Today, I want to tell you a story. This story begins with a designer who starts a branding project for a newly created company. So he follows the same branding process that he learnt back in the days:

  • He meets his clients to specify the needs of their brand and to create a draft of the briefing. 
  • Then, he works some time in a proposal that gathers the values of this company. 
  • After researching the market, the competitors, diverse colors, many typographies… Sketching, erasing, sketching again… He comes up with a solid concept. 
  • He prepares a slideshow presentation to show his brand proposal to his clients and sets a meeting with them, who are really looking forward to see it already.
  • They love it! And the designer is relieved and happy that everything went well. Now the only thing missing is to get all the work together and create the brandbook.

A few days later, while he is working in the brandbook, he receives a message from the clients telling him that something happened. Full of enthusiasm, they were showing the logo to their relatives and close friends, who told the clients that they were seeing an open-legged person! And it was not only one or two people, but mostly all of them. And they naturally didn’t want the brand to be perceived like that. 

Eugene Golovesov – Unsplash

This situation forced us to immediately stop working in the brandbook and to rework on the proposal. Fortunately, the main problem was just the shapes of the logo. The colors and typographies were still meaningful and had nothing to do with the unfortunate misinterpretation.

During the time when we were working on the new logo, we decided to keep a constant communication with our clients and to validate every step, starting with the sketches, where the clients’ point of view could be very helpful. So, with this new approach, we focused much more on a continuous feedback, both from our clients and their potential ones. 

In the end, we were all totally satisfied.

Super useful lessons that we learnt 

Looking back in this project, we can point out many improvements that we can make to minimize our losses:

  • We need to continuously receive feedback so we can validate every step we take. Testing that the concept communicates (not only to us) what we want will help us to reduce our reworking time (logo versions, proportions, applications…)
  • We can reduce the waiting time of the client. Once they commission the project, they look forward to the result. If we had included the clients more continually during the creative process, their perception would have been completely different, since they would have taken a closer look at their brand’s evolution. 
  • We must take care of the trust relationship with the client. A continuous communication contributes to create a more solid trust relationship. Credibility increases when both share their point of view. Reliability is shown when the clients watch how the project evolved, since the process is transparent. And trust grows when you open your work process and the clients feel that their point of view is taken into account.
Karla Vidal – Unsplash

Lean philosophy

Although we will widely talk about Lean in the future, and trying not to oversimplify things, I wanted to resume the key points of this philosophy which I could relate during the project:

  • Value for client and quality: All the effort we dedicate to work is orientated to provide true value to the client with the best possible quality. 
  • Waste reduction: Eliminating all the time that we are working and not providing value to the client (and it therefore raises the cost). 
  • Delivery time reduction: Constantly improving our working process.

In essence, Lean focuses on creating value efficiently, taking into account especially product quality and reducing waste through continuous improvement

What if we apply Lean to the branding process?

The Lean methodology has its origins in a production system. Specifically, it was in a car factory, where processes are much more predictable. Manufacturing or assembling certain parts enables to reduce the uncertainty of the process because it’s repetitive over and over. 

In Kypseli, we try to apply this philosophy in all our processes. We measure and evaluate them in order to improve them. But design (as well as other creative fields) has a high variability. Needs change depending on the project and, naturally, the solution changes too. So the uncertainty is therefore much bigger. 

However, Lean philosophy is based in universal principles. So we will experiment and evolve our branding process applying Lean methodology. If everything works fine, we’ll optimize our workflow in order to avoid any rework, to reduce delivery time and to achieve a complete satisfaction of the clients with their brand. 

We’ll keep you updated! 😉