What do designers do?
We want to break down the barriers between the old fashioned, cloak and dagger agency approach, where nothing gets shared until the end of a project, and how we really create work today.
We've written before about how workshops, well, 'work' (read our post here), so the next thing to tell you a little bit about is how we create the look of a brand. The process of how we design.
We've got a lot of industry experience between us, so we like to think that with hard work (and a bit of magic), we can skilfully and accurately create a logo that best represents the brand we're working with.
We dig out our favourite design books (for nostalgia most of the time) and we spend a lot of time looking at the brand's competitors. Never to copy, but to see where they seem to be 'winning' with their branding, and just as importantly (and I think more interestingly so), where our brand can do better.
The workshops we have with our clients give us a huge helping hand towards what the design will look like. We design not for our clients, but for their ideal customers. After all, that's who the brand will attract and in the cold light of day, where the money will come from. We spend a lot of time talking about ideal customers during our workshops.
All of this knowledge and any little sparks of visual ideas we've had, gets sort of brain dumped onto our screens. Then we start to rifle through and sort it out. All the things that are similar – they get grouped together to inform creative direction. Everything else is by no means ditched at this stage – we'll work through lots of ideas and I can guarantee that at least one of us will comment on how we need to work through all these ideas to get them out of the way to leave the road clear for the good stuff.
Then we sleep on it.
Then we tweak the marks we've been making; refine them, tighten them up a bit, experiment with them. Scale, colour, layout, typography. Have a bit of fun.
To be honest with you, a lot of the time, when we're really enjoying playing around with these marks, something magic will happen and something seems to just 'click'. Not the mouse, but something suddenly will just 'work'.
At every stage when we have made significant progress, we'll show our client. They're kept in the loop all the way along, so we've managed to ditch the whole, old fashioned 'big reveal'. They're never surprised and that's what we aim for.
When things have been fine-tuned and finalised and everyone is happy, we give our clients a style guide and all of the digital elements to create their brand. The client owns the files. Not us.
Sometimes we tap elbows here, our job is done. Some clients like to take the files to their own designer, while some will chose to work with us to create the collateral the brand needs. Either way, if the client is happy and we've pushed the brand as far forward as we can (fly my pretty, fly), then we're happy too.