Image showing translation & stylescapes in design

Translation: Bridging The Gap Between Strategy & Design

Translating strategy into design is an intricate process. It takes your best findings from strategy and interprets those very insights into powerful communications tools expressed visually through design and verbally through messaging. Your customers will experience the finished product in the form of your website, social media, or other marketing materials.

Translation is about solving one of the most common problems when it comes to creativity:

Successfully scaffold to a winning solution that everyone involved can get behind finding agreement and alignment without having to make any commitments early in the design process that’s also quick, easy, and fun.049e5d928b6358b01ce72384c8f52ea7

How can we quickly establish a direction without exhausting resources?


 

STYLESCAPES: HIGH FIDELITY, LOW COMMITMENT 

A stylescape is a moodboard on steroids. It paints a clear picture on the direction of your brand’s look and feel dictated by the strategy.

Note: Before reading on, it’s best to understand how strategy fits into the overall creative process and why it should be the first step before you do any design work. Learn more from the blog post: “Why is Everyone Talking About Strategy?”. Whether you’re the one doing the design work yourself or bringing on a creative agency, like us ;), you’ll get a better understanding of how the process works.

BEFORE WE TRANSLATE STRATEGY INTO DESIGN

After completing a Discovery Workshop with a client (you can book yours here), and distill our best findings into a comprehensive and digestible brief. In it we uncover:

 

  1. A high level understanding of the business model.
  2. The reason your business exists “beyond making a profit”.
  3. Who the primary customers are and their biggest challenges.
  4. The different lenses in which we describe the brand.
  5. The goals behind your marketing, revenue, and operations.

The outcome of this session becomes the foundation for the stylescape. The end result typically looks something like this:

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At Raw Scale Stylescapes are the first thing we tackle after a Discovery Session right before we do any design work. You can get a feel for how we do it, or you can take these ideas and run with it yourself. 

 

THE PARTS OF A WHOLE

The most important aspect of this exercise is your customer and how they fit into the experience we will create for them. Referencing the image above as an example, ask yourself:

 

  • Does it solve her biggest challenges?
  • Do the aesthetics resonate with her?
  • Is the brand experience something she is already familiar with (think of other brands she’s already interacting with)?

The more questions you can answer above the more prepared you are to move forward. Giving your customers something radically different than what they are familiar with is never a good method for success!

 

After considering the user experience, it’s important to understand the look and feel of the brand you want to create.

 

For example: if the brand is simple, modern, and refined. You will search for inspiration that meets that criteria. In the form of:

 

  • Logos
  • Color palettes
  • Typography
  • Posters
  • People
  • Identity Systems
  • Business Cards
  • Websites/Landing Pages
  • Signage
  • Packaging
  • Environments
  • Textures
  • Illustrations

 

3c5bf2ab8af5ce670bbf605aa71df673The last step from the above exercise is to take the prioritized marketing goals and turn them into branded deliverables. Such as websites, social media posts and email newsletters.

 

Find inspiration for these items, and make sure you include them in the Stylescape. Bonus points if you can modify it to fit with the brand itself!

 

When you have a stylescape, you have an indispensable tool to clarify and communicate your visual direction.

 

If you decide to do this on your own, doing your first Stylescape can be a tricky process. Begin with a moodboard if it becomes overwhelming.

 

When you become more familiar with curating images, colors, and typography you can break the boxes and have everything feel more cohesive and integrated.

 

For those who want it done for them, we are more than happy to help you find clarity with the direction you want to take your business on.

 

You can schedule a consultation right here to see if we can help you solve your business and brand challenges today.

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