The Design Diaries: Adventures in branding and web design

Rachel Russell, Graphic Designer

Clark Communications is getting a new look, here’s how we’re doing it…

Step #1: Briefing, planning, research

Initial consultation

Job number one when embarking on a rebrand for a client is to gain insight into who they are, the problem(s) they want to solve and what they hope to gain from the design process. From conversations with our management team it’s clear that Clark has grown and diversified as a company; our existing brand no longer reflects us as a business or the breadth of work we do for our clients.

Perfect the brief

Asking the right questions helps the client to get a clearer idea of their motivation for the design project; who their target audience is, their brand values, how they want to use their brand and what they want to achieve from the process. A brief is an essential document that acts as a written record between me and the client making clear what is expected and what should be delivered at the end of the project. As a designer I constantly refer back to the brief during the design process to ensure I’m staying on track. I think most creatives work best when they have a clear set of parameters to work within.

Planning

Once I have an agreed deadline for the project I go back and plan what needs to happen when and who will be involved in the process. This includes any external suppliers we may need to bring into the project. Week by week I know what needs to be done to get the project completed.

Research

I have a love/hate relationship with research. Do too little and embarrassing mistakes can be made; but do too much and you can end up in awe of how much amazing creative exists in the world and give yourself massive creative block! It’s best to dedicate a set amount of time to it and move on. Looking at best practice, latest developments and knowing what competitors are up to is important but getting your head down doing the work is essential.

From here I create mood boards that visually describe to the client the direction I want to take the design in. These provide a great point of discussion to make sure I’ve fully understood the brief before diving into concept design.

See you next time for The Design Process

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