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It’s a frustrating fact of life that clients don’t always appreciate the value of good design. So what can you do when faced with a client who just doesn’t get it?
Being able to educate clients on the value of design is a crucial skill. Communication, as always, is key: you need to involve your clients in all stages of the creative process, and make your case early – as these three industry pros explain…
“Occasionally we have to ‘make the case’ for design, perhaps with a less experienced client who views the process as a ‘client/supplier’ model rather than collaborator,” says branding legend Michael Johnson, who founded brand consultancy johnson banks.
“But in order to get a large-scale branding project, we will have made the case for change months – sometimes years – before the design actually starts. In other words, our clients have clearly committed to the process. It’s our job to subtly educate, inform and inspire as we go through the process – without coming across like idiots, obviously.”
“Branding is no longer something that sits with the marketing department, a brand is something that sits at the heart of a client’s business and organization, and affects everything they do,” says Karen Hughes, creative director at True North.
“As well as increasing profits, an effective brand can mean happier employees, engaged audiences, better products and services, greater brand awareness and recognition.
“[To convince a client of this], try to take the subjectivity out of decisions,” she continues. “Don’t just talk about colors and fonts, talk about the reasons behind your design choices.”
“All the time, link these choices back to the original brief and always link the creative back to the core business aims and brand proposition.”
Helping clients appreciate and value design makes a designer’s life so much easier, agrees Gareth Howat, creative director at hat-trick. Like johnson banks, the London-based multidisciplinary design company also won big at last year’s Brand Impact Awards.
“It does help to have a clearly thought-through logic to your work, and we spend a lot of time thinking about how to communicate that,” Howat explains. “That way clients are far more likely to appreciate your design strategy.”
Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.
In a past blog, I explained the difference between Branding, Identity and Logos. Understanding branding is important when you are trying to develop yourself in the marketplace. Knowing the difference between Identity and branding is what sets you apart. Customizing a logo that depicts your identity and brand is what makes you shine. To read the article click here.
Know that when you begin to set out on your journey to brand yourself there is a process you should follow. Like in life, there are many different ways to approach this. This blog is intended to help guide you on proven ways we have found to be helpful.
First, let’s review our steps:
This step is one of the most important steps in the entire process. This is where we ask tons of questions and get a solid idea for what you expect from you goals. Then we go through the discovery process and find out more about your organization from the inside out. We ask specific questions that help us determine the direction of your project. Then we use what we found to review with you. At that point, we determine our plan of action and describe the scope of the project with an outline, we determine deliverables and timelines, then we begin working on executing our plans.
Before I talk about The Branding Process, let’s define what Branding is exactly. Branding is the process of naming, designing or other feature that distinguishes one business from those of others.
Branding is NOT:
During The Branding Process it is a good idea to start with an inspiration board full of images, colors, fonts, etc. that a group can look at. From this session you will begin to get the perception that the brand is leaning towards. This will help in your design and concepts for the full branding effort. Next, we create a selection of fonts and logo variations for review. Once you determine what the best set is, we complete the The Branding Process by creating a Style Guide for use on all collateral related to the brand. Finally, we begin to carry out the designs in collateral, on social media, and interactive designs.
Brand Mapping – Benefits: Gives business its sense of purpose.
Brand Implementation – Benefits: Determines what sets the company apart from others.
Brand Training – Benefits: Gives purposeful direction to the employees and staff
Once you’ve determined your branding strategy, it is important to create your identity. Are you fun and quirky, or are you more serious and to-the-point? Do you want a fun script font or something more sans serif? Do you want your graphics to speak to a creative mind or something more toned-down? Establishing your Identity as a brand really hits home about your brand’s persona. Building your persona = creating your identity. Plain and simple.
The logo design process is the fun part. We take what we’ve found in discovery, direction we’ve reviewed from our branding efforts and give it a personality we came up during our Identity process. Here, we begin with sketches of what your logo could look like and develop concepts. Next, we review with you our concepts and get feedback. Then, back to the drawing board to wrap up design and execute final files. We create your logo branding in every version you’d need and deliver the goods. Easy peasy.
A logo is not your brand, nor is it your identity. Logo design, identity design and branding all have different roles, that together, form a perceived image for a business or product.
What is brand? – The perceived emotional corporate image as a whole.
What is identity? – The visual aspects that form part of the overall brand.
What is a logo? – A logo identifies a business in its simplest form via the use of a mark or icon.
You could describe a ‘brand’ as an organisation, service or product with a ‘personality’ that is shaped by the perceptions of the audience. Many people believe a brand only consists of a few elements – some colours, some fonts, a logo, a slogan and maybe some music added in too. In reality, it is much more complicated than that. You might say that a brand is a ‘corporate image’.
The identity or ‘image’ of a company is made up of many visual devices:
A logo is for… identification.
A logo identifies a company or product via the use of a mark, flag, symbol or signature.
Brand –The perceived emotional corporate image as a whole.
Identity – The visual aspects that form part of the overall brand.
Logo – Identifies a business in its simplest form via the use of a mark or icon.
Original story from http://justcreative.com/2010/04/06/branding-identity-logo-design-explained/
We are certain her skills will exceed your expectations. On behalf of our team, please join us in welcoming her! – Ray Rico
December 5th, we celebrated our Holiday Anniversary Party. You are the reason we love what we do, so we make this toast to you. We have been in business for 6 years now (here in the offices in Cooper-Young for 1 year) and toasting to lucky 7. Thanks to everyone who came out to help us celebrate. We <3 you!
For two years in a row we have been happy to align ourselves with Leadership Memphis. A graduate of the Spring 2010 class, Principal Ray Rico knows the importance of promoting Memphis and how helping to retain young professionals here is. “Going through the program helped not only enlighten me about what was going on in my community but it allowed me the opportunity to make a difference.”
By partnering with Leadership Memphis Ray Rico Freelance has become a resourceful resource to many of the communications you receive from the organization.
Here are some things you might have seen from us.
This February, we got to partner with Agility Financial Credit Union. The first quarter they kept us pretty busy. We worked on branding and designing three separate campaigns for different programs they offered.
Check out the campaigns we did here.
The three campaigns yielded a direct mail campaign, outdoor transit advertising, front page newspaper ads, website banners, signage and even a redesigned newsletter to tout it all. Check out Agility Financial and the three campaigns we helped them kick-off this February.
• Credit Rebuilder Loan Program – Enhance your credit score in 12 mos.
• Auto Loan Recapture Program – Lower your auto intrest rate up to as low as 1.99%
• Credit Card Balance Transfer Program – Drop the debt with low balance transfer rates.
This January 2012, we got to embark on a very fun project with a long time client, Turn Her Style. At the end of 2011, planning began on how to re-launch the brand and generate a buzz. Our plan involved updating the logo, creating a TV commercial, print ads and a social media campaign.
In late January, we began production for our TV commercials. After writing and casting the roles we began production on our :30 and :60 masterpieces. The process was grueling but in the end we were happy with the way the commercials turned out and the response we got from them. Check out this funny photo. Classy, huh?
In order to re-launch the brand successfully again, we also began redesigning the website.
And our efforts on social media weren’t missed. The buzz on the commercials alone had our audience talking about Turn Her Style for months and generated calls and business.
Welcome to 2012. Thanks to everyone who helped Ray Rico Freelance have one of the most successful years yet. We look forward to another great year working with you all. 2012 is already off to a great start with lots of new projects and opportunities. Here is hoping you all make the very best of yours. Cheers!
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