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Step Three in Our Branding Process: Design

By Kelly Farrell | May 7, 2014

Step Three in Our Branding Process: Design

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.

Step Three in Our Branding Process: Design | Brand Management

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).

Step Three in Our Branding Process: Design | Brand Management

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.

Step Three in Our Branding Process: Design | Brand Management

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.

Step Three in Our Branding Process: Design | Brand Management

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.

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Author

Kelly Farrell

Kelly has a unique talent for uncovering what's special about her clients. It’s her specialty, and the heart of how designRoom approaches branding. Kelly learned design and branding while working in advertising as an Art Director, Designer, and Account Representative for several national/regional brands; Cellular One/Ohio, Northfield Park, National City Bank, and Mr. Hero. Her future, however, included a more passionate approach to the work and more direct engagement with her clients. In 1990 designRoom was born. One room. One designer. And lots of room to grow. Today, under Kelly’s leadership, designRoom is a national, award-winning branding and design firm. With her innate ability to see the right solution and her passion for helping clients reach their goals, Kelly is a fierce brand advocate for behavioral health organizations across the U.S. Her unique approach makes her a sought after national speaker on the importance of branding in behavioral health. Kelly focuses on how branding can unify an organization internally, amplify their unique market position, and help them move in a positive, sustainable direction.

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