It's been time for me for a long time now... But there's never a convenient time to rebrand. So, when is the time to rebrand, and how do you go about doing it?
Signs you've got a branding emergency
It's hard for you or your clients to define your business. You look a bit outdated. You're bored with the old branding and feel like it's passed its sell by date. Or you're looking for or have found a new audience. Any one of the above should prompt you to start thinking about your next move. So, what's next then?
Getting started and getting the job done.
What worked for me, and an approach that I can recommend, was to treat the project as you would a "normal" client project. This means that you need to schedule some time for the initial creative brief kick off meeting, which in turn means that you need some help to make sure it happens and to help you run this whole project. Ideally, they would be able to contribute to the project from a general client's point of view. It could be your spouse (like in my case), a good friend or a colleague. One thing they probably shouldn't be is another professional designer, so that your new brand doesn't fall into the trap of targeting the designers' community!
So, using straight-forward language, as you would with your client, put together a brief that has a clear vision and mission statements, design ideas, and principles. You can then go away and start working on putting together some basics, such as: colours, typography, taglines, and draft visual ideas. Present them in context with clarity to the person who's helping you and/or to some of your trusted clients. Refine, eliminate, and repeat.
Take your time. Sleep is just as important in this process as pen and paper. Need some inspiration? See how I find mine in this article.
Below you can see the result of this process. I'll be looking to write a whole post about the thinking behind my new brand. But in a nutshell, I wanted my new brand identity to reflect some key principles of my business (clean and clear, friendly and approachable); to reflect design principles, and my background. Let me know what you think in the comments below. You can also see the concept in more details on my Behance profile.