Welcome back to the Full Hands Crew Challenge. Follow along as I explain my process of building a brand in 30 days. Full disclosure, the “day labels” aren’t completely accurate. I continue to tweak elements until the day of posting.

Day 6: I’m not lo-fi, not yet hi-fi

Now that I’ve been able to narrow in on a few logo options it was time to bring them into a higher fidelity. For me this means more sketching, more tracing, and little bit of variation explorations in Illustrator.

Day 7: Settling down with the one and only

Normally I would keep exploring and make many more variants. Working under can be really fun but also a little frustrating. I normally like to have at least 3 medium fidelity options to choose from and move forward with. Instead I had one and to be honest, I’m a little out of my wheel house with it.

I’m not one to usually go for an expressive typography approach. Generally I like to have a strong mark and some neatly set type accompanying it. I ended up with a dramatic word mark and no mark.

The most important lesson I learned here is too share early and often. I’m fortunate enough to have a group of friends who are willing to lend me their perspective and tell me when things are ugly. I was able to quickly run ideas through our Slack Channel and get plenty of ideas rolling. Even if I know it’s bad, it’s always great to hear how other people would tackle it.

Don’t be afraid to show off ugly work.

Another important thing to know about myself, am I setting myself up for success? The logo isn’t where it needs to be, but deadlines are deadlines. Obviously I’m not upsetting any clients with this work but there is still money on the line. I want to keep tweaking this logo but when it’s time to post, it’s time to post.

Day 8: Starting a family together

I remember hearing people drone on and on about making the web responsive. I feel like since the first time I heard that term I’ve always just thought, “yeah, of course it should be.” I’m sure “responsive branding” is already a buzz word somewhere, but we should really start emphasizing it.

When I say responsive branding, I don’t mean having your logo scale for different sizes. I mean having a family of marks that can help you gain recognition in whatever space you need. On top of that creating a design system that communicates who you are no matter the medium.

I decided to start by tackling the family of marks. This was especially needed because the primary logo I developed is not scalable. I can only shrink it so far before it stops being legible. There were questions I needed to answer. What is my fav icon going to be? Should I use this mark for social avatars? How small can I print this mark? etc

Day 9: Working out the visual language

It was time to start decoding the design system and the first area to attack was illustration style. It’s important for a brand to have a unique but consistent voice. That way no matter the method of communication people can recognize who it is. I wanted to create a strong illustration style that could be used to create content and identify the brand.

Again going back the mood board I made the decision to use traditional tattoo stylings for this brand’s visual communications. I also mix in some occult references, mostly cause I think it’s cool, but it also ties back into the mood we are trying to create with Full Hands Crew.

Day 10: A new day and new illustration

Again flushing out the illustration style

Exploring some motion concepts, because everything is cooler when it moves.

Thanks again for reading along. I’d love to hear any feedback, thoughts, or insights you have!

I love pushing buttons and boundaries. I aim to showcase the beautiful side of the ugly world. If you are looking for a brand strategist to help push your brand into unique territory, I am currently available for freelance.