The brand identity design process

My brand identity design process is a series of steps that will take us from a blank slate to branding that’s a perfect fit.

1. Kickoff
Get in touch
Fill out the form on my contact page.
I’ll schedule a short call to meet you—looking forward to it! We’ll talk high-level about your project and the problem you’re trying to solve. 

Proposal and contract
After we talk, I’ll send a proposal for the design package we’ve decided on together. Typically: 
50% payment is required to move forward
50% payment is due after the work is completed, net 15
2. Brand Discovery session
Every project starts with a deep-dive conversation with you (and any stakeholders) about your company background, goals, audience and competitors. We’ll discuss who your brand needs to appeal to, and what makes you special.
I’ll summarize all the insights in a brief that will guide your identity design project. This brief contains the ideas that should be translated into visuals and messaging.
3. Design
I’ll review samples of your current branding (if you have any) and your competitors’ branding to see where you’re starting from and where you can stand out. Based on the insights from the Brand Finder, I’ll put together a couple boards of preview images so we can narrow in on a look and feel.  
After we choose the best direction, I’ll design the theme for your brand. Since the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, it’s easiest to evaluate messaging, logo, colors, fonts, shapes, and images when they’re combined together in sample layouts. This way we can get the whole experience of the brand at once, then tweak any individual parts that aren’t contributing to the right vibe. (As opposed to first choosing a logo in a vacuum, then later the colors, next fonts, etc. in bits and pieces.) Typically there can be a couple different solutions for the logo, so together we’ll choose the best one that fits with the overall look and feel. 
Concepts are presented in a screensharing meeting, where I explain the research and rationale behind all the decisions. This reveal is the fun part!
4. Refinement
Because we’ve laid good groundwork for the project, the proposed solutions are usually right on target. But if needed, we’ll make small tweaks so it’s even more awesome.
5. Style guide & assets
Last, I’ll write your brand style guide, a key part of most projects. In it, all the approved elements of your brand identity will be specified: strategy, logo, typography, color palette, any icons, your style of images and how to make more of them, example layouts, etc. This invaluable reference will keep you on-brand going forward. You and your vendors will know how to make new materials look consistent. You can stop reinventing the wheel every time.
For a typical brand identity project, allow 3-4 weeks. If some collateral marketing materials are included, add an extra 1-4 weeks.
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