This Is A Voice

Finding your brand - our process for choosing a new brand

July 04, 2022 Jeremy Fisher and Dr Gillyanne Kayes Season 5 Episode 6
This Is A Voice
Finding your brand - our process for choosing a new brand
Show Notes Transcript

We asked you for your opinions of six different logo designs. Wow, you did not disappoint. Your comments were brilliant, hilarious and outstandingly rude.
In this episode we share the beginning-to-end process for choosing a new logo and brand look, and the worst of the comments you made

  • the design brief we wrote
  • the advice we were given (some great, some bad) 
  • the design competition we set up 
  • choosing between the 353 designs we received
  • the feedback on six of the designs (OMG!)
  • how we came to trust our own instincts and why

We're summing up the experience as fascinating, terrifying and very funny.

Brand archetypes -
Logo design -
SECO (SpeakEasy Cooperative) and Michelle Markwart Deveaux -

If you want to have a 1-1 vocation advice session with Jeremy, click on my calendar or drop us an email
To find out more about voice, vocal health and singing techniques, check out the Vocal Process Learning Lounge - full access to 16 years of voice training resources for less than the price of one singing lesson 

This is a voice, a podcast with Dr. Gillyanne Kayes and Jeremy Fisher. Hello and welcome to this is a voice series five episode six. The podcast where we get Vocal about voice. Now, we've just had a new logo designed, uh, and it's all part of our brand remake. And we decided that we were gonna talk about branding and the whole business of how you brand yourself and what the process is that we've gone through and what you might have to go through because branding is big business at the moment. Yeah. And it's also about finding out what best represents you, how you want, first of all, how you show up in the world, um, and how you want others to see you. Yes. So that you can attract the people that you want to work with, the people that you want in your community. Yes. It turns out it's no easy task. It is no easy task. Um, wow. As you know, people, we have had the same logo since 2003, 2003, I think is when, when we first established it and we paid a lot of money for that logo. Didn't we? Yeah. Yes. We've had it for a long time, so it was a bit sad to go we're going to retire the logo and, and we were very fond. And can, can we just talk a little bit about why we did it? First of all, thank you to all those people who came on one of our courses, our last in person course in a 2019 that we had here on site, where we sat down over dinner and they said, this is such a terrific course. And I'll be honest with you listeners. That course was half full. And we said, come on. Why are we half full? What do you think? Well, there were perfectly judicious comments about the website. please trust us. The website is going to be very much updated. Hence part of the rebranding. It is, but also they said now your logo, but we love our logo. It's so creative. Yeah, but it looks like a school badge. It's old fashioned. Oh, yeah. So thank you those lovely people. So it only took us three years. we did have the pandemic in the Jeremy. We did, we did. So, um, let's talk about the, the whole business of working out what your brand is and what the logo does. Mm-hmm because. You know, when we first started it, we thought, well, the logo represents who we are and people see the logo and they'll know exactly what it is that we do. And the old logo that we had was very much based on, um, a watercolor drawing that I did originally back in 2000 endoscopic view, endoscopic of the larynx of the larynx. So you had the V of the, uh, thyroid cartilage, and then you had the P, which is essentially the Vocal folds going up. And then theoretically, it would've been a circle of the cricoid cartilage, but I cut the circle off. And then we took that. I actually used that for a year or so, and then we took it to a designer and he made such a good version of it. Um, so that's where we were. And it was, if you knew anything about endoscopy and you knew anything about voice and science, you could recognize what it was. So one of the first things you have to do when you are commissioning a designer to create a logo for you is you have to write a brief for them and you have to basically tell them what it's supposed to be, what it's supposed to represent and what sort of feel that you want. I mean, you can do colors as well, but feel is more important. And we we'd previously done, an archetype exercise. Hadn't we looking for our business archetype. Yes. And that was helpful. And what did we come up with? Sage/Creator. Yeah. So wise people who also create, and it was in that order. Um, there's somebody else that we work with who is in fact, the other way around, which is Creator/Sage. And it's a really interesting, um, thing it's actually free to do. Um, I will put the link to it at the bottom. It's the whole archetype