Skip to main content

Research

Lesson 7 from: Creating Brand Identity Systems

Brian Schmitt

buy this class

$00

$00
Sale Ends Soon!

starting under

$13/month*

Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

7. Research

Lesson Info

Research

to prepare properly for your branding project. You'll need to contextually understand the business world of the company and the visual world you'll want to create in researching first make sure you understand the core business that your brand will be in, what the industry and competitors currently look like and who their target consumer is. Begin visually researching the space. Look for imagery that you feel is best in class in this industry. See how branding and design are used in the marketplace to understand how branding can make the best impact, utilize design blogs on branding like visual dot C O dot U K and others to find branding and design work that you like, collect photography, graphic design, architecture, typography, patterns, apparel product in any other imagery. That gives you a feeling of where you'd like the project to go, ideas can and do come from anywhere. So it's important to deeply research your branding subject from all angles, historical and factual elements can ...

be insightful ways to connect the visuals to the story. As I mentioned earlier, every single part of brand identity system and creating it is going to be research based. But there is a giant chunk of research that you're going to need to do in the beginning of your project. And that's what I want to talk about now. Besides just setting a mode of researching that you can repeat as a process for yourself. So the most important thing that you want to do up front is research the production. How is the thing that you're going to make, going to be made and knowing that from the beginning can help with a lot of things, help with a lot of headaches and also helped to inspire you. So you know, researching the production, this is what are the engineering considerations, what's the budget, you know, you need to know how much budget you have for both yourself and for the project and the timing is always going to be key and you're gonna want to think how you use all these three things together, the production process, the budget and the timing to work for you rather than against you. The easiest way to do that, as I mentioned before is having a front loaded process. So if you have sold your vision up front then you can spend uh the rest of your time making it correctly rather than rushing at the end to make something ideally. Uh in your research you're going to understand very quickly how to make something and how that affects everything else when you are doing research, it's it's very important for a way to create perspective and get into that mode that we talked about that was like dreaming before. You know, it's also going to be a way that you can see the connections in your work. So research and color over here, Research, in factual information over here, research and image style are all going to um inform each other and by having a positive additive mindset of yes, this can work with this, these things work. Then you can think in a pure and imaginative way and you can see the solutions that are in front of you. So this is what research is about, is getting things to work with so that you have good ideas. You need upfront information. You need kind of factual knowledge. What is this thing that you're going to make? What are all the facts around it? Um you need historical insights, you need cultural insights and you need to do market research and then you need to have a lot of visual imagery because you're creating a visual brand identity program for your brand. You need to do a ton of visual research about all of the things that you're going to make and anything that might be related to that. Many designers including myself create rooms called war rooms. Think of this like a detective that's trying to solve a murder mystery. You want to have all of your research in one home, you want to be able to put it all together and see these connections that I was talking about earlier. See the things that you might not have noticed that it could help inform each other. So you know, maybe you have research on one side of the room, that's about factual information, you have your brief posted on the wall, you have all of your other learnings and insights around imagery, color all these things and you're able to see it together interestingly enough, it's super important to leave that to leave design to leave the space and and to then let yourself think, not just how it is, you know, to talk about going beyond problem solving, but think how can it be better? So the best way to do this is to have literal perspective away from your computer, as I mentioned earlier, but also get into active zone of of research and learning and seeing the market. So have a marketplace research and trip where you can go and physically see products in person, pick them up by them, take them home, feel them see how they all work together. Do online research, speak with consumers, find out who's buying the product you're making and why, what they think could be better and have an ongoing conversation with your client about what this marketplace is like. You know, even if you can't go out in the marketplace, find a way through different avenues speaking to people, emailing and calling, how can you learn what it's like in the market, you know, how can you do research beyond the desk in creating the okie branding and bottle design. I looked at all kinds of drink bottles to research what I liked in regards to materials, shape printing colors and storytelling on bottle. I also research branding programs that took into account the bottle cap label rap as well as marketing programs and tried to learn from them all. Working on the okay project, going to stores and looking at beverages. I was amazed by the range of label options um and how they use color typography and the shape of the bottle together to create a brand story. And then I was able to take some of my favorites and you know keep them and think about you know what about the symbols and the typography and the use of color that I like and how was it working together? So in my research I found that I like simple logos and minimalist designs on the front label. I was drawn to cleanly printed bottles Once they had nice typography and die cut lettering and the transparent nature let the liquid and bottle feel unified with the label by having you know, something printed on clear glass or plastic and then having a see through label felt like it was all one thing. You know, the liquid could bring it together. Looking at some different designs that I found that like the form of it was interesting to know that we're not only competing against water bottles but also reusable bottles as the design and form of those are becoming nicer and even more branded, looking for color inspiration, iconic forms for brands as well as something that felt like a repeatable system that for the brand, you know use shape and color along with logo. Um to then create a product line because I was also thinking about launching a product line, not just one product, but a range of flavors and actually different products. Looking at examples of how different branding was used on the cap all around the labels to create sort of a 360 degree story and color, you know, extending beyond the bottle, even too graphic communication, how bottle design could inspire everything else, you know, as a result. So for OKi research, I like the bottle shape with smooth rounding on the neck, fairly upright, feeling a bottle that felt easy to carry and fit into cup holders and bags and something that was portable, felt good in your hand. This minute for me, it was a compact, rounded shape for the pint was sort of the best solution when I'm thinking about all this research of one thing that's coming to mind and that's room for improvement. I think of how your brand will live in this space and how can it be better than what exists, going back to production? What are the production processes and what can you improve in production? How does it feel? And how can it feel better in your hand or on screen? And then the display, how's the product displayed? How does it work with all the other brands and products that are there thinking about that as a community and how it is in the universe sense, how you and others around you feel when you interact with these products and what's unique about it, What sets one apart from another and all these different spaces, where is there room for improvement? Most likely there's room in all of them. You know in my research I'm trying to understand competitors. I want to gather best practices and then from there I want to have unique insights from my brand, come in and inform my decisions and then once I have all my research, I want to make a good way that I can share it with partners and make sure that it finds its way back into the design. There were ideas that I had in mind that ended up becoming stronger for research. The key ingredient in the oak evilness string are most effective when taken every day. I thought that would be nice to allude to this in the design in some way. So I started sketching with seven in mind. A seven sided polygon seemed interesting to me and felt like a good containing shape for a logo type. When I rotated it slightly, the asymmetry of the shape made it feel like it was in motion. When we decided on the name Okey for the drink. I was researching the Oki Islands off the coast of Japan which inspired the name. I noticed that the main island was in a similar shape to my polygon and I knew I was onto something