Creative Process Study 12

06.28.2010 / Project: Grimm Brother Brewhouse

The Tenfold Collective

When The Tenfold Collective first meets with a client to discuss creating their brand, we don’t just want to know about the product and target audience. We want to know what makes them tick. To get inside our client’s head we try to adhere to a process to make sure we’re touching on everything that goes into creating a personal and effective brand.

Now, let’s be clear — we don’t believe in a formula that works every single time. We acknowledge (and even revere) the pure intuition that is an indisputable part of our craft. But, we also figure a little check-listing never hurt creative types, and it’s all about balance, right? Right. Without further ado…

Step 1 : Kick-off meeting

Grimm Brothers is a start up company here in Tenfold’s hometown of Loveland CO. Knowing that they were one of many small breweries in this area they wanted to stand out and make their mark. It’s what they needed. It’s what we do. Sounded like a good match.

We started by meeting Grimm for a get to know you session in which we walked through our creative brief together. The creative brief gives a framework to the conversation, but really we try to keep the kick-off meetings organic — sharing our thoughts and ideas, and in this case, maybe a few too many tastes of their incredible German-style brews.

Step 2 : Internal Processing

Ideas have to digest, so once we had the information we needed from the kick-off we internally distilled it into “attributes” that we thought the brand should communicate. Our hope is to always get three to five. We knew the folks at Grimm loved the old-world German feel, so, within that framework, we came up with three distinct aesthetic categories on which to base our concepts; Old world, Classic Fairy tale, and German crest meets mid-century modern. Once the attributes are determined we run with it, then pow-wow to discuss our results and create a presentation.

Step 3 : Presentation of concepts

A lonely logo often leaves a client feeling underwhelmed, so we remove the guesswork by presenting concepts that are fully articulated in the first round. This often includes letterhead, business cards, vehicle wraps – whatever application we know will be critical to that brand. As a result, we spend about 75% of our estimated project hours on the first round. It’s a gamble that has backfired a few times, but for the most part, presenting a fully articulated brand package has made for happy clients who feel confident they know what they’re getting into.

Step 4 : Revisions

Secretly we hope the client will see the designs, fall in love with one and want it exactly as it is. But, since we want to appear flexible and would hate to be perceived as overtly Pollyanna, we plan on 2 (or so) rounds of revisions. Based on the feedback from the previous round, we provide another version of the chosen logo, including type and image variations. Grimm loved the eagle in version three, but they weren’t digging the starkness of the original, so the design moved forward with options that kept the eagle but incorporated some of the old-world elements from the first design. We dug it. They dug it. We liked them both. They chose option two. Contentment all around.

Step 5 : Brand Build out

Branding is really the gift that keeps on giving. If you’re lucky (like we were here) after the main elements are complete, website and other industry specific items follow. For a Brewery it’s coasters, tap handles, and brew labels. Building out these other pieces is one of the most challenging but rewarding parts of the branding process for us because you truly get the chance to create personality and voice. Elements look appropriate to the brand family, but have their own distinct details and purpose. Come to think of it, that’s actually how we feel about ourselves too. Thus Collective. It’s the whole package, process, intuition, happy accidents, collaboration. Individual bits, pieces, people creating a whole. Sigh, how much more romantic could we get?

Contact The Tenfold Collective:

Twitter: @10xCollective
Telephone: 970 744 4221

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7 comments, please join in the discussion

  1. 06.29.2010

    Thanks for sharing this! I love the labels.

  2. 06.30.2010

    This is a great insight into the different elements involved in a successful brand identity redesign.

  3. joerg

    Feel like beer now. Thanks for the article.

  4. Russel Hawley

    Beautiful execution on all the options. Old world meets modern day – the melding of the two is wonderfully done.

  5. 07.11.2010

    I’m delighted to see the process behind this, definitely one of the coolest beer bottles I’ve seen in a while 🙂

  6. Jamie Willows

    Wonderful final applications of the brand. What a cool client to work for. I’m sure sampling the product was an essential part of the creative process!

  7. 12.23.2010

    Wonderful final applications of the brand. What a cool
    client to work for. I’m sure sampling the product was an essential
    part of the creative process!