, after which I send my client the link to that logo presentation by email.
That way I get the chance to describe my logos, explain my ideas and say what I have to say, before letting the client voice their opinion.
Now, let’s talk about some of the best practices when it comes to logo presentation.
The first best practice to follow when presenting your logo concepts is to start with a solid strategy session.
This sessions will provide you with all the necessary words that you can use to translate strategy into visual concepts.
This is basically about extracting important information from the client, but also engaging the client in the process and generating some ideas.
Learn more about how to develop and then translate strategy into visual design in my other article.
The second best practice to follow when presenting your logos is to take smaller steps with your client.
You see, logo and identity design is often a long windy road towards the right solution.
It’s not like you just design something fast and there's is a big reveal where you expect to WOW your client.
it’s more of a sequential process where you’re building towards the final logo in a set of steps.
One of the best steps you can take is to use moodboards or stylescapes.
Taking smaller steps will point you (and your client) in the right direction with confidence.
So remember—Never just send your logo presentation by email, and never present more than three concepts.
There are many ways in which you can present your design work successfully.
It could be a high-res PDF, a PowerPoint or Keynote, or you can simply use an online visual board tool like InVision.
First, I prepare mockups in PSD, then I embed these mockups in Indesign (one mockup per slide).
So that when I'm making changes to my mockup in Photoshop, the presentation will be automatically updated in Indesign.
Next, I don’t export a PDF like you would expect, but I rather publish that PDF to the cloud straight form InDesign, so that I can simply send my client a link later on.
That way, if I want to change something in my presentation, I simply republish it with just one click straight from InDesign and my client can see the changes.
They can also download the PDF for their own record or just to print it out if they want to.
So with that being said, let’s jump into building the logo presentation.
First, before you show any of you logo work, you need to prepare your client for what’s coming.
You must put your client in the right state of mind before you show them anything.
I like to remind my client about two things: what a logo is and what makes a good logo.
So I open my presentation with a quite by great designer Sagi Haviv (that I had a pleasure to work with):
“A good logo is NOT about what one likes or dislikes, it’s about what works.“
The reason for saying that is to simply remind your client that logo design is NOT about personal preferences.
A logo doesn’t have to communicate or illustrate everything, so you shouldn’t try to say too many things with it.
A logo is more like an empty vessel and meaning can be attached to it over time, with its consistent use and following through on brand promise.
I say this in order to prevent the client from trying to make the logo look too busy and therefore confusing.
Next, I follow up with a slide that talks about logo design principles—what makes a good vs bad logo.
Clients usually tend to be a bit subjective, so you have to remind them about some of the basic principles of logo design.
This should save you from hearing pointless suggestions later on that could ruin your great work.
We, as designers, have a good sense of aesthetics and we usually know why one logo is better than the other.
However, sometimes it’s not easy to explain that to our client.
That’s why I use the following slide with three logo design principles (again, developed by Sagi Haviv).
"A logo must be appropriate, simple and memorable."
I say this out loud when I show this slide.
Next, I describe shortly each of them:
I also explain that I use these rules when determining what logos would potentially work (I use it as a checklist).
Now, with those two opening slides, I don’t go into showing off the logos yet.
Before you show any of your logo design concepts, you need to start with some basic facts.
You can start by saying something like this:
“Our goal is to design a new identity for Medihuanna, one that resonates better with our customers...”
Your goal here is to remind the client about the goals and objectives of this project or what kind of problems we’re trying to solve.
Here are some of the examples of the reasons why people need a new brand identity.
This should have been fleshed out way before you start working—in your first sales call.
So if you follow my other guides on how to develop brand strategy and how to translate strategy into visuals, then you should know by now what I’m talking about here.
By reminding your client about the objectives for designing the logo, you will put them back into the buying mode—which can be a powerful thing when it comes to approvals.
This is also a great way to reassure the client that you understand the problem and you truly want to help them succeed.
Aside form that, it will help you remove yours or clients’ design preferences from the equation.
They will be more likely to settle on a logo they may not necessarily love, but they know it can work effectively for their business.
Once I stated the project's objectives, then I inform them about the strategy we took to accomplish these objectives.