business archetypes thing. Very, very useful and fascinating because he has examples of, um, commercial ads that show each type of archetype. And when you see the ads, you go, oh yes, I understand that. Or you go, ah, right now that's not me. I can see that doesn't work. Let's go back and do it again. Um, I think the whole brief thing is absolutely critical. Yes. Because not only is it about writing, you know, instructions that, that people are gonna be able to follow, but it helps you to really unravel in your own mind, what is it that we are offering people? What is it that we are? What is it that we want people to see? What can they get from us? Yes, what's going, what are they going to be attracted to? And therefore, what does the designer want to build into the logo? The whole feel, look of it in order to be able to reflect what it is that that we are saying. So, um, I'm gonna read our brief out. I hope you don't mind about this, cuz it does sound like we're crowing, but this is really, this is very important for the designer to know where they're heading. so our brief, we train professional singing teachers and singers across the world to find their unique style and purpose and share their talents with others. We're known for high level teaching, voice science knowledge and the ability to make complex concepts simple and understandable. We're a cross between serious science, teaching, expert performance coaching and a quirky sense of humor. Mm-hmm . We combine cutting edge education with voice science and feel good performance techniques. Our goal is to coach professional performers to find their best and to raise the standard of voice training internationally. We encourage collaboration between voice professionals and we don't take any bullshit. Mm-hmm . We believe in lifelong learning. We are a mom and pop company with a worldwide reputation and multiple bestselling books on voice training. We're both well known experts in our field. We're in our sixties now, but with young brains. Speak for yourself. Yeah. Our target audience is professional singers, actors, performers, and singing teachers seeking further training. Caring, inclusive, responsible, intelligent, talented people who ask questions. That's who we're aiming. You did such a great job on that. Trust me, that was not the first version it took days didn't it? It took days. It took days. Yes. Yeah. So we sent that brief off to, um, and it's actually a site called 99 designs and they run a competition with hundreds of designers and you put up the money and you put up the brief and basically people then pitch. And the way that they pitch is they send their first design to you. Didn't we give them as a guide, the original logo? We gave them the original logo as a guide simply to say, you know, this is, this is the VP. This is the, the Vocal Process logo. You can use it. You don't have to use it. We're happy to go with a word. We're happy to go with a completely different design. It's just this is what we've been using. I, I think what it gave, some of them was a sense of shape. Yes. And obviously the designers can choose whether they're going to submit or not. Where we ended up was 353 designs. Which is quite extraordinary. Uh, and they were coming in over a period of about 10 days. Talk about decision overload. It was really fascinating because there are various ways that you can do this, but where, because you had so many, there were various that we just went. No, no, no, no. That's interesting. And you ended up yeah, don't just send me a crochet. No, no, really not interested in a crochet. Thank you. Don't want a treble clef. Thank you. Um, so lots of people just saw the music thing and, and came up with all sorts of music, things, which were just, you know, instantly dismissed. But it was very interesting because where we ended up was a short list of six possibles and they were all very different. Uh, the, the style at the moment for logos is line drawings and I love line drawings. We both do don't we? It's basically flat, fairly simple, fairly straightforward. So that was, I gave them a hint about, that's what we we'd like to go with. Uh, so we came up with six and we sent them to three of our trusted colleagues to, to find out what they thought about it. They all liked different ones. They all liked different ones. And that was quite interesting. So we went, okay, well, there's no decision we can make no help at all then. Nope. Um, but they did come up with some interesting comments and that was great because again, the comments that people make help us to move and maneuver towards something that we think is gonna work better. So then. we opened it to out to some of the people who have worked with us for more than three days. So they know our work mm-hmm , uh, we went on one of our Facebook groups and, uh, put them up and said, there's basically, there's a poll here, please choose of, of these six, just give us comments and stars on every one of them. And, uh, also what I