Rebranding (part 2) - Concept Development
Hey, you decided to keep following the rebranding blogs, EXCELLENT! If you haven’t already, checkout "Rebranding: When the vision Changes" that includes The Creative Brief to get a better understanding of our goals and the project task. We are going to be looking at the concept development stage of my creative thought process. This is a very important stage when building a brand identity. It's where the main idea comes and will shape the entire brand.
Creativity cannot be forced, but it can be triggered. Typically the best ideas come when in the shower, wake from sleeping, watching a movie or reading a book and not actively thinking about the project. Creativity should be inspired by the world around you. If you get stuck or frustrated, step away from the computer or sketchbook and go out into the world. You will be surprised at how fast a fabulous idea will light a bulb in your head once you are not thinking about it directly.
First step was to develop "the creative brief,” which we accomplished in rebranding (part1.) Next step is the research stage. Before grabbing the mouse at the computer or even picking up a pencil to sketch (which should come before the mouse) DO THE RESEARCH! This consists of getting familiarized with the brand itself, the competition and other main players. Look for traits that other successful brands share, and the failures of struggling brands. This will all help guide towards the direction you want to go in. Learn from them, but stay away from any temptations to copy other designers or brands. I have seen so many designers, copy (knock off) other designer’s logos and ideas.
Look for inspiration while you are educating yourself. The internet is a great place to be inspired, especially on sites like Pinterest and Instagram, as well as searching keywords related to the brands creative brief. Word to the wise, don’t just use the internet. Get out and about in the world! When you step away and go to places such as shopping malls, you will be amazed at the inspiration out there! Back to keywords, for “Mind of Creative Designer” rebrand, I looked back over the Creative Brief and pulled search terms such as, “shedding light, creative box and inspirational graphic design.” Save images, color palettes, layouts and other items that bring you inspiring ideas. As I search through, I continued to see light bulbs and candles. Here are some images with credits, that inspired me during my search: (always be sure to give credit to the owner when you use their images and resources.)
(credits: “Mind Rocket Logo” – Martin James; “NorthMech” – Jeroen van Eerden; “LightHouse Alternative” – Euan McConchie; “Get Out of Your Box” – Rick Grimsley)
Brainstorming (concepts and ideas):
Ok, so this is where you can tell a true graphic designer, when they pull out the handy dandy sketchbook and just start drawing and writing. Keep sketches and ideas basic for the moment until you get everything you have onto the page. You’re looking for the good ideas, but you need to get all those crappy ideas out of the way. I found that all those fabulous ideas I had, didn’t look so hot drawn out on paper. Be sure to list words, quotes that relate to your project, kind of like a mind map. During this stage, I had two Bible verses that I found inspirational and they spoke to me. (Matthew 5:14-15 – “Ye are the light of the world…” and Matthew 5:16 – “let your light shine before men, that they may see your fine works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”) There is just something about writing down things and visible being able to see them that brings great inspiration during this stage.
(credits: my own personal sketchbook pages , containing personal ideas - Heather Dixon (Copyrighted by Mind of Creative Designer)
Refining (computer time):
Once all those great and bad ideas are on paper, its time to move on over to the computer. Select the designs that standout the most to you. This part of the process consist of getting those designs into the computer and figuring out how and if they will work. For example, I liked the idea of using the mind and light bulb, but it never looked quite right as I drew it into the computer. I created a number of variations of my ideas and refined them until the design was where I wanted it to be. Here are a few of the concepts that I will carry forward to the finalizing stage. (re-Branding Part 3: Finalizing)