The brand clarity and design project I just finished was so relaxing, exciting, and rewarding all at the same time. While there is a timeline, a process, and a general outline of steps to get clear about your brand, I find that each client is unique—the process and timeline flow according to where my clients are and their particular needs.
Getting to a carefully styled brand is always different with each client. It’s enjoyable to watch the process unfold. It’s exciting to see where the work takes us. We always end up with a beautiful brand identity, clearly understanding who the brand serves, its unique offering, and its best visual representation.
This process being different with each client wasn’t always fun, nor did it feel good. It was a little scary. I worried if the work was moving off track or taking too long. What’s happening? Have I lost control of this project? Are we going to succeed? What have I done? or What have I not done?
However, the more I do this brand clarity and design work with clients, the more I welcome the mystery in the process. I’ve learned to relax and embrace the direction we’re moving. Our work to uncover and describe the ideal client can feel rigid or be a breakthrough like a well-told story with characters we feel so close to we’ve named them. We may find ourselves deep in competitive analysis or taking a broad view of those working in the same space.
I am now more able to see how the direction of the process, the easy parts or those a client struggles with, actually reveal so much about their personality and the brand’s personality. After all, that’s what we’re looking to discover. Putting this clarity work into a tight framework doesn’t allow us to see the brand’s true essence along the way.
We work collaboratively. I guide each client in clarifying her desires for the brand, her passion for her work, and how best to express that visually. Allowing each client to come at this work on a natural and organic path is what, I believe, sets us up for success.
It’s not just the organic way that the process unfolds; it’s the collaboration and the relationship that develops during the process. The trust in each other, the honesty and truth that opens up and flushes out any doubt or concern about where she’s headed with the brand. She feels seen and heard but, more importantly, understood. Understanding my client’s truth about her work fuels the creative direction of the brand style.
There are learned skills, of course, color psychology, form, substance, layering, white space, design illustrations, balance, etc. But the open, trusting, and collaborative relationship allows us to get deep, trust each other, enjoy the process, carefully create a brand style and ultimately uncover the confidence to take that brand identity and move forward.
I learn something new with every single client but what has stayed constant is the coming together, the relationship, and the collaborative effort that genuinely creates an exceptional brand style.