My Complete Client Brand Design Process
(Step by Step)
As you might have guessed already I am a Brand and Web Designer. Part of my job also consists of organizing and creating efficient processes for my clients to follow. This is an exceptional skill to have if you are running a business, especially if you are always changing gears between different jobs at the same time. Having proper processes can just make the whole work feel like a day in the park instead of all hell breaking loose.
Today I’m sharing with you, my own design process. If you are just starting to work with a designer, or looking for better systems for your own business this step-by-step guide can help you.
1. Discovery Meeting
And in the beginning, there was a call, and it was good.
Before starting any project it is absolutely necessary to have a good understanding of who is your client, what do they do, and what is the job at hand. Before even deciding on the best way to approach the task, I jump into a 30-minute discovery call with my client to get a better sense of what’s ahead. Deciding if the customer is prepared for this new step and if everyone’s values are aligned, can make the process a lot more enjoyable for all the parties involved.
During our initial consultation, I ask the client specific questions about their business that help me understand how can I help them achieve their objective. I also use this time to ensure we are compatible (if working with a professional is hard, imagine working remotely) and set realistic expectations about the work scope. Once the client has decided to move forward, we move to the cream de la cream: The Boarding process…
The boarding process starts with an email invitation to Asana. If you don’t know about Asana, you are missing out. Asana is a free online project manager, that helps me to keep all my projects and tasks on track. It allows me to assign specific tasks to my clients and visualize all the steps of each project. This is how my average project will look:
2. Brand Questionnaire
The brand questionnaire is an excellent tool to give me some extra insight into the business. My brand questionnaire can be broken down into 2 main categories: Your Business & Your Brand.
In Your Brand: We will work into figuring out your target audience. Defining your target audience is a big step when designing for your business since we need to make strategic decisions to attract them to your business.
I ask my clients simple questions such as:
- If you had to describe your business in 1 word, what would it be and why?
- What sets your business apart from the competition?
- What are the strengths of your company?
- What are the values of your company?
I also collect information about competitors, brands they follow, and font preferences. Once the questionnaire has been submitted, I start my own research. What is the brand doing, and what can we improve? What is the competition doing? How can we stand out? How can we portray the company values?
3. Pinterest Board
The Pinterest board is used to give some insight into what is the client attracted to. I encourage my clients to add as many images as they desire. After completing, I review the content and try to find cues of the style, color combinations, font, and imagery that will work well with the client’s brand.
4. Mood Board & color palette
From here, I create 1 to 3 mood boards or style boards based on the answers to the brand questionnaire and the visuals from the Pinterest board. The purpose of the style board is to capture the overall feeling of the brand and review color palettes.
The mood board is an important step to define your brand and the “tone” for the graphics.
When I say “tone” I refer to the particular feelings you want your audience to associate with your brand? If you want them to feel inspired, then your tone might be inspirational. If you want them to feel grounded, then your tone might be calming. If you want them to feel hopeful, then your tone might be optimistic. See how this works? Pretty easy.
Once the client has approved, I tick the task off Asana.
5. Logo Development
This is everyone’s favorite part, but sketching ideas and getting creative, is the tricky part. I take ideas from all the previous steps to create 3-4 concepts that are presented to the client to choose from.
From there we go for 5 rounds of revisions.
When providing feedback, I try to make sure the client identifies what he likes and dislikes from each concept and to pick the logo that stands out the most (in a positive way). Once the logo is ready to see the light of day and the client is thrilled with his/her new image, I tick the task off Asana and move to the final elements.
6. Branding Collateral
Now that we have the foundations of this brand, we can work on the different elements that form this brand. Following the style of the mood board, color palette, and logo, I create:
- Alternative Logos/Submarks
- Logos in a variety of color combinations
- Custom Brand Textures and Patterns
- Font Combinations
- Social Media graphics
- Business card
- And/or any other collateral the client asked for.
This is the last step of the process. By this point you should be able to see how the whole branding comes together in harmony and by then, the client should be happy as a clam and excited to use their new items.
7. Transfer final files
Nothing ever felt as good as a job well done, eh? For the delivery, I create a shared Dropbox folder where I gather and organize all the client’s work. I use Dropbox for business, because it allows me to share small and bigger files with my clients without troubles or complications, and my clients can access their files from their phone or computer just with just one click.
- Mood board in .JPG
- All logo and logo variations in .Ai format
- All logo and logo variations in High Res Transparent .PNG, .JPG and .PDF
- All files intended for print in .PDF
- Textures and Patterns in .PNG, .JPG and .PDF (also the source file in .AI) *If included in their package
- Branding Style Board in .JPG and .PDF (also the source file in .AI) *If included in their package.
After the files are all ready to go, I share the folder with the client via email.
Now, that project is finished and the client is glowing with excitement over his/her new files, I ask the clients for their insight and testimonial. I usually send an email a week after the project has been completed, to ask some deep questions about their project and design process. Ultimately all the constructive feedback I have received from my clients has allowed me to tweak and improve my process to be the best it can be.
If you found this information helpful, let me know in the comments