Here’s a quick overview of the steps taken throughout an identity design project.
The design brief
Compiled from a Q&A session with the client, a design brief clarifies what needs to be done, keeps the project on track, and saves time for everyone involved. Here are potential topics for inclusion.
Time is spent reviewing the brief and asking followup questions before beginning more thorough research and brainstorming. Taken into account are a client’s competitors, market trends, product or service differentiators, the history of the business, the future, the current brand, and brand aspirations.
Using a pencil and paper helps generate a strong set of possible directions. The alternative of a mouse and computer adds an extra level of restriction that hinders creativity. Most sketches are eventually made redundant, but the point is to explore as many directions as possible before narrowing it down to two or three of the strongest ideas.
Those effective ideas are then developed in digital format. The rendering stage involves transferring these options to Adobe Illustrator, to Adobe Photoshop, and printed to PDF for the presentation.
Each design is shown in context using digital mock-ups (i.e., in situations where the design will be used upon project completion — on a phone app, billboard, signage, clothing, etc.). Then it’s over to the client to consider the designs and prepare feedback based upon how the ideas fulfil the brief.
Tweaks and finishing touches
This involves finalising an option or making revisions until exactly the right direction is reached. The aim is to create a visual identity that works for the respective business, and for decades to come, so there’s always flexibility here rather than the need for an immediate “yes” or “no.”
Artwork is supplied via email and/or made available for download. Specific file requests can be catered for.
The visual systems created are used for a variety of purposes — websites, stationery, vehicle wraps, billboard advertising. Additional collateral is also an option.
The offering doesn’t end once a client pays the final installment. Should any design-related questions crop-up, I’m on hand to provide an answer, or to offer assistance with design application. I can help with print procurement, or any related issue that might arise.
If you have any questions about how I work, feel free to ask.
You’ll find a more detailed explanation of the design process in my book Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities.