Creating a viable design brief

Involve the right people:

It is essential to involve everyone who will be influencing the design, right from the very beginning of the process. This applies whether it’s a new logo for a new company or a rebrand for an existing business. This could be the company directors, sales and marketing people, influential colleagues, friends, relations or anyone who will be having a say. As a general rule of thumb restrict your panel to as few people as possible to avoid the design by committee scenario, which nearly always compromises the final result.

Get them on board with the design brief

Before we start on the design, it is vital that everyone on the client side is on board with our brief. This will tell us about your business, what its values are, where it is now and where it wants to go in the future. It will tell us about your customers or clients and what sort of people or businesses they are. It will also tell us what makes your business special and where it sits in the market place in terms of price and qualities. All this will help us create a logo that reflects your business’s core values, which will be in line with your clients’ or customers’ expectations.

Don’t let personal taste dictate…

Work on a logo design is nearing completion. Perhaps fine tuning colours, adjusting letter spacing and the relationship of various elements. At the eleventh hour the client involves an outsider who has no understanding of what the design is trying to achieve. This person pours cold water on it purely on the grounds of personal taste. Sometimes they ask more people to try and get a balanced view but the result is invariably back to the drawing board and a very confused client. If you seek the views of outsiders you need the conviction of your beliefs to drive the design forward in spite of the opinions of well meaning friends or colleagues.

Who really made the final decision?

On one occasion working for a relatively large company, on an important rebrand, essential research had been undertaken, meetings had been had with key staff, concept designs produced, the work had been fine tuned and shown in numerous applications and the choice narrowed down to three. The directors were unable to make a decision so an ad hoc collection of junior staff were quickly summoned to wait nervously in line outside the board room and called in one by one to vote on their favourite. They were merely told “we’re going to have a new logo, which one do you like best?” Sadly, the board ran with their decision and watered down the ‘also ran’ design even further. In terms of repositioning the company, the new logo achieved a great deal for the company in the market but sadly not in the board or staff canteen.

When it goes right!

When it goes right it’s great and everything falls into place. The logo is the visual representation of the company, it will inform the design and style of much of the marketing material. It can influence the way the company goes about its business and even help determine the choice of products or the services it offers.

So lets all start together!