In many avenues of life, first impressions are important. And whilst many of us wouldn’t like to admit that we judge a book by its cover, the reality is that we very often do.
With almost half a million new businesses launched in 2020, standing out against the ever-growing competition and reaching the right people with the right message has never been more important. A strong visual identity that makes a great first impression is a crucial step in the process.
Contrary to what some may think, creating a visual identity isn’t simply a case of whizzing up a logo and choosing a name that sounds about right. It’s a carefully considered process with many different stages.
Just as with any other project, creating a visual identity starts with market research. This stage is all about finding out what works and, just as importantly, what doesn’t work in the existing market. As a creative agency, we’ll use this stage of the project to develop a comprehensive understanding of your organisation. This includes your business plan, audience profile, mission statement, value proposition, competitors and ethos. We’ll also make sure that we have a thorough understanding of the brief, asking all the right questions to ensure that we deliver exactly what you’re looking for.
The second part of this stage is to carry out workshops with you, preferably with some members of your existing audience too, in order to get an understanding of what you want your brand to represent. We believe in a collaborative approach here at Eleven, which is why we’ll always try to make sure that we’ve got at least one member of our creative team present at the workshop in order to make sure that the right questions are asked and every angle considered.
Once we’ve completed our research and gathered insights, we compile all of our findings and begin to explore how to represent the direction visually. Sometimes we’ll do this through moodboards, which provide visual inspiration for colour palettes and styles, other times when the right approach is clear to see, we’ll jump straight in and start creating. We’ll also include ideas for supporting copy like straplines as part of this stage.
We’ll share the completed first round with you for initial feedback on the direction the creative is taking. It’s always important to make sure that you’ve got one central contact who will be responsible for consolidating feedback from your side throughout the project, otherwise conflicting thoughts can confuse the creative approach and push the timelines back (see our blog on getting client feedback). And once everyone’s happy, we’ll move onto the next stage of the process.
Using the feedback from the first round to guide us, we’ll usually create between 1 and 3 full creative concepts for you. Concepts bring the ideas to life as they enable us to demonstrate how the proposed visual identities will translate across various collateral including websites, social and print.
We’ll present our concepts to you along with creative rationale, explaining why we have taken the chosen route(s). We’ll then have an open discussion with you about which ideas you like (or don’t like) and choose which option you would like to progress with.
Once the chosen route has been selected, we’ll work closely with you to get the visual identity finalised through rounds of revisions. We then clearly outline how the brand should be brought to life with various creative executions through your own unique brand guidelines.
Once the visual identity and brand guidelines have been confirmed and signed off, we’ll package up all the assets created and send these across to you. These assets will usually include:
This stage isn’t just about giving you the new assets and closing the door on the project, expecting you to know what to do next. We’ll often schedule in a call with you to explain the guidance set out in the brand guidelines, making sure that you’re well equipped for how to apply your new visual identity going forward.
When it comes to a visual identity project, you’ll often find that everyone actively enjoys being a part of the creative process - regardless of their role. This is why we involve your team at every stage of the project so that it feels just as much your project as it is ours. And making projects easy and enjoyable for our clients is one of our core commitments as an agency, as well as a real willingness to meet their needs and drive results.
If you’re looking to work collaboratively with a marketing agency to create a new visual identity for your project or organisation, we’d genuinely love to hear from you. Get in touch with us today and we’d be delighted to help you get started.