The Logo Design Journey

Logo Design Services for Erie, PA

Define Your Business With a New Logo Design!

Need a New Logo Design?

Susie’s process, tips, and methodology behind creating a lasting logo.

A logo design is personal. It speaks volumes– in one single, impactful design– to help you get connected to those who matter most for your business.

For that reason, many clients can feel restless on the logo design journey.  All their hopes and dreams seem to be contained in this one… single… design. That’s a lot of pressure– right?

The great news is this: The more relaxed we are and the more fun we have with the design process, the more audiences sense that in the logo design– and interpret it in your business. Let’s relate that to a scientific study which showed speaking beautiful, sweet and supportive words to a plant helps it grow and grow– But when angry, anxiety-provoking statements were spat at a plant… it literally withers… The same is true for relationships… and your logo design!

Below are 3 top areas that will help us support (and grow!) your beautiful new logo design. Together, if we focus on these areas throughout the Logo Design Journey– we can make magic.

Susie Hosterman’s Logo Design Experience:

Creating logo designs is one of Susie’s favorite graphic design projects to create for businesses. She believes a logo is the foundation of a business’s Vision and Mission, and having the opportunity to strategize and realize a well-designed symbol that just “gets” their business brings her great joy.
What led Susie to love and appreciate these dynamic yet concise designs? Read the Timneline here!
– (2005) First, I’ve been creating professional logos for over 15 years. My first project was for a historic home restoration company in South Carolina and they used the logo primarily as a vehicle decal.
– (2012) I have a BFA in Graphic Design and was trained to provide conceptual logo designs for varying businesses, especially when applying them to packaging, websites, and print material.
– (2013) Once I graduated college, I began providing freelance graphic design services to local small businesses and officially launched my own business in 2013.
– (2013)**Unexpectedly, I received an offer to head Marketing at a 200+ local manufacturing company, which created Promotional Products. In particular, this job opportunity amped up my ‘logo game’ and gave me some of the best insight into perfecting a logo design for Print and other applications (any promotional projects). During my time at the company, I recreated, resized, and optimized existing logo designs (often low-res JPEGS) to be legible on promotional products as small as Pens and as large as GIANT tradeshow signs. While many logo designers in the area are trained on how to create an aesthetically pleasing logo design, I am incredibly grateful to have had this experience because it prepared me for creating no-fuss designs (in black and white and full color– as well as transparent background and other variations) so that clients will avoid inks bleeding or any legibility issues.
– (2016) Afterward, I worked at a local Marketing & SEO company and learned everything there was to know about being Social Media Management. So before, when I was mainly on the Print material side of the marketing fence (with promotional products) now, I trained to understand fast-changing algorithms, strategies to create conversions/buyers with effective content creation… and phew! I oversaw 6+ campaigns a month for companies that ranged from pet-loss services to large realty and development companies. This marketing agency specifically focused on serving many industries, so I had to learn about new businesses very quickly to best serve them.
– For the past year (2018-2019) I have dedicated myself to freelancing full-time, and have helped non-profits, salons, photography studios, retail, and other industries. On this web page, you will see examples of my past work.

Tip #1. Trust the Process

Trusting the Creative Process

When I attended art school, students were taught to work General To Specific– from a rough sketch, refining it, and getting more detailed over time.

Admittedly in the beginning of my design business, I neglected this (*very sage) piece of advice, believing I needed to create the PERFECT logo the FIRST time around for clients. But I began to notice it was taking too many hours to develop this single logo, and then too many hours then revising the logo design with new changes from the client. It wasted both mine and my client’s time. All of us became frustrated and stressed over the process– and it took the fun out of it entirely!

So, 5 years ago I embraced what my art professors taught and allowed the process to naturally unfold with a firm foundation of the General to Specific method. Honestly, this method has become the foundation of how I live life as well!

Tip #2. Have Fun!

Isn’t that the point of life, anyway?

Having Fun on the Logo Design Journey

I’m a creative ‘professional’. I put professional in quotations because I’ve lived through  an ‘extended near-death experience’ in which I gained the perspective: Life is short and is to be enjoyed.

Trying to seperate business from personal life has it’s advantages in life, and if we didn’t have those boundaries there would be no structure and getting work done would be hard. But instead of seeing me as a ‘professional’ I much prefer being seen as the Creative aspect. I love to get to know my clients (you!) on a personal level. Knowing what is going on in your life, how you are feeling about your new or existing business and where you think it’s headed, and hearing your fears/concerns about it all is incredibly helpful! Not only does this open communication deepen relationships, it also helps me better assist you throughout the Logo Design Journey. I am here to help calm nerves, stay focused on our end creative goal, and more!

Tip #3. Communication is Key

Ask a ton of questions!
Clients are undoubtedly feeling rushed getting their ‘baby’ (their business) out into the world and having their re-branding announced. As I have gone through this same process for my own business– I totally understand how you feel! Just as my client’s ‘babies’ are important to them, my own business of helping people create meaningful marketing and do well is mine. So, I am grateful to be the creative cheerleader who helps lift your baby/business off the ground and into the air! Or think of me as a dedicated schoolteacher for your business/baby; there to be a guiding hand, empowering it with tools and material to grow.

Luckily, the Design Project Questionnaire was developed to cut through the clutter and gather the most important information to focus in and create a beautiful design for your business with less revisions– faster!

