Part 2: Making Your Brand Toolbox Rattle. Follow this link to Part 1
Creating a new corporate mark (logo) can be an extremely complicated, politically charged and time-consuming experience. In most cases, the project follows the horizontal, left to right, straight-line path–as outlined in the selected designer’s project proposal. As with all collaborative endeavors, there is sure to be a little turbulence between takeoff and landing.
The most important suggestion that I can offer,
is to make sure that ALL decision makers are included
in the initial meetings.
The worst, but too often common form of project derailment? A stakeholder’s spouse (usually with some sort of artistic background) who enters the process at the last minute. “I showed the direction to my wife, who was thinking that a brush stroke over the letter ‘i’ might add a little more of what is missing.” “I showed the logo to my husband and he hates it! He has never been a big fan of olive green.”
Here are the process steps that EYMER DESIGN follows in corporate mark development:
- We research the company, review competitors, and when possible, interview key company stakeholders and decision-makers.
- Rough black & white, idea sketches (more than 4, less than 30) are developed for client presentation.
- The designer and client team meets, and through spirited banter and thoughtful discource–reduces the field to a handful of candidates.
- The semifinalists enter a refinement stage where ‘tweaks’ discussed during the presentation meeting, are applied.
- The designer and client teams reconvene to review the honed and polished directions, ideally reducing the field to a single direction (but in some cases, a straggler or two remain).
- The survivor is rebuffed and repolished. Color is then added to the black and white logo. In most cases, the color palette will include no more than two colors. At least four color palettes are usually demonstrated by my firm.
FUN COLOR FACTS:
- I have designed way to many corporate marks using PMS 300 (blue) and PMS 430 (gray).
- For some reason, the color green (especially variations approaching olive), is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to sell. What’s up with this? Green is so prominently featured in both nature and money, you who think that it would be a shoo in!
- In a meeting, the refined and colored variations are provided for final review and selection.
Tom Simons (PARTNERS+simons), taught me a clever selection process for large client groups. Each decisionmaker is presented with two pennies. The printed ideas are laid out on a large flat surface. Each participant has two votes. The pennies can be split between two directions or the pair may be used on a single direction. Sounds corny, but once everyone has “given their 2¢”–consensus has been quickly reached and the selected direction quickly enters the final stage of development. For large client gatherings, the same process may be implemented for steps 2 and 4.
- Following the final vote and creation of the distributable, final electronic logo files, the process is complete.
You now have a new corporate mark! Just for fun, go back to the original sketches and trace the steps. It is so interesting to see where, through team collaboration, the process started and where it ended up.