CLS Streamlined Brand Guide
Reflecting back on our team's design processes with our clients, we have noticed that there has been an incohesive way of developing brands for our products and services from the beginning to completion. This caused our clients to have inconsistent expectations on our designers, as each designer has his or her own way of curating the design process.
We started ideating different versions of brand guides through researching what worked best in our past projects as well as outside case studies as inspirations. We narrowed down the features that led in the right direction based on the research:
- Getting Started Questions
- Mood Board
- Look & Feel
- Printing Instructions/Guide
From conversations within our Learning & Development Team, we uncovered some discussion takeaways:
- Kathy (Product Manager): "Mood boards and textures are helpful to understand what the environment is."
- Emily (Instructional Designer): "The use of images on the brand guide is confusing as I'm not sure if they are just to create the mood of the brand or they will actually be used within the experience."
- Isaac & George (Production Team): "A brand’s emotional personality helps to clarify the tone. We often ask questions to uncover the culture of the project and keywords to describe the feeling and tone."
- Meghan (Project Manager): "Printing instructions or guidelines can be helpful since we usually do not know how to use the design files correctly for print collaterals."
Through iterations and feedback with partners, we found a need for an internal and external Brand Guide as we clarified that the purpose of the Brand Guide is different between designers and clients.
- The internal brand guide is catered to the designer to have an artboard space for each design elements to document the whole design process in a more organized manner.
- The external brand guide is catered to the client to have a convenient one-page overview of the brand and a production guide for sustainment.
Use and Impact
Through research and prototypes, we refined our goal of this streamlined brand guide to be improving the client's needs and understanding from initial conversation to the whole look and feel of the product or experience with familiarity of the process, while also helping the designer organize thoughts in cohesive stages of a design process.
Design Process Timeline
After reflecting back to our discoveries and iterations, we solidify in what our next steps are to meet the use and impact vision:
- Testig brand guides on incoming projects
- Getting pitch/conversation ready with Executive team
- Document feedback and continue with iterations along the way