Identity design requires more than just creativity. It is a fascinating process—we like to think of it as a mix of science, logic and magic. In this article, we offer an insight into our design process for a branding assignment. Read on to learn how we would approach an identity design project.
The Creative Brief
We kick-start every identity design project with a creative brief that we compile after consideration of the insights gathered in the inception meeting and any discussion held prior to project commencement. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the vision for the brand, how it is currently perceived by its target audience and ensure we have a clearly defined scope to meet the project goals, we might ask the client to fill out a questionnaire.
The objective of having a solid creative brief is to confirm our assumptions with all parties involved in the project, ensure we have set key objectives in alignment with your goals and expectations for the project.
Research and Analysis
Before any creative work begins, we conduct extensive background research to do a full assessment of the business you are launching or rebranding—we analyse your industry and look at how your competitors present themselves.
We’ll have a series of brainstorming sessions where we create word clouds to identify a few keywords that will lead the idea generation phase. We also look for images, visual references and let our imagination run wild to trigger lateral thought processes that allow us to come up with unusual ideas and generate preliminary concepts.
After brainstorming initial ideas, we usually put everything aside for a few days to let the ideas ferment in our heads. During the reflection time, we continue mulling over the project, until we revisit our findings a couple of days later. Sometimes a concept can spark while we are doing our daily routine — during a workout, while watching tv, under the shower or while we sleep.
We begin exploring preliminary concepts and the creative directions we could take to approach the branding assignment.
Starting with the logo design, we deliver a concept deck with up to three logo design concepts for evaluation.
The design options that we propose usually take very different directions; and we explore and discard several different creative approaches before we commit to the ones we propose.
The concept deck includes visualisations of the possible applications, to help you imagine how the work will look after implementation.
As we gather feedback on the chosen logo concept, we go through iterations to finalise the logo design.
Once a design is approved, it is time for the final touches—we’ll ensure the brand mark is pixel perfect, and define harmonious proportions between its elements, calculating the optimum clear space and the minimum logotype size.
The logo is merely the beginning—much like building a house, it provides the foundations for the new identity we will be developing. So, with the logo design finalised, we start developing the full identity system—a suite of flexible elements that will form the visual language for your brand.
The visual elements of your brand identity include:
Visual Style Guide
The final logo is completed, and a usage guide is compiled to provide instructions for its appropriate use. The logo usage guide is incorporated in the visual style guide that you will receive at the end of the project.
The identity system is applied to your business materials and marketing collateral that you requested for the assignment or we can develop guidelines and templates to provide your team with the necessary tools to create material that’s always on brand and consistent.
Finally, all logo files, branding assets and deliverables are prepared for final delivery and handed over to you. There you have it! Now go into the marketplace and make an impression.