Developing a graphic design brief is an everyday activity for the Loud Ladybird graphic design team; while it is quite normal for clients to provide a completely open design brief, here are some pointers for what to consider if you’re keen to be active within the graphic design process…
For an entirely new business, it’s worth coming up with a few business names first. It can also be useful to supplement these with a business strapline. This is a concise written statement describing your business or values. According to our copywriting team, it needs to be short and can be achieved in as little as three words e.g. “professional, affordable, local” or “family run business”. The aim of it is to help persuade customers to choose your brand over a competing one and offers a way to extol key values at the heart of your business so in the examples above, the strapline declares that your business is local and offers value for money, or that it’s a family interest, which conveys a sense of tradition and a personal approach perhaps not always associated with an a more faceless enterprise.
Returning to where to begin with a start up business: evolving a mission statement (that succinctly states the purpose of your business), as well as identifying the USP (unique selling point) of your new venture, aids the process of developing a brand identity and can advance the creation of a supporting graphic design brief. Moreover, specifying these elements provides focus for progressing a successful business plan and marketing strategy to achieve your ultimate business objectives in line with your overarching business strategy.
Graphic design for brand evolution
If your business is already established then your aim of the graphic design process might be to freshen up your existing logo design, printed brochures and overall brand identity – perhaps extending the new graphical approach to your website and digital marketing activities too.
You may find a complete overhaul an appealing idea or perhaps you prefer to take a more subtle approach with understated modernisation of all the graphics connected with your brand. Either way, a professional graphic designer will be able to guide you. Having a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your graphic design project will provide an excellent point of reference for your graphic designer so consider this carefully.
Based on your business name and, if available, your strapline and mission statement, your graphic designer can spark the graphic design process. Discussion relating to the industry your business is operating within, as well as imagery that you find appealing also allows the graphic design project to flourish. The graphic design process often initially tackles logo design (as this informs the design of all graphics thereafter) and then branches out to cover a multifaceted range of marketing materials, signage, stationery, business cards, plus website development, as well as the creation of graphics for use within the digital marketing sphere.
Choosing colours for your new logo design and/or graphic design project is an important part of the process. While strong personal preferences can be useful, it’s also important to consider other factors too. Is the industry you’re business is operating in associated with a particular type of hue? The financial services industry, for instance, is often associated with authoritative and strong colours with many business choosing navy, maroon, dark green or royal blue. Perhaps you’re keen to develop a brand that fits in with your industry. On the odd occasion you may even be working in an industry where you need to obtain approval from a governing body for business card designs and other graphic design works. In the case of financial services industry, for instance, designs may need to be approved by the industry regulator, the Financial Services Authority.
Perhaps your business is a new entrant to an industry associated with an unspoken standard in terms of colour choice for logo and graphics. Think of the agricultural industry, for example, and consider how many business logos in that sector incorporate the colour green. After all, it’s a highly appropriate choice to denote a business with a strong rural interest. Nevertheless, you may want to buck the trend and therefore incorporate a totally fresh choice of hue to use, or introduce a bold, complementary highlight colour to add vibrancy and provide standout to your logo and graphics.
Font choice is interesting. Long established and traditional businesses may benefit from using a serif font (i.e. a typeface that features a decorative addition of a diminutive vertical line to the horizontal aspects of the letter, plus taking the form of a Romanesque pillar for vertical parts of the letter). Times New Roman is one of the most commonly appearing examples of a serif font. Conversely, an uber modern brand would be much more likely to be best represented by a sans-serif font, which literally means “without” serif (indeed, the first part originates from the French word for without i.e. “sans”). A sans-serif font is when the letters are formed with no additional embellishments. Helvetica and Arial are commonly seen examples.
Developing a brand is an involved process and your business’ values play a key role. Do you want to build a brand that offers a friendly, caring and local service, or are you forming a professional enterprise with a national remit and a reputation for efficiency and effectiveness? Perhaps it’s elements of both these examples. The ultimate point is that knowing the identity of your brand will help you and your graphic designer to develop the most appropriate logo and graphics befitting of your business.
Many people think that graphic design teams spend time developing mood boards or consulting Pantone references – and these can be helpful devices for advancing the graphic design process – but actually, so far as the Loud Ladybird graphic design team is concerned, the most crucial element of developing the brief is listening to the client. If you like the sound of this approach and want to drawn on our team’s extensive experience of graphic design, safe in the knowledge that you will be guided by a qualified graphic designer then please feel welcome to get in touch.
The Loud Ladybird creative team delivers a comprehensive and integrated approach – bringing together a copywriting service, photography service, graphic design service, website design service, public relations (or media relations) and marketing services – in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk and beyond. To learn more, feel welcome to make contact.