Since starting the Identity Designed website as a side-project in 2010, it’s been a bit of a labour of love sharing insights into more than 500 projects from design studios at the top of their game. Fast-forward eight years and I’m delighted to have signed a book deal with Rockport to bring the name to print.
The book will take readers behind-the-scenes at 20 to 30 studios from around the world, giving a detailed look at one of the most interesting visual identity projects from each. It will cover workflow aspects from pricing and invoicing to generating ideas and selling the strongest direction.
It’s aimed at design students with an interest in visual identities, professional designers who want to know how their peers handle projects, and business owners wanting to make the most of their time working with designers.
Individual studio contributions
Each studio spotlight will be a 50/50 split of text and imagery. The images will also be split between process and final result, because it’s the sketches, digital roughs, unused ideas, and photos of experimentation that can really tell the story of how the job gets done.
The text will cover the following topics:
- The client approach
How the client was found, first questions asked, steps taken before payment is received.
- Setting terms and conditions
How client (and designer) expectations are managed from the outset.
- Project pricing and timeframe
Factors that affect the overall fee, how to determine the time it will take to do the work.
- Preparing invoices and handling payments
Apps or software used, charging in full versus percentage amounts, dealing with foreign currencies and exchange rates.
- Conducting research
What’s looked for, and where, to give the best chance of exceeding expectations.
- Clarifying the design brief
Topics covered, and what the client receives for reference.
- Merging strategy with design
How a strategic approach to the visual identity is ensured.
- Crafting good ideas
How to know when enough experimentation has been done, methods used to find the most varied ideas.
- Avoiding copyright infringement
Ensuring (as far as possible) that no existing design is infringed upon, the process of trademarking a logo.
- Presenting the work
How clients first learn of a potential design idea, tools and software used for mockups and presentations.
- Reaching consensus
Guiding the feedback, steering clients toward the strongest idea, keeping control of the design execution.
- Developing guidelines
The role the toolkit plays, whether prescriptive or flexible, how these documents are formatted and supplied.
- Measuring success
How to determine the impact of visual identities on client businesses.
The resulting features will be a combination of interview, studio insight, and an in-depth look at the process of creating a visual identity. It’ll be quite a unique compilation, merging memorable design with lasting advice.
If there are any particular studios you’d like to learn more about, please leave a comment or send an email to email@example.com.