What’s working with a designer really like?

author: Karen Martz
working with a brand designer
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Do you need the support of a professional designer, but don't know where to start? Perhaps you feel unsure of what a designer can actually do for your business? Or maybe you feel a designer would be a "nice-to-have", but there are more important things to invest in first?

We understand that launching or rebranding a business is an epic task, with an ever-growing to-do list. That's why it's important to work with a designer who'll help you get it right. Read on to see how a designer can let you focus on the things you do best, while seriously moving the dial on your business.

1. Guiding your brand foundations

An expert brand designer does much more than just create a logo. In fact, long before any marks are made on the page, your designer will take you through a process of discovery to help develop and align your business vision and goals.

This process can look slightly different for every business, depending on where they are in their journey, but will always include the following:

  •   Prompts to help articulate your mission, vision and values. These are the core fundamentals that EVERY business must have, and they are incredibly important for brand design.
  •   Identifying your target audience and ideal client
  •   Researching your industry at various levels
  •   Researching your competitors

Since the visual elements of your brand will become synonymous with your business, it's important for your designer to work through these business aspects first to create a solid foundation for your brand development.

2. Developing your brand basics

Now that the foundations are in place, your designer can start creating brand aesthetics, such as colours and logos. Developing these concepts is a process, and there will likely be several preliminary sketches and directions that you'll never even see.

Here, your designer is doing what they do best; bringing together their skills, training and tools with your vision and audience to establish a point of difference from your competitors. At this stage, you can expect:

  •   Initial presentation, such as a mood board or stylescapes to give you a preliminary look at the overarching aesthetics.
  •   Development of your primary logo and other brand elements, such as a submark, or text only         version.
  •   A brand colour palette, created based on colour psychology and mindfulness of the emotions and mood that your brand should evoke.

If your brand discovery was the project foundations, think of these developments as the pillars. These are the key elements of your visual branding that the rest of the work will be built around. Now these are in place, it's time to perfect your brand.


3. Refining your brand aesthetic

Let’s be honest – all designers would love to nail your branding in the very first concept they create, but that rarely happens. The refinement process takes you through choices and tweaks to your chosen concept to achieve the perfect result.

When providing feedback, try to use specific language that's considered and thoughtful. Don't be afraid to be honest, but equally, don't make changes for the sake of changes. Now that you understand all the work that's gone into your branding development, you can see that it's no accident – so when it feels right, proceed with confidence!

Once your primary concept is established, the designer moves on to:

  •   Extending the brand – including styling of images, choosing textures, selecting fonts to use across print and digital and establishing a hierarchy of use.
  •   Developing a brand style guide – this is the bible that your brand will live and breathe by. This guide includes rules and restrictions for how and where your branding is used, and ensures consistency, cohesiveness and respect for all brand elements.

Only when your brand and style guide have been refined can your designer deliver your brand.

4. Delivering your professional brand

Now that the branding process is complete, you will be supplied with a set of files. Keep these safe – they will include everything you need to supply for any branded items, such as adverts, social media, signage, car wraps, documents and more.

You will also be provided with a style guide to future-proof your branding as your business grows. As much as it's usually best to return to your original designer for any print or digital design needs, your style guide will help a new supplier ensure consistency if you decide to go elsewhere.

Ready to work with a brand designer? Let's chat!

As you can see, there's so much more to designing a brand than drawing a logo. And there's more to a designer's job than making things look pretty. In fact, hiring a designer is a crucial step in your business development that will build confidence in your brand and solidify a vision for your business, today and in the future. Now that feels like something worth investing in.

Ready to take your business to the next level? Book a free design consultation now to get your branding off the ground.

About the author

Karen Martz is a brand and website designer based in Melbourne, Australia. Karen works with a variety of business owners to develop brands and websites that resonate with their audience. She is passionate about creating great work for great humans and has founded a collaborative studio approach that continues to deliver excellent results.

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