Step 2: Define
There are always 4 things that every branding designer needs to define first:
Your Assignment (What You’re Designing)
- What will the final product be? A single logo? Extensive branding and a style guide? And if you’re doing this for work: how much would this project cost?
Your Client (Who’s Assigning You)
- Who needs this logo? This could be a single client, a small business, a large corporation, or even yourself. And figure out who are they, really. What’s their background/history/story?
Your Audience (Who The Design Is For)
- Separate from your client, this design is going to reach with a target audience. Who is your audience? What are their demographics/reach? And, most importantly, what should this design do for them?
Your Constraints (What Can You Use)
- Every project has limitations. How much time do you have? What resources do you have? What are your skill limitations (or what is the capacity that you as a designer have for a specific skill)?
The step of defining is fundamentally narrowing down all your whos, whats, whys, whens, wheres, and hows.
For designing for the Sound Design Club, I had this list to define the project at hand:
- Assignment: A single logo and a style guide outlining font, colors, themes, etc. which can be used in various image aspect ratios, to be used for the club’s social media, posters, flyers, and any branding really.
- Client: UTD Sound Design Club; they represent the students of UT Dallas who major in or are interested in sound design for video games, television, or film as a career path or even just as a hobby. They host events, share tips, and foster a community for a relatively small sector of UT Dallas Arts & Technology students.
- Audience: UT Dallas; to narrow it down, UTD Arts & Technology students (soon to be Arts, Technology, Communication& Media), but the club aims to bring in ANY and ALL students who are interested in sound design. Not only will the average 18-25 year old college student be most likely to join or see the branding, but UT Dallas faculty, staff, and even actual industry sound designers may encounter the Sound Design Club.
- Limitations: Time, resources, and skill: fun fact, we are young college students – which means we’re not exactly professionals. While I am not an amateur, I am also not getting paid and am therefore not designing on a professional standard level. Also, the logo has to be finished before the summer to allow plenty of time for printing and marketing and all that jazz.
Since we have all of our facts defined, we can now start ideating, which is step 3: