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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update: January 2019
Look inside and get your copy here. I’m extremely grateful for the work my publisher and the contributors put into this.