5 Essential Steps to Building a Brand: Part Two
Who are you?
Who needs to know?
Why should they care?
How will they find out?
-Alina Wheeler, Designing Brand Identity
Recently I created a new logo for our local museum! Designing is my passion. Getting the opportunity to work on this project was an amazing opportunity! Logos are SIMPLE right?! Yes, but the hardest part is taking a company’s entire story, and telling it in a simplified visual. Not so easy! After working on this logo it lead to a completely refreshed brand. Whether you’re a brand new company, merging two companies, or simply refreshing your brand these five essential steps from Alina Wheeler’s, Designing Brand Identity are a great outline to hit the ground running.
5 Essential Steps to Building a Brand
Before I started sketching out ideas for the museum’s new logo I spent time one-on-one with Roxanne Basset, the executive director. This is ALL a crucial part of research. Be sure to ask the right questions like, “What is your mission statement?” I knew making an actual trip to the museum would be fun, and help me experience its rich history. Research includes visiting the place you are helping don’t be afraid to dig in. The better quality your research is
Clarifying Strategy is bringing all of your completed research together. Where are you starting? How do you want to be perceived? What will be the name of your organization? A creative brief is a great tool to utilize when narrowing down your strategy. It’s important to have an open mind and trust for true collaboration between client and consultant. In my case the museum was refreshing an already existing brand, and updating their name as well. Our local museum decided to update their name to Newaygo County Museum & Heritage Center.
Once a general direction is agreed upon by everyone it’s designing time! It’s where form meets function. Roxanne had mentioned to me that she liked the color blue, and wanted to get away from the brown and green representing nature that was overused. I loved this idea as well, and felt the river that had seen all things past, present, and future would be great! I visualized the Indians, fur traders, loggers, and modern day tourists utilizing this resourceful treasure. With this inspiration in mind I sketched out at least 100 ideas until we settled on the concept of a canoe in the water accented by the sun which has seen all things beaming down.
- Touch Points
Once the logo design was approved I worked on all the little details of the logo. A lot of time was spent on details. It had to look have the ability to look great on a large sign/banner or business card. It had to be print ready as well as saved for web use too. Touch points include stationary as well as outdoor and indoor use, and trademark processes as well. This is a great stage for companies to finalize ALL of their design applications needed whether it be print or web.
- Managing Assets
Bigger corporations manage their assets by formally launching their brand identity, and specifying a specific group of people to nurture and handle their brand in the future. They develop a system of checks and balance. Creating a spirit book that visually outlines what the brand stands for etc. Smaller business’s like the local museum would simply educate everyone on the new brand and its appropriate use!
-Jessica Lopez Graphic Designer/Project Manager