This is Phase 2 of a 3-part blog series. In Phase 1 of Filtering the Brand Experience, Danny advocates for more collaboration between clients and graphic designers as they develop a new brand. To read Phase 1, click here!
In Phase 1, we entered the client’s mind and extracted their creative thoughts and ideas about how they want their brand to look. The FILTERED EXPERIENCE determines design elements such as whether the new brand will have sharp edges, serif or sans-serif font, or if the client is partial to blue. Once all this information is captured, it’s time to develop the logo(s).
WORKING IN TANDEM
Sketching designs for a logo can be an overwhelming task, fraught with disparate ideas and directions. Using the list of “YAYs” and “NAYs” from Phase 1, our designers can move forward with a clear direction. As the designer sketches the first concepts of a logo, a writer is simultaneously working on the brand story. If these two people aren’t working in tandem, you might end up with a logo that implies “edgy and aggressive,” and a brand story that describes a “friendly caretaker.” To keep everyone on the same page, Red Caffeine develops a “brand archetype,” which states what the brand’s personality would be if it were a human. If we are developing two distinct brands for one company, as was the case for U.S. Minerals and their Black Diamond product, we will create two separate archetypes. The archetype is the glue that unifies our creative team throughout the development process.
It’s crucial to keep the brand story and logo development in line with:
- Brand personality
- End user’s relation to the product/service
MAKING THE IDEA TANGIBLE
Once the designer and writer are on the same page with the brand’s archetype, they both have the freedom to branch off to create the logo and brand messaging. The designer’s next steps are usually to work on multiple sketches and jot down every idea that comes to mind.
Design elements to consider when developing a logo:
Heavy vs. Lightweight, Lines vs. Type
Circle vs. Square vs. Triangle
Text with Icon
Icon as Logo
Text as Logo
BRAND WITH INTENTION
One of the questions we ask new clients in our Client Profile is “What is the meaning of your current logo?” In many cases, they aren’t sure, or the meaning isn’t one that resonates with their team, customers, and prospects.
In the case of U.S. Minerals’ corporate logo and their product brand, Black Diamond, we constructed the logos to reflect elements of the industries they serve, symbolize characteristics of their brand archetype, and work in relation to each other. The house-shaped imagery of U.S. Minerals’ logo is proportional to the angles of the diamond in Black Diamond’s logo, so when these two are side-by-side, they are complementary. At the same time, both logos can stand alone as independent brands.
Once the first concept of a logo is complete, the Red Caffeine team goes through a couple rounds of revisions until both the client and our creative team settle on a logo that best represents the client’s company and will stay relevant for a substantial period of time. Once the logo is approved, we will move into the final phase of the Filtered Brand Experience, which is when we apply color and build supporting brand elements. That takes us into Phase 3.