What's the point?
I call this the Brand Foundations for a reason. At some point, your brand will have to design marketing collateral, design a website, and design your product. ALL of these elements need to look like they came from the same place to garner trust and make you look legit. Here is where we create the pillars of a scalable brand identity that will support all your design decisions with marketing and product.STEP BY STEP
Step by step
Step 1: Start a Project
Before we engage in a project, we need to find out if we are a good fit and if I am capable of solving your problem. This is done via Zoom or phone call and can be started by emailing me or filling out my contact form to get the ball rolling.
Step 2: Brand Definition
During the Brand Definitions workshop, we will define your brand. This is the bedrock of the design decisions we will make when building out your visual identity and it is how we will make sure we are aligned before we start making stuff.
Step 3: Creative Direction
Game time. Here is where we explore ideas and concepts for the visual language your brand will use. We will generate three, unique stylescapes that will demonstrate color palettes, typography, shape, graphic elements, and photo styling. With these elements decided upon, we can build specific assets like a logo or collateral with intention and brand alignment.
Step 4: Logo Design
I am not going to go away and comeback with a fully designed logo, that is a bad process. We first start out with rapid ideation and sketches of logo concepts. These help us focus on the idea rather than the details.
Once we've got our concept, I will generate a production-ready logo and show you how it will work on branded collateral.
Step 5: Style Guide
To make sure your design team or anyone else is not lost on how to use your brand identity, a style guide is created. This PDF will recap the Brand Definitions, logo usage, color palette, typography, iconography, shape, and photo styling. Give this to any designer and you can trust the brand identity will be uniform.
How I work:
Showing the Ugly
Rather than doing a dog-and-pony show to try and sell you on the work we create, my process is based on conversations that lead us to good ideas. I will show you the behind the scenes and we will sort through the ugly ideas together until we hit the mark.
Once I put on a price on paper (or the internet), I do not change it. No unexpected billable hours, no change orders, just fixed prices for clearly defined work and results. This helps your company know how much you will spend instead of guessing and suffering for it later.
Most designers open themselves up to as many projects as possible. This leads to two paths: they either farm the work to juniors or the quality diminishes because they work too much. I only take on three projects at a time to avoid those both of these problems.
got questions? Get answers
This is a list of commonly asked questions I've heard over the years. If there's something I missed, email me.
How do I know I'll be happy with the project?
Every project starts out with a phone call including you, me, and anyone else you believe necessary on the call. We'll get to know each other, walk through the process, and determine if it's a good fit to work together. If we do, my process is highly iterative and that leads us to good ideas we're both proud of.
How much does brand identity design cost?
You can find prices on my Services + Prices page.
Are you able to reduce cost for special cases?
While the prices I've laid out are non-negotiable, the manner in which they are paid out is. Talk to me about payment plans, leasing (yes, like a car), or equity compensation/profit-sharing during our initial call.
Do you only work with SaaS companies?
Short answer, no. My services would be useful to many business and I've done branding project in several verticals. I just like working with SaaS companies and found my process is one they appreciate.
Do you also build websites?
There are designers out there, including several friends of mine, who are more qualified to take on website projects. It also happens that they prefer to let me handle the brand identity side of their projects, making for a reciprocal relationship. What I can do is provide creative direction and feedback as a consultant.
Can you help us with copywriting?
I'm flattered you'd consider me for writing, and if I wasn't connected with other specialized writers, I'd help out. Just like website design, I know other creatives who are better equipped to handle copywriting and I'm happy to connect you with them. What I can do is offer creative direction and feedback as a consultant.
We're not in the same city, is that an issue?
Not an issue at all. I've been doing remote work for years (before we all wished we'd invested in Zoom's stock) and I've got solid asynchronous tools that help reduce our meeting count.
I know exactly what I want my logo to look like, can you help?
That is a generous offer to trust me with your vision, and I'm sorry, it doesn't sound like I'm the best fit. I am best qualified to help those who are looking for creative input and ideas as well as execution. Plus, it'd be really expensive and it sounds like Upwork or Fiverr would be better choices for such a task.
How long does a brand identity project take?
Single product companies and most startups take between 4 and 6 weeks to get a full brand identity. If you're in a massive growth stage with more riding on the line it will take longer pending the scope we determine.
Nice words from cool people
"There's nothing cookie-cutter about this process. You'll be very happy with your results."
"He is creative, highly intellectual, and an all-around great dude!"
"He was totally right! Not only did he create wickedly fast, but he also ensured I, as the client, was well-trained and acclimated to the new design before we launched."
"He's extremely professional, organized, detailed, and his vision/work is incredible."
"Zach’s wealth of knowledge and expertise helped guide me through the discovery process and establish a new brand name within only two weeks!"
"Don’t overlook this guy, he’s very talented and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him to anyone needing branding work."
"Zach has an effective method through which he was able to learn and understand my needs, probably better than I did at times! I was constantly impressed with his creativity."
"Zach's professionalism is outmatched only by his positive spirit, as he is also a fun guy to be around."
"Zach's ability to evoke our company's essence and portray it across all of our marketing materials was a unique experience I have not had with other agencies."
“Zach has been an integral tool in helping us navigate our brand identity.”
"Always eager to learn and contributing in every way possible. I highly recommend Zach to any business large and small."