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  • Writer's pictureAlis Hâf

The Branding Process

If you're on the hunt for a designer to bring your brand to life then there might be more to consider than what you think. You shouldn't be asking a designer for JUST a logo, there are more things to consider to really make the most out of the time and money you send on the services offered by a designer. There are many steps to the branding process which not only covers your logo but also gets into the nitty-gritty of your brand values, attributes and then translates these into how your brand will appear to your chosen audiences through type and colour and variations of your logo. 

The Brief 

When you get in touch with a designer you will either have a specific brief written up or perhaps a kind of brief formed in your mind about the task you need doing. If your brief is a branding project or rebranding of your business then this is the start point that you'll take to a designer. Whether you're very detailed about the outputs of the work needed or whether that comes from further discussion the brief is built upon by the designer and the client to make sure that it can be followed directly by the designer knowing what's needed to be done but also so that as the client you have an idea of what will be created by the end of the project. 

Design Consultation

This is an initial consultation once you're forming your brief that will help you to figure out if your designer is right for you and so that the designer can get to know more about the person behind the brand. This is sometimes more eye-opening than what can be put down on paper as it's the passion which can sometimes enhance the branding and final designs by giving them a story and providing meaningful reasons for each aspect of the brand. The design consultation can usually take place over Zoom or a phone call or pre-COVID, in person. At this stage, it is also an idea to discuss costs and budgets to make sure that everyone is on the same page. 

Brand Attributes and Values

During the design consultation, your designer will have been able to pick up on some of your brands' core values and as the projects continues these will be invaluable when picking out colours and making sure that a logo displays the right attributes for your brand. Attributes and values can be keywords like feelings, or adjectives and will give your designer knowledge on how these can be translated through your branding so that your audience will instantly be able to recognise what your brand stands for through your branding. If you haven't thought about your attributes and values before consulting a designer then it's probably something you should think about as you probably already have them floating around in your mind but you haven't put them down on paper yet. 

Research and Moodboarding

This part of the process might be the most important as the research and work put in by the designer during this stage to find out more about your brand and its values can shine through in the designs at the end. By knowing more about your brand and what it stands for a designer can make a more informed decision on the styling and colours your brand should use and will also help to create a stronger visual look. My favourite part of the process is moodboarding and usually after the design consultation and taking a look at some of the values and attributes alongside any potential competitors I can put together some concepts to start the design process. It's useful to know if specific styles or logos inspire you but bigger still if there are any fonts, colours or styles your designer should steer clear on. There's no point your designer spending time on putting together a concept which when you see it you completely dislike because you forgot to say you didn't like the colour blue. I wrote a blog on the moodboarding process but this part can help narrow down aspects like the colours and typography before putting these into action through a logo. 

Colour Palette and Typography 

Figuring out the colours and fonts is one of the most creative parts of the process in my opinion. Usually, these aspects will be the most important part as they are the visual representation of your brand so they should reflect your values and attributes. By putting together a colour palette of colours that will all work well together and apart and a mix of typography that will work together these can then be used to get started on your logo designs. These might also develop as you move through the branding process and might even change once you have decided on a logo but it's usually useful to have the colours and fonts right at the beginning so that aren't many major changes needed later down the line. 

Logo Designs 

After considering colours and type and the attributes and values of the brand, then the logo will be one of the main parts of the process that comes from these decisions. Starting with initial ideas, and working through to developed concepts and then final logos this is one of the parts where you can see the brand bought to life. 

During the logo designing, it's also important to consider the platforms you'll be using and how a logo will work on these. For some platforms, a type logo would be best, and for others, a more colourful / illustration style might be better. This might lead to not only developing a primary logo but also a secondary logo and a submark /motif for your brand to use on these different platforms.

Simple Brand board

The brand board includes your logo variations, colour palette and typography choice along with some inspiration images. It's the most simple version of brand guidance as it doesn't show you how to use the brand on different platforms but does show you the main elements that make up your brand. A simple brand board is useful if you're only looking to sue your brand on one platform perhaps on social media where most of the branding is kept to one format like Instagram posts or Instagram Stories.

Brand Guide 

If you're looking to expand your brand onto multiple platforms like a website or into multiple print documents, business cards etc you'll need further guidance on how to use your branding to ensure consistency. The brand guide would include everything from the brand board but also include templates, how to use photography and also written guidance on using the branding including the logos, type and colours.

You will find that many designers set a flat fee for a branding package and will discuss with you at the beginning what to expect cost-wise. I start branding project packages from £150 and then after consultation and finding ou what end products you will need can tailor the package from there to make sure you get the best out of my services. Send me a message if you'd like to discuss a branding project or if you're interested in working together. 

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