Branding Process — Overview
Through this series of posts I will attempt to de-myth the branding process by explaining our approach and process in depth.
1. Brand Strategy
2. Visual Identity
3. Project Delivery
The first post in the series is a brief overview of the three core phases of a branding or rebranding project.
A brand is a person's gut feeling about a product, service or organisation.
Branding is a necessary part of setting up and positioning a business. Rebranding is an active action or reactive response to various situations a company may come across. The process of branding or rebranding is not forcing a client towards a particular solution.
Branding is a process of understanding and being sensitive to the clients brief and finding possible solutions. If rebranding, the clients brief might include problems that the current visual identity is creating. Perhaps the branding does not scale well, perhaps the colours or forms are not contrasting in digital applications, perhaps the logo is part of a trademark dispute, or the company has gone through a merger and name change. Whatever the reason for rebranding, the approach remains the same.
Phase 1. Brand Strategy
During the first phase we build the design brief. We research the company including informal stakeholder interviews, where we can understand the client, their industry, competitors, key points of leverage and understand any issues facing a company’s current branding.
1.1 Brand Strategy Workshop
— During the workshop, we investigate six key topics that will build out and inform the design brief. We look at the company’s Vision, Brand DNA, Values, Audience, Personality and Competitors.
1.2 Brand Strategy Document
— After the workshop we collect our findings and present key values, brand positioning and organisation origin story touchpoints that we can leverage in the visual identity phase.
Phase 2. Visual Identity
Once these reasons are understood, we move to the creative part of the process. Putting pencil to paper and ideating from the creative brief.
During this phase we create the visual identity that will be a vessel to translate your company’s purpose and mission to the world. The brand identity will be formed from a visual language system of logomark, logotype, visual assets, illustrations, patterns, colour palettes and typography. During the design process, there will be a large focus on functionality to ensure the brand translates it’s purpose and personality consistently, across every physical and digital brand touchpoints.
Two to three fully fleshed-out visual identity concepts are presented to the client. We dissect and discuss the concepts with the client. The visual identity concept is dissected and revised through three stages of revision.
2.1 Visual Identity Concepts
— We begin this phase by creating three distinct visual identity concepts. For each direction, we present contextual moodboards to introduce each concept, followed by three fully fleshed out brand identity concepts including logos; logotype wordmark; lockup options; brand assets; typography and colour palette. To visualise and illustrate functionality of each brand identity direction, we present mockups across appropriate deliverables such as stationery, signage, social media profiles etc.
2.2 Three Concept Revisions
— Once a visual identity concept is chosen we work with you through three stages of critique and revision.
2.3 Finalised Visual Identity
— After the final revision stage, we will handover all logo files, RGB for digital and social media, 4C and Pantone ready for print. We upload and host the files on your individual, client portal, where you can log-in and download the files anytime.
Phase 3. Project Delivery
During this phase we future-proof your visual identity with a comprehensive brand guideline.
3.1 Brand Guidelines Document including but not limited to:
• Logo, logotype and full lockup construction, usage and misuse
• Colour palettes, primary and secondary
• Typography, primary and secondary English and Chinese
• Identity elements, pattern assets, construction, usage and misuse
• Identity Applications, stationery including, namecard, letterhead, envelope, eDM, e-Banners, email footers, advertisement layouts
3.2 Application templates
— Print and digital-ready artwork templates which might include the following:
• Digital templates, such as social media and presentation templates, logo animations
• Print templates such as: corporate stationery, marketing materials, branded collaterals
About the author, Adam
Adam Charlton is an independent branding designer based in Brighton.
After running my own branding studio based in Hong Kong, I now live and work in Brighton, crafting engaging visual identities through insightful strategy and critical design processes.
Working with clients across all industries, locally and internationally, I help businesses understand and express their purpose through their visual identity to ensure they have a lasting emotional impact.