I come today to proudly announce that we, the Elumina Design Studio team, have yet finished one more Website + Branding project!
And so I thought – why not to show our creative process?
Because I see, all the time, Brand Designs that I love, and Website Layouts that I think are great. And I pin the shit out of them. But I rarely see Designers sharing a bit more of their conceptual and aesthetical workflow.
So without further due, let’s take a look at how we developed a high-quality Brand Identity and the concepts behind it.
The C. Artes Case
C. Artes is a company that projects and executes Exhibition Stands and Scenographic Spaces. I don’t know if you guys ever been to such (giant) exhibitions?
Well, I did my share of work at these events, a lifetime ago, and one thing I can guarantee you: stepping in one of those places, you’ll have ZERO clue of from where to start looking. It’s SO much information and so many stands.
So even before taking to my pre-development investigation, I already knew that my client’s visual identity had to stand out from the others if they were to stand a chance in this crowded market. Now, straight to that:
First, I looked into their past and present ghost
So I could determine how the ghost of their future would look like, ha!
After I was briefed with the job (they basically said they wanted a new logo and website, no special requests), I ran the internet after any piece of information I could have on the company and how did they stand on the market. They sent me a Power Point presentation with some images of their stands and their current logo.
The logo clearly needed to be updated. Though the images were showing me that they had great stands. I was seriously impressed with their product. Which, let’s be honest, makes things way easier, to Design for a company in which product’s quality I believe.
Second, I Toured Around Their Concurrence’s Websites. Every. Single. One.
- To see what all the companies had/said/offered in common.
- To determine my client’s Unique Selling Proposition, or what made them stand out from the crowd.\To submerge in my client’s world. One of the biggest complaints clients have towards Designers is that they aren’t familiarized with the business’ NICHE.
- To be inspired about which elements to use and which elements NOT to use on my client’s new Brand Identity. At this point, the idea of 2D projects becoming 3D constructions was wowing me. Especially the scenographic part of it. Maybe because I’m a Set Designer, and I’m familiar with the enerving pace of set construction and likewise, exhibit spaces set-ups. So I wanted the logo to transpose the importance that the project development has. Because in such work pace, there isn’t time to mess with the execution.
Third, I Researched The Heck Out of Their Business’ Niche
Like I said before, I’m familiarized with scenography. But I wanted to read the history of how everything started (way back in Ancient Greece, mind you), in search of conceptual inspiration. Turns out Ancient Greeks started decorating their theater pieces’ sets, but scenography became a big market in the Renaissance era, when the Tromp l’oeil painting technique was the star.
After gathering some inspo, I self-brainstormed and wrote down the keywords that better suited my client’s brand + niche characteristics.
Forth, Sketch and Re-Sketch
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty old school when creating the first roughs for a project. I invariably do it first by hand. Maybe if I owned a tablet or a surface studio all-in-one computer, but I somehow still prefer to doodle.
I take to a white sheet and sketch on pencil my first thoughts and ideas. When I’m satisfied, I execute it on Illustrator and finally add texture and color in Photoshop.
Fifth, Meet The Final Logo
For C. Artes, I presented two proposals:
The first element is a simplified version of a drawing compass:
Then, the representation of an exhibition stand seeing from above:
A simplified representation of a stand:
A simplified representation of a spotlight:
Sixth, the Applications
There isn’t a better way to see how the logo you Designed works in real life than to mock it up photo-realistically. It’s very easy, as there are quite some options of mock-ups you can download for free to showcase your designs. Of course, you should take into consideration the niche of your client, so you can choose the best mock-ups to suit each one of your projects.
First Proposal Applications
Second Proposal Applications
Finally, the Presentation
Awesome. Now that you tested your designs, it’s time to present to your client their new Brand Identity.
The way I do couldn’t be simpler: A Keynote presentation. You can export it to PDF once it’s ready. If the client isn’t physically close to you, a Skype call with share screen will do it. Walk them through the research and concept. But careful, there is a right way to present a logo. At least, a way that works very well for us:
First, you should write a short introduction on your client’s niche, to show that you did your research and are aware of what their business is about.
Then, present the simplified elements and link them to your concept.
Next, show the logo.
After that, it’s always good to showcase the color palette, inspiration, typography, textures.
And finally, add the mockups with real-life applications to illustrate your case.
The client’s feedback was really good. They approved, without any modification, the first proposal.
After some time, YOU should do your follow-up. Write a nice email asking how is their logo’s reception, and if they have any material showcasing your design that they could share with you. Then add it to the project’s case, in your portfolio.