What goes into designing a brand identity that is not just pretty or beautiful but also strategically crafted to represent your brand?
In this post, I’m sharing a look inside my process of crafting brand identities that boldly speak your brand.
It all starts with YOU!
Getting to know your brand (and you as the face of your brand) is my first priority. Every project starts with a deep dive discovery. Together we get to know every aspect of your brand at its present and in its future vision to make sure whatever is created works well not only today but well into the future.
I say together because I ask questions. And yes, they are meant to make you think deeper about your brand, to bring out and fully understand the core of what our brand is. I simply help you pull out the thoughts and meanings behind the brand you desire to create for greater connection and communication.
Your logo and the visual elements of your brand are so important, not because your logo is your brand – NO! Absolutely not. But rather because they are tools for connection to your brand, recognition of your brand, and communication for your brand.
And so your brand is where we start.
Connecting on a visual direction
You know how you want your brand to be perceived best, so my entire process has collaborative elements and check-ins. The very first visual collaboration and check-in results in your stylescape.
Before bringing any concept to life we use a stylescape to capture the essence of your brand visually. Think of it as the next-level mood board. We aren’t simply grabbing vibey photos and color pallets off of Pinterest but rather exploring all elements for your brand and how they interact and work together to create the desired brand perception and feel.
Coming together to agree on a visual direction for your brand connects us on the same page before we begin to develop a logo. And it also gives me a container to work within and understand visually how to represent your brand.
Developing a well-rounded identity mark
Between stylescape and developing logo concepts I dive into more research. What works well within your industry? What sources can we gain inspiration from that fit with your brand? What is overdone and cliche that we need to avoid to help you stand out? These are all questions I’m asking before I even begin to conceptualize.
But once the research is done it’s finally time to dive in.
First up, sketching. LOTS of sketching.
Between the research and sketching, this often becomes the longest portion of the design process. But also the most important, because it’s where I make sure I’m doing things right.
So when I say sketching, I’m talking 100s of sketches ranging from darn right what the heck was I thinking to the 2-3 winning concepts I’ll eventually present to you.
And those 2-3 winning concepts, once fleshed out and refined on the computer, will first be presented to you in a single-color version. Not because color isn’t fun, but because I want to make sure your logo shows up at its best every. single. time. That includes the single-color screen printed version on your next promo item and a cost-saving black and white printed piece.
But this presentation for the single-color concepts has one of my favorite moments. Not only do I walk you through the concepts, and my thoughts for how they represent your brand; I showcase your logo in some real-life use mockups. It’s my favorite because I get to watch your face light up as you see how the identity can become a reality and an actual tangible thing.
Bringing your identity to life
Once the single-color concept is chosen it’s time to bring it to life with color!
I take the color inspiration we looked at in your stylescape and play with 100s of variations for what best brings your logo to life while fitting within that look and feel we initially created for the stylescape so everything is cohesive and consistent.
Then we again connect for a presentation of these concepts as well as an even deeper look at how the visual elements we are creating with your brand will all work together.
Packaging it all together
Once a color concept is approved the process is almost complete. But we have one very last important step. Yes, packaging it all together.
This isn’t just a folder of various file types including your logos. That’s just included.
Rather, we create a style guide for developing how your logo, colors, fonts, etc. should be used to develop a consistent look. And because a brand is more than a logo we also touch on developing a brand voice and styling for copy – remember consistency is SO important to branding.
When all is said and done, you’re receiving more than a logo. You have a deeper understanding of your brand and brand strategy, you have a well-rounded brand identity to help you communicate your brand and tools to help your brand to show up constantly every time.