Keep it Brief

Client:
Brunel University, Brunel Digital
Location:
Brunel University
Disciplines:
Branding, Social Creative

About the Project

As part of the Digital Media courses at Brunel University, each year the final year students showcase their major projects at our exhibition event, the Degree Show.

For the 2020/21 Brunel Digital Degree Show, I decided to take part in the management team as one of the two brand managers, responsible for creating the umbrella brand of the show and art directing the event, as well as producing digital promotional material.

Challenge

Create a brand identity that reflects the cohort's values and showcases the Digital Media students' work to increase exposure.

Outcome

A dynamic brand identity, which highlights fundamental design elements and a sophisticated modern approach, incorporating motion design to produce visually engaging content.

Brand Launch Video by Dan Bewsher and Tom Merry


Moodboard

Before we began the design process, we conducted research and created a mood board to gather general ideas for the look and feel of the brand. As a team, we agreed on exploring vibrant colours, gradients, and the incorporation of motion as a style direction. I personally pushed to select a serif typeface as the primary brand font, to stand out in comparison to previous years.


Brand & Visual Identity Development

As the management team of 9, alongside the wider Degree Show team we came up with the name Keep it Brief, with our approach focusing on the core themes of resilience, collaboration, and boldness. This year we aimed to fit the brand to the students, instead of the other way around. For the upcoming exhibition, we seek to stand out in a cluttered digital work, with a focus on problem-solving during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After deciding on the brand name and themes, I searched for typefaces and colours that would evoke the playful yet sophisticated style we were going for, and created an exploration board with the proposed ideas. Later, the other brand manager and I pitched our concepts to the team – ultimately deciding on Mullingar, a serif typeface characterised by sharp edges and smooth curves, allowing the brand to keep a modern yet elegant look and feel. Once the team was happy with the logo, we moved onto the next core elements, the brand colours, typography and style.


Finalised Brand Identity

For our visual theme, we decided to go back to our roots and bring simple yet fundamental elements of design back into focus – the shapes and colours that serve as pillars for any creative discipline. With this theme in mind, we built the brand around primary shapes (circles, triangles, rectangles, diamonds) and hues (red, blue, yellow), adding our own twist by pairing this style with modern and sophisticated elements – such as our primary typeface and the heavy incorporation of motion, with our animated gradients made by Tom Merry.


Brand & Social Media Assets

After finalising the key brand elements, I parted from the other brand manager, him focusing on the motion graphics elements, and me on the static ones. With my experience in branding from my placement, I produced the identity and style guide for the brand. I then created the first social media post and story to set the tone for the following social content, as well as templates for the social media team. Further, as digital became our main and only platform this year, we focused on creating a better user experience. So I produced webcam overlays for the team to use on Zoom presentations, an Instagram/Facebook filter to use on the day of the Brand Launch, and GIFs to use on social media.

To take a look at an in-depth breakdown of the Keep it Brief brand, please see the brand style guidelines created here.


Retrospective

Challenges

My biggest challenge for this project was to completely adapt our way of working to strictly digital mediums. This caused a delay on the project start date, and already put us in a disadvantaged position in comparison to previous years. In addition, with a project of such collaborative nature, it was crucial for team members to be on the same page and update each other regularly. However, some wouldn’t keep up with this, which caused inconsistencies when translating the brand identity to the different visual channels. Further, learning how to create a filter on Spark AR in such a short amount of time was a struggle, and I wish I could’ve dedicated more time to it.

What can be improved?

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to research and implement brand and marketing strategies relevant to Keep it Brief. While we were able to produce a complete successful brand with a versatile concept, it would’ve been very beneficial to expand on these aspects, which would’ve allowed us to better fulfil the project goal. In the future, I would like to increase my knowledge on brand and marketing strategies to incorporate them in my upcoming projects.