How to source limitless ideas for your next branding project?
The branding world has now come to a point where everything is influenced by one idea or the other. It almost feels like there's a shortage of unique ideas.
During these times, instead of getting intimidated, there are ways to make your ideas fresh, contemporary, and relevant.
The following six methods would help you generate better ideas as a brand identity designer.
1. Understand The Brand
Believe it or not, the first step in coming up with ideas is to understand the context of the project. It means that you need to get comfortable with the brand you're working on.
Not only that, but you need to understand all aspects of it, like the brand goals, its purpose of existence, vision, culture, competitors, industry, and the problem it solves.
Once you dive deep into the brand, your mind will have enough ammunition to proceed with the ideation phase.
2. Understand The Audience
The target audience is part of understanding the brand, but the reason to separate it is that this is one of the most important aspects of sourcing good ideas.
Knowing who will benefit from your solution is vital for the success of your ideation stage because it is the north star for all your ideas.
So, understanding the pain points, motivations, goals, likes and dislikes, purchase behavior, and customer journey helps you set a strong and relevant direction for your ideas.
3. Read Case Studies
Case studies of successful rebrands help you understand how famous design agencies solve problems and make them visually relevant.
Many design agencies are out there, but you can start with the bigger or most famous ones.
One excellent resource where you can find many great rebrand case studies is BrandNew.
The only catch is that you can only read case studies on this website once you purchase their subscription.
On the bright side, it's pretty cheap ($2/month or $20/year).
But instead of reading case studies after your project starts, you should get in the habit of reading them every day. If you stay consistent, the insights from top problem solvers will gradually open your mind to new possibilities.
When you begin your branding project, you will already have enough ideas to ace the brand.
4. Watch Animation Showreels
Unlike the previous three methods, this step is all about visuals.
At first, it may seem like a strange addition to the list, but good animation showreels catalyze ideation.
Showreels can give you visual inspiration for colors, logos, typography, photography, illustration, and many other things, depending on how far you can take those visual cues.
You may watch showreels on YouTube, Vimeo, or the social media pages of big animation studios.
5. Watch Design Course Intro Videos
Again, this step is unorthodox, but trust me, it works.
If you go on websites that offer design courses, you'll notice that their intro video shows a lot of fantastic visuals that can lead to some great new directions.
I often visit Domestika and Awwwards Academy because their courses are quite premium, but you can try any other website.
6. Find The Right Balance
A lot of times, when we're starting a branding project, we either do too much analysis, or we jump directly onto the execution part. Too much of either method is bad for the project.
If we spend all of our time researching, it might lead to analysis paralysis. On the other hand, skipping the research phase and start sketching immediately might lead to irrelevant, redundant, or boring ideas.
Instead, we need to hit the right balance of research and execution so that our mind stays active and generates new ideas.
Both research and execution are essential, but you need to find the right amount of distribution among them per your taste.
Ideation is unique to every person. But eventually, the goal is to find ways to trigger your mind into generating new ideas, no matter how.
The steps above are just a few ways to help you get started. You may find new methods along the way that suits your style better.
In any case, if you add visual and non-visual methods to your ideation process, like the ones discussed above, you'll be surprised by the new and exciting ideas you end up with.