A Look Into Our Signature Logo & Branding Design Process

Our signature logo & branding design process for client work
Learn more about our signature design process for logos and branding that has been refined and tweaked over time to be the best it can be, to serve our clients in the best way possible.

Written by desimslaughter

July 1, 2020

What to know more about the branding design process we use with our clients?

Brand & Press is a boutique branding & web design studio looking to help small businesses and entrepreneurs where they need it the most! We pride ourselves on being here, so you don’t have to stress about your visual branding, which frees you up to do what you do best. Our team utilizes a unique approach to brand identity & collateral design, so your brand gets the exposure it deserves!

Through our years of experience with creating brands, we’ve discovered that we achieve the best results for our clients when we design a complete visual identity system from the ground up. Hence, we take a holistic approach to branding that begins with an audit to assess where you are with your brand, or a clarity consultation to lay the core framework.

Keep reading to see the full breakdown of our logo and branding design process.

Our Process Explained

Phase 1: Discovery & Proposal

Discovery Call

The first phase of every project is the Discovery Call to get to know you and learn about your goals, where you might be stuck, and how we can help you succeed!

The Discovery Call is all about information-gathering. We work side-by-side with you to determine what goals your new brand identity needs to fulfill, basically what’s the purpose behind it. No matter if you are starting from scratch, need a refresh to better reflect your vision, or looking to expand your current brand, this phase gives insight into your goals and needs. You must note that this is not a coaching call, but a conversation with focused questions about if we’re a good match for what you want to accomplish.

Our goal is to unearth the root of your problems and paint a picture that will eventually turn into your identity system to provide the best solution possible.

If we can’t help, we may know a few people and could lead in the right direction. But what’s the catch? There is none!

Project Proposal

If we find that we’re a good fit, we’ll prepare a Project Proposal for your branding package. Our proposals detail how we would approach the task at hand and the specifics for your project. We curate each brand identity project with precisely the right deliverables that your brand needs —because there’s usually no ‘one-size-fits-all’ package.

This is also when we inform you about our process (hint: this post!) and suggest additional elements that can meet your brand’s goals. We’re left knowing what we should do, why we should do it, the ultimate aim for the brand, what pieces your identity kit requires, and the timeline for creating those to fulfill the goals.

If you decide to go ahead, the contract is signed, the deposit is paid, and your project is scheduled into our calendar. We’ll then move to the next phase to kick off your project!

Phase 2: Pre-Work & Strategy

Pre-Work

To kick off your project, you’ll need to invest some time into completing some homework. 

With the scope well-defined based on what we learned about you in the Discovery Call, we can start digging into your foundation and strategy. We’ll develop your first set of deliverables that allows us to work efficiently through the rest of production. This crucial step is designed to push you to dive deep into the heart of your brand to define your values, aspirations, and vision for the future.

Like the information-gathering, the pre-work and strategy serve as the planning step of your identity design project and a critical part of the process. Spending some time to define your brand foundation is an excellent investment that will ultimately save time and even money in the long-run. Similar to the saying, “measure twice, cut once.”

A successful brand has a complete visual branding system in place to build trust and loyalty. We’ll help develop and refine your core foundation by providing our custom DIY Brand Blueprint Kit. With this, you can plan your brand strategy and styling that everyone will love. This is a practical step-by-step guidebook and workbook that’s overflowing with helpful guidance for crafting a brand with heart. It also features several exercises, templates, and resources to take the guesswork out of the entire branding process.

In this process, we have you collect inspiration for your identity so that we can be sure to create a design you’ll love. We’ll also provide guidance on choosing the best inspiration for your brand identity, and have you complete your styling preferences before moving forward. If you’re using a professional copywriter or photographer to nail down your message and develop your visuals, please be aware that this can take some time.

We must have this step done for the next stage. One of the main challenges of a great identity is balancing purpose and relatability to shape your design and the intention put in every design decision. When your identity is created without considering how your target audience will relate to and interpret it, your visuals end up receiving very little attention. Your visuals are the number first thing people notice for your brand to build a connection.

Your homework responses help us to learn the nuances of your brand vision so we can translate them into a concise brand strategy.

