Recently I was approached by a new client that wanted to expand their services (with a partner) and wanted to rebrand. There was a big trade show coming up and they were going to have a 10x10 booth. Unfortunately, their goal was to rebrand, have marketing materials and promote the new brand in the booth. All within three weeks!
I explained the challanges that they were going to face because normally I need to have 10-12 days to develop a new brand and my printers needed 7-10 days for production. With that time schedule it left me very little creative time to develop signage, cards, tri-fold and rack card for the show.
That entails, research, finding their local competition, target market, who is their ideal client, mood board, where they want to promote their marketing, colors, fonts, company personalities, tagline, etc. I always explain that it is a process to develop a brand for a business and it should be documented for their business plan.
The owner explained that she already had a concept in mind and that it didn't need to have go through all the exploratory process. I was alittle hesitant but said that I would continue to work with them. They showed me their previous logo and how they wanted to develop their new logo. I told them that the font they were using (Bradley Hand) was a fairly dated font and that I could find an elegant but tough script face for their brand/logo. They gave me a couple of days to explore the design that they wanted and trying to embellish it with various typefaces. I had some various professional looking typefaces that really stepped up quality of their design. But the client said that she was fairly happy using Bradley Hand and because it was a recognizable part of her history.
After two weeks, I had most of the marketing pieces created and ready to hand off to my various printers. Just before the last review the client's partner made a comment to the other that the large "Bradley Hand M" in the logo looked liked a bunch of Cheetos. The woman decided that she could see that and asked if I could clean it up. When converting that font to outline in Adobe Illustrator their are a lot of anchor points that looks like the designer just auto-traced. I was pretty happy with the new clean "M" that I presented and updated all their marketing materials. I was in a hurry to get files to large format printing for the trade show booth materials because of their work flow. I got everything approved and sent.
Last Second Changes
The next day I got an email from the client saying that the rest of copy looked blurred. I thought that she was referring to the low resolution pdf. But later realized that she was talking about the rest of the branded name in the Bradley Hand font at a smaller size. I tried calling the partner and telling him that I would have to spend a couple of hours cleaning up the jagged font and then I couldn't promise that I could stop the printers and get it all printed before the show. I was very frustrated that they were not going to be happy. After thinking about it for a hour I decided that it would be in my best interest to correct everything and do the best that I could. I wasn't able to stop the large format printers but I did get the tri-folds, rack cards and business cards replaced and printed with the new logo.
I should of spent a little more time researching Bradley Hand font and educating the client because I was getting some positive reaction from the two partners that from a design point-of-view my suggestions were legitimate. From the site, Fonts.com, they go on to say that this font was designed by Richard Bradley in 1995 and it was based on his handwriting. Bradley's niche was Christian literature. He and his buddy Collin Brignall developed this typeface for dry transfer lettering. They go on to say, "…this font family boasts a casual, albeit balanced line and what has been described as a 'felt pen on rough paper' look."
That really doesn't sound like it is the right fit for people that are wanted to spend a million dollars on fixing up their homes!