Creating a brand for a design studio

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The Sail Creative brand

Branding is imperative for any business. We wanted share an insight into our own brand for Sail Creative. When we decided to take the leap and start our own design studio, we instantly started immersing ourselves and asking questions about what we wanted to achieve. With each project we start with why, how, what and who for. This is a lengthy but vital process to really narrow down your core values, vision, and personality, as these are what make you unique. We do this to fully understand our clients and the project goals. Every client is unique, and every project and solution we create is bespoke. This process helps us to creative meaningful branding solutions for each project.

After much investigation and time, our final values, vision and personality (philosophy) for Sail looked something like this:

Our values
Close client relationships
Meaningful design solutions
Personal
Passion for arts and culture sectors
To inspire social change
To experiment and explore

Our vision
To create meaningful and creative design solutions for our clients, and inspire positive change in people, organisations and communities.

Our personality/tone
Professional
Creative
Approachable
Compelling
Passionate

Naming
Our naming process was a lengthy one, it took around two months. Our name had to be positive, memorable, unique and have personality.

Sketches, ideas, branding, brand, design
Mind maps about why you do what you do, instigate names and values.

We had a shortlist, we narrowed it down, tweaked, added, subtracted. Some of the other names we were considering were:

Sideways, Become, BelieveIn, Us, Napkin

These were all inspired by our values, but we didn’t feel we were quite there. We wanted our name to have meaning, and be bold but not too wacky. After much discussion, we went back to our philosophy. And setting up on the North East coast, we started thinking about the sea. The sea offers perspective, and reminds us of potential possibilities and opportunities. We also wanted working with us to appear friendly and approachable. When we thought of Sail, it seemed obvious. Sail Creative was born.

From this point we started the sketching process. Sketching is the best way to get ideas and its quick. It can also inspire further ideas, without the constraints of a mouse.

Sketches, ideas, branding, brand, design, logo
Sketching is a quick and easy way to get ideas out and develop them, before screen work.

We produced many variations, until we decided on using a sail as the dot of the i. KISS! (Keep it simple stupid).

Sketches, ideas, branding, brand, design, logoHere is a quote we love based on simplicity: ‘It’s easier to complicate than to simplify. Simple ideas enter the brain quicker and stay there longer. Brutal simplicity of thought is therefore a painful necessity.’ M&C Saatchi. Simple solutions are more memorable and without following trends, have much more longevity.

We decided on one striking colour (Pantone 072U) to run through the brand, keeping the colour vibrant, memorable and recognisable.

We got some beautiful letterpress business cards printed from the talented Samay and Nick of Kikisoso, find them here. Highly recommended: brilliant service and quality.

Sketches, ideas, branding, brand, design, logo, business cards

This is just the beginning – brand building is a process, and our venture will be a journey. But what we have created is a brand toolkit and philosophy – something we can be proud to build upon.

To grow your business or organisation, building your brand is imperative, and it is an investment. The design council say that for every £100 spent on design, turnover increases by £225. Read more here. It is also an investment of your time. When you speak to a customer, write a blog post, write an email – it’s all about consistent tone of voice and emotional connection with your audience. We work with you to define what that is, asking the right questions to produce you a bespoke brand that has maximum impact. We pride ourselves on being inquisitive, supportive and flexible for our clients, but never precious. We work closely with you, and we’re also in it for the long term, aiming to build long lasting client relationships based on trust, investing our time to understand every project and client.

We look forward to creating more bespoke brands for our clients. Interested in collaborating? We’d love to hear from you.

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