So, in steps one and two we’ve discovered key information about our client’s brand and we’ve developed that information into key words and logo concepts, as well as ideas for tag lines. We have used what we’ve learned as the foundation for positioning and branding and presented a slew of concepts. Our client has picked a path, or two or three. That brings us to Step Three in our Process: Design.
Obviously, as a design firm, this step is probably the most satisfying, because this is when we turn our discovery, due diligence and creative brainstorming into one impeccably crafted and finished piece of art.
Listening is key, backed up by the gut feeling that comes from doing this for more than 20 years. When a client gives us feedback, it’s critical we understand them clearly and feel where they are coming from. When we present logo concepts, we present strategically. It’s not manipulation, it’s more about guidance, especially since we always have a good feel when we present for what we think the best logo and identity solution is.
As we present, we eliminate as many logo concepts as we can, quickly. Then we re-focus our client on the concepts that are still in play, exploring likes, dislikes and feelings. Feelings are very important, as people respond to brands in a very visceral way. Once we’re down to three (or one, if they pick a clear winner right away) we go back to the studio and tighten up the final design(s).
We always push concepts down (at least) three paths. These paths are highly subjective and based on our experience. Generally speaking we explore simple, conservative solutions; we explore adventurous yet readily identifiable images; and we explore creative design solutions that come from far out in left field. Clients always like it that we approach design from as many perspectives as we can.
Before we return to our client with finished, or very close to finished, designs, we review client goals and objectives (it’s easy to get off track and chase the next shiny thing). An internal review is helpful for making sure we’re sticking with a creative strategy, designing to meet client goals and not our own, and that we’re correctly conveying the essence of a brand.
Once past peer review, we present finely crafted design(s) of approved concepts for approval. We also present color options along with the design or after design is approved, a full brand color palette and typeface recommendations if necessary. Everything we present comes with a rationale for why this design was chosen, how it developed and why it’s effective. Often, a few rounds of logo or color tweaking will happen until our client gives final approval.
When we follow our process, a client brand will look right. Leadership will buy in. Staff will buy in. (We help with that, too.) Then we move to step four in our process and Deliver the finished work.