HD: I’m currently an undergrad graphic design student and came across your team’s work. After having taken some corporate identity branding classes and packaging design, I fell in love with logo making and packaging. I was wondering if there was a designer on your team who would be amazing enough to answer a few questions I had about the design process – how you take the main ideas of a company and build their identity.
Some of the questions I had were:
How do you define your own personal design style?
Imagemme: Minimal and modern with a sense of humor and wit.
HD: Do you feel you ever have to filter your design style in order to preserve the style of the company?
Imagemme: The project and client will have a hand in directing the design style, but the Imagemme aesthetic and design sensibility is ideally seen in the end result. Our main goal is to solve the client’s communication challenge in a clear, authentic and sophisticated way.
HD: How often do you work outside of work and does that leave you much time for your own side projects/freelance work?
Imagemme: There is no denying that we work hard and for certain deadlines and projects we’ll put in a lot of hours, but luckily as a small company, we’re able to keep the atmosphere of the office casual and have fun in the process. When you love what you do, work doesn’t feel like work.
HD:What do you think is the most challenging thing graphic designers face today?
Imagemme: Multi-tasking. Many designers are now expected to be creative, be able to “sell” the ideas & work to clients and know production (both print and web). With more freelancers now than ever and rapid advances in technology, designers have to fill many roles in the process. Obviously, it’s difficult to excel at all of them, but taking the time to hone your communication skills, business sense and attention to details will help make you more well rounded.
HD: What is your design process? (How you reach your final product)
Imagemme: We start each project with a client in-take meeting where we sit down with the client and ask as many questions as possible to fully understand the design challenge and what they need. We then develop a creative brief if the client has not created one for us. To kick off each project internally, we discuss as a group, assign roles, and go off and do necessary research for inspiration and to see the competitive landscape. We subject all of our work to internal critiques in order to present the best solution to the client. Imagemme’s strong point of difference is our multi-disciplinary perspective. We have graphic designers, product designers, marketing strategist and business strategists all looking at our projects before they go out the door. It makes for a great work product.
HD: What’s the best word of advice you could give others on the best way to market yourself as a designer? (What are the essential basics you need to do?)
Imagemme: Be yourself. Capitalize on your strongest talents and traits while recognizing the things you can improve. We find that clients (and people in general) are craving sincerity and authenticity. Finding that in yourself will help when selling your ideas to others.
HD: How do you personally handle deadlines with a heavy workload? Have you ever had such a short turnaround that you really disliked what your end product was?
Imagemme: Of course. There are always times you wish you had a longer timeline, a bigger budget or an easier client. However, we have certain standards in place that we never compromise on in the design process no matter the workload or deadline, so that we know we are giving each project our best shot. But nothing’s perfect.
HD: Where do you go for inspiration?
Imagemme: It’s hard not to be inspired by everything in NY: museums, galleries, restaurants, streets, neighborhoods, parks, subways… the entire city can be incredibly inspiring. Our office is fairly global and we’re a diverse group of people so we get a lot of inspiration from each other and our backgrounds. We also travel fairly regularly, and foreign cultures, landscapes, cuisines etc provide endless inspiration for our work.
HD: How do you deal with unsatisfied clients?
Imagemme: As politely and with as much respect as satisfied customers. In our experience, clients are unhappy when expectations have been mismanaged. So either they aren’t communicating what they want to us, or we aren’t listening. Getting on the same page with a strong creative brief is a simple way of avoiding an unhappy client.
HD: How do you avoid accidentally reusing similar ideas/logo elements from what’s already out there? Logos are a dime a dozen and no one person has seen every single one out there. How does a designer make sure to avoid copying other logos?
Imagemme: It helps to spend as much time as possible in the research phase, looking at what’s out there and what our clients’ competitors are doing. Designers are an observant bunch and take inspiration from everywhere, so it’s likely that something you see or experience will influence your work, and perhaps the best solution will even come from an homage to something in the past or another artist. However, we always identify and hone our clients’ points of difference before we undertake an identity projects. The subtle nuances that define the brand as unique are what will differentiate your logo, identity and brand assets.