David Pache, owner of dache, is regarded as one of the better logo designers out there, and he is here to answer a few questions. Dache is a design studio based in Switzerland which deals with national and international clientelle. David and his studio focuses on logo design and branding, and also works in the areas of print, typography, and web design.
1. What is your typical process when tackling a new project? How do you get started?
Some projects will start ideas flowing immediately due to a catchy name or a name which I can visualise in a design concept. That said, no matter what the project I always start with the basics. I sketch by hand in my notebook. Once I have completed the intial brainstorming, I select a few ideas to present simply to the client for feedback. This process is repeated until they are happy with the direction. At this stage, I plot my design on a dot grid book to get the best proportions and this is then scanned into the computer for transfer to my design software. The process is really then honing my initial ideas to fit in with the client’s expectations, changing colours, fonts and positioning to get the right solution for them.
2. What are your methods for attracting new clients to dache? Which of those methods work best?
I display a lot of my work on gallery sites which are popular with clients seeking a designer. This is the most successful and instant method of publicity as the gallery sites have been around for a long time and have quite a following within the design community. I have also recently launched a blog on the dache.ch website called the dacheboard where I publish articles about my processes and general topics for interest and discussion, this is proving to be quite popular and gives a client visiting my site an insight as to what they can expect. I have also added an online quote page which allows people to build their own quotes according to their budget and this set pricing approach is also very popular and I am receiving about 80% of my business through this link now.
3. What personal traits do you think it takes to make a good designer?
I am extremely passionate and have an eye for detail. I think these traits have served me well in this industry as it is essential that you believe in your designs and are able to execute them to a high-specification for the purpose of client satisfaction. I also have a way of thinking which is not always the same as other people, which can set my designs apart.
4. How did you first get into design?
I realised that I had a great interest in art from a very young age but this quickly was overtaken by graphic design and technical drawing. I liked how the application of geometry was so precise and measured. Still in many of my designs today I try to make them geometrically correct. The took the natural progression into design school because it was simply what I enjoyed doing. It introduced new technologies to me and this made me realise it was possible to make my living from this if I was dedicated enough. This is when I started entering online competitions and when my entries received positive feedback, I realised I had the audience I needed so I just concentrated on developing my skills, increasing my portfolio and continued to build a following and eventually took the plunge to launch the website.
5. Why did you decide to start dache?
After graduating, I had already built up the basis of the business and built up a solid portfolio of work. I had the option of either getting a job with a design studio in Switzerland or being self-employed and it really wasn’t a difficult decision as I did not want my design to be limited.
6. What software and hardware could you never live without?
You will never see me without my notepad as I often have ideas and inspiration everywhere I go therefore it is essential to jot it down to remember the idea. Also, I complete all of my designs using Adobe Illustrator to give a professional finish therefore this is an essential part of my design process.
7. How do you present your finished logos to a client?
Clients receive a package containing multiple file formats be it PNG, Ai or Photoshop files. I give them the final designs in monochrome and colour so they can easily adapt these to the medium in which they require, business cards, letterheads, websites.
8. Besides the internet, were do you find inspiration?
I mostly take inspiration from my surroundings, I try to focus on creating designs which are contemporary, innovative and unique, in line with the dache “out of the box thinking” philosophy. My other interests include music, sculpture, the suprematism art movement and the works of painters such as Picasso and Mondriaan from which I am often referring to for use of colour, lines etc. I intend to travel in the near future to increase my inspiration.
9. What do you think the are key elements of a good logo?
Simplicity. I often find that the best solutions for my clients are the simplest with few elements which, when scaled down, do not lose their impact. Relevance to the audience it is created for as it is essential that they understand the concept and receive the correct message which the company is trying to portray. Suitability to the industry it is created for as it would not be a good logo if it was inappropriate compared with their competitors.
10. How do you overcome a designer’s block?
No matter how blocked, I always continue to sketch my thoughts as you never know when an idea will become relevant. Also, I am constantly in contact with my clients therefore can always ask additional questions regarding their expectations to spark additional inspiration.
11. Do you think a logo can have a major impact on the way people look at a brand or company?
Without a doubt and this is especially true with new businesses as when they are creating awareness through publicity, the logo will be the communicator for the company. A logo is a voice piece without words, effectively creating an image for the company before any spokesperson has promoted the company’s attributes and services. This is why it is so important that the logo be relevant to the industry to induce thoughts of professionalism, boldness, approachability etc. These are common factors in my clients’ brief for the message they are wanting their audiences to receive.
12. What information do you gather from a client before starting a logo?
I have the online quote page which consists a short questionnaire regarding any ideas they have,m any symbols they like, competitors, how they want to be set apart from their competition and also any favoured fonts or colours. These simple questions can give me a lot of information to work with and often my initial concepts are well received.
13. Besides designing a good logo, are there any other things you do to make sure the client is satisfied?
Yes. I ensure constant communication between the client and I during and after he project so any thoughts or amendments can be made easily. I work on a first name basis with most of my clients to ensure approachability. In addition, I offer flexible payment terms to those clients who request it for certain reasons which has worked very well in securing business and their satisfaction before the final payment is made. Also, I have plans to do a competition of sorts for charitable organisations to enter and explain their reasons why they should get a new logo and the winner will receive a free designed logo to the value of my smallest package. I hope to run the first of these this summer.