Sadly it is true. Many business owners are underestimating the potential of re-creating their corporate identity system. They usually thinks this is an unnecessary cost, but it really is an investment – if you invest more, you get more. Such an approach proves that they run their companies wrong, beacause they do not care that their competitors are doing much better after rebranding (I’m sure that at least one comptetior of any business took care of this).
In branding process creating the logo is the first (and the most important) step, good design should contain general company mission and ideas and at the same be unique and recognizable. People are watching many logos every day even without knowing that they are, so the logo have barely few seconds to be memorized or not. If we succeed with designing a good logo we have an open doors for creating a great branding.
Mistakes in the design of the brand are usually made by beginner designers, because they do not have a lot of experience, and their creative resources are not as extensive as in those experienced. Often they take too literally the client’s guides and making too literal designs. For example, if a company needs a logo for a cake shop, you do not need to put there any sweet baking. Of course accuracy counts, you can’t design a logo with comical typography for the funeral home, but you just do not have to be overly literal. There are so many designs in the world, so many logos and brands, that it is hard to create a unique sign, so you always must say to yourself “I have to make it more different, because for sure someone came up with that before.”
The identity design process usually starts with a client’s e-mail message or phone call. He describes his general needs and asking some technical questions. Then I reply to him with answers and attachment document which contains a few short questions about his business. That information is very useful for a project implementation, the more it’s honest and specific, the more greater is my efficiency. After I get client’s reply with this document I can value the project. I won’t be specific here with that, because there is no strict price for anything, it just depends, every project is different somehow. If the client accepts my cooperation terms, we can start the work. If it’s about the logo design I usually set a 1-2 week deadline. I send to client a few logo concepts. After, if it’s needed, we make some modifications according to client’s remarks – it can take a few days more and usually that’s it. Now we can start with creating identity system which usually consists in designing stationery materials and/or website and many other projects, depends on what does the client needs. It can take about a month or two, depending on how many decision-makers are on the client’s side – the more people, the more time it usually takes. After a payment I send all source, print and web ready designs to client, with a promise about helping him in any cases regarding the project in the future.
Most of the challenges we are having by the clients themselves. Everyone is different, everyone behaves differently during the creative process, everyone expects something else, which means that we can not satisfy every each of them. That makes some situations disputed and we need to demonstrate respect, understanding and complete professionalism – sometimes it’s really hard to do. So really thanks to such situations we unwittingly learn good customer service and we can make developmental changes in our business proceedings. In this business, some challenges are not always well welcomed, for example if client is complaining too many times and for a too long time, our creativity and enthusiasm inevitably ends – and then we have a big problem. Although by every project we are learning to avoid (we like to call it) “bad” clients, and stop the process before it starts.
The great disagreement over the quality of identity marks we can explain in a couple ways. First is that everyone has different tastes and perspective on the world. Often more important that visual effect is functionality of the brand design, is it “hiting” target group of company, is it completing deficiencies of the old look. Everyone of us is different, everyone has his own style and there should be no discussion about it’s qualities. There will always be this great disagreement, so we have to just work hard for the greater good – for the client’s business success – that makes happy the both sides.
It is very hard to me to answer this question and I think no reputable designer would. Every project, every client, every company is different and we always charge as we feel to, there are no strict prices. We are more like a tattoo artists not like cashier. We valuate the project (client should not negotiate it, if he does, it is the first signal he could be the “bad” client, and you better watch yourself), basing on our education, experience and skills – all of these are on different level to each of us, so why the price should be the same?
There are so many good identities, so many well-prospering companies that it would take me months to figure out which of them are the best in my opinion. I think in every branding is at least a drop of the beauty and functionality, just because they exist, and the fact we can always make them better is the most beautiful.