- Brand equity audit
- Audience analysis
- Competitive review
- Strategic direction
- Visual positioning
- Visual identity system
- Icon & illustration guides
- Brand application
- Verbal identity
- Tagline exploration
- Communication style guide
We call it the Funnel.
Our work process is inclusive and requires the involvement of the client’s team. Unlike most industry agencies, we do not disappear for several weeks. Just to return with unexpected results because there is no guarantee whether it will be a pleasant or unpleasant surprise for the client. We try to make our operations transparent about what we do at each stage, why we do it, and how the decisions will affect the next steps and the result as a whole.
We stick to the three basic principles for our approach:
- Make it inclusive. We consider ourselves as a part of a client’s team, so we work as a team.
- Make it practical. It should be clear how each action during the development process informs the next one and the practical value.
- From general to specific. Start with understanding, end with execution.
The main stages of the visual brand identity design funnel:
- Information gathering and warm-up exercises
We start with understanding a product and company. Sometimes we ask clients to do some homework exercises. That informs all the next steps.
- Visual positioning
At this stage, we audit an existing product/company visual identity, analyze competitors’ visual identity, come up with a hypothesis on the applicable brand archetype (when needed), and define an area of future visual positioning. The outcome document is a north star for a decision-making process along the way.
- Visual brand expression
This stage is all about visual inspiration and conceptual metaphor. It helps to align the emotional aspect and build a foundation on a future color palette, shapes, and dynamics.
At this stage, we explore concepts and general directions on how the logo could look like. We follow Visual positioning and Brand expression findings and recommendations. This stage helps to examine a lot of concepts and shapes fast.
- Draft shapes and uniqueness test
When we define a few (up to 3) sketches, we refine the shape. We are not exploring colors at this stage – our focus is on the form and tonal contrast. Our team researches similar logos to avoid similarities with existing brands. However, it’s not trademark research.
When it comes to a combination of a logo sign and a logo mark (which is a common situation for digital brands because they need icons, favicons, social network thumbnails, etc.), we start working on the wordmark when a logo sign draft shape is approved. We explore typefaces, cases, and design lettering to find the best pair for a logo sign.
- Color and application examples
Color matters. People mostly judge products based on color, which was proved by various experiments. To make the logo and the brand identity with the best possible potential, we spent time exploring proper color combinations. Our decision-making process is grounded by information about the culture, physiology, and psychological influence of color.
- Logotype fine-tune and guidelines
At this stage, we construct a logo sign and wordmark with grids to make it perfectly balanced. Our team creates documentation to explain rules on how to use visual identity assets correctly. The complexity of the guidelines depends on the scope and project requirements.
Based on the past projects’ experience, we estimate the development of a very basic visual identity version in about 3 calendar months. We can technically get the job done faster, but decision time is essential in this process. Since the client needs to discuss the intermediate results with the team and generally “get along” with the proposed direction. So, it takes time.
Also, we do not limit the number of concepts that each client likes, compared to other digital agencies. Therefore, we research and present lots of different options to find the best one. Our development processes are very inclusive and mostly based on customer interaction. Thus, sometimes we explore additional directions to convince stakeholders that the proposed solution is optimal for the company.
We also act as a UI/UX design studio, web design studio, app development company, web app development studio, digital marketing, and design systems firm to provide a holistic service to our clients. We also provide startup branding agency services.
We do Brand Personality.
Based on the definition from Wikipedia, “Strategy is a general plan to achieve one or more long-term or overall goals under conditions of uncertainty.” Meaning that the company must have a clear goal and after the research is done, hypotheses are built, one will get the roadmap to achieving that goal. This affects business processes, sales, marketing, and other operations. We don’t do that.
Our service aims not to describe how to achieve the main company goal. But to identify the brand personality and fundamental principles in behavior, appearance, and decision-making logic. Regardless of the company’s further goals, these principles will help the whole team act in sync and form a uniform brand image.
Brand Personality helps to shape people’s opinions about their product, service, or mission. Our approach is based on scientific research and has brand archetypes as a core of the system. While archetypes are a collectively-inherited unconscious idea, the pattern of thought, image, etc., that is universally present in individual psyches and has a concept of collective unconsciousness.
The main stages of Brand Personality are:
- Information Gathering and Brand Personality Quiz
We start with understanding and gaining a deep insight into your product and your company. We invite the client’s team to complete a questionnaire to determine the archetype, core values, and brand perception from within the company.
- Brand Workshop
To deepen our understanding of the brand archetype, we ask the client to conduct a small workshop within their team. You will have to complete 4 easy exercises and come up with a common decision on several key questions for branding.
- Competitive Analysis
At this stage, we conduct an audit for the existing visual identity of the product/company, analyze their competitors, and do a comparative analysis. The second task includes analysis of the brand position, mission, brand promise, brand values, and analysis of competitors’ verbal and visual identity. The primary archetype is identified for each competitor. With all this information, you’ll be able to identify practical solutions for brand differentiation among competitors.
- Archetype Hypothesis
Based on the previous steps’ information, we conjecture the applicable brand archetype, appropriate brand positioning, character, and attributes.
- Brand Personality Document
This stage is all about brand personality. It helps the client to understand how their brand will look, speak, and act. The document includes brand archetype, brand positioning, brand values, brand promise, сharacter, visual brand expression, tone and voice, attributes. This stage helps to build a foundation for future brand identity.