The Design Project Questionnaire is given to all my new clients and was developed to make the logo design process go more smoothly. Many of us are visual learners, and it can be hard to communicate what we see and why we like it, so I include questions like “What designs have you seen that you love?” or “What designs have you seen that you dislike?”, which offer me insight into your business’s unique design goals.

The 4-Step Logo Design Process

Working General To Specific to Create Your Logo

1. Sketch Phase

Starting a dialogue

2. Revision Stage

Develop sketch on computer

3. Fine Tuning

Fine-tuning the design.

4. Official Logo Files Sent

Client gets logo files.

Logo Design Stage 1:

Receive 3 Rough Sketches to Choose your Favorite

This step may seem ‘sketchy’ to many (hah!) because it presents as rushed, unfinished, and like not a lot of thought went into the designs. Some of this is true! It is rushed and unfinished. But this stage is about getting as many ideas on paper as possible and is used to start a visual dialogue between client and designer.

Typically, 50 rough sketches are brainstormed before selecting the top 3 concepts that will be the most captivating and relevant to your business. Clients select their favoriteout of the three, and we discuss revisions before moving on to the next stage which is to clean the sketch up on the computer. Following this process has been shown to save time and energy for both client and artist down the line, because not much time was spent overdeveloping the design, clients can now easily make changes or request new sketches without any hassle.

The punk rock band, Aria and the Voiceless, requested an updated design for a T-shirt to sell as their first merch. The original logo design (a Treble clef with a bleeding heart) was created by the lead vocalist and all that we wanted to focus on was the Text and incorporating it into the logo more. I was happy to help! Below you will find their original logo design, used on stickers, first business cards, and guitar picks.

Logo Design Stage 2:

Developing the Sketch on the Computer (*Revision 1)

In this stage, the selected sketch is scanned in to the computer and I edit the design based on changes the client requested. Although the computerized sketch may still look undone (it is!) the lines are much smoother, some color is added, and typefaces/fonts are often explored as well. Then the logo design is sent to client’s for the next revision. As soon as I receieve notes, we move on to the next stage.

Typically, this is the stage clients become the most antsy at! They see their logo starting to take form and all of a sudden they may have new ideas (which are great!)… or they may start to second guess their original idea and get anxious about the outcome and abort the mission (which is unfortunate…).

Stick with it! It’s well worth the steady pace.

Because the majority of the logo was already set, I skipped the Sketch Phase, heading right into realizing the design on the computer.  The band had already chosen a typeface, so the process was fast and took only a few hours to create, share, and get approved by all the band members.

At this stage, Two Sparrows received a computerized version of their favorite sketch. They decided to try a new composition so another sketch was created and developed on the computer. Through a few more notes from the clients, I rotated the wings of the birds, removed the eyes (to lessen the realism), and encased the logo in a circle.



At this stage, I created a new sketch based on the client’s notes to narrow in on a composition for Locale and developed it on the computer. I added color to give an idea as to where we may add some down the line.


Logo Design Stage 3:

Fine-Tuning, Color and Typefaces (*Revision 2+)

At this stage I breath a little more life into the computerized logo design. This is known as the Revision stage.

Sometimes, more revisions are needed to fine tune the design. This isn’t because communication has failed– in fact it is a sign that both client and artist are committed to creating an amazing logo design. Typically, these revisions center around what colors, text and typefaces are most appropriate. Live video meetings (one where I can share my computer screen with clients) are often set up at this stage, so client’s can make changes in real time. It’s an exciting time!

Because the process was done in an afternoon, the band and I had a lot of opportunity to discuss and brainstorm Merchandise ideas. The first merch they wanted to sell were the T-shirts. Originally, they decided on black with white ink shirts and Limited Edition black and red ink t-shirts. The shirts were printed locally by the band’s drummer who conveniently works at the screenprinting shop (duceTwo Custom Printing) and I got the unique opportunity to print a few of the shirts myself!

At this stage, small tweaks were made to the logo (including making one of the bird’s heads rounded, playing with gradients, removing feet, and introducing colors.


At this stage, Locale requested a new composition and focus on text rather than symbol. The “O’ suggests the learning and ‘new beginnings’ aspect of the business, as it looks like a sun rising over the (mountain) book.

Logo Design Stage 4:

Client Receives Official Logo Files!

This stage often feels like Christmas! Clients receive their official logo design files, which include file types like PDFs, AIs, JPEGS, and PNGs. And information about which files are best for print projects, on the web, large signs, etc.

In the past, I worked in the Promotional products industry (think printing on mouse pads, shirts, water bottles, cups, and more) which gave me a lot of expertise in the correct files and/or set-ups that are required for the best print. Because of this experience, client’s who may have a horizontal logo can request different layouts for new projects. I like to make sure my clients have logo files ready for any occasion. So, if you want to print shirts with your logo on it or to use in your digital marketing– I have you covered!

I now work with Aria and the Voiceless to market their new merchandise on the e-commerce website I designed for them. After selling out of all their first shirts, the band are now exploring new shirt and ink combinations to see what their fans are interested in buying.

Description page of Aria and the Voiceless’s Shop

E-Commerce Website for Aria and the Voiceless

Clients are sent various file types and variations in color to support many kinds of online and print projects. These include JPEGs, PDFs, AIs, PNGs and any other kinds the client may need.

The client receives various file types and variations in appearance/color to fit any print or online promotions. I also give my clients versions of their logo designs that both include and exclude a slogan, as well as a third line of text (often used to describe their business further). Locale chose to have a version of their logo with the words ‘Book Clubs’ as well as without.

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