Brand Design Course of and Greatest Practices



At Proof, we love designing logos. We’ve been doing it for over 10 years and prefer to suppose that we’ve gotten fairly good at it. In the event you take a fast stroll down Nashville’s busy streets, chances are high you’ll come throughout a few of our work: from industrial havens like Fifth + Broadway and Stocking 51 to best-in-class eateries resembling 5 Factors Pizza and Calacas Mexican Delicacies, we labored on tons of cool tasks and are all the time each proud and humbled to see our branding work “out within the wild”. So sure, logos are our factor. And should you’re an aspiring designer trying to study the craft, or a small enterprise proprietor who’s interested by what we do for a residing, then this text’s for you.

We’ll be sharing our brand design course of alongside our greatest brand design ideas, and we’ll wrap issues up with a brand design guidelines so that you can reference everytime you get a bit caught creatively.

However first issues first.

What Precisely Is a Brand?

Proof logo ideation

In accordance with 99Designs, a brand is an emblem made up of textual content and pictures that identifies a enterprise. Its historical past dates again to antiquity, the place Egyptians used hieroglyphs to speak, and on towards the Center Ages, when aristocratic households started figuring out themselves by household crests. These days logos are a lot much less summary and far more widespread – which is why investing in an intentional, professionally-designed visible is a should: in a sea of logos, solely the actually nice ones stand out.

Now, if you wish to turn into actually good at brand design, you want two issues: course of and endurance. The extra you apply your self, the higher you’ll turn into, so don’t stress in case your first tries at a wordmark don’t flip up precisely as you envisioned.

What makes issues simpler is having a stable course of. And as children as of late prefer to say, all of it comes all the way down to understanding the task.

Get with the Temporary

Begin with the Enterprise…

Brand design ought to all the time begin with intensive analysis into the model’s providing and aggressive panorama. An intensive understanding of your shopper’s enterprise technique will assist you to create a visible identification that not solely seems good, but in addition works nicely inside a sure trade, space, or area of interest.

…however Don’t Neglect to Dig Deeper

Understanding enterprise aims can solely achieve this a lot – you should additionally uncover what makes your shopper tick and – most significantly – what their audience resonates with. A robust brand manages to convey which means and harbor connection, and for it to be immediately recognizable, it HAS to be genuine.

Proof quote from Nick

Professional Suggestions

  • Be sure you and your shopper share the identical lexicon, in order that once they say “daring” you realize they really imply “refined” and never essentially “edgy”.
  • Actively hear and ask useful questions when the shopper appears caught. Design-talk doesn’t come as straightforward for them because it does for you.
  • Be sure you don’t come into the assembly with preconceived concepts concerning the design method. It helps to flesh out a number of instructions for the shopper to select from, and also you shouldn’t draw back from expressing your skilled opinion, however don’t neglect that design work is subjective. In the end, your job is to assist the shopper specific themselves by a coherent model identification, even when which means stepping outdoors of your consolation zone to meet the temporary.

At Proof, we all the time begin with asking questions on our shoppers’ enterprise mannequin, distinctive promoting factors, and audience. We then navigate towards uncovering the why behind the what that informs each kind and performance, and often finish our Perceive Your Model (UYB) workshops with a radical presentation of a number of temper boards that illustrate totally different visible types. We discovered that temper boards assist information dialog in a manner that permits shoppers to precise design opinions they didn’t even know that they had.

proof mood boards for logo design

Suppose It By

When you’re within the loop relating to your shopper’s likes and dislikes, it’s time to start out analyzing the marketplace for developments, inspiration, and examples of what to not do. Be at liberty to discover the panorama at your personal leisure and see the place it takes you.

The Incubation Interval

Creativity is just not linear – actually, have you ever ever discovered your self “caught” on a sure ingredient for hours on finish, solely to have an epiphany strike you whereas having a shower the subsequent morning?

That’s referred to as an incubation interval, and it’s important for doing good work, significantly in inventive fields. It entails taking a break from the duty at hand and letting your unconscious take the reins of the inventive course of. Throughout this break, inside processes have been proven to contribute to inventive pondering, resulting in “Aha!” moments. Which, in the end, is strictly what you’re trying to find when designing a novel brand.

Proof quote from Landon

Ideate and Refine

Now that you simply did some analysis, it’s time to sketch out some logos. You are able to do it the old style manner – with a pen and paper – or flip to the software program of your selecting. For instance, we use instruments resembling Procreate, Adobe Photoshop, and Abobe Illustrator. It’s regular to undergo a number of rounds of revisions and work your manner as much as designing the three – 5 choices you’re feeling assured sufficient to indicate to the shopper.

Sorts of Logos

Purchasers hardly ever know upfront what sort of brand they like, so it’s as much as you to information them by the method. A great way to assist them work out what they like is to make use of the primary discovery assembly as a possibility to introduce them to numerous sorts of logos – from wordmarks to symbols and mixture marks, make it possible for your decisions match the temporary and that you would be able to clearly clarify your method.

types of logos

Professional Suggestions

  • Pay particular consideration to the colour palette. That is what your shopper will discover before everything, so be sure that your decisions mirror their enter.
  • The sort you select will probably inform net and collateral design, so attempt to gravitate towards industrial choices until the shopper is keen to spend money on a paid font. Or, should you really feel significantly inventive, you possibly can create your personal.
  • Your brand system ought to embrace the first brand, secondary variations, and tertiary icons, monograms, or illustrations. For example how they’d appear like in actual life, attempt together with examples of revamped firm paraphernalia that showcase the brand new brand.

Being the small inventive company that we’re, once we work on logos we undergo not less than two inside evaluations earlier than bringing the shopper into the combo. We additionally be certain that to contain everybody – sure, even our developer, who hates us for it – in our inventive course of. This ensures that our designers can see their work by the eyes of coworkers who aren’t creatives and don’t essentially have a wonderful eye for nuance. This helps an amazing deal, significantly when pursuing extra summary instructions.

Proof quote from Paul


The ultimate step within the brand design course of is presenting your work to the shopper. Spherical up your prime contenders and unfold them out right into a presentation that’s engaging and worthwhile. Do not forget that your shopper is presently at nighttime – they don’t know your course of, so it’s as much as you to clarify your method and the way it pertains to their necessities.

At Proof, we often couple our brand presentation with some messaging work to color a greater image of the model identification system as an entire. It additionally helps that Matt, our CEO, has a smooth spot for logos and is often current in these conferences, prepared to present context and leap in when wanted.

Brand Design Guidelines

To assist together with your subsequent brand, we’ve put collectively a guidelines with every part the Proof staff takes under consideration when engaged on logos for our shoppers. This fashion you may make certain nothing slips by the cracks.

logo process checklist

Final, however not least, don’t neglect to have enjoyable. Brand design is all about risk, so attempt to make the method as pleasing as attainable for you and your staff.



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