The Ah-Ha Moment: A How-To for Both Clients and Designers to Find the Perfect Branding Solution
Have you ever worked relentlessly to find the answer to something– and then it seemed the solution appeared seemingly out of nowhere? This is an “Ah-Ha Moment”, one that’s particularly important in branding.
The discovery phase in branding can be grueling and difficult. The goal is to find the utmost essence of a brand and represent it visually in one iconic logo design. That’s a TALL order!
I recently embarked on a several month journey with a client to develop a new logo for a new organization. (I’ll leave out details for anonymity. 🙂 )
We began with the usual research phase, list of goals for the project and specific direction on major design elements. I poured my efforts and creative vision into new illustrations and felt great about the designs I had ready for review. I sent them along for review… waited… And then… the designs were not warmly received. (Eek! 🙁 )
REVIEW & REFINE
What do you do in this situation? In my opinion, there is only one correct step forward. Revisit the list of goals with your client. From there, the client should critique specific design elements and your job as the designer is to bring those thoughts into visual form.
PUT PERSONAL FEELINGS ASIDE
We went through many rounds of additions, subtractions, resizes, color changes, font changes. It got messy!! I even received the word “sloppy” as a critique. That does not feel good. But as a designer and a professional, this has to be used to improve your craft. Take 5. Feel offended for a second and then trench forward.
As a designer the process is never about your personal feelings. It’s about bringing a client’s vision to fruition. That’s tough stuff but the more put your feelings aside, the easier it becomes.
BE DESCRIPTIVE + SPECIFIC As a client, try to find words to describe what stands out to you as not quite right. Does the design feel busy? Does the font feel loud? Is there too much whimsy and not even professionalism? Be as descriptive and specific as possible.
The next step for us was to continue focusing on specific design elements to edit and refine, in this case- fonts, illustration, layout, color application.
KEEP PUSHING FORWARD We went round and round with edits until……. The Ah-Ha Moment! They knew! They knew what was the perfect solution to every goal, ideal, dream they had for the business. It “clicked.” The design happened to be one of the very original designs I presented with very minor tweaks. Is that crazy??! Absolutely not. Because through the design process the clients were able to explore and discover exactly how they wanted to be perceived.
They discovered the utmost essence of their brand and were able to solidify that abstract thought as a visual representation. The clients learned more about their aspirations as who they wanted to present to the world through our trial and error creative process. A win for all.
The moral of all this? Keep pushing forward and working hard. The Ah-Ha Moment will find you and everything will click.
Stay focused. Keep pouring positive energy in and communicating clearly for the right solution to seemingly magically appear (although in the end you’ll all know how much hard work went into it!)