Here’s a new word people are warming up to in the graphic design industry – Stylescapes – and this blog is going to talk about how they are used as part of our branding process at Zeitgeist.
Clients often don’t know how to respond when attacked with a board full of pictures and random alphabets, aka Moodboards; mostly because they’re not sure how to read or interpret them. But it is still crucial to go through this step because it lays the foundation stone for the logo.
Enter saviour: Stylescapes!
These are just nuanced, more ‘finished’ versions of the above. It makes it much easier for the client to visualise and choose the future of their brand and saves a lot of avoidable back and forth time.
This step provides a good check-in point for both parties to agree on two things:
1. If the designers have clearly understood the client’s description of their concept.
2. The design direction the client is choosing to head with.
Decoding The Board
Stylescapes are made huge in size to scale up the ‘real-feel’ of the brand.
They list out the brand promise, the brand pillars, typeface and fonts, the colour palette. They also contain sample photographs of different users of the product/service. Elements of brand language such as textures, grids, photography style, illustration style, web and print mockups etc. Depending on their process, some designers also choose to put in initial logo iterations as well.
The key to choosing the right design direction is by picking a stylescape that hits the ‘feel’ of your brand just right. That being said, remember, the elements on the board are always up for play and further refinement.
It is far more efficient to tweak a stylescape in the right direction than redo a logo headed in the wrong direction!
Here is an example to understand what a styleboard looks like and how a design brief can be given different visual takes. Different typography, colours, photographs and adjectives have been used here to create 3 separate brand identities ranging from conservative to bold.
‘Cue’ is a brand designed by Blind with Hudson Pacific Properties.