In the design industry, it’s common practice to deliver multiple concepts to clients and then widdle down the final idea based on their feedback. In the early days of Hello Magic, we would start by presenting three to twelve logos, ask the client which they liked best, do a round of edits based on their feedback, and REPEAT!
This method has some inherent flaws, that in our opinion, lead to less authentic and compelling outcomes. When designing, we’d find ourselves asking over and over, “Will our client like this? Will they like that?”
Presenting multiple concepts forces designers to anticipate client feedback and make decisions based on what they might say. Likewise, clients were asking themselves, “Hmmm, which one do I like?”. This is the wrong question.
It may sound great if you’re looking for a design with the sole purpose of appealing to your own visual preferences. But that’s not what we’re aiming for at all.
Over time, we knew we needed a more thoughtful approach.
Of course we still take your preference into account—it’s impossible not to—but it shouldn’t be the only guiding factor in the decision-making processing. Above all, a brand identity should appeal to and draw in your audience, not yourself.
To change the questions we and our clients ask in the design process, we began using the One Concept Method and, let’s just say, it’s kind of been life-changing.
Instead of sending you multiple visual concepts to choose from, the One Concept Method involves presenting a singular, cohesive brand identity. This allows us to layout every element of your brand (not just a disconnected logo or a pattern) and how they will all work together.
This limits the number of decisions you have to make and thoughtfully guides you through the design process. By using the One Concept Method, we’re able to avoid subjective opinions that can get in the way of what is truly the best choice for your brand.
That doesn’t mean we don’t take your opinion into account. Our process is inherently collaborative. But, by guiding you in the right direction with one solid, fleshed-out concept, we’re able to fully commit to making the magic you hire us for without jeopardizing strategy. After all, you hire us to provide a solution, not to merely give you choices to figure out for yourself.
Here’s why we use and love the One Concept Method.
When a designer brings multiple concepts to a client, there’s a high potential for ideas to get diluted. Since the designer is forced to spread their time and creativity across multiple concepts, they don’t all get the attention they deserve. The designer is bound to give more attention to the one they feel is the strongest for the brand.
As a result, the designer ends up presenting concepts they know aren’t as strong from a strategic perspective, thus giving the client an opportunity to choose them. And what’s the point in offering anything other than the best?
It’s not the client’s fault if they don’t choose the “strongest” design! Everyone has subjective opinions and it’s the designer’s job to provide the non-subjective work—design rooted in strategy.
By focussing on one concept from the get-go, there’s no potential for you to choose a concept we believe is weaker. You get one concept that makes the most of our heart, soul, taste, experience, and professional opinion.
Before we even touch visual design, we dive deep into strategy. We put on our research hat and get at the nitty-gritty details of your target consumer. We use a questionnaire to clearly determine what your brand is all about and scour the market to identify trends in your industry.
During this stage, we also ask you to submit visual samples to get a sense of what you’re visually drawn to. This helps us connect similarities between your target market and your own preference. But, if those preferences don’t align, we give you the low-down on why we recommend going in a different direction.
When we present the brand strategy, we explain the typography, tone, and colours we’ll use. We layout the emotions they evoke and the trends your target market is drawn to. We also design a moodboard to visually represent the brand strategy as a touchpoint before moving forward.
Once the strategy is rockin’ and rollin’, it’s time for us to get going on that gorgeous singular brand concept. When we’ve developed it, we present it to you in all its glory with two primary goals in mind:
Because we start by immersing ourselves in the brand strategy, once we start designing, we feel like we’re in your target market’s head. You’re also already in the loop of what to expect so, by the time we get to the refinements, it’s smooth sailing.
The refinement process is collaborative and focussed on ironing out the finer details. To work out those refinements, we ask for your feedback from the perspective of your target market (by referencing that nifty brand strategy we gave you).
Last-minute rushes to go a whole new direction? No, sir! We often find that our clients don’t even need to ask for changes or find one round of revision is enough.
At Hello Magic Studio, we offer a variety of brand and website packages. They all use the One Concept Method and a collaborative approach to ensure every last detail is thoughtfully crafted to attract your dream people like a magnet.
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