Geneza School Blog

Behind the Scenes of Brand Identity Design: A Q&A with a Creative Expert

June 5, 2023

Meet Busari Omotola Adeyinka, aka Tolagrafik. With over 15 years of design experience and a portfolio of 500+ clients, Tolagrafik is a visionary in logo and brand identity design.

Can you tell us about your journey of becoming a brand identity designer and what piqued your interest in the field?

I started my journey as a graphic designer in 2008 and initially explored various design areas. However, I observed a shift in the industry around 2015 when many graphic artists started transitioning into photography, videography, cinematography, and many more. Instead of following suit, I decided to change the narrative and chose to specialize in brand identity design. 

This decision was influenced by my long standing love for drawing and being a natural artist. Sketching has always been an integral part of my creative process, and it further fueled my passion and admiration for creating impactful brand identities. By emphasizing the importance of sketching as a foundation, I can bring a unique artistic perspective to the realm of brand identity design. This approach allows me to translate conceptual ideas into visually compelling and meaningful logos that effectively represent the essence of a brand.

 If you were to describe your design style in only three words, what would they be and why?

- Originality 

- Transparency 

- Simplicity 

I ensure that every design I create is crafted from scratch, as I believe in the importance of originality and uniqueness. Moreover, I actively involve my clients in the design process to ensure their vision and requirements are fully incorporated. By collaborating closely with them, I can better understand their preferences and deliver designs that align with their expectations. Additionally, I strive to maintain a balance between simplicity and sophistication in my designs. While simplicity ensures clarity and ease of understanding, sophistication adds a touch of elegance and refinement. This combination allows the design to communicate effectively while also capturing the attention and interest of the intended audience.

What type of businesses do you feel most passionate about working with and why?

Supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is a cause close to my heart. I strongly believe in giving back to the community and using my skills to make a positive impact. Therefore, I am passionate about assisting SMEs in building their brands and supporting their businesses. One of the ways I contribute is by offering branding services free of charge to SMEs. This allows them to access professional design expertise without the burden of financial constraints. By providing them with high-quality branding solutions, I aim to help them establish a strong visual identity and increase their visibility in the market. Furthermore, I understand the challenges that SMEs face, especially in their early stages. By offering complimentary branding services, I hope to alleviate some of their financial pressures and empower them to compete effectively in their respective industries.

It brings me great satisfaction to witness the growth and success of these businesses as a result of our collaboration. Seeing the positive impact my designs have on their operations and their ability to connect with their target audience motivates me to continue supporting SMEs and giving back to the community.

How do you approach the initial stages of a project from understanding the client’s needs, their target audience and unique selling points?

When starting a project, I adopt a strategic approach to understand the client’s needs, their target audience, and unique selling points. Through thorough client consultation, market research, user persona development, and collaboration, I establish a solid foundation for creating designs that effectively meet objectives, resonate with the audience, and highlight the client’s distinctiveness.

What do you consider to be the most significant impact or influence a brand identity designer can have on a company or brand?

A brand identity designer plays a crucial role in shaping and communicating the visual identity of a company or brand. The most significant impact lies in their ability to differentiate the brand, shape brand perception, maintain consistency, foster consumer engagement, and facilitate brand extension and adaptability. 

Through their design expertise, they contribute to building a strong and recognizable brand that resonates with the target audience, enhances brand reputation, and drives business success.

How do you strike a balance between preserving a brand’s existing identity and incorporating fresh, cutting-edge aspects into your designs?

It is essential to thoroughly understand the brand’s values and target audience. 

In my approach to design, I strive to strike a delicate balance between preserving a brand’s established identity and infusing fresh, cutting-edge aspects.

I research current design trends and conduct a brand audit to identify fundamental elements that should be preserved. Maintaining consistency in design choices and introducing new elements gradually to allow for brand recognition. A user-centered design perspective is at the core of my work. By empathizing with the target audience and understanding their needs and preferences, I incorporate cutting-edge aspects that enhance the user experience. Seeking feedback from stakeholders, including the brand’s team and target audience, is a vital part of my process. Their insights and perspectives guide me in validating and refining design changes, ensuring that the integration of new elements aligns harmoniously with the brand’s identity.

How do you conduct research and gather insights to inform your design decisions?

In my design process, I prioritize thorough research and valuable insights to inform my decisions. By understanding project objectives and the target audience, collaborating with clients, and drawing inspiration from various sources, I create purposeful and effective designs that resonate with the intended audience.

Can you describe a project you consider personally fulfilling and what made it stand out for you?

As a dedicated professional committed to honing my craft and delivering unparalleled value to businesses worldwide, every project I undertake holds a special place in my heart.

With a track record of empowering over 500 businesses with standout visual identities, it is challenging to single out one particular project. Nevertheless, I am compelled to make a compromise. 

The project that resonates with me on a personal level is my Logo Alphabet Project. This endeavor holds deep significance for two reasons. 

Firstly, it showcases the journey of progress I have embarked upon throughout my career, highlighting the growth and development I have achieved in my craft over the years. 

Secondly, it reflects my ability to solve complex business problems through creative visual design.

What makes the Logo Alphabet Project even more fascinating is its ability to inspire the creative community, emphasizing that growth requires not only time but also dedicated effort. Furthermore, this project serves as a valuable tool for expanding my followership and generating passive income, as it is available in both digital and printed formats for widespread distribution.

What’s your advice to people that want to start a career in design?

I highly recommend individuals interested in pursuing a career in design to thoroughly research and explore various aspects of design to identify their true passion. Once their interest is discovered, it is crucial to focus their efforts on mastering that particular aspect first. The journey towards mastery necessitates a commitment of time and dedicated effort. In order to stand out in their field and gain global recognition, one key area to prioritize is attention to detail.

Be sure to follow Tolagrafik on Instagram here and be inspired by his exceptional logo and brand identity creations firsthand.

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