January 10, 2018

Identity Designed, the book

The Identity Designed hardcover (published by Rockport, available from January 2019) aims to uncover the most valuable details about what it takes to create a compelling visual identity.

Since the Identity Designed website was launched in 2010, it’s been a bit of a labour of love sharing insights into more than 500 projects from design studios at the top of their game. Eight years later and I’m delighted to have signed a book deal with Rockport to bring the name to print.

The book will take readers behind-the-scenes at around 20 studios from across the planet, giving a detailed look at one of the most interesting visual identity projects from each. It will cover workflow aspects from pricing and invoicing to generating ideas and reaching consensus on the strongest direction.

It’s aimed at design students with an interest in visual identities, professional designers who want to know how their peers handle projects, and business owners outside the design profession who want to make the most of their time collaborating with studios.

Studio contributions

Each feature will be a 50/50 split between text and imagery. The images will also be split between process and final result, because it’s the sketches, digital roughs, unused ideas, and photos of experimentation that can really tell the story of how the job gets done.

Text will give an insight into the following topics:

  • The client approach — how the client was found, the first questions asked, and steps taken before initial payment is received.
  • Setting terms and conditions — key insights into how client expectations are managed from the outset.
  • Clarifying the design brief — topics covered, and what the client receives for reference.
  • Project pricing and timeframes — factors that affect the overall project fee, and how to determine the time it takes to do the work.
  • Preparing invoices and handling payments — software used to help streamline the process, charging in full versus percentage amounts, and dealing with foreign currencies and exchange rates.
  • Conducting research — what’s looked for, and where, to give the best possible chance of exceeding expectations.
  • Merging strategy with design — how a strategic approach to the visual identity is ensured.
  • Crafting good ideas — how to know when enough experimentation has been done, methods used to find the most varied ideas.
  • Avoiding copyright infringement — ensuring (as far as possible) that no existing design is infringed upon, the process of trademarking a logo.
  • Presenting the work — how clients first learn of a potential design idea, tools and software used for mockups and presentations.
  • Reaching consensus — guiding the feedback, steering clients toward the strongest idea, keeping control of the design execution.
  • Developing guidelines — the role of a style guide, whether prescriptive or flexible, how these documents are formatted and supplied.
  • Measuring success — how to determine the impact of visual identities on client businesses.
  • Studio marketing — advice on how to find your first clients.

The resulting features will be mini-lessons on the process of creating a visual identity. It’ll be quite a unique compilation, merging memorable design with lasting advice.

If there are any particular studios you’d like to see featured, please send an email: design@davidairey.com.

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Update: January 2019
Get your copy here. I’m so grateful for the work my publisher and the contributors put into this.

March 10, 2016

On starting sentences with ‘And’

Children’s author Joanna Nadin received this letter from one of her readers.

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August 5, 2015

Giving voice to ideas

Copywriting can be about much more than just tone of voice. It can form an integral part of a company’s brand strategy.

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May 23, 2013

Paul Jarvis shares good advice for designers

Designer and writer Paul Jarvis has a useful website. Here are some posts and resources of interest, and some thoughts I agreed with.

Paul Jarvis book cover artwork

Paul talks about how to build an audience from scratch. Many of you are, or once were in this situation. If I found myself transported back to when I became self-employed eight years ago, this is close to the advice I'd give the younger me.

It's important to say no from time to time.

"Saying no sometimes means I get a feeling that the client could be tricky to work with, or not jive with how I work. It’s ok to turn down projects I have a feeling might not go well, because chances are they won’t. And if they don’t, it’ll end up costing more to do the work than if I had just said no first. Not everyone is a perfect fit, and I’m certainly not a perfect fit for everyone."

There's a page comparing ebook sales on Amazon versus other platforms. Mailchimp is listed as the favoured email list management tool. I recently signed up with preferred AWeber. More on that later. (Update: read how I increased subscribers by 1,000% using AWeber.)

Work better. Good productivity tips.

Solid thoughts on how to succeed at anything (posted on the Medium platform — worth a visit for the unfamiliar).

"Pay your dues and if you want something, earn it by doing everything you can while expecting nothing. Acting like you’ve put in your time and now deserve more than someone else will get you nowhere but thought of as an ass pretty fast."

A quick bio: He's a "practicing yogi, touring musician, has a tattoo (or two), and is a non-preachy vegan." He currently lives in the woods, on the coast of Vancouver Island, with his wife Lisa and pet rats Ohna’ and Awe:ri.

Paul Jarvis

Catch him on Twitter.

March 6, 2012

A manifesto on writing for design

Written by Jim Davies, a commercial writer and cultural commentator whose work has been accepted into the D&AD annual for six years running.

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December 2, 2011

Advice for authors

If you’re writing a book for the money, you’re going to be disappointed.

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August 17, 2010

Chinese proverbs and the design profession

While they mightn’t relate directly to what we do as designers, with a little translation, Chinese proverbs hold some solid advice.

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November 26, 2009

Don’t ask, don’t get.

My acquisitions editor, Nikki at Peachpit, asked if I could find a well-known designer to write a quote for the back cover of my book. She said it would need to be someone with a great reputation, and that we didn't have much time.

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