A Glimpse into Our Process: Sketching for Identities

With a BFA in Graphic Design from UGA, I was taught to start my ideas on paper before I ever began working on the computer. Why? Because if you don’t have a good idea to start with, there’s no sense in making a bad idea look pretty.

In my decade and a half of experience, I’ve learned that to create my best work, I must take a bird’s-eye view first.

Here is a glimpse into the first stage of our identity process:

  1. Ask the questions. Access the client’s values, core principles, chief purpose, target audience, key competition and know how the mark will be used.
  2. Do the research. How does the competition present themselves? What’s working? What not? What are the brand trends in the market? 
  3. Sketch the ideas and follow my curiosity. I combine themes, concepts, lockups, typography choices, and make them my own. Sketching allows me to disconnect myself from the original concept to put my twist and my client’s twist on it. My sketch is one of the most important parts of the entire process. This is where I breathe my style (or as one of my professors called it, my “voice”) into the work. Be authentic.
  4. Choose the best ideas. I come up with a lot of ideas, but not all of them should see the light of day. Some of them must get out of the way; they are the obvious solutions that have been done time and time again. We throw them out until we get the best few.  

Then we are crazy enough to present these sketches to our clients.

These are things we work out in the sketch phase. Once we have buy in on the IDEA, we’re ready to digitize, which leads to variation as well. Each designer breathes his or her own life into the work, taking the form of his or her style while still honoring the original concept, values, and audience.

Flying Monkey

Born in the jungles of the Congo, Flying Monkey was a primate of noble birth. Beginning his life fighting against the predators of the Zaire, he spent his nights flying above to protect the citizens of his homeland. Flying Monkey came to eyespeak after a tragic thumb-war loss against the Gorilla of Chad. He was exiled from Africa for six life sentences. As mascot, Flying Monkey spends his days climbing the rock wall and swinging from our loft. Flying Monkey enjoys long walks down Peachtree St., workouts at CrossFit and Willy's burritos.