Branding Process Step 3: Discovery

Hey friends! I’m popping in today continuing on with my Branding Process post series and hooray—we’ve made it halfway through. Today we’re talking about the Discovery Phase, and since I’m a huge advocate for quality research and strategy behind graphic design, I get so excited to begin this stage with every project. And now, I’m here to share how this piece of my branding process works and why it’s so important.

So what is the Discovery Phase and why is it important?

After we talk through alllll the details of your brand, target audience, and other creative considerations during our kick-off call, I start working through the Discovery Phase. The result of the Discovery Phase is a 3-page creative brief that I send to you for approval before starting on any logo designs. It is primarily research-based, where I take your answers from the questionnaire and other details from our initial meeting and I summarize, research, and further analyze how it all fits together to represent your brand as a whole. The creative brief allows me to understand the objective behind your brand and get inside the mindset of your target audience. This outline serves as the foundation for the design moving forward, which is why I believe it to be the most important step in my process.

What topics are covered in the creative brief?

The creative brief is important because it lays the foundation for your brand design or project. Once the creative brief is finished, I send it over to you for approval. The first thing you will be prompted to do is look over a visual moodboard that I’ve carefully put together and consider the following:

  • Are there any elements in the moodboard that don’t resonate with your brand? Please explain how these elements don’t meet your target market’s needs.
  • Which images best depict your brand, and why?
  • Avoid feedback on specific colors at this stage, as this is just a preliminary research phase to better understand your brand.

This moodboard exercise is helpful in determining the visual look of your brand. Knowing from the beginning what specific images, type styles, patterns, or design aesthetics that do and do not represent the vision you have for your brand, a lot of hassle is saved down the road.

After the moodboard, you’ll review a page where I’ve done my homework and research on the following topics: background, objective, target audience, competition, distinguishing characteristics, creative considerations, and tone. The moodboard and these topics have to be approved by you before I move forward with logo designs.

Here’s a quick snap shot of what these pages look like:

Why target audience and competition research is valuable?

You are hiring a designer to help your business gain clients and sales through more professional and consistent visuals. Whether that be a new brand identity or consistent print and digital marketing materials, you want a brand that’s polished and represents your business well. You also want a brand that sets you apart from your competition and keeps your customers coming back for more, right? This is why I always design with your target customer in mind. Every design decision (from color and font choice to pattern and design aesthetic) comes from this strategic place of keeping your customer at the center. This is why I value the research done during the Discovery Phase, and why I start there with every project.

And that’s it for the Discovery Phase and creative brief. Please email me through the link below if you have any questions with this step in my branding process. I look forward to hearing from you!



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