Branding Starts with a Vision: Details of the “Vision Board” Process
I recently did a blog post on the logo design process for one of my clients, and have had some questions about step one of the process, “Define the Style with a Vision Board.” I hope to elaborate on this process and its significance when creating a brand for a client.
I think that a key step in creating a brand or a logo is to understand what your client is looking for visually. This can be a little tricky, because clients are not usually designers, and at times, can find it challenging to demonstrate or articulate what it is that they are looking for. I know I have heard the phrase “I don’t know what I want, but I’ll know it when I see it,” from many clients. So, to avoid frustration and wasted design time on both the client end and my end, I found that creating a “Vision Board” is a great first step to get the client and I (the designer) on the same page before design work begins.
So, what is a “Vision Board”?
A Vision Board is a collection of inspiration images or objects that visually demonstrate the branding goals of the client. This can include other logos, pictures, illustrations, other design work, fabric, wood, metal, just about anything. The objects are then all put on a board (either a physical or electronic) to create an aspirational collage. The goal of the board is to create a foundation for the creative direction of the project. Basically, the board establishes a “style” that will remain consistent throughout the design process.
How is the “Vision Board” created?
It really depends on the client. If the client has a pretty good idea of what they would like to see, and have given me enough information to start, I created a vision board for the client to ensure that we are on track with a defined style for the project. This is an essential first step in my experience, simply because design elements can be very subjective. Even something as simple as the color blue can be viewed differently by two people. It is important that you clarify design details visually.
On the other hand, if the client doesn’t really know what they want, or has a vague idea of what they would like to see, I assign the client homework. I ask that they find at least four examples of a visual element that visually represents their business or what they would like there company image to be. Four examples are usually few enough to not be overwhelming to the client, and enough for me to see a general direction or consistency. If I receive the examples and there isn’t consistency, I meet with the client to discuss each example and why they selected it. This meeting usually clarifies any confusion on the direction of the project.