Join Sean Adams for an in-depth discussion in this video Problem solving 1, part of Branding for Designers.
- Now that I've gathered interviews, research, analytical data and existing visual material, it's time to do the hard work. It's time to solve the problem. But don't worry, you're not in this alone, you should still be collaborating with your client. It's a back and forth process to reach a solution everyone can own. There is a difference between regurgitation and strategy. It's not your job to throw back every tiny detail of your research to the client, that's part of the process.
But you've been hired to solve a problem. I've seen too many strategy documents that are simply pages of interviews, data and bad stock photos. The client could do this alone. Taking all of this information and determining the correct communication strategy is where it gets messy. This is the creative part and creativity is never nice and neat. I take the answers one by one. What are the company's primary values? I may have 10 different ideas.
The CEO's answer is the right one. I may need to do some simplifying and remove anything redundant but the answer is usually right there. Years ago, I had a client with many different answers so I went back a hundred years to the company's founder and discovered that his vision was honor and service. That trumped all the others. Use the information about the values and work with the CEO and other stakeholders to create a list of five to eight words.
These will be the guiding words when you start to design. Go back to your findings about the company's strengths and weaknesses. Make lists of all the answers and eliminate the duplicates. Even if they aren't true, these are the perceptions. What message is the company communicating now? And what should the company be communicating? What does the visual collateral say? Is it clear or confused? Is there a message or just a mess? Do the logo's color, typography and image reinforce what the client thinks he or she is communicating? If not, you need to be able to show how it isn't.
In part two of this, we'll explore the solutions for the audience, competition and medium. Our goal in the end is to find answers that can help you determine the best approach for the message, visuals and choice of media.
- The history of branding (pre- and post-1950)
- The elements of branding
- Conducting research
- Solving problems and presenting solutions
- Creating logos and identity systems
- Building a visual system with color, typography, and more
- Communicating branding with manuals and vision books