Who are you? IDENTITY The second in the VIBE series


As a father of three teenagers, I see my children's identity develop over the course of years. But really, their identity was authored long ago, in their early years. It's in their teen years that it begins to be articulated and expressed outwardly. 

Companies and organizations are remarkably similar. New organizations establish their identity almost immediately, and mature ones merely need to look deeply to see their true core that has been lost in the layers of time. 

Here's the hard part- like the awkward teenage years can be. The outward expression and articulation that is authentic and individual. Connecting the dots of your new Vision or restoring life to the core tenets that started it all. This is a wonderful creative opportunity, and we enjoy walking our clients through the process.  There are dozens of ways to get to a Identity design, here are some things we do in the process:

We ask character questions- like are you song, or dance? or both?? Order or chaos? Tucked or untucked?  These seek to get to the familiar character- what would your organization be like among friends.

We ask benchmarking questions- like what kind of watch are you (Timex or Rolex, or maybe Swatch?) How about a car, or a chair? These are things that have broad, common outward definition in the marketplace. They are not prescriptive, but certainly descriptive.

Last (sort of) we ask energy questions- balanced or dynamic? Walking, running or sprinting? A ball of energy or a measured dose? These start to give clues to the internal culture and how that might lend to the design.

Last, (really) we get subjective. Cruise the interwebs, places like Pinterest. Find stuff you love, for whatever reason. There is a lot out there- some of it is really good, most is marginal. But its worth spending time there.

With all that in our hands, we go to work. The process is chaotic by design, with an overlay of system. Studies range in media, color, character and form. Trying to describe how we get across the chasm to a solution would be impractical, it just happens. Maybe it's magic.

Final notes: be adventurous, rigorous and engaged in the design process. You'll wear your identity everyday, it's got to be right.

Here is some process work we have in the studio right now.