How We Bring Strategy Into Our Designs
"How do we ensure our design solutions are meaningful? The short answer: by providing a solution that embraces both the business needs of the client and the needs of the audience"
- David Holston, The Strategic Designer
We here at Salt Design Co. are firm believers in bringing strategy into our design. When a client comes to us, we don’t try to force some trend or aesthetic onto them. Instead, we learn everything we possibly can about them, their business, and how they see it growing before we make any kind of decision about style direction.
And the reason for this is simple; if we understand where they’re headed and how they want to get there then we can make deliberate choices that will act as tools to help them reach their goals. Not someone else’s goals. Theirs.
A really good example of this is a project we recently worked on for Renew Retreats, which offers holistic hiking retreats and education for womxn in Vancouver (check it out, it’s launching in August!).
For an outdoor company, we knew we wanted to use natural tones and colours, but we also didn’t want to be generic. Renew’s target audience is professional women, with good taste, who live in cities and are current and up to date with trends and that’s who we were designing for. Because of that, the palette had to be fresh but still recognizable.
We decided to go with a soft dusty pink as the primary colour and paired it with a rich clay red that has touches of brown in it. We then contrasted that with the brighter yellows and two greens that are nontraditional. Each of the 3 colours has 2 variations, one light and one dark, and they are to be paired with their fellow colour only making everything feel structure but energetic and welcoming.
The logo font is a style of font that is halfway between a Didot (a type of font commonly used for women’s fashion magazines) and a slab serif. It’s thick and curvy, but still has thinner parts that add contrast and softness giving it a touch of femininity.
It’s nothing like what other outdoor companies use, which is crucial because the demographic for this company is not the usual outdoorsy people. They are city dwellers who don’t want to camp, so using a font that was too modern, clean, or simple wouldn’t speak to the refined, elevated, premium experience they’re going to be having, but we also couldn’t go with something toooo traditional or feminine.
Finding a balance of modern, feminine, and luxury was key, but so was making sure it had a personality that spoke to the target audience.
All of these decisions had a firm strategy behind them and none of those strategies detracts from the overall look in any way. In fact, they’re what makes the overall look so compelling and representative of the brand as a whole. When you look at everything together – the colours, the fonts, the service offerings, mission, and values – they all compliment one another and feel almost… inevitable. Like this is a cohesive brand which understands it’s audience and that’s why we believe in strategic design.
It just yields the best results. For our clients and their audience.
Got any questions about our design strategy? Feel free to leave a comment below or send us an email! You can email Lucy at email@example.com
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