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A look inside my branding process

If you’ve never worked with a graphic designer before, here is a little insight into my process and thinking behind a branding project!

We start the process by sending you a questionnaire to get really clear on what your business is all about. Your vision, mission, target client, & services you offer create the framework for any good brand. This part might be a little challenging if you’ve never sat down & lined out these details for you business before, but they will prove to be so valuable to the success of your brand. Trust me, getting clarity feels SO SO good!

Next comes the fun part! When I first start to get an idea for a brand, my go to place for inspiration and ideas is Pinterest! I’ll start by creating a secret board and naming it after the person or business it will be designed for. 

If you’re looking for inspiration for your brand, I recommend you start on Pinterest!

After brainstorming a few key word ideas, I start searching for things like “feminine design” or “organic design” depending on the type of project it is. Right away I will start to find images and go down many different paths or tangents, (ok, rabbit holes!) Until a definite brand style really starts to appear. I have to admit, I LOVE my Pinterest boards! They are so beautiful and there is just such unlimited creativity to be found on this platform! I have been using Pinterest since day one. I’m so glad I embraced it early on, because it is a game changer!

Once I have created the brand’s Pinterest board, my next step is to pull images into a mood board. This is a helpful step towards identifying the brand and getting clarity around the color palette and over all look and feel. I also love to pull images from Unsplash or Pexels so that if needed, those images can be used for the actual final brand because they are 100% royalty free commercial photos! I didn’t discover these free stock photo websites until fairly recently, and again, they are a GAME CHANGER! There are so many beautiful and FREE images to choose from! You really can’t go wrong. 

At this point I usually have a pretty good feel for the direction this brand or logo is going. I may pop into Illustrator or Photoshop and create a few preliminary logos at this step. The next official step however is to create the Brand Style Board. This document includes a logo or at the very least a font that could be used in the final logo at the top. I usually showcase 2 fonts that will be used throughout the brand as well as around 5-8 colors for the color palette. Then I will insert the mood board and any other inspirational photos, colors, or patterns that will round out this brand.

Now that I have all of these elements, the next step is to narrow down the logo. I will create 3-4 options (sometimes more) and start to really fine tune what it is I want this brand to look like. At this point, if I am working with a client, I will be ready to send over all of this preliminary work to them. They can then see the direction I’m heading, and make any changes or feedback at this point. I really do love and appreciate feedback, because I want to create the brand of your dreams! If you can imagine it, I can create it, so the more clear on what it is you truly want the better the results!

My best advice though, is to let your personal preferences go and really keep your focus on what would attract YOUR ideal client.

After the logo has been fine tuned, and all final brand decisions made, the final step in the design process is to create a Brand Strategy Guide. This guide is a bit more extensive than a brand board.

The Brand Strategy Guide Includes:

  • Your logo, secondary logo, and submark
  • Do’s & Don’ts of the best way to use your new logo
  • Your icons & pattern pairings
  • Examples of your logo, fonts & color palette in context, so you can really get a feel for how it will land with your target
  • Any additional brand collateral pieces we have created for your brand

Once you have your Brand Stategy Guide it’s time to celebrate because your brand is now ready to showcase!

I finish the process by giving you some custom social media launch images to show off your new brand! I love this part after all the work is done and again it feels SO good to see what we have created together come to life!

I hope that this behind the scenes look into my creative process was helpful, and I would love to work on a branding design project with you some day soon!

xoxo, Alaina Andrews