A brand is not only about a logo and consistent colors but it also about the way you communicate with your customers and followers. This can be through your website, through a store and also through social media.
So for my recent client, Kate, this was very important because even though she had not started her business yet, she had unconsciously started her branding. She had an account on Instagram where she posted about fashion, accessories and her life on a daily basis. She had build up quite a few followers and through her images and her captions she had already started to build a brand!
When Kate approached me because she wanted to launch her own fashion label and she wanted to hire me to do her branding and eventually her website and shop, I was naturally super excited as I always had a love for fashion design, took numerous fashion design courses when I lived in London and almost started a university degree in fashion design at some point. Anyway, we met shortly afterwards to discuss her plans in more detail and Kate also showed me her moodboards for her designs. I was totally intrigued and so happy she chose me to do her branding. I loved her concept of layers and simple designs with interesting and different fabrics and patterns.
This initial meeting was before the long summer holidays in Dubai and Kate hired me to start straight after we both came to Dubai in September. We parted from this meeting with a lot of ideas and a lot of food for thought for Kate. However the most important part she had to decide upon was the name for her new brand!
So today I want to show you how I came up with her logo!
Grab your free branding checklist here:
Step 1 - Research
After our initial meeting I send Kate a detailed questionnaire for her to work on over the summer. In this questionnaire I asked again about the idea behind her business, her missions statement her vision, her target customer, her products and her competition among other things.
When Kate came back to me she not only had a name: Kate Chad - her maiden name - but she also had a clear idea of where she wanted to go with her brand and who her target customer was going to be.
Kate’s key message as well as her vision for her brand is very inspirational:
Never give up on your unique beauty. Find the layers that reflect the beauty inside and wear them on the outside.
Her ideal client is a woman with a mental age of 30. She has liberal values, is well travelled and has lived in more than one country in her life. She leads an active life and incorporates exercise and healthy eating into her routine. She likes to go to the beach, loves shopping and likes to look unique and individual.
I also ask for 10 adjectives to describe the feel of her brand and Kate described her brand as:
I also asked Kate to pin images on a Pinterest board that reflect her brand and it’s feel.
Phase 2 - Inspiration
Then, after working through all the information I got, I double checked if my own vision for her brand fit with her vision and if I still had any questions.
Kate also had the idea of forming a separate brand to sell her own and other fashion brands from. And although we decided to tackle that project at a later stage when she had actually launched her own brand I kept this information in mind while working on her branding.
From there I designed her moodboard. I always take my initial client meeting, the answers from the questionnaire, the images on pinterest but also any existing branding like for her example Kate’s communication through Instagram into account.
I also look for similarities in the pinned images and try to bundle them to see if there is a trend. Subconsciously Kate had a pinned a lot of images with the same color palette. And obviously she had pinned images of fashion that was individual, bohemian yet simple and elegant.
The direction of the color palette was quite clear from the beginning, besides black and white there were the two color tones that are also on the moodboard and some red tones on her pinterest board and also in her Instagram account. I was hesitant about including the red in her brand as it can be quite polarizing and so I decided to stay clear of it for the beginning.
This is the final moodboard:
This moodboard ensured that Kate and I were on the same page and I kept it by my side for my whole design process in order to make sure we had a cohesive look that always reflects the same image.
Phase 3 - Logo concepts
I designed two complete logo concepts for Kate Chad to really understand what can be done with her logo and brand. The first one was a little more lifestyle, fun and artistic and actually fit quite well to her existing Instagram account. I also showed her how it would fit well to her reds without actually having a red in her brand.
And the second concept was a completely different direction. It was a lot more classic and elegant.
Kate really like concept number 1, it’s colors and feel. She also loved the font. But after some discussion we both agreed that this logo was slightly too much lifestyle and trendy and would not look good on a clothing label and was not elegant enough. We decided to keep the font as a subfont and the feel of the concept though.
She did not like concept number 2 because it was too classic for her but she did like the colors.
After some discussion about incorporating her favorite color red we both agreed that, even as a dark red it would be too polarizing and it was better to stick to mainly black and white and one other color. We also made a conscious decision that this color would not be beige because of another clothing brand that had just launched in Dubai.
So I went back and worked on my concepts to create a concept for her with a simple yet elegant font that can be displayed nicely on a clothing label as well as keeping her feedback about the first two concepts in mind.
I tried to keep the font from logo concept number 1 in the submark but we both agreed that it did not work. See the difference for yourself. (this also includes a red which we had not decided completely against at this point)
Therefore we decided to keep the font as an accent font for subheadings and for her alternative logo.
This is the final concept that we agreed on:
And this is how Kate can use her logo as well as the accent font:
Phase 4 - Brand Style Guide
Once we have decided on the final logo, the secondary logo, the submark and the color palette, I always create a brand style guide for my clients. In this guide I also include a pattern recommendation as well as icon designs if suitable for the brand. And I include the fonts we have agreed on as well as the recommended photography style and communication style for the brand.
This guide can be used in the future for reference in order to keep a cohesive and consistent brand appearance throughout any branded designs and marketing material, the website, a potential actual store etc. It would also help once a business employs more people to ensure everyone is aware of the brand and to communicate in a consistent way.
This is just an extract of the guide for Kate:
Phase 4 - Collateral items
Although I show my clients a design idea of some collateral items like the business cards while I do the initial logo concept, I always go back and sit down on all collateral items after the branding process is finished to revise or change things up.
For Kate Chad I designed a very simple yet elegant clothing tag, her social media profile pictures and her business cards so far. I will also a flyer/postcard for her once she has proper photographs or her final designs which I will show you here as soon as they are ready.
These are her collateral items so far:
Kate Chad has since launched her brand and is going to start selling her own designs very soon. She is still in such an exciting phase of her business and I am enjoying to see how her brand develops and can not wait to try on her designs myself.
Once she has settled we will tackle her website and potentially an online store :-)
I would love to hear your comments on the branding or any questions you might have!
And if you want to do your own branding for your business, download my FREE branding checklist to make sure you have thought of everything!
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