New Project: Garden of Eve!

Ever wonder how the design process works?

Every single project I touch goes through a similar work process. There's a lot that goes into every project, but I wanted to show you a bit of the evolution of how clients and I come up with great ideas together. Evolution doesn't happen naturally- I love it when a client gets further inspired or excited by proposals I send them. My latest project with Howard Brown Medical was like that, so I thought I'd share with you our evolution.

Sketching out the bad ideas

My first step, once we're done with a rigorous process of talking and planning (that's for another blog post), is to get out all of my first totally garbage first ideas. For me, sketching pencil-in-hand doesn't get the job done, so I make some hideous first drafts on the computer cutting and pasting textures, colors, and type in various "this-will-end-your-career-if-anyone-sees" designs. Then I go freak out for an hour because "how-could-I-make-something-so-gross-no-one-should-ever-hire-me-omg-I'm-going-to-have-to-get-a-boring-9-to-5-job-I'm-so-bad-at-design-NO-ONE-CAN-EVER-SEE-THESE".

So here they are.

The first round of logo proposals

So once that smut is out of my head, I can start developing some real proposals! The client asked for a logo to be used in perpetuity, something sexy but energetic and inviting, classy but inviting. The color palette was defined by their new brand (which is totally bold and fun- cheers to Howard Brown for being brave!) I played around with a few distinctly different directions and sent these four over for consideration.

The last round

The team digged the colorful, blocky option, and we developed it further to make it really perfect. Directions from the client included to focus on the greens, and make the 'Eve' pop more. This time I developed some art direction as well, to give the design more context and give the client more materials to bite into. The last option was perfect!  

And there you have it! As of now we're still finishing up some details on this project, but I'll share it in it's entirety over on my portfolio page soon!

Authenticity, Folks

I've been working on my own, and therefore by my own rules, for about a year and a half now. It always takes some trial and error, but I've had time and experience enough now to discover one of the keystones of who I am as a designer, collaborator, and worker.

Authenticity, folks.

Branding is tricky. There's the physical nature, where you hire an awesome designer to build an awesome logo, or spend weeks developing a new campaign, or pay out your ears for a brand new website. But then there's the reality of the after-burn, when all that time and money come down to the weeks of waiting and watching as clients respond.

Here's the truth I have for you: you can have the most beautiful designed materials on the internet, but if it's lacking authenticity, it's a failure.

If your design work doesn't have solid grains of truth behind them, your fancy new designs will ring false to viewers. If you're not putting a little bit of your company's realness out there, then the campaign will wither with time. And also? Brands don't just grow when they're authentic- they blossom

Authenticity is something you have to search for. I consider it part of my job to put in the hard work of finding out what's unique and special about client's projects, business, or the people themselves, and it's not always easy, and it's not always pretty. That's the part where that great designer you hired comes in- it's their job to not only identify why you're so different, but to figure out how that's a good thing, and how to show others exactly how and why and to what extent it's a good thing.

Hire that great designer, explore yourself a little, and see how beautiful your little-something-special really is!

- Above is a selection from the photo series I did for Stephens College and their new brand. Bold, colorful, brave, and authentic as hell!