We are so often focused on presenting the final product of our work, we often neglect the steps that got us to that end point. Very seldom do we as designers come up with the final answer on the first cut. It’s often the result of combining iterative solutions and making minor tweaks before a design is ready for prime time.
This is particularly true of brand marks. In almost every project engagement, we develop more than one visual solution. For brand marks, we generally insist on doing three. In order to capture the range of concepts and executions available, it’s a disservice to clients to develop any fewer. Typically, there is the safe solution, which is fairly close to what the client may be expecting. This is generally done to address specific directives for which the client has asked. The second treatment is a bit more expressive, a bit less “corporate”, while the third solution stretches the client’s comfort level a bit. All the designs should be wholly appropriate to the client and project brief, but each one taking a different approach to the solution, but conceptually and in terms of the graphic execution.
We recently developed a brand mark and website for an online resource for homeowner associations. The goal was to provide an open and inviting forum for condo association owners, board members and developers who needed a resource that provided relevant answers and solutions.
We came up with the name Portico, from the Italian word for a porch leads to the entrance of a building or structure. In an earlier post, I wrote about how we had to begin anew when the name we came up with ran into a potential conflict with an existing company name.
What began as a challenge turned into an opportunity, as we renamed the company Atrios, a spin on the Latin term atria, the plural of atrium. After clearing any trademark hurdles, we came up with the following visual treatments for the brand mark.