Brand Strategy

With the brand’s foundation and some style preferences submitted, we’ll review it thoroughly to make sure we understand your answers, and conduct research of our own. With both, we can start to create a strong strategy to get your brand noticed.

Other questions may arise that can be discussed, so we will hop on a Clarity Call. Our Clarity Call is designed to clarify what you do, how you do it, who you do it for, and cultivating a strategy to make your brand unstoppable. This allows us to set the tone for your identity system and gain a deeper understanding of your vision and style preferences before starting.

At the end of this phase, your brand strategy will be all sewn up, and we’ll have a solid base to work from moving forward.

Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur looking to create a long-lasting impression on your audience with a unique and creative brand identity? Don’t know where or how to start?

We Can Help! Check out our post and freebie download: THE BRANDING WITH HEART CHECKLIST.

Phase 3: Moodboard & Styling

Here’s where the fun starts! Armed with all we gathered from the previous phases, things can start getting more visual!

Moodboard Creation

We’ll jump into things by creating your second set of deliverables, starting with a moodboard based on your brand inspiration. A moodboard is a curated collection of images, colors, and other inspiration to serve as a starting point and get the mood of your brand going. Starting by getting the mood of the brand right is a vital first step toward a successful design process; it’s like a safety net!

Depending on the client, your brand identity may already be defined and need some tweaking. Still, we might also be defining the visual style from the ground up.

Colors & Font Styling

As we develop the moodboard, we also take time to prepare your custom color palette and font suite recommendations. These are based on your preferences, as well as the psychology of colors and the personality of fonts. Then we will send it off to you for your review.

Feedback & Review

You’ll have a chance to request up to 2 rounds of revisions until you love the direction so that we can avoid going down the wrong track and save time with your identity design. Once we’ve agreed on a theme that resonates with you, we’ll prepare a Design Brief to show your brand’s core essence and where we plan on taking it in the design phase.

Phase 4: Concepts & Refinement

Now is where it all starts to come together — the design phase!

Without design, we wouldn’t be able to put to work the strategy that we developed. The design phase is what translates your brand vision into practical solutions beginning with a memorable and meaningful visual brand identity. Because we took our time and built the core brand foundations and styling from the ground up, the design phase (which seems like the biggest one) is a breeze!

Brainstorming & Concepts

We will begin drafting your brand identity, starting with your logo. With some brainstorming, we’ll dump all of our ideas for a logo. Although the initial drafts are rarely the ones we end up sending, it’s an excellent way to get them out of our heads. And then it’s a process of playing around with and working through ideas to see what could work for your brand.

Before we apply colors to your design, we start in greyscale to ensure that your logo looks good in any format and output without distractions. In this step, you’d need to keep in mind that these initial concepts won’t be as polished as the final design as they are just ideas. Still, you will get an idea of where your brand could go. 

We’ll present our choice for your primary logo in greyscale, along with some secondary options for feedback. Usually, we get very few revisions, as they are based on the Design Brief and Brand Strategy, which have already been refined and approved.

Refinement

In most cases, our next step is taking one concept to develop in the design phase. Sometimes we may be combining elements from multiple concepts, or rarely it might be coming up with an entirely new set of ideas. Once we decide on the best approach, we will refine the design until we get a solid primary logo.

Phase 5: Identity Kit & Add-Ons

Identity Kit Development

Now that we have a logo established, it’s time to expand the design further and develop the rest of your identity kit.

All of the materials that will be seen or used must feel like they are part of the same brand. We’ll apply the design to the remaining pieces of your identity kit and create mock-ups. This includes the assets, collateral, and anything else included with your branding materials. 

Add-Ons

Beyond your identity kit, your package can include several other services to help you grow and be expanded upon as your brand’s needs evolve.

The length of this stage can vary, depending on the additional pieces being created or implemented included in your package. We want to provide you with all the tools you need to power your brand’s visual presence. This can include:

  • WordPress Website Design & Development
  • Social Media Strategy & Styling
  • Workshops & Consultations

Phase 6: Feedback & Revisions

Feedback

It’s time to review the full package!

