BDC Process


Bodnar Design appreciates that every client is unique, therefore our design process is customized to the needs of each client and project. Most contracts include some or all of the following phases:

1. Do Research, Get Inspired
2. Clarify Strategy
3. Design
4. Determine Touchpoints, Develop Content
5. Produce & Implement

Case Study: City Porch 2012

1. Do Research, Get Inspired

Client Meeting
Clients are unique. Sometimes we are working with a start-up, sometimes with those who have been doing business for 100+ years. No matter what their story, BDC strives to get to know its clients from the inside out, starting with the initial meeting. Learning about who they are, what drives them, and who they hope to be. Face-to-face meetings are preferred, especially in the beginning of a new relationship, however, if time and distance are an issue, we are happy to meet via phone, email, skype or otherwise.

shown: on-site with City Porch owners, 1/12/12
Brand Audit
If the client has an existing identity or design materials, BDC reviews/evaluates them in light of what they learned the client goals to be. Sometimes a client may need an identity refresh, other times, a complete overhaul is required. If the client is up for a “skies the limit” outlook, then we start with a clean slate.

shown: proposed City Porch interiors by Gretchen Dockendorff
North Star Words
BDC asks the client to make a short list of words that describe who they want to be. This list helps guide the direction of work throughout the process. Depending on the organization, one person may makes the list, or a group of board members may be put to the task. A thoughtful list is invaluable and we incoporate it into the Client Creative Brief.

shown: City Porch north star words
Market Overview
BDC researches the client's marketplace, their competition, similar or inspiring products, services, communication techniques, etc. During this phase, the target audience is determined as well as direction and fit in the market. This phase can be scaled to the clients wishes and can include client participation in gathering or supplying their own research.

shown: location, nearby competition, desired look/feel

2. Clarify Strategy

Strategic Direction/Creative Brief After the Market Overview and high-level strategy discussions, the mission and vision of our task is manifested in the form of the Client Creative Brief that is approved by the client.

3. Design

Brainstorm
After the business above, we anxiously march on into this exciting phase, often times leading with logo sketches or word thoughts. The funnel is wide at this stage and no one is judged for a bad idea. We do this in collaboration with the client, or if they prefer to leave it to us, we do it with ourselves.

shown: rough logo sketches
Ideation/Development of Identity Elements
We view brand identity as a system of elements that work together to express the brand's personality. At this stage, we show the development of these elements. For a graphic identity system, we may show logo sketches, color palettes, typefaces, images, taglines, etc. For environmental work, we may share a 3D SketchUp rendering with materials.

shown: suggested color palette, taglines, typography, menu cover options
Design Identity and Explore Applications
Examples of how proposed identity elements play out as a system are explored – whether shown on a business card, package, sign, home page, etc. Clients give feedback and eventually the final go-ahead.

shown: computer logo sketches, menu mock-ups

4. Determine Touchpoints, Develop Content

Project Lineup
With new creative concepts approved, the work plan gets more specific, the team is assembled and BDC works towards projects in priority order. Content is developed with the client or outside resources when needed.

shown: projects to complete for grand opening 6/13/12
Apply and Art Direct
Specific pieces such as ads, marketing materials, packaging pieces, web sites, signs, etc. are designed, written and populated with placeholder imagery. Mock-ups are prepared for presentation to the client. Upon approval, BDC will art direct actual photography, illustration, web development, etc.

shown: menu concept (roll over image for actual)

5. Produce & Implement

Production Schedule
The nuts and bolts of completing all copy, art and specifics happens now. We request the client’s routing list for final sign-offs.

Develop Launch Plans
The finishing touches are put on artwork files. A request for quote (RFQ) that includes all artwork specifications for potential fabricators is created. Bodnar Design will collaborate with client-preferred fabricators or source from our own partner list. We submit files for proof and production that adhere to the requirements of each vendor or media source. If possible, Bodnar Design will quality approve projects in production, attending press-okays.

shown: sign specifications released to vendor (roll over image for actual)
Develop Standards and Guidelines
When contracted to document all brand standards, Bodnar Design will create a complete ditigal or hard copy reference for the brand program including acceptable logo usage, color palette, typesetting styles, communication formats, etc. All brand elements are explained and shown in examples in the document.