design journal

Our Branding Process Part 2: Visual Identity

We’ve laid the foundation for your brand with a solid strategy as outlined in part 1 of this blog series. We have aligned our vision with yours and are ready to take a deep dive into every creative possibility.

*Sips espresso*

For many clients, this is when the world goes dark… You don’t know what this process entails and it can seem like some sort of alchemy to get from idea to identity. This phase is more abstract than the previous one, but it is still a structured process that can be followed from client to client. Plus, we have a lot of fun bringing this to life so it’s a joy to share with you.

Dive into Research

Research is all about breadth before depth. Initially we cast a wide net, skimming the surface for brands which have a similar tone to what we’re aiming for. Making ourselves mindful of trends, we look for opportunities for more timeless solutions. The trick here is not to rule out any possibility too soon. Starting each project with a beginner’s mindset — we allow curiosity to lead us through the unknown. Asking ourselves again and again, “Yes… and?”

Once we paint a picture of what’s all out there, we begin to dive deeper into the ideas that kept us coming back. We mix up our inspiration streams so that everything boils down into a unique creative direction. Instead of compiling a big ol’ mood board, we choose 4 key images that can guide our explorations. It helps to keep us disciplined but also allows for creative discoveries to take place.

Inspo Board + Creative Direction

A Lil Sketchy

Some projects call for more sketching than others, but this step is non-negotiable. It gets all of our initial ideas out and makes way for next-level inspirations to come through. This step is crucial in building strong concepts as it expedites the time it takes to process ideas and see what sticks.

Initial Sketches + Ideas

Logotype / Mark

Once we have sketched out all of our rough ideas, we scan stuff in and then move into our artboards. We begin exploring mark making and logotypes. Keeping our creative direction close during this phase keeps us aligned with the ultimate vision for the identity.

Identity Development + Explorations


We keep marks in black and white for as long as possible before dreaming up a color palette and testing it out. Color has a way of making things look cooler than they are, so in order to be sure that the identity isn’t ultimately relying on it, this step is saved until we are ready to start finalizing assets and building out the presentation.


All of our brand packages come with a font pairing. Doing so ensures written communications come across consistently and are associated with your brand over time. We test out possible font pairings by writing some branded copy (usually pulled from the strategy deck) and then setting headlines, body text, and subheads in various combinations before determining the best solution.

Build That Deck

Once our explorations have come to an end, we refine everything into a cleanly organized deck that we can walk our clients through before getting their ultimate buy-in. This covers everything from creative direction to brand assets to mockups.

The Brand Reveal


Once we cross our T’s and dot our I’s, it’s time to reveal your new visual identity! We walk you through the presentation deck and show your brand in action.


After sharing a glimpse of the new look, we send the presentation your way so you can sit with everything and take it all in. A few days later we circle back and see if there are any adjustments that need to be made. As soon as we get that green light, we’re onto part 3: Rollout (baby)!