We will mock up and present the full identity kit to get your feedback. Although several phases require input, this step is essential to make sure that you are happy with all of the pieces. 

Revisions

This step is about working together to get the right result, so there are usually around 2 rounds of revisions done. We will talk to each other, discuss how you’re feeling openly and honestly, on what you like, don’t like, and what you’d like to see going forward. Based on the feedback and discussion, we will refine and tweak a chosen concept. Mostly these may mean minor changes to the color theme, different layouts, or alternative typefaces. Additional revisions (if needed) will be billed at our hourly rate on a case-by-case basis.

Phase 7: Finalization & Delivery

Once we are sure that you’re happy with your design, and the logo is perfect, we can put the finishing touches on everything!

Finalization

All the appropriate formats and layouts are included, along with full-color, monotone, black and white versions for varied usage backgrounds. Logos are created in Adobe Illustrator, in vector form and can be exported to any format required. This allows for the maximum range of output because you can scale the size without a loss of quality or sharpness. Your logo design will look great on anything.

The standard files consist of:

  • .AI (for future editing if desired)
  • .EPS / .PDF (for printing)
  • .JPEG (for viewing)
  • .PNG (with a transparent background for web use)

Any collateral files will also be packaged in these formats, where applicable, along with the necessary formats for images, colors, and fonts.

Delivery

All of the digital files for the materials we’ve created for you will be neatly arranged in an online folder so you can use it for all future projects. It also allows you to have a backup in case you need it for any reason.

To make sure you know how to use everything going forward, you’ll be getting an Alignment Guide along with your Brand Guidelines. Your Brand Guidelines are the rules of how your brand should be presented to the world. It can even be passed along to anyone working with your brand so that everything stays cohesive with maximum accuracy. Together they will help you succeed using your new brand identity, with less room for error!

The more consistent that your brand materials are, the more trustworthy and visually appealing your brand will be.

Phase 8: Launch & Celebrate

Now it’s time to celebrate — there’s a big day ahead! 

Launch

Starting with planning the launch date and roll-out (i.e., how and when your brand will be launched on various channels), launching your brand can take on many forms. It can be done in an instant or across several months, depending on your circumstances.

Since there are various steps involved with launching a brand, we created a Brand Launch Planner to help you plan for and execute your official launch. It includes planning both the launch date and communication strategies, and make sure you haven’t missed anything. Once that’s completed, it’s finally time to launch your brand!

Promote & Celebrate

With your brand launched to the public, we’ll help drive traffic by debuting it on our website and social media platforms. We will link to your website or social media so that you can gain some exposure.

After that, it’s time to break out the bubbly!

What happens after?

Our relationship doesn’t have to be over the minute we’ve supplied you with the agreed deliverables. We want to see your business succeed and remain ready to offer our unique insight to nurture your brand!

We’ll be available to answer any questions you might have at any point in the future. The goal is your complete satisfaction, you and your brand deserve our attention to detail to ensure it’s beautifully and thoroughly represented.

This pretty much sums up our process!

Additional Thoughts

Our process could be used as a template to work from if you wanted to DIY your own brand identity. However, we do advise working with an expert. Either way, we hope that you can take this process works just as well for you as it does for us, whether using it for yourself or your clients if you’re a fellow designer! 

Please let us know in the comments if you found this useful, and if you’re going to onboard this method. We’d love to hear how it works for you, or if you have any suggestions to make it even better – we’re all ears! Thank you for reading, we look forward to hearing from you!

If you have questions on how we can help you create a long-lasting impression on your audience with a unique and creative brand identity, send us a message. We’ll tell you exactly what we can do to help, and the rest is up to you. So, really, what’s there to lose! With us by your side, soon, you can be on your way to a more noticed visual presence!

View our branding services and sign up for a FREE Discovery Call TODAY to get a comprehensive visual branding system that people will love! You can also take a look at our portfolio. There you’ll see evidence that we’ve helped many brands like yours create cohesive visual identities that catch people’s attention. And, we would love to work with you and figure out your visual needs!

Are you going to onboard this method? OR Do you have any suggestions to make our process even better?

Leave a response in the comments section below. We’ll be checking!

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