Creating a brand

8 minute read

Whether starting out from the very beginning or giving an existing brand a refresh, the process is very similar. In either scenario we need to get to know the business, service, product inside out before embarking on the design process. Brand creation is often misunderstood — here are a few of the most common questions that have come up over the years.

I just need a logo, can you help?

We’re not in the business of designing logos. If it’s a minor tweak to the logo, then perhaps we can oblige, but we build complete brand concepts either from scratch or we evolve them from your existing brand. A logo, or brand mark, is just one piece of the puzzle — a single expression of the much wider brand.

What is a brand?

A brand is like a personality, which can be defined as:

Unique psychological qualities of an individual that influence a variety of characteristic behaviour patterns across different situations.

Our personality influences the way we think, behave, and feel with regard to our surroundings — we need to create your brand’s personality by understanding all the different situations it can be faced with and every single interaction it has with the user. From brand mark to advertisement, from website to phone conversation.

Below are some of the top level themes that help to define the brand’s personality…

  • Look and feel
  • Logo
  • Photography
  • Colour palette
  • Typography
  • Illustration
  • Iconography
  • UI/UX
  • Tone of voice

How long will it take?

This really depends from one client to another. Some are more complex than others, some more established, some not.
We start with a kick-off session to get a full understanding of your goals and values which helps us to get a better idea of timescales. You can expect a comprehensive brand identity to be created in no less than 10 man-days.

How many options will you give me to choose from?

This is a very old fashioned way of delivering design outcomes. After days of work we could present you with 3 options for your brand, but what if you don’t like any of them?!

Instead, we involve you every step of the way and present you through the same journey that we have been through, including our idea creation and development. We invite you to give your input and feedback all along the way. Rather than picking from a handful of options at the end, you have played a vital role in working towards the final outcome.

What is the process?

This is another aspect that can vary a little but as general rule it follows something like this:

  • Kick-off workshop — 
    analysing business goals, aspirations, the current brand (if there is one), brand values, key messages, competitors, the target market, and customer touchpoints.
  • Outline the aims and objectives for the new brand.
  • Finalise brand values
  • Concept creation and development — 
    This is an iterative process which involves (usually) a couple of presentations and feedback sessions fleshing through ideas and designs.
  • Brand refinement —
    Once we have the overall concept, we spend time developing and refining the characteristics of the brand. 
  • Documentation —
    We conclude the project by putting together a set of Brand Guidelines, which documents everything that makes the brand what it is. It serves as a visual guide and reference for all future designs.


What is my involvement?

Your dedication is as vital to the branding project as ours. It’s important that the right people from your (the client) side can offer time to give valuable input and feedback throughout the process. 

Can we do some of it now, and the rest later?

If we don’t get the brand identity sorted now — before design services, products and materials — it can cause the brand to become misguided and incoherent. A logo is not a brand, it’s just a mark, a single expression of the brand. It needs supporting context to have real meaning and to form a connection with the user/customer. If we don’t lay these important foundations now, it makes the design process for the app or website difficult and lengthy with lots of back and forth as we uncover lots of unanswered questions.

Can you make brand decisions whilst designing my new website?

We could just move straight into the website design. But what will happen is that we’ll get caught up in lots of needless back and forth on the designs of those screens because nothing has been established beforehand.
When we choose a font, it's not based on what looks good on an app screen, it's decided before that point based on how it fits with the brand.

When can we start?

Let’s have an initial conversation in person or over the phone and figure out your needs and we can get things moving.

Take a look at some more of our Brand Strategy work.

Written by Matt Boyle (Lead Designer). Read more in Insights by Matt or check our their socials Twitter, Instagram