Creating the 'Turned out Bright' brand identity
Updated: Nov 4, 2020
The name 'Turned out Bright' came to me while on one of my thinking walks across the South Downs. I have always loved naming exercises, from brands and products to my children, and I had been brainstorming over a couple of days. This little phrase felt exactly right. 'Bright' is a word that has resonated loudly for me over the last 18 months as I have actively sought to 'live bright'. The addition of 'turned' brings in the idea of change that both branding and coaching are centred on. Together they make a lovely piece of optimism that everything will be ok; exactly my philosophy.
I doodled it on a piece of notepaper and my own brand was born. I worked tirelessly on what exactly my services, USP, values and growth plans were but I needed something visual to make it feel real.
It may be something I do everyday for other people but it wasn't easy to define how I wanted to express the brand, especially as this felt so personal: not just an expression of the company but myself. I started by visualising a room: colourful, organised, clear, retro cool, visual and positive.
These words became the basis for my own creative brief. I wrote one out, wrote it again and then distilled it into one page, a practice I would always recommend no matter how large your project. It forced me to clarify my approach into a short summary. The words on my final website have been further edited and refined but the essence remains from the legwork put into that brief.
I believe in expressing creativity without boundaries. These images were never created to share but I hope they might be helpful. I am not a designer but I am creative and found at this stage of the process it was helpful to play around with marker pens and acrylic paints. It helped me to realise the emphasis of words I was after (less on 'out', more on 'Bright') and the legibility issues that such a long brand name might encounter, especially on social media where so many things live within a small, circular shape.
I'm not sure my designer friends will be able to forgive me but I even got on the Mac (in Powerpoint, I'm breaking a lot of rules there!). Through this process the 'retro cool' element of that room I had visualised developed into a colour palette of oranges, yellows and reds. These colours sing loudly in my life and I love them but they also felt right for the brand, an important distinction.
Something was happening: the circles started to represent the lens that I could turn on brands and the asymmetric movement reflected my somewhat rebellious streak that formed the foundation of Turned out Bright. This was not 'it' but it had promise.
A chat with the ever-talented Nicola at nicolabstudio.com highlighted some sticking points in the typography and the potential for the lens element to come through more clearly. Her input took it from a concept to a design but experience told me that somewhere along the line I had complicated part of my own brief. That clear, visual room I had envisaged was becoming too full. A brand is not just a logo, it is everything around it. If the logo tries to do too much, it takes up the space of other important elements.
It was around the dining table late on a Friday night, with my close friend and exceptional Creative Director, Lauren Tutssel, that her ceaseless desire to create developed the answer. She turned around her screen to reveal a mark that fulfilled all of my criteria, with the added bonus that I absolutely loved it. I went to sleep on it to check that it wasn't the wine talking and woke up feeling suitably bright about it.
The end of the story? Not quite. Refinement is essential and Lauren patiently went through iterations of colours, typography and the shape of the ping in the B. A fun game of spot-the-difference to many but it's those tiny corrections that make a brand mark professional.
The end result is everything I hoped it would be, and a bit more. That should be the aim of working with any specialist: to get more than you can imagine yourself. The final version is colourful, organised, clear, retro cool, visual and positive, with every aspect considered and measured. Turned out Bright again.