Over the course of the last 7 years we've had the privilege of collaborating with a number of individuals, businesses, and organizations. With each, we've learned that in order to do anything of merit, it can't be done alone. Nor can it be done in a one-sided manner. There must be true collaboration to achieve something genuine. Something truly impactful. Something "timeless".
It all comes from balance.
In the context of building (or rebuilding) a brand, a good design team will of course bring their expertise, hard work, problem-solving skills, and keen insights to the projects they approach, but they must always balance that with the understanding that their client - the humans on the other side of the table - also have something to bring to the process. No one knows the identity of an organism better than the people that are in it, so their opinions and insights are invaluable, especially when defining overall brand strategy, ideal audience, and general approach.
On the flip side, a good design client will of course bring their familiarity with their brand, insight into their audience, understanding of their goals, and a strong desire for it to be successful, but they must then let the designer do what he/she/they are hired to do - design.
One of the many privileges we've had was getting to partner with the incredible team at VMDO Architects. They are an architecture and design firm with an unwavering commitment to creating environments that shape the way people live, work, and play. For the last 40 years they've been dedicated to helping institutions and communities envision pivotal projects, specifically within the world of education. Their heart for the work they get to do is extremely sincere, and that is felt in the spaces they design.
As they embarked on a new decade of practice, the VMDO team approached us to help them evolve their brand by way of a new visual identity and website experience. As a long-standing firm with much history, they easily could have been tight-fisted about things - micro-managing the process and output - but instead they understood their role as well as ours. They gave us the information we needed to do what we do, built a true relationship with our team in the process, and then trusted us to do what we do best: create.
The result was a new visual identity and online experience that not only showcased their work but also communicated the values within the work. And because a truly collaborative balance was struck, the work culminated in an identity with lasting value.