branding

nextbchapter

the brief

The brief set was to create a logo for a new personal development blog, NextBChapter. The client planned for the blog articles to cover personal development, dating & relationships, and lifestyle.

The client’s target audience was all genders aged between 25 to 35, however, she believed the content of the blog would appeal to more women than men. The client wanted the brand to be seen as ‘open-minded, thoughtful and friendly’, but still ‘cheeky and fun’.

research

In order to understand the target audience and brand, I researched other personal developments blogs - The Everyday Girl, Advice from a Twenty Something, Lauren Conrad, Simply Fiercely and Life Goals Mag - that were aimed at the same target audience and covered similar topics.

I was specifically looking at the type of logo they used, for example a lettermark, wordmark or a pictorial-mark logo. My research showed, the majority of personal development blogs used a wordmark logo, using a calligraphy font. Very little used pictorial-mark logos and none that I found used a lettermark logo which suggested a wordmark logo would be the most appropriate design for this brief.

While researching other blogs, I was also looking at the colour palettes used. I found most personal developments blogs use between one to three accent colours with a darker colour for example black, navy or charcoal grey. The blogs did not have a wide colour palette and kept their branding consistent across their blog and social media. This suggested the logo would require a dark colour and a brighter accent colour that could be used throughout the website.

The client also provided a Pinterest board of inspiration she liked. I picked out the commonalities within the designs. I found these to be a calligraphy font, a colour palette using light pink, bright yellow or mint green, and wordmark logos. This backed-up my research from the other personal developments blogs which showed the client was looking for a logo that included a calligraphy font, small colour pallette and a wordmark logo.

initial ideas

Once I was confident that I knew what the client was looking for, I started sketching out my initial ideas. These were initial rough sketches throwing all my ideas from the inspiration I had collected from other personal development blogs and the client’s Pinterest board onto a few pages of my sketch book.

developed ideas

After reviewing my sketches and receiving feedback from other designers in the studio, I moved onto creating neater versions of my ideas with adjustments suggested from others.

Once I was happy with my initial sketches, I created digital versions of my designs using Illustrator. No colour was added initially because I wanted to focus on the positioning of text and the font used. These designs were then reviewed by the other designers and I received useful feedback.

Some of my designs required me to use tools in Illustrator I had never used before or was not confident using including the pen tool; however, even though I was challenged, I feel more confident using Illustrator and I hope to improve my skills further in the future.

experimentation

One of the pieces of feedback I recieved from other designers was to experiment with different colour palettes. I experimented with a range of different colours; however I focused on using pink, yellow and blue which were colours the client had initially chosen on their Pinterest board. I took the different colour variations and collected them into a PDF which was then sent to the client for feedback.

feedback

After sending my initial designs to the client, I received her feedback. Her clear leader was the use of yellow and charcoal and attached her favourite logo. She felt the others “looked great” but didn't “feel quite [her]”. They reminded her of Vogue or Next Top Model which she wanted to move away from. This gave me a clear direction that the client wanted the designs to move in.

The client asked if I could develop her chosen logo using more font options, specifically ‘friendly’ and ‘fluid’ fonts. She also stressed the importance that the fonts used must be legible for the user to read. The client also asked to see different variations of spacing and positioning, with the potential to use an image within the logo.

further ideation

The feedback gave me a clear indication as to how to move forward: experiment with different fonts, different positioning of text and using images within the logo. These new designs were then sent to the client for further feedback.

Unfortunately I was not able see the project through further iterations of designs because I finished my placement at Studio Republic before I received further feedback; however, the experience taught me a great deal about Branding. This was the first live client project I had worked on individually therefore it gave me some much needed confidence and experience needed to progress further as a designer.

evaluation

The experience taught me a great deal about the amount of design iterations needed to create a logo for a live client. As mentioned above, this was the first live client project I had worked on individually, therefore I learnt valuable skills of communicating with the client and the importance of gaining feedback from other designers. I was also fortunate to be in a studio with experienced designers therefore I had opportunity to learn from their design and working styles which showed me my love of working in an exciting work environment.

The main challenge was understanding what style the client was looking for. In their brief they used language, including ‘open-minded’, ‘thoughtful and friendly’, and ‘cheeky and fun’, which can be perceived differently by each person. It took the first iteration of designs to understand exactly what they were looking for; however I feel happy my design work laid the groundwork for the new designer to pick up where I left off and produce an excellent logo which the client was extremely happy with.