Here, you simply want to summarize what you’ve done so far—I usually say something like:
"Before I show you the work, let’s take a step back and review the process to date."
Here I simply refer back to our strategy session and the brief that came out of that.
First, I show them the words that we chose to describe the brand, and next I show them the moodboards we created to express these words visually.
Here I just want to remind them what we’ve gone through together, from initial phone call, through brand strategy, to brand brief with moodboards.
I do this because it’s much more difficult to disagree with yourself than with other people.
So if you remind them about something they said earlier in the process (like during the strategy session), they most likely won’t refute the results of those decisions.
For example, if they chose the word “credible” to describe their brand during the strategy session, and then I use colors or fonts to reflect that “credibility”—it's much easier for me to explain my designs.
This whole summary shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes—it’s just a good way to get everybody on the same page.
This will help your client stay objective when you start showing them your logos.
Moreover, it will give your client a sense of ownership—after all, it’s their insights what drove your decisions.
Finally it’s time to reveal your logos and explain your thoughts behind each concept.
For example, this is how I presented my first logo concept:
"In the first logo we use a minimalist sans-serif font that conveys the simplicity of use and the clarity of our courses.“
First I say this as I show the first slide, which is just the logo alone centered on a white background.
The second slide is usually the logo on dark background and with some photo behind it.
So as I continue going through the slides I'm describing my work:
“To make the logo distinctive, we replaced the dot over the “i” with a leaflet which symbolizes nature and natural treatment that cannabis provides.“
The next—third slide—is a split screen showing the logo on white background on the left and black background on the right.
As I navigate through the slides (3-5 sec for each) I also say a few words about the designs and the decisions I’ve made.
For example, when I reach the slide with the pattern, I say this:
“I designed a geometric leaflet that can be used as an identity element and an extension of the simplistic wordmark”
And then when I go to the next slide I follow up with:
“This leaflet allows us plenty of room for expression, it can be used as a unifying graphic element on all applications.”
Remember that a huge part of successful presentation is your ability to articulate your design choices (the style, fonts and colors you picked).
Here, you can prepare yourself by reading design reviews, for example: I like to read the BrandNew Blog.
This will help you build your design literacy, so that describing your work will become much easier.
Of course, whatever you say it must be backed up by strategy and decisions you’ve made with your client in the past.
So the following few slides is a collection of different mockups relevant to your client.
You should know by now what mockups to use based on the discovery session (the 6th exercise of my strategy guide).
However, typical mockups would include something like business cards, envelope, stationery, perhaps a website, maybe social media graphic, a signage and so on.
All the things that your client expect to see the logo on.
Here, it’s important to show a couple of small format mockups like pins, icons, pencils, cufflinks as well as large-format mockups like signage, way-finding, interior graphics, billboards etc.
Your client needs to see how the logo will look like when used in small size as well as at scale—in large format.
Here you can even go beyond of what they would typically use the logo on and add a couple of extra mockups.
That way you can really help them envision this logo in use in real life.
Beginner designers often ask me—how to find best mockups for logo presentation?
There are many places where you can find free mockups, but the problem with that is that they tend to be everywhere just because they’re free.
A much better way is to buy premium mockups—they won’t cost you a fortune, but you will end up with a gorgeous logo presentation.
Alternatively you can create mockups yourself by finding stock photos and then using Smart Objects in Photoshop.
It always try to include at least one or two realistic photos, for example a billboard on the street or on the side of a building.
As I go through these slide, I’m NOT asking for the feedback yet—I simply lead the presentation and navigate through slides while describing the designs.
If client interrupts me, I simply stop them saying:
"Please let me go through all the concepts first and then we can discuss them".
Once I’m done with presenting the first concept, then I go straight to the second one.
As I already mentioned, the ideal number of logos to present is three.
And each of the three logo concepts should be explained on the same sequence of slides.
What it means is that you should use the same mockups for each concept just to make the comparison fair.
Your client will probably reject one of them and then lean toward either one of the other two.
Rarely clients will make a decision on the spot—but that’s fine, that’s why we’re preparing such a beautiful logo presentation.
That way the client can sleep on it, show it to other people and get back to you with some feedback.