said to them was, I want you to think about someone trawling the internet and you have two seconds. Because apparently that's all the attention that, you know, your logo is likely to get. Yes. So think about those two seconds. And what would attract you, given that, you know us. My word, you did not hold back. Oh, no, you did not. Hold back. We are now gonna read out some of these comments and we did have a laugh. Ah, we had a laugh and then we, we got even more confused. Yes. Okay. Logo 1. Flowers, nothing to do with voice. Children's charity. Looks like a yoga fitness center for the elderly. Hold up my hand. that made me laugh a lot. Um, okay. Logo two Warner brothers, cold. Hotel, fussy two corporate looks like it's for posh people. I'm not posh. We loved the posh one. Didn't we? Yeah. Mm-hmm school logo, school, badge, car emblem, car brand. That was actually our favorite one. number three Warner brothers again, and that was mentioned twice. Mm-hmm Too solid. Unflowing. A bit like a fingerprint. School blazer. Football strip. Hotel again, car badge. Looks like an antivirus product. Lapel pin school, that car thing again, logo four women's health. Expensive dental practice. I can't even remember which one that was. No. One word comment. No. Jewelry store logo, Indian restaurant, video game console, luxury warehouse. It's like you guys are so creative. You could be a luxury warehouse. I mean, look at this! The people who are listening on the podcast, I am actually wearing the waistcoat that I made. Which is a Liberty print. It's a Liberty print. It's very flowery. Uh, number five women's health logo. Nope. Wine. No. Choral conductor. What's wrong with wine? No idea. No idea. Lacking in movement and energy. Looks like a sign in another language. And there was a positive one in there, which is the VP is strong in this one. And then flower pot. It's the flower pot. Yes. I remember the flower pot. Um, and then design number six, lighter flame, yoga, touchy-feely-girly. Logo for a fire heating service. Too techy. Mm-hmm how can it be a? Well, yeah, touchy-feely-girly and too techy. Yeah. Isn't it interesting how people respond so differently to the same image? Too close to the META color palette, which I thought was a very interesting comment. A spa alternative health product. Indian restaurant, middle Eastern hotel or airways logo. And my absolute favorite, you look like you're selling air freshener. And it's like, you absolutely did not hold back, but wow are you creative with your comments! Thank you very much. So we actually part of the process that's it was actually quite horrible to go through because every time a good comment came in, another comment would come in would be exactly the opposite. And we had a logo that had five stars. Perfect. Zero stars wouldn't even give this the time of day. We genuinely could not see a pattern in any of them. It was really weird. Wasn't it? It was weird. So I then had a bright spark idea that we could ask the, um, SECO community, the speakeasy cooperative group that we belong to. And we've been members of for a while. Yes. Because, um, all of these people run their own businesses. Very often independent voice studios or, um, multiple teacher, voice studios, choir leaders, um, you know, they're people like us and of those people actually only one person has worked with us. They're, you know, they know us, they've listened to our podcasts. Maybe they've bought, you know, they've been in the Learning Lounge, but they've not worked personally with us. So I wanted to know what they thought. Yes, we had the same problem. Yes. Very useful feedback from people as business owners. And that was great. Thank you very much SECO community, but again, there was no consensus and, um, which was very, I mean, we expected at least two of the logos to come up and be, you know, we like these, you know, why don't you choose between these or why don't you incorporate them together or, you know, anything, but no, not a thing. Literally zero stars to five stars for every one of them. Absolutely weird. So before we talk about that, um, lovely bit of feedback that we had on SECO that helped us turn the corner. Mm-hmm our next stage at that point was, oh my Lord. What are we going to do? The two second thing has not worked. Yes. And what had happened with, um, particularly some of the SECO people they had said, I see you as, and I thought, okay, that's helpful. Yes. So we went back to our own Facebook community. Yep. The Singing and the Actor Facebook group. And we said, Okay. Thinking of your experience of working with us, what three words would you use? Can I, can I just digress for a moment? The What Three Words thing. Mm. What Three Words comes for. It's what dot three dot words. And it comes from a mapping program, which is mapped every square meter of the earth. And given it a name, which is three different words, and you can go on, it's free to use. You can go on what three words and find out where your house is. And