In an interview with LinkedIn, George S. Pascal shared expert insights on finding the right designer for brand identity. Drawing on his extensive experience, the agency founder discusses identifying a designer who understands and creatively realizes a brand’s core vision.
Start with a thorough understanding of your brand’s core goals, including mission, vision, audience, the key messages, and emotions you wish to convey, and your market positioning strategy. However, it’s important to distinguish between having a ‘vision’ for your brand and being overly prescriptive visually. Your ‘vision’ should guide the designer, not limit their creative freedom. The goal is to select a designer who can truly comprehend and internalize your brand’s essence, becoming an integral part of your brand’s journey, while still having the latitude to innovate and express creatively. This approach ensures that the brand identity developed is not only aligned with your goals but also infused with fresh, creative perspectives.
As the head of an agency, I absolutely see the value in hiring an agency for brand identity. An agency offers a diverse team with a range of talents and perspectives, which is hard to match in a single designer. This collaborative approach often leads to more comprehensive and innovative solutions. While individual designers bring unique styles and focused expertise, an agency’s collective creativity can be more adaptable to your diverse needs. Additionally, agencies typically offer structured processes, from conceptualization to execution, ensuring consistency and efficiency. While the initial cost might be higher, the long-term value and comprehensive service offered by agencies often prove to be more cost-effective and aligned with your project’s scale and complexity.
The old adage of listening more than talking is especially pertinent in this phase. Begin with a thorough briefing to convey your brand’s requirements. After this, shift the focus to the designer. Ask them to detail their perspective on your brand and explain their process for bringing it to life. This conversation should reveal their approach to brand identity design, their understanding of your needs, and their ability to communicate and collaborate effectively. It’s important to gauge not just their technical skills, but also their creative process and problem-solving abilities, ensuring they align with your project’s vision and goals.
When selecting the best designer for your brand identity, consider their portfolio and references to gauge their qualifications. However, the key to a successful project lies in effective communication and mutual understanding. A designer who prioritizes their own vision over yours, or one who fails to thoroughly understand your project, won’t be able to realize your vision for your brand. It’s crucial to find a designer who is in sync with your ideas and goals. Once this alignment is established, trust in their expertise to bring your brand identity to life.
It’s crucial to approach your brand identity project with an open mind. Resist the urge to dismiss a design simply because it doesn’t align with your initial visualization. The most important question to ask is whether the design effectively captures the essence of your brand. Sometimes, the most unexpected and innovative concepts can be the most impactful. For instance, it’s said that Nike founder Phil Knight initially dismissed the now-iconic ‘Swoosh’ logo for his brand, but wisely chose to keep an open mind. That decision underscores the importance of being receptive to new ideas. ‘Just do it’ serves as a reminder that sometimes, the key to a successful brand identity is being open to the unexpected.