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Clearly, it's ideal to customize what you're presenting based on what you know about the client, any guidelines they've provided, etc.

But I've just started to study to become a freelance graphic designer and I was just wondering what your default approach would be to you show your logo design work to a client, assuming you lack information about their specific needs or expectations. Essentially:

What's a normal, baseline expectation for what to show for an early-stage logo?

I was thinking a pdf with the logo in 3 ways - white logo, black background / black logo, white background and colour logo, colour background. Does this sound roughly appropriate. Would you also show the color palette as well as any fonts used?

  • There's no one answer to this. What and how you present will depend on your client, you, the project, location, etc. – DA01 Jan 29 '16 at 16:51
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This has been my process for doing branding / logo work for the last 5 years of freelancing...

Initial Ideas - screen res jpegs / gifs
Slide 1
• Mood board of where I have got my inspiration, this can also be photographs of sketches on paper (I generally do this if I think the client will like it, some do and some don't, you should get a feel for the client in your initial briefing).

Slide 2
• A handful of compositions in black and white.

Once these have been narrowed down.

Progressed designs - screen res jpegs / gifs
I would then show 1 or 2 variations of the logo as follows:

Slide 1
• Black on white background
• White on black background

Slide 2
• Proposed colour on white background
• White on proposed colour background

Finished design (or close enough) - PDF
After any amends, I would repeat the last step but this time with type styles.

Slide 1
• Black on white background
• White on black background

Slide 2
• Proposed colour on white background
• White on proposed colour background

Slide 3
• Typographic stiles for online and print (if they have paid for it)

If however your client has paid half or in full upfront, I'm usually comfortable enough to send PDFs earlier.

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Go easy on yourself, show it on white and black maybe grey, that's all. Show him in jpeg format. No need to show color palette.

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Depends on the brief and the use of the logo. If it would be only Internet distributed you dont need it greyscale, and if would be branded on small media (like pencils or a lighter), for example, you need to show it how it looks like on 3x3 cm square.

If your project is approved you would probably been asked to make a logo guideline in order to help the other guys that will have it to use it correctly.

Further reading about guidelines

Logo Presentations @ Graphicriver

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This depends on what phase your design is at, as detailed by StevieBoxall. I would usually produce a monochrome, inverse and full colour version at different sizes. Also, if there's text and icon segments of the design, split the text off to give a feel for the pure logo.

One thing that used to provide a selling factor for me, was to provide a sample on stationary, such as business card, letter head, invoice, compliment slip etc. It gives them something to consider in situ.

If you use this approach, however, you may want to show a fairly standard as well as off-the-wall version; the standard shouldn't deviate from the current way the company produces their documentation or their office processes. The off-the-wall version shows what can be achieved, though, and you should go to town on this.

  • No problem, Chris. Hopefully it will be useful to you. – Paul Jan 29 '16 at 16:08

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