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7 Steps in the Design Process by #TeamStoryscope

Our Design Communications team bares how they arrive at the visuals we create for our clients

When was the last time you were in awe of a brand’s logo or how the brand’s visuals look? In the era of social media where “aesthetic” is crucial to enticing the market, design communications have taken a pivotal role in the success of brands. This is evident in the amount of creative work we observe today.

But before a logo gets plastered on a product, or a whole visual identity gets implemented on social media, there is a long and complicated design process undertaken by graphic designers so they can tell the brand story through just one logo or several key design elements. In this #TeamStoryscope blog, our visual storytellers from the Design Communications team will take us through the steps in the design process to clue us in on how a client brief is transformed into the logo, product packaging, visual layouts, and social media posts you see on your feed.

Step 1: Design brief and consultation with THE client

The first and most important step is to align with the client to understand how they envision their brand. They might have pegs or inspirations that will make the process of creating the logo and the brand’s visual identity smoother. Some of the questions we make a point to ask are:

  • Who is the brand’s target audience?

  • Is the brand high end or should it appeal to the masses?

Step 2: Creating a mood board that best fits the message of the brand

Designers need inspiration, too! Mood boards help us determine the look we want to achieve. The mood board can consist of patterns, mockups, and other design elements that would fit the brand’s personality based on the client brief. For this, inspiration can come not just from logos or graphic design materials, but also from everyday objects such as signages, architecture, the product itself, and many more.

Step 3: Competitor research

Familiarizing ourselves with the design styles and elements commonly used by other brands in the same industry will let us create work that stands out and doesn't look too similar with the rest. This step also helps us figure out the psychology behind the colors, fonts, and symbols that were used in competitors’ logos, and thus allow us to apply the information in the logo and visuals that we will create.

Step 4: Sketching logo studies

It’s the trial and error stage. First, we must look for fonts and colors that would encapsulate the logo. Finding the right balance is a must. We consider each design element – icon, logotype, etc. – and make sure they complement each other.

Once we’ve settled on certain elements, we sketch several logo studies as there can be varying ways to interpret the brand and its story. We take note of the following:

  • Will the logo consist of a brand mark (a symbol or visual element) and logotype (text)? Or only one of the two?

  • Can this logo vary in format (stacked, horizontal, icon only)?

  • What will this logo look like when black or white?

Step 5: Trying it out on Adobe Illustrator or any editing program

Now we get down to business! We digitize the sketched logos and apply different colors and fonts, as well as try different logo combinations to see how they fit with one another. It’s again trial and error, but closer to the finished product. We tweak until we’re satisfied and convinced that our output aligns with the client brief, our creative take, and the overall character and message of the brand. At this point, we could also add variations of the main logo (stacked, horizontal, or icon) that can be used in different applications.

Step 6: Application in mockups

Here, we take the logo and use it in digital mockups of marketing collaterals to give the client a better idea of how a logo comes to life once applied in different formats.

Step 7: Presentation and feedback

It’s time to present our work to the client and get their feedback! This step can take a couple of rounds, as we work closely with the brand until we arrive at the version of the logo and visuals that everyone feels invested and confident in.

The design process can be more intensive and comprehensive than this, depending on the type of project. But these seven steps provide a solid foundation in creating visual work that is effective in responding to brands’ needs. So the next time you see a visually arresting material on any type of media, you’ll know that it has a story to tell – it’s a collaborative effort by visual storytellers and brand partners who poured effort into capturing your eye – and heart – through design.


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