Presenting brand identity

Some things I’ve learnt along the way, that might help you along yours…

Presenting logo concepts to a room full of anticipative eyes can be daunting even for the most experienced presenter. It’s personal to the audience, you’re essentially creating a visual identity that is going to form the basis of their brand. It’s kind of a big deal. Make sure get across your understanding of this importance, but more importantly, your enthusiasm to have worked on the project. Bring something to the table other than just your designs. Bring energy.

This all comes down to confidence. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but a pitch is less of a presentation, and more of a show. I’m not talking mirrors and smoke, rather passion and enthusiasm. If you’re not the most confident speaker, just make sure that you’ve practiced it enough so that you know it inside out. That way, you can focus less on what you have to say, and more on the way you say it.

You know your shit. After all you designed it. So smile, and talk about your work with warmth. Try not to get bogged down with industry language, and instead just let it flow naturally. Like the saying goes, people buy from people. So just be yourself.

Remember, they’ve hired you as the expert, so they know you have the skill set and they trust your ability. Focus less on proving you know your techniques, and more on painting the picture of the journey you took to get to the final product. Avoid listing things like colours (I would like to think they can identify these themselves), but rather explain the logic, the reasoning, the user experience findings behind your design choices. Romanticise about your creations, as I can guarantee that they want to fall in love with each logo as much as you have.

Present each one with equal value, and one by one. If you show them all at once, it turns into a beauty contest and the decision will be purely based on aesthetics. Presenting them individually, allows the audience to hear your decisions and absorb each one, without the inherent urge to compare.

Naturally, we have our favourite, one logo that we feel so strongly about. The one that we’ve spent those extra hours perfecting. Unless you’re in the position where your expertise is recognised beyond any doubt, and you’re able to confidently present one and one only, then you’ll normally be asked to provide 3 options.

The way we talk about design has a direct effect on the way others interpret it, so try and present each one with equal weighting, with equal warmth. This does also mean that you need to believe in the work of each logo, if you wouldn’t be proud to see one be the final choice, do not put it in there.

Now this can be a hard one to do, but it is very important. Time. Give the audience time to take in each logo in before you talk. Comfortable silences are hard to achieve mid-presentation. You naturally want to start talking about the branding solutions, to avoid any confusion or misinterpretation.

These silent moments are crucial in allowing the client to take it in, to come to their own initial conclusions. Count to 10 in your head. Remember, you’ve spent time imagining it, sketching it, digitalising it and tweaking it so you know it like the back of your hand. You’ve been staring at it for so long, the fresh feeling is now replaced with familiarity. For the audience this is the first time they have seen it. Give them time. Let the logo’s speak for themselves.

Remember the brief. Remember the goal. And keep referring to it. With each concept, re-address the overall goal. It will show that you’ve been working with this in mind and reinforce that your goal is shared with theirs. Make sure if you open up the conversation for feedback, then you ask the right questions. Such as, do you feel they have met the brief? Do you feel that they represent your brand values?

Always avoid asking questions like ‘Do you like them?’. The answer to that question is irrelevant. Your job as a designer is not to create a pretty picture, it is to provide a solution to a problem, an answer to a brief and an experience to provide brand loyalty.

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