“I need a logo” is a phrase every designer hears on a regular basis.
Most clients typically expect a response like, “what is your name?” or “what is your favorite color?” or “what is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?” before being thrown off the edge of a steep cliff into the ravine that runs beneath the Bridge of Death.
However, the responsible designer will usually ask something seemingly flippant: “Why?”
“Why?” is an important question to ask, and is typically the hardest one you as a client will have to answer. Without asking “why?” at the beginning of the brand creation process, how will you expect to create an identity for yourself before knowing who you truly are? How you will come to understand yourself and discover the emotional kernel of truth of why your company/organization exists? More so, how do you expect to connect with your audience on an emotional level?
Yes, it can be a frustrating, time-consuming process. However, without this step, you can potentially be wasting yourself even more time and money once you realize you totally missed the mark on who you are. Not only will all that brand equity go to waste, but so will all that sweet swag and marketing materials you were so eager to push out the door. I’m sure there are landfills dedicated to the mistakes of rushing the branding process.
The branding process should be thought of as a time of self-reflection and discovery, with the actual identity creation being reserved for the end after all the questions are answered. Not only will this make you more confident in your identity, but it will also act as the differentiator between you and the potentially countless other companies within your industry. Brand creation takes introspection.