Our Design Process
We often say that every good branding and design firm has a process. Process can help bring objectivity and accountability to an otherwise subjective task. The Seedhouse Design Development process continuously evolves. Each project is an invitation to further customize and tweak how we work. But there’s a basic framework that has been in place and we’ve found to be very useful for most clients. The basis of our upfront thinking and strategy work is influenced and shaped by David Aaker’s brand vision model (formerly brand identity model). (Many refer to Aaker as the Father of modern branding). Using some structure in the development of your brand’s presentation forces more rigor and discipline, and ultimately more strategically targeted design. It’s why our tagline is “design to grow”.
Brand design process steps
Our process follows this path: Immersion, Brand Identity – Expression & Story, Mood Boards & Concepting, Refinements, Finalization.
Click on any of the above steps to read more or see below for the highlights. And anywhere in here we can insert pre- or post-design research (qual or quant) for a more learned approach.
Audit and Discovery
We do in-depth audit and immersion work at the outset of every project to understand your brand, the nature of your competition and your consumer before we begin any design work. The main task is to learn your business quickly and thoroughly. We do this by reading client documents such as past research reports, surveys, brand documents, etc. Then we conduct interviews with key stakeholders and clients. We overlay that information with a deep dive into the market – aka Immersion & Audit – so that we can understand the competitive set and identify where the opportunity lies. Here is where pre-design research can be fielded to help gauge attitudes & perceptions, and better understand how consumers use/feel/understand something. This is a common practice with our more established CPG clients, and demonstrates ‘learning before doing’.
Brand Identity Development
Pyramid & Story
Once we understand your business and the competitive landscape, we develop (or refine) a profile of your target customer. Here, we’re trying to understand where they are coming from, what their unmet needs are and what other brands they shop in different categories.
To connect your target with the opportunity your brand can occupy in the market, we define your brand in ways that are authentically ownable and relevant to your customers. Meaningful differentiation is the name of the game; ‘Meaningful’ to those you are trying to reach and ‘different’ than the other options out there.
In the end, we are looking to craft a brand identity and story that creates an emotional connection with your target audience.
If your brand needs a new name or to pick from previously vetted names, we head on into our naming process at this point. (We define before we create, as it brings greater focus to the effort).
Moodboards & Concepting
Once we have collectively agreed on the most exciting and on-target brand definition and name, it’s time for design. We start by getting the team together for a collective brainstorm, and then we group possible creative directions – which we call buckets. The designers take off and build on the initial ideas, creating moodboards and preliminary concepts. We meet many times as a team to review and give feedback. We cull down the creative options to those that best deliver on the strategy and brand definition and look forward to sharing with you how your brand might take shape.
Where the magic happens
With feedback from you, the brand owners and stakeholders, we go back into design and refine, refine, refine. Often, we’ll find 6 different ways to make one design concept sing. This is also the phase where panels link together, full layouts come to life, and we work on messaging hierarchy. We work with clients to find the truest, best, most emotionally resonant expression of the design and that has to happen in the details. The refinement phase is all about those details.
Brand & Package guides and instructions for deployment
Last but not least, we move to finalize the designs. We execute the final identity or package design as digital files consistent with common trade practice and finalize colors with printers and other vendors. The final artwork is also partnered with a Brand Guidelines that expresses the key brand strategy elements and design guides in order to facilitate effective internal and partner communications on all aspects of the brand expression, and to inspire a more cohesive and compelling brand. Included are any secondary brand expressions we developed to demonstrate the “look, feel, and voice” of the brand. With all of this you are ready to (re)launch or ready the launch of your new brand presentation!
Let our experience in Design Process lead you.
We are experts in Brand Identity and Logo Design, Naming and Packaging Design.
- Brand Identity & Logo Design – creating value by design
- Naming – developing distinctive, ownable brand and product names
- Packaging – expressing brand meaning through graphic and structural design
- Consumer Research & Immersion– discovering and understanding audiences, why they buy, and how they feel about the design
- Brand Application & Marketing Support – extending brands across a variety of touchpoints
A great brand identity drives and cultivates an emotional connection with customers.
This connection keeps customers coming back to your goods or service in a way that goes beyond mere transaction. We aim to grow or refresh brands in order to cultivate and stimulate that powerful connection. This mission is what keeps our clients happy and coming back to us – over many, many years.
Be different by standing out.
You have seconds to catch someone’s eye, and one of the best ways to do so is to embrace meaningful differentiation, standing apart from the competition. Whether on-shelf or online, a strong brand logo and package design will offer customers a compelling reason to buy yours, not theirs.