If you believe in fate, like I do, then you'll understand when I say that meeting Kim and Kyle was just meant to be. I could tell the whole story but suffice to say, these amazing people are just supposed to be in my life. As designers, I’ve had the pleasure to work with them and watch their company grow. They are inspiring, talented, and adventuresome (they skydive !!! ). And their work is smart, thoughtful, and refined.
Kim and Kyle's Creative Process
We didn't realize it until you asked, but we're very process-driven designers. We've designed a creative process that works for us—to create efficiency, provide clarity/direction, trigger inspiration and end up with different results each time. Our process drives the strategy and design for all of our projects, but we're constantly learning and fine-tuning things to make it better. We work with like-minded people who are creating products/services that we're excited about. So more than anything else, our designs are inspired by our client's unique story and set of challenges.
The first thing we do with every client is "become them" for a day. We learn as much as possible by asking a million questions, and then ask some more. Whenever possible, we love to visit their environment, and even sometimes their home—whether it's a 20 minute drive or a 2 hour flight—to spend some time in-person, getting to know who they are, why they do what they do and what their vision is for their company or product. Once we're saturated with information, we conceptualize internally as a group and create a vision based on everything we've seen and heard. From there, we write a creative strategy, describing the vision and how we're going to achieve it. We get all this thinking approved before starting any design.
While we're working on the strategy, we have ideas stewing in our heads. Sometimes our best ideas hit us when we're walking the dog, driving, cooking, showering or trying to fall asleep. Once we have a strategy in place, we explore a few different "look and feels" by creating different mood boards, usually three. The purpose of these is to define the color palette, typography, imagery, treatments, patterns, textures, etc. This eliminates guesswork before we start design directions, so we're not investing a lot of time into a direction that the client hates. For logo projects, we go through this entire process before we start any designs. We've found that creating mood boards gives a logo context, which will make our logo designs more successful as it relates to the larger brand. With this method, the client is analyzing a lot more than just the design of a logo on a white page – they're thinking about the big picture.
Once a mood board is decided on, revised and approved, we typically have a ton of ideas that we're excited to get started on. Our design process is less rigid and unique to each designer, bringing their own interpretations, inspirations and perspectives to the table. We give each other space to explore before coming together and refining the designs as a team. We don't present anything to the client that we're not proud of—everything is aligned with the vision, strategy and mood boards. Once a direction is chosen, most of the hard work has been done and it's a matter of executing the full vision.
Who's creative process I want to know about ? We recently met two of our long-time role models, Michael Freimuth of Franklyn and Jon Forss of Non-Format. We've admired these guys for years and we'd love to hear the nitty gritty about their process and what fuels them.