No new brand. It’s time to polish.
This is crazy. It’s pretty stupid in fact. A whole brand designed in one month? Every month?? A branding firm could do it. A student could do it for their certificate thesis. A mad scientist or masochist could do it. I know I can do it. Quality is getting lost between the lines though, and reality is setting in. Developing a brand in a month, each month, is one thing, but to write a digest on process at the same time…I suppose I didn’t really anticipate the rigors of a process journal.
It’s been nearly a full year since I began Monthly Brand. I’m seriously considering changing it to Bi-Monthly Brand. I’m absolutely still energized with ideas, I believe it is a great forum for output and creative stimulation, but it’s a seriously tall order. So I’m looking back on the year and I’ve decided I’d rather have 11 well refined and realized brands than 12 unfinished ones. With a laundry list of work to do and projects in the air, starting a whole new client for September right now just seems ludicrous. I was even struggling to come up with an interesting client idea. But as I start to land on a few concepts for where to take the blog, what kind of other exciting projects I’d like to undertake and how I hope to grow as a designer in the next year, I’m just going to pause for a moment and collect the work that I’ve got. That’s why Monthly Brand is the September’s client.
It does slightly bum me out that I’m having to backpedal a bit, but with all the research and investment I’ve put into these fictional projects, I feel like I need to do them justice in the end. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to complete 12 whole brands in the upcoming year, or maybe I’ll have to cut it down to one every other month, or maybe even more professional work will come in to the point that there simply is no time for Monthly Brand as a side project at all. Perish the thought because I’m truly loving this as my sort of online sketchbook and step ladder of originality, but I never had a clear map for the blog and I can’t promise I will in the future. It’s just going to have to be what it is.
So, with all that said, this month I’m going to dedicate my time to cleaning up and polishing some of the previous year’s clients. It’ll also be a good look back to help me see the forest for the trees, hopefully inspiring ideas for what’s to come. For this polish up I’ll start with a list of items I wished I had more time to check off to really round out the brands and bring them to fruition. Here are the items:
- Client 7: Lindsey Warford
Good friend and great musician, I took on Lindsey Warford as a sort of real/fictional client for Monthly Brand a while back ago, and although we did get a bit accomplished on our way to brand her for a successful solo performer business, Lindsey had to step away from the process for a bit to catch up with things in her own life. Well, she’s back from her obstacle course and ready to put the future plan back on the docket. I’ll be picking up right where I left off in this post to help nail down her graphic identity and get her some tangible collateral to help market her business.
- Client 10: Grass Fire
Otherwise known as thorn-in-my-side brand, this wine label has been a bit of a challenge for me. I truly want it to stand out, but retain the classy and cultured nature of its industry while hitting the heart of the brand’s history. I’m zeroing in on a graphic expression for the winery, it’s a matter of refinement and production work before I have that bottle of syrah in my hands.
- Client 11: Conflict Comics
As a more simple client looking for a logo to rest in the corner of the bizarre and doleful illustrated stories, this brand is off and running with ideas, but just needs to be nailed down and sanded off.
- Client 8: Ambrosia and Client 5: Satyr
These two brands are a pair of sibling companies, each a fragrance for women and for men, respectfully. Though the Satyr brand ended rather well with a relevant and interesting logotype, and Ambrosia reflected those elements as well, they never quite got finished, and they certainly never made it into packaging. It’s still a hope of mine to get their logos incorporated onto bottles and into boxes for a set of completed twin brands that show off their uniqueness in style.
- Client 1: Hot Stuff
Going way back to the first client, I want to revisit and finally resolve the packaging for this spicy product. The logo is a strange one, but it was just starting to take off when I got eager and ansty for my second Monthly Brand experience. Basically, I want to come away with a few jars of mustard with my logo on them, that’s all.
- Client 5: New England Nor’easters
This one blossomed nicely and is 98% complete but right at the end I was working on a jersey for the bitter and brutal hockey team that never quite made it to the blog. I’d like to get that up for another example of the brand extension.
So yeah, that’s the list. Three weeks left in September, so there’s still a ton to do. It’s most important to step back and be realistic here rather than run the whole idea into the ground for the sake of keeping an even number of projects per year or sticking to a nearly arbitrary monthly deadline.