The Brand Designer’s Secret Weapon

IdARCH completely bridges the gap between brand strategy and design.

The Brand Designer’s Secret Weapon

Thoughts
Jake Lawall
By 
May 15, 2024

Ding! 🛎️ Here’s the brief to your next design project:

Craft an athletic lifestyle brand targeting young Squash players.

Target Audience: Child Athletes & Parents

Expected Deliverables: Full brand suite [Logoset, Typography, Color Palette, Patterns, Icons] and appropriate physical applications

Timeline: 4 Weeks

Good luck!

Back when I was studying Graphic Design in college, this was a typical kickoff to any design project. I remember loving facing a fresh design brief where the expectations were unwritten and the possibilities of brand designing were literally unknown. We could design anything with the design briefs we were given because the reality of it was, the only real target audience was myself, my portfolio, and my professor.

Now imagine graduating and suddenly working as a professional designer. This brief came across your desk, and you receive no other information than what is stated above. Do you think you would be as thrilled?

I’ll let you in on a little secret: Brand design is not subjective. Believe it or not, there are correct answer(s) to every design question or challenge. If a designer is ever feeling the need to guess what the client or target audience wants, a flag should be raised.

IdARCH is a small studio’s secret sauce when cooking killer brand identities. Every organization who partners up with us kicks things off with an idARCH workshop, a two-day deep dive into the soul of their company. By the end, our partners come out with a clear picture of what makes them shine. And it's not just awesome for them – us designers get a major boost too!

After the idARCH workshop, our Narrative Lead and copy-writing WIZARD, Seyi, takes control by chatting up the clients and key players. All of those juicy insights from the workshop facilitated by our Principal and Identity Architect, John B Johnson, mixed with a series of stakeholder interviews, get refined and translated into an Identity Narrative. This narrative is like the Holy Grail, mapping out everything from the client’s positioning, tone of voice, audience, and collaboration blueprint- basically, a verbal identity narrative with all the unique perspectives (vibes) to guide an authentic visual identity development process.

As the Brand Designer, I get handed this gem of a narrative, and that's where the real fun begins. I get to fully say goodbye to the guessing game. The Identity Narrative gives me a solid foundation and clear direction for every decision for the visual identity. Whether it’s crafting logos, picking colors, choosing fonts, or weaving in patterns and textures, the Identity Narrative acts as my new design brief, ensuring every choice is on point with the brand's vibe.

Back in college, the lack of real stakeholders who actually care about their brands left me feeling like I was shooting in the dark. But designing with idARCH in my artillery, I've got a light that guides my creativity. The crystal-clear guidance of the Identity Narrative wipes out uncertainty and lets me focus on what I love most – whipping up designs that are distinctive and resonate with the brand's essence.

For the clients, the perks are just as epic. They score a cohesive brand identity that screams who they are and everything they stand for. The idARCH process ensures every deliverable is rooted in their story, making the final brand not only easy on the eyes but also deeply meaningful.

IdARCH completely bridges the gap between brand strategy and design. For young designers like me, it’s like hitting the jackpot – a structured yet flexible framework that ditches the guesswork and fuels creativity. Next time you dive into a brand design project, think about how much better it could be with a clear, concise source of truth like the Identity Narrative. Trust me, it’s a game-changer.

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Let’s talk strategy.

Schedule a call with our Identity Architect and see if it makes sense to work together.