Wearing many hats.

In order to give everyone the whole process I need to take a step back to when the concept of starting my own business became a reality. It has been a personal goal and dream of mine for some time and now I had the chance to bring it to fruition in late 2016.

The first step, once the name of my business was decided was to design and develop the brand. This may seem pretty easy from the outside but let me tell you as a designer it's much harder than you think. Coming from a creative background and knowing what I know of the industry I always knew this was going to be a challenge purely because I had to wear the hat of the client and the hat of the designer all at once.

I have created and developed a multitude of brands and brand guidelines during my career, some large profile some small, some in the retail sector, some B2B. There are few sectors that I haven't created corporate identities in. I find it quite a rewarding and fulfilling process for all involved.

Typically the founder of the business or organisation has a specific industry with a specific market space that they want to deal in. This information allows the creative process to have a kick start in a particular direction and helps to drive the initial thought process which in turn ultimately leads to the development of their brand. I like to work closely together with the client to ensure that the brand that is being developed reflects exactly what their company mission, objective and purpose is and allows for evolution and future growth if needed down the track.

This was a different case when I began to design the brand for my business. How do I create myself a brand that needs to ideally appeal to all markets, all forms of business and engage with companies on so many levels? I didn't have the initial kickstart from the client that was usually there and probably the toughest obstacle was trying to wrap my head around playing the roles of both the client and the designer especially when you hold yourself to a very high standard and have the personality traits of a perfectionist. Needing to cover so many bases many designers would say....easy, create a wordmark! Wrong, A wordmark wouldn't achieve the desired effect and I needed to ensure that what I create for myself would be what I would expect to create as a solution for a paying client. While wordmarks do cover a lot of bases and can be quite nice in certain markets, the downside is that they don't give the consumer an iconic device or symbol to recognise and develop a relationship with. Logos aren't just pretty shapes or stylised images, they form the basis for brand recognition and experience. A very important aspect to any business that is quite often taken for granted.

The design and visual aspects are where I come into play when working with a client. It is my job to create a brand with purpose, to have a complete strategy behind the brand including it's assets and everything from symbology and patterns, organic devices, imagery, type and font utilisation, the colour way choices and various options of the brand design for use in various scenario applications. The brand guide includes a graphic and written explanation of how and where to use the various designs and assets all purpose fit to instill an understanding and build the integrity of the brand from it's outset.

It took many hours of thought, deliberation and pencil to paper not to mention a full wastepaper basket, before I had come up with a brand that I was happy with. The design objectives were that the logo needed to be timeless, recognisable and bold. It needed to reflect a professional and structured organisation that treats it's clients and projects big or small to the same level of expertise driving the best possible outcomes and results. I believe that my solution met all the objectives I was wanting to achieve. The two d's, upper and lower case, reflect the large and small clients and projects. These elements have been put on tilt to symbolise forward motion and pushing the boundaries and limits of the brand to deliver results that surpass the clients every expectation. I also wanted to add a fun and positive element to the logo to signify the client and customer response hence why the red line is added to subliminally allow the d's to create a smiling face with the large D as the subtle suggestion.

Stay tuned for the next step as I go through the in's and out's of developing my brand guidelines and the challenges that pop up on the journey to building my own design company. I invite you all to give comments, ask questions and open conversation along the way. I also ask that you all share the blog with all your friends and network. The more people we get involved in this process the greater the experience will be for everyone.

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