So you do the same with the other two concepts—you should have about 5 to 10 slides per concept.
And again, while you’re preparing those mockups, try to describe your thought behind each concept.
For example, this is how I described my 3rd logo concept:
“This concept was inspired by crests that are often being used in logos of universities.”
and then while I go through the slides, I add:
“In combination with the prestigious-looking color palette, this identity portrays Medihuanna as a well-established and respected educational organization.”
When I reach the slide with the mark, then I add:
“Here we retain the serpent-entwined rod (symbol of health) from the old logo, but we refined the shape to nicely sit inside the university-like crest.”
When I’m on the slide with book covers, I talk about typography:
“Using the classic, traditional serifs as the primary font, adds to the heritage, plus it compliments well the sans serif wordmark set in all caps.”
So I just gave you a few examples of what I say when presenting logos to my clients and I hope it gives you an idea of how to describe your logos.
Remember—having a story behind each piece helps you sell it easier.
And finally at the very end you need to add one more slide to compare all three options.
Once I reach this comparison slide, I follow up with a question to release the tension.
A good question you can end your logo presentation with is:
“Did we take a step in the right direction to connect better with our customers?”
After all, I have been presenting for the past few minutes and didn’t let them talk yet.
Now, it’s time to get some feedback.
Once you finished your presentation, then let your client talk but don’t push them to make a decision just yet.
The worst you could say at the end is:
“What do you think?”, or “Which concept do you like?”.
Instead, you should refer back to the strategy and ask them to step into customer shoes.
I usually say something along the lines:
“How do you think John would react to each of those concepts?”
This will help you take the client away from subjectivity (once again) and help them see it through the eyes of customers.
Every time your clients says something like “I don’t like this” or “I like that” — help them get back in the right mindset.
Simply remind them that while you understand that they pay and they must “like” the new identity, we should really focus on the target audience because ultimately it is for them.
We should really think about how potential customers would respond when judging these logo concepts.
Even if your client have some favorite right away, they most likely won’t tell you just yet and you shouldn’t force either.
A much better way is to follow up with something like that:
“Is there one direction that we should definitely eliminate now?”
Usually, clients will come to consensus that one concept we could cross off the list.
Sometimes clients can give you an immediate feedback like “I’m leaning toward the first concept”.
However, I usually want to give them some time to sleep on it and invite them to discuss these concepts internally.
I say something like this:
“I know it’s a lot to digest and you probably want to show it around—how about we regroup in 3 days?”.
By saying that, you will take the pressure off your client and give them more time to make the final decision.
Just don’t leave the meeting without scheduling a specific time to talk.
Whether it be a call or an email, ask them when they might be ready.
When you present your work as a graphic designer, you might feel a bit anxious and insecure, but this is normal.
Only you know the amount of time and effort you’ve put on into designing these logos, so it’s natural to fear the client rejecting them all.
Just imagine your client “not getting it” or demanding changes that will ruin your hard work.
Does it sound familiar?—It happened to me so many times when I was starting my career as a logo designer.
But eventually, over the years I’ve developed this process that makes my logo presentations go smooth.
Not only the logo presentation, but the whole process of working with clients who come to me for logo design.
Starting with the initial discovery call, to strategy session, to execution and presentation—my process allows me to be super effective and efficient.
So if you follow my process of presenting logos, then you should just nail it at first with a beautiful presentation that is hard to reject.
My client picked the 1st logo concept, next we just refined the leaflet a bit, polished the designs and then I delivered the logo artwork and brand guidelines.
You can see the final work for Medihuanna on my portfolio.
Need a custom logo?—Just shoot me an email.
Looking to save time create your own logo presentation template?—Look no further.
Now, you can download my InDesign files—the presentation I've done for Periti Digital (more recent project than Medihuanna).
For only $29 you can get all the files (2.1 GB)—The template is made in InDesign with Photoshop and Illustrator files embedded in it (including mockups and logo files).
Just customize the template, change the logo and branding (colors, fonts)—and you'll be able to use it with your clients right out of the box!
In any case—I hope you enjoyed my tutorial on how to prepare a successful logo design presentation.