Ideally, you would want a perfect image of what you want in mind, an exact description of it and impeccable communication skills to get that idea across ensuring those building your brand have a complete copy of what you had in mind initially. You would have effectively reduced the number of iterations required to 1 and earned yourself the most affordable brand you could possibly get your hands on.
Of course, that is far from reality and although a difficult task for most, there are numerous methods we can use to work around the limitations that prevent this from happening: in order to make it that much easier.
1. Knowing What You Want
It goes without saying that knowing what you want is the simplest way to minimise iterations. Good graphic designers or developers will be sure to provide a number of variations for you to choose from, however, without a clear sense of direction, they would be practically swinging in the dark. The more certainty you are able to cultivate beforehand, the more accurate the iterations become.
Here are some questions you would want answered before the commencement of your brand's development:
For example: Light-hearted and open versus serious and reliable, etc.
For example: Corporate: high-end versus casual: low-end, etc.
For example: Dominos pizza & Pizza Hut - they are family oriented and standard, I want to emphasize our wine-pizza pairing combos.
For example: the preferences of 13 year old prepubescent teens would differ from retired war veterans even though both might be interested in assembly combat-plane models.
For example: Red insinuates excitement & energy whereas blue suggests trust and serenity. Minimalist styles boast confidence whereas abstract styles demonstrate sophistication.
The more certainty you are able to cultivate beforehand, the more accurate the iterations become.
2. Mockups, Drawings and Sketches
Through our brand-development endeavors, we realised how difficult it was for most individuals to express their thoughts of what their brand could look like, sound like, represent, imply etc. It's almost like trying to explain Beethoven's 7th symphony to someone who's deaf. How does one telepathically communicate a subconscious concept?
Perhaps the wrong question to ask, but don't be disheartened, there are workarounds and shortcuts we can make use of! And as the section's header suggests, nothing gets an idea across better than a quick sketch. Whether it's a quick scribble on the back of a serviette or a rough illustration using MS-Paint, the guidance these depictions provide is substantial enough to cut the number of iterations in half.
The three sketches above vary in quality but all three are equally as valuable. So whether you're Jimmy Shoe the plumber or Pablo Picasso, you should be able to convey enough for the brand developers to work with.
These sketches become increasingly valuable with every iteration as attention to detail becomes progressively important. What you'll notice during our consultations is how quick we are to pull out a sketchpad and start doodling our portrayal of what we understood; it works both ways!
3. References, References and More References!
Seen something you like and want something similar? Making use of references is another fantastic way to provide guidance, whether it's in the form of a URL, mobile phone picture you've taken, or that one thing you saw that one time in that one place. As you might not be familiar with the name of style, typography, color etc that you have in mind, referencing would help avoid the "Is this what you you're looking for" - No - "How about this?" - No - vicious circle. Using references will also help with the identification of particular brand traits and characteristics that you fancied which will in-turn, assist in the development of your frankenstein's monster brand with a twist!
4. Detailed Feedback
The more descriptive you are with your feedback, the less guesswork your brand's developers need to do. Being honest and complete with critisim will direct them in the right direction, keep them on the right track and perhaps indicate a need for a complete pivot in their understanding of what you are actually after. Remember, time is money, iterating inefficiently would only cost you more down the line, so invest as much time as possible into feedback to avoid an endless trial and error approach!
Here's a simple template you can use:
For example: I like how the logo stands out, if I put it next to other logos, my eyes gravitate towards it first and I think that's because of its sharp edges.
For example: Although I like the artwork style and background illustration you used, the colors could be a little more vibrant and "pop" some more if you know what I mean!
For example: I don't like the font style used, it's too blocky and feels "chunky", I want it to be lightweight and airy!
Speaking your mind is crucial. It does not necessarily have to be font, color, style etc related feedback. It could simply be how the logo made you feel at first glance. What it made you think of, what your little Timmy thought of it, who it reminded you of. This information is what your brand developers base their re-iterations on as they are able to get a better glimpse into your expectations, mindset, and perspective.
Clients often forget that they are an integral part of a brand's development. It's a two way conversation from beginning to end. At Set My Brand Up we our deeply involved every step of the way as it is the most affordable approach in ensuring they always get what they want. Make use of these four methods and you will be sure to save yourself a fortune.