Investing in a logo
In the studio, we talk a lot about the branding process, not only with our clients but through the workshops and events we participate in to share our knowledge and passion. You’ve heard us say before that branding is more than just a logo, and so it should come as no surprise to learn that the branding process can be a lengthy one.
From understanding a client’s wishes and scoping out a brief, to the design and refine stage to successful implementation, it is not unusual for a rebrand to take several months.
We are honest about the challenges that we and our clients may encounter during this creative period. It may be that a business struggles to articulate their vision, or that the discovery phase means that a company starts to look at their business in a whole new light.
“What you developed and created has had such a huge impact on the business, how we run, operate and our plans for the future.” Abi, Parakeat
To us, these challenges signify that we are getting it right; that we are asking the right questions to engage, inspire and create a new version of how a brand wants to represent itself on the national or international stage.
Transparency behind the branding process
Whenever we work with a brand, we operate in a truly transparent way. We are not afraid to be critical of our work and to hold ourselves accountable to the high standards that our clients would expect, even when that means starting again from scratch.
In an effort to highlight how we strive to create the best possible brand outcomes for our clients, we’re sharing a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the design process, where we aim to create a brand that is nothing short of visionary.
Introducing Mode Politik
Mode Politik is a fashion brand with a unique purpose. Conceptualised by Patrick, a 26-year old Multiple Sclerosis sufferer, Mode Politik wants to provide high-quality fashion clothing on par with brands such as Fred Perry and Tommy Hilfiger, for those with a disability that may affect their ability to dress.
Finding himself struggling with the buttons on his shirt, Patrick decided to turn his frustration into an opportunity and create a range of clothing that would suit his needs whilst also being something that he would be proud to wear.
Being in the product development phase, it was necessary for Mode Politik to design a strong brand identity for the next stage of their journey. They commissioned Sail Creative to work alongside them to help create a unique, impactful brand that would encompass the integrity of the clothing.
Fulfilling the brief
The discovery and design phase took about two months where the Sail team met with Mode Politik in workshops to map out the vision of the brand and to brainstorm ideas.
The initial concept that Sail Creative presented to the Mode Politik team was received so well that they signed off on the brand identity:
A happy client and a job done, many agencies would have moved on to the next job at this stage. However, Sail Creative’s founder, Mandy, couldn’t help but feel there was something missing in the design:
“I didn’t feel like the brand that we had created had enough substance,” said Mandy. “I looked around at the current landscape of fashion and felt that the Mode Politik brand was too similar to those around it, the visual brand looked good, but didn’t ‘channel independence’, So, we ripped up our ideas and started again. It can often take months of ideas digesting to let conceptual ideas with substance come to the surface, if you have the luxury of time to let this happen.”
Refining the branding process
Back at the drawing board, Mandy, and Ben asked themselves: “How do we channel a feeling of independence through the brand? The brand needed to represent the following ideas: ease, balance, freedom, independence, choice and quality.
We went back to the brief and back to the problem, where the answer often lies. We studied the ‘classic’ shirt, and came up with our solution: ‘Wear Independence’. This second iteration answers our mantra of simplicity, using an invisible vertical line throughout the brand, to mirror the doing up of a shirt.
This device enables Mode Politik to channel independence through the brand, whether it is on a billboard, or on a pin badge. It is also an idea and strong visual that will ensure they stand out amongst other brands in their industry. The vertical line is a much stronger visual, with a longevity that the previous version just didn’t have.
Presenting our new idea to Mode Politik, we were emphatic that this time the concept supported Mode Politik’s core values of independence and dare-to-be-different approach.
Although Patrick had initially confessed to being doubtful of being presented with a second option after he signed off the first, he was delighted with the result and agreed that it encapsulated the spirit of what he wants to achieve with Mode Politik far better than the first version.
Creating brands with passion and purpose
What we learned from this process was that we have the courage to be critical of the work we do on our client’s behalf. We are not afraid to create brands with substance, and in doing so, we have to spend time letting ideas digest. There was nothing wrong with the initial design we created for Mode Politik, but we challenged ourselves to revisit the project and create something with more of an impact.
At Sail Creative we are not afraid to rip up ideas and start again. We believe that this experience shows how new ideas, tangents and flashes of inspiration are all part of the branding process.
We believe that our clients deserve the absolute best, and even if that means they find the branding process a challenge, we are confident that they will be delighted with the results of putting themselves outside of their comfort zone.
We are not afraid to be different, to do different and to create brands that are different.
The benefits of working with an independent design studio
This flexibility is one of the advantages for a client working with an independent design studio, rather than a large agency. We discussed seven reasons why a client may want to instruct a smaller, boutique agency (link) over a bigger one, but our biggest takeaway has to be that a small company has the creative freedom to challenge themselves and their client to push for innovative, memorable designs.
A small design studio can dedicate passion and commitment to each and every client, unlike a large agency that simultaneously processes many projects for multiple brands.
Honesty and integrity in the branding process
The purpose of this blog post was so that you can see what goes into the branding process. Sometimes this is straightforward from start to finish, but there are other times when a challenge presents itself to create something that stretches our imagination to the limits.
We have been delighted to work with Mode Politik and fully support their concept and vision. We cannot wait to continue to help them during the implementation phase of their new brand.
For more information about Mode Politik, sign up to our monthly newsletter as we follow their journey.
If you would like to discuss any issues we’ve touched on in this article, please get in touch, or share with someone you know who is looking for help with branding.