Branding is something we relish getting our teeth stuck into here at Teapot Creative. Nothing gets our creative juices flowing quite so much as a good branding commission.
One of the fascinating aspects of branding a business or product is that there is so much to consider.
During the various phases of the branding process we consider the tone of the branding and the brand voice as well as the logo and corporate identity. Translated from graphic designer lingo into plain English this means the message that the logo, colour scheme and font choice send to the audience.
If you condensed everything down then ultimately it is all about the feeling that the overall brand gives people. By this I mean does it feel modern or traditional? Does it instil authenticity and trust? Is it a high end product or does it come across as value for money? Does it appeal to the age group you are aiming at or will it span all ages?
Essentially it needs to get across who the client is, what they do and why it matters all in one go!
If enough people arrive at the same conclusion once they have seen it, then you have a successful brand. If lots of people have lots of different opinions on it then you have a confused brand and its back to the drawing board you go.
For me there are four main phases in the design process of a brand:
Occasionally we are lucky enough to help with choosing the name! Hours and hours are spent scribbling down combinations of letters and words to come up with the perfect all encapsulating name. It needs to say so much and capture the product perfectly in the blink of an eye. Tricky stuff.
This is the fun bit. We get to go crazy with motifs, colours, fonts and combinations of all of these elements to design the perfect emblem to represent the product or business. As you can imagine this can take a while. Being inspired really helps and sometimes the minute we have discussed the project with the client an image leaps to mind and it all works out perfectly when translated into Illustrator on the computer. More often than not though we twiddle and tweek for hours and hours until we are completely happy with what we have designed and it is ready to be shown to the client.
The Brand ID
This gets a bit more complicated and requires deep concentration, as we now have to apply the design to the product. How it will work as a letterhead, an advert, packaging, within a brochure or on a website. Which fonts go well with it and how do they look in practice? Does it work in signage? Do we need variations of the logo i.e. a landscape version and a portrait version? Will it work on a coloured background or must it always be seen on white? What sort of paper best represents the business – recycled offset or a smooth diamond white silk?
For more extensive brands we like to write a set of instructions on how the various elements of this brand must be used. These are guidelines for employees and other agencies to make sure the various elements are used correctly and the brand doesn’t get diluted. This can happen later on once the client has approved the design.
We then put together a presentation to give to the client showing all of this. It can be quite extensive, as it needs to incorporate all the different elements to give an overall view of how we see our designs working and explain how we reached our conclusion. Once we have gone through the presentation with the client over a cup or two of tea there is usually a bit more tinkering to do to incorporate the client??s views into our designs. Eventually we reach a consensus and its at this point that we can then start putting everything into practice.
¨Its not just grabbing a bit of clip art and writing a name in comic sans. No. Huge amounts of thought, planning, experience and emotion go into every branding project…. not to mention the gallons of tea we need to drink to keep things ticking over!
If you want to see some branding projects for real then head over to the portfolio section of our site. There you can see what projects we have been working on recently and discover how the brands came together.