Brand identity design is a fascinating process—we like to think of it as a mix of science, logic and magic.
In this article, we share our creative process of developing a visual identity system. Read on to gain an insight into how we approach an identity design project.
First of all, why do businesses need a visual identity?
A visual identity is what makes your company unique in the eyes of your prospects and, when done correctly, you develop an authentic corporate image that positions your business for success.
The collection of all your branding assets—your logo, website, business cards, social media graphics, marketing material etc.—make an essential part of telling your story. No matter the company’s size, visual consistency across all brand touch points allows your audience to build memory and recognition and improves brand perception.
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Generally, our identity design process follows the following phases:
The Creative Brief
We kick start every project by compiling a creative brief, through a questionnaire or via an online session. The objective is to gain a deeper understanding of the project’s requirements, your goals and vision for the brand. We want to learn how your brand is perceived and who is your target audience.
Research and Analysis
Once a brief has been compiled, we start conducting extensive research to do a full assessment of the business you are launching or rebranding.
To create a visual identity that can make you differentiate, we analyse your industry and look at how your competition present themselves. This stage can be very time consuming, but it is crucial to building strong foundations for the visual language we will be creating.
We take the information gathered in the brief and during the research phase to translate it into visual concepts.
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.
We then put the research aside for a few days to let the ideas ferment in our heads. During this reflection time, we continue mulling over the project on a subconscious level, 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 brief.
We then present you the draft concepts. Starting with the logo design, we limit the options to two or three—we never propose ideas that we think are weak and don’t believe in quantity over quality.
A concept deck is developed to allow you to better envision the proposed creative directions and provide visualisations of the possible applications.
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 formulating the identity system—a suite of flexible elements that will form the visual language for the brand.
The visual elements of a brand identity include:
- Colour Palette
- Design System/Layout
- Other Supporting Graphics
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 brand manual that you will receive at the end of the project.
The identity system will be applied to all your marketing and business collateral. We will develop guidelines and templates to provide your team with the necessary tools to create material that’s always on brand and consistent.
The Secret to Success
Each design phase consists of a set of activities, but the most important of all is the synergic effort between us and the client. Because it is ultimately through feedback that we can make the client an active participant in the design process.
All required 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.