My Branding Process from Start to Finish
It always shocks me when I hear horror stories about the graphic designer who takes someone’s deposit and then starts sketching up logo concepts without first asking a ton of questions. Run for the hills! For real. The branding process should be COLLABORATIVE. What do I mean by that? Well, let’s get specific.
My process works like this:
Step 1: Research & Inspiration
First I send the client a link to access their client portal, which is a hidden page on my website, specific to each client. In the portal, the client can access everything they will need throughout the branding process. The purpose of the portal is to keep the project organized and eliminate emails back and forth. In the portal, the client fills out a lengthy branding questionnaire, which covers their business plans and goals, target demographic, plus aesthetic questions.
The next step is a collaborative Pinterest board, which I set up for the client and myself to share. I recommend each client pins at least 20 pins, which will serve as inspiration for the overall tone and style of the brand. The pins should be photos, color palettes, logos, patterns, textures, illustrations… anything that conveys the tone or aesthetic that the client wants to convey through their new brand.
Once I have each client’s questionnaire answers and their 20+ pins, I go over everything with a fine tooth comb to see if I have any questions about what they have sent. Then I use those materials to create a mood board for the brand. It is not until the mood board has been approved by the client that I start sketching up logo concepts.
PRO TIP: Ask the designer you’re considering hiring if they will be comfortable giving you honest feedback. I believe it’s half of my job as a branding specialist to be straight forward with my clients, especially when I am concerned that their feedback or suggestions are negatively affecting their project.
Step 2: Logo Development
All of my custom branding packages include unlimited rounds of revisions, because I believe that is necessary to ensure my clients are 100% satisfied with the end result. In the first round I come up with 6 logo concepts, which I present to my client. They respond with feedback, and from there, I will either make revisions to the first round or go back to the drawing board. We go back and forth this way until my client is IN LOVE with their new logo. Once the logo has been finalized and approved in black and white, I present my client with various options for a color scheme. Once the color scheme has been chosen by the client, I apply it to the logo and this part of the process is done.
Step 3: Building Out the Brand
This is my favorite part of the process, when the project really starts coming together. I put together the remaining elements which will work together to tell the brand’s visual story. These elements include logo variations, supplemental fonts, patterns, textures, icons, and images. After this is approved by the client, I put everything together in an easy-to-use style guide and POOF! Your brand identity is complete.
But wait, there’s more!
All of my custom design packages also include digital mockups so you can see your brand come to life, and printed luxury business cards to make you look like a total boss right out of the gate.
Hey! I’m Gretchen.
I'm a bi-coastal (New York City & San Diego) graphic designer turned branding specialist who lives in yoga pants and is fueled by pizza and red wine. I will use any excuse to travel and I LOVE teaching other entrepreneurs everything I've learned about branding and digital marketing in the last four years of full-time self-employment. When I'm not in my design studio, you can find me cooking, sipping on red wine, listening to jazz, and spending quality time with family & friends.