The Nuevo Studio Branding Process
One of the questions a lot of people ask me about graphic design is “How do you come up with your ideas for logos?” And this question comes from other designers, people who have gone through the branding process, students, business owners, people looking to hire me, or just people who are curious about what my job really is.
I love this questions because I think most people expect me to say “Oh it just comes to me.” or “I’m just a digital magician” (though secretly I am.. shh!) However, that is not the case. I do not just sit in front of my computer and let my mouse do all the clicking around and poof there is a logo! I wish right, we would all be designers then! It takes a lot of work to develop logos for people.. so if you are encountering people charging under $1K for a logo.. they probably aren’t putting all this effort and work into your logo, which in the end can hurt you and your business! So let me explain my process for branding people/businesses/non-profits/districts/events, etc. This is to help you understand the value logos have for you and your business.
After you’ve decided to hire me, have negotiated the deliverables, payment, and timeline (the fun stuff!), signed the contract, and we have received the deposit we start with… our own branding questionnaire. We want people to take their time filling this out and not skimp on it because this is where I meet your brand, the brand that has no face or words right.. this is the essence of your business, who you are, what your goals are, we discuss your mission statement your company values, etc. This questionnaire is the same thing I use when we do a brand analysis to see if you need a rebrand or just a refresh (you can read about that here)
Why would it be so important for you to answer this with time and thoughtfully? Because you know your business best! My job is to take what is in your head and make it visual to your dream clients! See… digital magician!
After going over your answers, we may have more that we want to ask or something may seem to broad for us. We never want you to be screaming at a room full of people not wanting to know from you, we always want you to talk to your people, your tribe, your vibe, your gang, your squad. From here we develop a creative brief where we digest your answers and put them in a simple format for all of us to look at. This is crucial to our process as this helps us stay on track the entire time and ensures we are meeting goals, values and target audiences. Sometimes our creative brief gets a few edits to ensure we are all on the same page because the last thing we want to do is *ASSUME*, like we said before, you know your business best. Once this brief is signed off by both of us we move on.
Research! While we do some research while developing your creative brief here is where we truly look at what other people in your industry are doing, have done, have not done, what has worked for them, where did they fail, etc. We ask ourselves all sorts of questions and do a lot of reading and looking to ensure what we make for you is truly unique to you and your audience, because really… who wants to look like everyone else? Not us and not you!
Now we get to the fun stuff…. Conceptualize! Our design philosophy is based in concepts. Making cool stuff for the sake of making stuff is an artist, not a designer! Don’t get us wrong, we all love trends but not when it comes to branding.
You are not paying someone a lot of money to brand you to
1- look like someone else.
2- have your logo be dated and need to do the whole process again in 5 years.
Or the worst one…
3- have your logo be stolen from someplace else and then face legal actions…. Yikes! (Be weary of Fiverr and designers who are not brand designers—you can read my thoughts on when to use FIverr here.)
Back to our steps, we think of ideas and that truly match your brand (aka your business essence) and are relevant to your target audience. This process is the toughest part of the whole branding experience. This is where we truly need to ensure that our idea hasn’t been done over and over and over again.
Once we have a few amazing concepts stabilized and thought through we start developing the visual look of your brand. We run it through our logo process, which is does this work at the size of a penny, does this work on a billboard, does this work in one color, does this work horizontal, vertical, etc. You get it. You are going to have this logo for a long time, and we want to ensure that it will withstand the test of time and be versatile for your company so this brand can grow with you and your company.
Coloring, here we start creating color palettes for your brand which still adhere to our guidelines in the creative brief. All of our choices from color to fonts all have to be screened through the creative brief to ensure we are creating the right thing for you and your business.
Part of our process is to run it through google images to ensure we are not creating something too similar to someone else to ensure you are not crossing any trademark infringement or copyright issues.
We present the first round of logo options to you. Depending on your package we will show 2-3 different options in full color, black and white, on things, by itself so you can truly see how this works on all aspects. We want you to sleep on these and ask whatever questions you have regarding any of the looks. We send you the presentation so you can look at it and ask your most trusted advisors, however, we have a strict no sharing on social media, this is to truly keep the process between us before revealing to the public.
Sometimes people know which one they want to go with and we have just a few minor tweaks. However, most people are torn between two.. so we expand those two a bit more so you can see them a bit more filled out and fix minor issues.
You choose one look! Yay! You have the beginning of a visual language to your business essence!
We package all the files up in all the forms necessary along with a sheet explaining which file types are used for what.
We build out the rest of your brand according to our contract.
You’re done! You can go celebrate and see your business flourish and come to life!
Our process is a bit different from other agencies and this is due to our design philosophies.
1- We truly believe you need to be part of the process as you are the expert in your business.
2- Concept rules over trend. This is for your benefit.. you are pouring your heart and soul into your business or your venture and you want a logo that can withstand the highs and lows, the passing of time, and that can grow with your business. Your branding can either make you look like an expert in your field or you can make you look like you don’t have a clue.
3- We do not think there is one right answer for every project. Our job is to have fun and experiment and go all out… we can reign in later. It’s easier to go all out and pull back than trying to expand something that is one dimensional.
4- We run what we call an “open conversation studio” where you can feel comfortable expressing your ideas, thoughts, concerns, excitement, whatever! We want to be your business bestie… we know we thrive when you thrive. And honestly our favorite thing is seeing you smile when you first see your logo, there is magic in that moment.