The Challenge

Design a considered and cohesive personal identity so that we have a well-designed and well-branded portfolio site up and running by the end of Year 1.

The Process

I originally began my research for this project on instagram, looking up hashtags and following designers whose work caught my attention. I looked at many styles, from simple to more detailed and complex and was able to analyse the pros and cons of creating my monogram in a similar style.

Research

From this research I was able to establish that the more detailed the monogram is, the more limitations it would have when it comes to resizing when considering for print options. However, I was able to decide from my research that I was drawn towards black and white colour schemes as they were strong and had a professional finish. I therefore wanted to create my monogram in a similar style as it also relates well to my black and white personality.

I then walked around Belfast City Centre and photographed examples of branding that inspired or intrigued me with their design. From this experience I was able to see what does and doesn’t work in branding and that some places don’t use a monogram at all as their name alone is their brand.

Moodboard

I also cut out branding I came across in magazines and newspapers to create a physical moodboard. Every industry and business has a brand of some sort and this has been considered and planned out thoroughly before a company is even established. What I enjoyed most about doing this was seeing which companies I was able to recognise even in advertising from the typeface and style used alone.

Moodboard

Each business establishes it brand through individual style and selection in typefaces which, if they become successful, will be a signature design aspect for the brand on every platform.

I began my own monogram by doing rough doodles in my notebook with the intention to go back and refine them in my larger sketchbook after I’d completed as many variations of my initials that I could come up with. I feel that the further I experimented with my sketches, the more creative I was being as I realised I was interested in making an edgy design to match my personality. Many of the ideas I started with were very plain but were part of my process in deciding the positioning of my initials.

Sketches

Once I’d completed sketching a wide variety of ideas, I narrowed it down to the 4 designs which held the best potential and digitised them. It was at this stage I considered colour variations.

I chose my colour variations planning for my monogram to be used mainly in black and white. I wanted the colour options to be relevant to me personally so I chose colours I’ve dyed my hair over the last few years that I alternate between as I’d the idea that the colour scheme could be altered to suit what colour my hair was at the time of rebranding.

Colour Variations

I created all my digitised work using Sketch and after receiving constructive feedback on which monogram I should go with I made the amendments to my final monogram design. I was very pleased with the end result and felt my monogram had a clean, professional finish but still had a gothic style to fit in with my personality.

Monogram

My Wordmark

Wordmark

The process for creating my wordmark was a lot quicker to complete than my monogram. When designing a wordmark there are other considerations after choosing the font. It is important to create a unique wordmark with the appropriate design decisions such as whether to use serif, san-serif, upper case, lower case; what colour, size and weight, etc.

Wordmark Mind map

Colour choice should speak to the intended audience and communicate the brand story, and also be easily readable. I wanted to pick a typeface that wouldn’t overpower against the monogram as I’d kept the final design quite simple and I therefore felt a sans-serif type would best compliment my design. Through the process of elimination, I was able to work out the pros and cons of each of the typefaces I’d considered in order to make a firm decision for my final Wordmark.

My Visual Marque

Visual Marque

I wanted my visual marque to be a true representation of myself. So I began sketching features I associate or found distinctive about myself, as well as a few further ideas more based around a design in my style rather than having a personal touch. Visual Marque Sketches The three ideas that gravitated towards me most were the skull with headphones, my hair with glasses and eyeliner wings. I also liked the Robin idea as it associates with the meaning behind my surname however I didn’t feel it suited my style or personality enough to become my visual marque.

Some Obstacles

During this project, I came across very few obstacles other than altering areas of my designs when given feedback from my lecturers. Creating my brand guidelines was an area I hit a few speed bumps on as for my first feedback session, it was suggested I had tried fitting too much information on to one page instead of spreading the content onto multiple pages and therefore lengthening my brand guidelines.

To see my finished brand guidelines click the button below:

My Reflection

Creating a brand to represent myself and mt future work was a project I was passionate about from beginning to end. I'd previously worked on some logo design briefs and hadn't had the same enjoyment, however I feel that this project has given me an new insight and approach to this type of design that I hadn't tried before.

Branding or corporate identity would now be a key area of interest for me when applying for jobs. My design process for this project is a great demonstration of how I can successfully come up with a full brand from start to finished, client ready visuals.

To read further notes and my reflections on this brief, click the link below to my Tumblr page!