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Info blog: "It all starts with a logo" - by Ilse Barlow


All that I know so far, I have not learned overnight though…it took me years. Not so much for designing skills but more on the levels of instantly understanding what people want to see back.

You can learn any high-end designer program you want, but if you don’t know the background of how and why clients want a design, a design program cannot make it for you. So, I believe the level of creativity you own defines you as a designer.

Customers tell me their ideas, their passion, reasons why they started their business in the first place. All that info matters to make a solution, a look and feel that translates their company to the audience and tells the story. Translating someone’s ideas to the outside world all starts with a logo or specific brandmark design, because what would a company, product or website be without it?

Does it sound bad, if I say that I now mostly get it right first-time round? Off course tweaking is always a bit needed, but setting it off with a good foundation is half the work done. (ok, sometimes I have it wrong too, but mostly… ha-ha)

Sometimes I find that having true design skills are not acknowledged… everyone can make a logo or a nice banner with a tool online or with an app these days, right? That is not so difficult. But what about colors like cmyk, rgb, pms, different resolutions for print, creating 3D, vectors for scaling from small paper to banners, to web, to svg, to all sorts of digital formats or even animation and most importantly uniqueness! There is more to it than you would think but is usually not seen.

Our customers vary from small to large companies. And ever so often I could not be any prouder if I receive a compliment coming from a big established coffee brand marketing department in Holland, for a single website page layout, and just as good I can glow all over the place when I see a product back in the grocery store with a logo that I had created. I actually have been tempted to sneakily squiggle “made by”… with a pen on the packaging, never did though.

Combine your creative mind with interest in the person who asks…

It can be so stressful for someone if they try to find a design and cannot achieve developing it.

So when I have this task to do, listening to the person (s) is most important. With this information you can make your own imagination about how it should be. And then it starts, the thinking cap comes on. Creativity is a thing that cannot be turned on like a switch... so I investigate into the branches that I need to design for, what colors and fonts are mostly used, and how to offspring something unique from that. Also following up the recent fashion is an important thing. You do not want to create a logo that will be outdated in 2 years’ time. So basically, there are so many factors to keep in mind when creating it. It must last for the client in many years to come. These factors are also important if you need to advise a client to do it in another way. You cannot always let your own taste count.  But I find that I like all logos that have been created. As long they fit the goal they were made for.

The most fun part is real-time editing. When I have created my first concept I show it to the client. Sometimes online or in the office face to face. Mostly I make a couple of different ones to find out what the most preferred one is. Then I give the client their own input in what they like to see, I make the alterations until it is ultimately the design they really love.

So, after all this process I know so much already about the clients and his company, that I can carry on with the site design, layout and even SEO.  So actually, it all ties up to a good end result!

Within our business, I am responsible for the designs, setup, content layout and navigation of websites. Geoff takes care of the infrastructure, hosting of Dnn installs aswell as many other things to do with DNN.


I am not a real techy... but who knows maybe one day!

I hope that my way of thinking behind all this might help you out to create something even better than before!

Our office is in Deventer The Netherlands,

Keulenstraat 8, Deventer

Our company websites:



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