in fact, you find out where your front door is. It's that precise. It's particularly useful. If for instance, you have a difficult address to send mail to. So you can actually give the postman the what three words square meter that your post box lives in. And if you are out in the wilderness somewhere and you have an emergency, you can find the what three words. Space that you are in until the emergency services where you are, and they know exactly how to get to you. Mm-hmm, it's a very powerful program. And I loved the what, three words, things. So we sort of expanded it a bit and said, what three words would you use to describe us? Mm. And I said, uh, hold us and your experience in your mind and off you go. Yes. So here we go. Um, I love this one. Professional, light bulb, home. As in finding the voice home I've been seeking for decades. That's a lovely one. Thank you. Uh, empowering, encouraging, context driven. So glad somebody mentioned context, cuz it's so important for me. Mmm. Um, transformative nurturing, authentic. Warm, insightful confidence boost. We had quite a lot of empowering didn't we, we did inspiring empowering that came up, uh, a lot. That was lovely. Yeah. Uh, here's a nice one. Safe, accurate, playful, love that. It's an aspect of, of our work that sometimes people don't really see. But it's definitely there. And then we had to learn a few new words. How about this one? Concise, accurate Sedulous. Now both of us have had to look up what sedulous means. And it means dedicated and diligent. Yeah. Involving or accomplished with careful perseverance. I love that. I do think that sounds like us careful in using a lot of effort. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. Diligent in applicational pursuit. Love that. So yes, we go with that. Yeah. Clarity came up, joy and fun came up. Yeah. Welcoming, validating. Yes. Supportive. And then another word to which I had heard, but I wasn't completely sure of the meaning, which was liminal. Liminal. Again, both of us had to look this up and this was about, this was about the experience. Liminal means sitting on the threshold. And this is very, very interesting. It's the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of a Rite of passage. So it's almost like you are the gateway in the middle of a Rite of passage and it's such a powerful word. So yeah, we'll take that as well. So, I mean, just quoting a little bit from this person. Um, who's recently completed our 12 month uh, teacher accreditation. Liminal experiences can be scary, but essential for growth and managing the ever changing reality of the present. So powerful. Very deep. Yes. Very deep person. Thank you for that. Yes. So, I mean, we could go on with this. Yeah. But actually that really did help because we began to get a flavor of how it is that the people who've worked with us already see us and what their experience is with us. It was very powerful. because when you get that sort of confirmation, um, you go back to your own instincts mm-hmm and you go, okay. You know, it has been very educational and eyeopening to get all of the feedback from various people. Uh, nevertheless, we've still gotta go back to what we want to achieve and what we want to show and demonstrate. Yes. And, um, of course it was lovely to have all those three words made us feel very warm and fuzzy, but we still had a decision to make. And then what happened was that I checked back into the SECO Facebook group and I saw that, Michelle Markwart Deveaux who, um, runs the group, had put a comment in. And this is shared from the Seco group with permission from Michelle and it helped us turn the corner. I see you as a strong, trustworthy brand, scholarly, dark blues, silver, black, dark greens, that kind of thing. Mixed with a roundish logo. I think you can blend the softness of your hearts with the strength of your scholarship and a reminder that our color is what we want our client to know about us. Not necessarily what they think they know about us. Yeah. Oh, thank you so much for that, Michelle, because it took us back to our instinct where we'd ended up from asking for reworking of the designs, took us to the colors that we felt both represented us best. Mm. It was very interesting. And so we went with one of the designs and it was actually the one in a way that was the least popular mm-hmm, but it was the one that potentially had the most growth to work with. And we went back and forth with the designer. And I think he ended up doing 35 different versions, which was amazing. And we came up with, he came up with one that we both looked at and we went, yes, that works. And why we like this one, um, by the way, we're going to put it up in the show image on the podcast and, uh, we'll, we will put it up in, uh, YouTube, but you also you'll see it on, uh, our stuff from now on. The one that we came up with, uh, when you first look at it, it looks like, um, an angel with ups swept wings. You can see the V in the general shape. It's a