The “&” phase of our methodology is at the heart of one of our most important beliefs: design needs to be right, not nice.
At brandbuch, design is at the service of purpose as much as copywriting or photography.
Clients and collaborators have been asking us “what really happens during the “&” phase?” and “How do you come up with the visual ideas?”
Until now we’ve kept it private, but today we want to share a glance of the magic happening behind this “&” symbol.
The creative strategy process is divided into 4 quantifiable actions: EXPAND, CONCEPT, TEST and SYNTHESISE in a way that makes perfect sense and follows on from the strategic line of thinking.
1. EXPAND means gathering information suitable to the purpose. This represents the accumulation of visual and conceptual references from:
- Words and language used during our IN phase
- Appropriate typographical expressions
- Suitable colour stories
- Art direction that inspires our team
- Design thinking around the brand story
- Overall Concept attached to brand
- Visual representation of concept
2. CONCEPT means taking a step back from the findings. We draw links between engaging ideas and galvanise them. Adding the words, images, colours and storyline to visualise a new idea, which we call the concept. This can be as simple as a single image or as complex as a whole storyboard or campaign
3. TEST represents the multiple iterations of a concept tested against current climate, trends, suitability to strategy and generic applications of the brand. Testing phases also include explorations of the unusual routes developed in the Expansion. Testing can also include resting on a concept and revisiting it after some time has passed. Testing can also mean starting again at Expansion if ideas don’t fully encompass all the brand pillars expressed in strategy
4. SYNTHESISE is refinement and/or distillation after testing. Here we will try to further refine and simplify the concept so that they match the purpose even better. When we find this perfect match, we have forged a new identity. All that follows will hang from this final, polished idea.
Last but not least, we check cultural and ideological climates to establish a true sense of belonging in today's world. Because we take care of how we talk to the world and how we listen in return, our solutions offer adaptability and durability to any output we design.
The “&” phase ensures that every creative decision is enabling the expression of the brand purpose. In this critical stage, magic happens. Together, we are capable of transforming a statement into a universe that becomes alive.
And a brand with purpose is born.
Special mention to Ana Grigorovici. An inspiration for all the team when it comes to transforming strategy into creativity.