A non-creative’s take on navigating the creative branding process.

Originally posted on Medium. This is part of a 12 month series by Underclub founder, Katie Fritts

I’ve been quiet the last several weeks because we had all hands on deck to launch our OFFICIAL UNDERCLUB BRANDING!

Untitled designUnderclub: Join the club that’s all about U.

A few months ago I received an incredible opportunity to work with the President of Berlin Cameron and her creative team for a holistic development of our brand for the first. time. ever. For those of you who know me, my background better lends itself to tackling financial and operational challenges, and Underclub’s very first logo looked like this:

Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 11.19.22 PM.pngUnderclub’s first logo designed by yours truly in PowerPoint.

Working with Berlin Cameron throughout the full creative and branding journey was incredible. I got to flex new decision-making muscles that didn’t involve excel formulas and I learned to trust my gut more with big decisions.

Here are my 5 takeaways from the branding experience:

1. The creative process is surprisingly linear:

The first step was picking a logo, and then each design decision informed the next. I imagined we’d consider the logo and the font and the colors all at once as interchangeable pieces, but it was more like building a physical structure where you establish your foundation and build up from there.

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 2.40.23 PMThe very first round of logos.

2. Stories are powerful

The new branding helped me clarify our story of the Underwomen. I feel a new kind of confidence making business decisions that build upon what we stand for and our personality- not only with questions around design and marketing, but also how we structure partnerships and allocate our merchandising buys.

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 3.02.36 PM

3. Trust your gut

I rely on math for 100% of my decisions and constantly feared that I would feel the wrong feelings when it came to making design decisions. At first I would wait a few hours after every meeting to give any indication of feedback, but eventually came around to trusting (and speaking) my gut reaction to colors I had an immediate connection with or images that didn’t do it for me.

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 2.31.07 PM

4. Creative execution is calculated:

As we progressed with the design process, I delighted in seeing numerical guidelines to make our designs look good across every customer interaction with our brand (site, packaging, email and social media)- like our text tracking (how far the letters are spaced) and the exact hue of #UnderBlue.

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 2.31.25 PM

5. It takes a village

To bring the brand work to life, we scouted a photographer and model, re-sourced packaging vendors, and implemented, tested and optimized the website. Pulling together these components moved at 100x the speed compared to when we didn’t have our branding under wraps.

IMG_2658Our amazing photographer and model, JT and Emily.

I am beyond excited about sharing the Underclub brand with everyone after all this hard work. Want to watch our brand in action? Here’s how:

Thank you SO MUCH to the Berlin Cameron team and everyone who has helped get us to where we are today. If your startup or company is interested in working with badass creatives, please reach out and I can put you in touch with the phenomenal team at Berlin Cameron.