sort of V with curved top. But then you start to look closer. There's a little flame in there. It looks like a, a person. Uh, there's actually, what I love about this is the use of negative space. So you see the V quite clearly, but then as you look closer, the P is hidden. The P is actually in there, but it's demonstrated by all the lines around it. Not actually by the P itself. That's the liminal space. Yes. So we love that. And also we've gone with two quite close and complimentary colors. One is a, almost an ink blue, quite a dark blue or slightly purple. And the other is a very dark teal. And actually because of, um, well, two books, actually, this is a voice, uh, which was a teal color and also the there's a tealish color on the title of my book, why do I need a Vocal coach. And it's, and, and on the app, in fact, um, the, uh, one minute voice warmup app, and it started to be one of the colors that we use. So we went with a very dark version so all of those can stand out. Yeah. Can I say a little bit more about this, um, which is that we've got strong, quite definite lines there, haven't we? Yes. And we've got these deep colors and we feel that that represents the solidity. Yeah, that we offer solidity in, um, our knowledge and also our own personal thirst for updating our knowledge. And there's also white space, which means there's space for other people. Absolutely. And we've got this shape, which is still based on the larynx. It's still based on the larynx logo. Yeah. but it's a holding space. Yeah. And that's something that people talk about a lot, um, on courses that we hold the space for their learning. Yep. We do that in the best way that we can. And then the P is kind of leaning, isn't it? Yes. I mean, you know, you've gotta be curious to find out that there's a P there and love what I like is that there's a flame. And so for me, that represents the light bulb moments. Yes. The flame of knowledge, the flame of understanding. Reigniting your passion. Yes. Inspiration, reigniting your passion for teaching. Yes. And, um, those of you who are sharp-eyed will also notice that the, the, the title of the company Vocal Process has now become one word mm-hmm we've been using it interchangeably as two words in one word, um, up until very recently. And finally, we got it registered. So we are now a registered trademark and it's VocalProcess, all one word. And one of the things that came up in the feedback and people were. You know, I like the, I like what you've done, but I'm not gonna give it five stars because I think those, the designers had bolded the Vocal of VocalProcess and left the process less, ordinary, standard. And they said it should be the other way around that the process, this of the way we work because of the way we work, the process should be bolded. And that was lovely, cuz that, that basically matched where we were going. So you'll see the, the Vocal as standard text and the process is bolded and it's all one word. So there's quite a lot going on in that rebrand, even though at first glance, it looks very simple. Mm-hmm um. So we've, we've got the logo reg, not the logo. We've got the, uh, the name registered. Um, we're gonna be changing all of that on our paperwork as well. And we are about to commission the website. We have our web designer lined up mm-hmm um, but of course, with the web design, there's a whole other brief now to go on. So no, but. The branding really helps. It does. It'll allow us to make the website more simple, which is what people expect in nowadays. It does. So it's gonna be an it's an ongoing process. We're not gonna flick a switch or click our fingers and everything will change. It's an ongoing process over the next several months. But expect to see this new logo yes. In relation to us. Yes. It's a very good process to go through, even though it was quite scary and very frustrating at times, it's a good process to go through because it's about clarification. You clarify, when you are having people design for you that don't know your work at all. It's really fascinating to be able to describe what you do. And we do a whole load of different things, but to be able to describe the feel and the emotion, and also how you want people to feel when they work with you. That's very powerful. So that was today's podcast. All about us. But actually for those of you who do run your own businesses and are maybe thinking of branding and thinking of choosing colors and thinking of choosing logos that represent you, maybe you'll find us sharing our process helpful to you. Yes. And we'll put all the links that, uh, we used in the show notes and also in the YouTube description. So, uh, have a look and go and visit and say, say, you're from us. We're not affiliated to anybody at the moment, but just say hi from us, because we actually had very good experiences with all the people that we are going to list. So we will see you next time. Bye. This is a voice, a podcast with Dr. Gillyanne Kayes and Jeremy Fisher