Most brand designs for a small business will take from 3-6 weeks to complete. (see my article How much should a brand design cost for a breakdown of typical items included). This timeline will increase with the amount of added assets you are developing, and the creative process of the designer you choose to work with.
Let’s take a deeper look into the different parts of a project to help you better understand what goes into determining the timeline.
Don’t forget to factor in some time to find and select the right brand partner for your business. This process can take a few days to a few weeks depending on how quickly you find someone that aligns with your needs.
It’s important to have a pre-project consultation call with your designer (many offer 30-min free consultations). This step will allow you to evaluate if it feels like a good fit. If there are red flags be sure to address them or find a different partner.
To get to know your company and position you correctly in the marketplace, most designers will have a brand questionnaire or creative brief for you to fill out. I send this to my clients as a “homework assignment” when they sign the contract. This document must be completed before any the rest of the project can kick-off.
How long this task takes to complete depends on how well you know your business, it may take as little as an hour, but you may want a few days to mull it over.
Next, your designer will conduct online research which may include looking at the competition, searching for inspiration, and answering questions that came up in the brand consultation.
For some designers, this stage may be shorter or longer depending on their creative process. Personally, I like to allow myself at least a full two weeks to complete the first round of logo designs. The creative process is not always linear and often times better ideas come when we let our subconscious mind work on the problem.
The timeline should also allow a reasonable amount of time for you, the client, to review the design and collect necessary internal feedback to reply to your design partner.
It’s important that you prioritize giving your designer timely feedback if you’d like to keep your project on time. Make sure you agree on a schedule at the beginning of your project so you can understand when you are expected to provide feedback and set aside the time needed in advance.
Before you Sign
When you start conversations with your potential brand designer, make sure you know what their timeline is before you sign a contract. If you need your branding finished sooner than your designer’s typical timeline, you can ask them if that’s something they can accommodate. If they say no, it’s best to respect that answer, pushing them for faster timelines may be possible but you risk sacrificing their proven process and ending up with less than stellar results. Branding isn’t a project you should rush.
I hope this general guideline gives you an idea of what normal time frames are for a brand project when you go to find your right brand partner.