A Process Model

You've just engaged Oilpress! to design a new brand identity system, a unique mark and a set of graphic standards that will play a central role in conveying the presence and character of your brand — on your literature, your signage, your Web sites, your packaging, your vehicles, and other brand touchpoints. What's next?

The next step is for Oilpress! to document the existing condition of your brand, the strategy that animates it, and any graphic standards you may currently employ to express it.

Through an appropriate combination of interviews, questionnaires, document reviews, design audits, and facility tours, we'll acquire a thorough understanding of what it is you're marketing, who your competitors are, who the stake-holders are, what their needs and perceptions are, how you've positioned your brand, the complexity of your company's brand architecture, any existing systems of graphic standards being used within your company, and the number and types of brand-mark applications that need to be designed.

It will be important for us to have access to key decision-makers within your company—executives, department heads, and brand managers—as well as to any external members of your marketing team. Equally, it will be important for us to have access to summary market-research data, published marketing materials and other relevant company literature. In the event that you've engaged Oilpress! to redesign an established brand identity, it will be important for us to document the evolutionary history of the brand's graphic standards and positioning strategies, so that we may check for any graphic elements with significant brand equity that ought to be carried forward.

The amount of research we'll conduct will be commensurate with the scope and complexity of the project. A well-designed brand identity system is meaningfully connected to a deliberate brand strategy and the data that informs it.

Once we've collected and analyzed the data that describes the current state of your brand, we will provide you with a summary report noting outstanding design problems and brand application opportunities to be considered. With your acknowledgment and approval of this summary report, we'll move on to the next phase in the project, "Phase II: Strategy."


Having identified the existing design problems and brand application opportunities, the next step is to forge a creative brief, a strategic document that will articulate key design and communication objectives, and serve as a guide for the subsequent creative work.

There are three prerequisites that need to be met before writing the creative brief. First, a definite brand strategy must be in place. You should be able to articulate how your product, service or organization is differentiated from competing brands, and how you intend to position your brand in the collective mind of your targeted audience. Second, a unique and memorable brand name should be chosen. If you have regional or national ambitions for your brand, it is important to have a legal advisor check to make sure that your brand name is registrable. Finally, a tagline, or brand slogan, that expresses the spirit and attitude of your brand should be developed. The tagline should be a compact statement of brand purpose and personality.

Oilpress! can provide guidance and critical feedback to you in all three areas. You may also wish to consult with market research, brand strategy and naming specialists for expert, industry-specific insights. Oilpress! can assist you in locating these collaborative professional services. You can be assured that Oilpress! will work closely with these specialists to meet established objectives.

Armed with a brand strategy, a brand name, a tagline, and with critical input from you, we will write a creative brief, laying out the criteria against which any proposed design solution will be evaluated. Once you've acknowledged and approved of the creative brief, we'll move on to the third phase in the project: "Phase III: Design Exploration."


In phase III, we'll begin to design, seeking a visual direction that meets the design and communication criteria established in the creative brief. Here is where we will explore ideas for marks, logotypes, typefaces and signatures. In this phase we will restrict our color palette to black and white so that we may focus on the appropriateness of the meaning and the formal strength of the symbols and letter forms. Multiple ideas will be generated, but only the most viable will be presented for review and feedback. Once we have your approval on a proposed design concept, we will move forward to the next phase, "Phase IV: Design Refinement."


In phase IV we'll refine the approved design concept. Marks and logotypes may need to be redrawn with attention to detail. Primary and secondary typography will be specified as well as appropriate color schemes. With your input, a final list of brand-mark applications that need to be designed will be drafted and prioritized. Final brand-mark signatures will be tested on relevant real-world applications to make sure they work. A presentation of the final design elements – the marks, logotypes, typefaces, colors, and approved signatures – will be made. Once we have your approval of the final design elements, legal registration of these brand identity assets should be initiated. If necessary, adjustments to the project estimate and schedule will be made here to account for any client-requested revisions to the scope of the project. With your approval, we will move forward to the next phase, "Phase V: Implementation."


In phase V we'll specify how the brand identity assets are to be applied to each item in the final list of brand applications (the brand identity program). The electronic files that are necessary for mechanical reproduction and online presentation will be prepared. Any complex items included in the design program—brochures, catalogs and web sites for example—will have their own design processes nested here within this phase.


In phase VI we will oversee the production and delivery of each brand-identity application within the brand identity program. Also we will document the newly created brand identity system by producing an identity standards manual along with a CD-ROM containing electronic file versions of all your brand identity assets. The identity standards manual and the electronic files that make up the assets of your brand identity system are important tools that you will need to ensure the consistent graphic expression of your brand identity over time.


I: Research and Analysis

II: Strategy

III: Design Exploration

IV: Design Refinement

V: Implementation

VI: Documentation, Printing and Delivery

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