If you are a designer, or are just curious about what it is that designers “do” besides sitting at a computer and creating pretty things, this is a good place to start. Most designers have been asked to create an identity system for a client. In this ever-expanding world of business and entrepreneurship having an identity that is eye-catching is essential to success. Not only must a company be good at what it does, it must look good doing it!
I am here to let you in on some of the secrets I learned during my design meets real world experiences. Pay attention.
1. Really UNDERSTAND the company!
The first thing to remember when asked to design a logo, create a project, and/or develop an identity system for a company is to really understand the company you are working for. Not just understanding what they do, but who they are and what they are trying to communicate to their target market (and then some). WHO are they trying to reach? WHAT do they want to say? WHY do they want to convey this message and/or product?
2. Really RELATE to the audience the company is trying to reach!
It is crucial to understand not only the company, but their target audience as well. I’ve learned through years of rapid prototyping, narrowed audience surveying, and design work trial and error that without the correct portrait of an audience a logo (no matter how aesthetically pleasing it is) will be rendered useless. If the company is a shoe company and the logo you create is something like a balloon or something similar in its randomness, then the designer better have a good reason other than "thinking it looked cool." If the research conducted while studying the target audience led you (the designer) to believe that a balloon was the most relevant icon to use to speak to the potential customers, then by all means, use it! And on the opposite side of the spectrum, it is important to not be TOO obvious when creating an identity system. Though you want the cliental to understand that it is them you are trying to reach, you don’t want to bore them. Going back to the shoe company example, you wouldn’t really want to use the shoe visual (as a whole) to be the face of the new identity system. Parts of a whole are always more interesting to look at then the whole itself. It has to speak to them, not scream in their faces, more like be subtly whisper in their ear!
3. Really CREATE something that you know will benefit the client in the long run!
This part of the process is probably the most difficult. At least it always was for my fellow design colleagues and I while studying design throughout our college years. It is a fact: the client is ALWAYS RIGHT. Well, I should say, they are NOT always right, but they always get the last word because they are the ones paying for the production of a piece(s). I’ve noticed that majorities of company heads in charge of making the lasting decisions for a business don’t have an ounce of visual creativity inside of them! They believe they know what’s best for their company, like a mother does for her child. But when it comes down to it, the designer is the expert, at least in this aspect of the process. It can sometimes be extremely difficult for a designer(s) to see eye-to-eye with a client(s). But it’s just as important as it is difficult for the two to meet somewhere in the middle about what steps are necessary to move forward. Because everyone knows standing still on a topic won’t get anyone anywhere, and what kind of progressive designer wants that?