We’ve had a lot of questions from the community asking how to go about starting their creative process with a brief, so we’ve asked Designer and Illustrator Tabitha Stead to put together her professional process for you all to see. Working on a branding project for Peep Sunglasses which is featured in our Brand & Identity brief set , Tabitha runs us through her process below:

When I started to work on this brief, I began by looking at some inspiration to get an idea of what styles and themes I felt could work well with the brand story. As the brief is based on positivity and summer I knew it was important to include colours that portrayed that. Looking through Dribbble, Behance and Pinterest allowed me to collect a small mood board of designs that related to these core values. I discovered that bright and colourful colour schemes worked really well together and collated theses ideas.

On Behance, I found the work by a set of designers; Emile Lord Ayotte, Laura Pistachio, Mirciam Bousquet and Veronique Laffortune, who worked collaboratively on a brand for a Cancer charity. What I loved about their work was the simplistic shapes and vectors with vibrant colours as they compliment each other and create an eye catching contrast. This to me really portrayed positivity as the summer season is often associated with parties and festivals, both of which heavily use fun patterns and colours.

After gathering more inspirational work, I rounded up my findings and chose to narrow these down to 3 themes; patterns, icons/shapes and bright colours.

The next stage was to play around with some logo ideas and decide on an appropriate typeface to fit within the brand values. I wanted a rounded sans serif type as I felt with current trends, this is something you would expect to see in a fresh, new brand. As the name for the brand is ‘peep’, I thought the look of the word would work nicely in a lowercase format as it keeps the look of the brand informal and playful, which are essential values expected from the client.

I played around with a range of different typefaces until I found the right one. I decided to go with ‘Co Headline Regular’ as the general look and feel of the typeface looked really minimalistic and clean, as well as working quite nicely as a lowercase font.

Moving on, I eye-dropped a range of different colours from my inspirational mood board to incorporate into my logo typeface. I had a range of colours including; hot pink, turquoise, bright yellow, pastel yellow, navy blue, light blue, dark green and red. All of these colours together really created a feeling of positivity and brightness, so I knew I had a good palette going. After applying the colours to the typeface, I recognised the colours that worked better than others, so experimented more with the pinks, yellows and blues. At this stage, I got the ORCA team to take a look at what I was currently working on and they were all fond of the typeface and colours I had chosen.

Now I had a good idea of colours and a typeface, I wanted to create an icon or shape to use within the brand. For example, as the brand is for sunglasses, I liked the idea of having a little icon on the business to card to make it as clear as possible what the brand is about. Taking inspiration from Meier Delphine, I created a few shapes and applied my colours to them. I drew a simple triangle and started to repeat the pattern and really liked what I was seeing.

It reminded me of a party/festival which I felt worked well with the concept as the idea is to convey the ‘summer vibes’. As well as this, taking the ‘p’ from the logo typeface, I created a simple sunglasses icon and started to apply this to business card designs. Experimenting with my initial designs, I was starting to see an effective business card come together.

However, when receiving more feedback from the team, we noticed how the icon looked similar to a voicemail symbol. So in order to avoid this, I re-designed a much more conventional, but still simplistic, sunglasses icon. I liked this icon much better once designing it as it enabled me to add sightly more detailing, for example, the shine of the glasses and the frame.

Now with the new changes to the development, I played around with more business card designs, changing the layout and colours, and what content went on each side. I created a variety of patterns from both my sunglasses icon and triangle shape, differentiating between what colours complimented each other. I whittled down my designs to the final 3 I wanted to take forwards and asked the team for their advice on which ones they thought worked best. I find it’s always important to ask for feedback at this stage, even if you’re set on your favourite design it’s worth getting a second opinion.

I was starting to see how the red and light blue contrasted with one another, and with more feedback, the team felt these colours worked the best together too.

My final stage was choosing the most efficient layouts for the front and back of the business card. I wanted the front to be relatively minimal, showing the brand colours and logo. So using the red as a vibrant background, I added the triangle pattern in the light blue and the ‘Peep’ logo in white to allow it to sit nicely on the top. For the back, I used the light blue this time for the background colour, as on this side the main information was going to sit and needed to be easy to read against the colours chosen. Using the triangle shape alone in the bright yellow, I roughly placed the sunglasses icon on top in navy blue to act as a pop of colour and to draw you to the icon, making it obvious what the brand is. To the right, I added the information in simple form, and at the top I placed the slogan ‘sunglasses your way’ so that when you turn the card over, you instantly know what the brand is about.

Now I had my business card, I gained further feedback from the team and they were all on board with the designs. The last stage was for me to mock up the business card and break down the design into a separate logo and pattern.

There you have it! Do you use a similar process when designing? We'd love to hear your processes and tips.

Tabitha Stead is a junior designer & illustrator living and working in Bristol, UK. Tabitha contributes to Briefbox with helpful guides, tutorials and inspiration for our design community.