Challenge & Goal
Innervoice is a full service media company and performance space in Auburn, California that caters to independent creatives seeking to discover, document, and promote their talents on their budget and timeframe, without gatekeepers. So the challenge and goal was to position Innervoice within the right market for those specific customers and design a unique visual identity that differentiates Innervoice from their competition.
Discover everything relevant to the business, its customers, and market. Then use those uncovered facts and unique stories to build the visual identity foundation and inform the tactics we’ll create to reach the goal.
Identity System (logo, mark, color, fonts, style guide), naming, messaging, website, and signage.
STEP 01. DISCOVERY
The project began by asking lots of direct, focused questions to learn as much as possible about the business. Through this discovery, we found common threads and connections between personal needs, company values, and long-term desires. We then distilled that information into simple attributes that stand as cornerstones for the company ethos. While all are relevant, the top four are primary.
Next, we researched Innervoice’s audience. While we identified a number of potential customer types, these are the three users most on target. With this understanding, clarity and cohesiveness could be achieved through specific messaging and design.
- Independent Videographer, Editor
- 10+ year experience
- Male, 40 year old
- Lives in San Francisco, California
- Income: $48—50k /year
- Engaged; no children
Rent and real estate is expensive in San Francisco, so Dave looks outside of his home city for a space that offers the space, equipment, and flexible hours needed to complete professional and personal projects; without long-term agreements or large rental fees.
- Independent Filmmaker, Writer, Editor
- 4+ year experience
- Female, 29 years old
- Lives in Auburn, California
- Income: $25—35k /year
- Single; no children
Her passion and motivation to be a documentary filmmaker has always been clear. But having the tools to make it happen, hasn’t been. So Betty needs to find a holistic, creative space that offers pro equipment and project support that allows her to to develop her project the way she envisions, on her schedule and budget.
- Professional Musician
- 12+ year experience
- Male, 30 year old
- Lives in Sacramento, California
- Income: $28—32k /year
- Married; 5 year old daughter
The music is locked in. The mission, clear. Issac seeks an all-inclusive studio to record, publish, and market his music on his terms. As a one-man business, he also needs a facility that has flexible in-house hours and remote online access, in order to accommodate his ever-changing schedule as a professional, touring musician.
Position & Proposition
Innervoice is an all-inclusive creative production studio in Auburn, California that provides value-driven media resources and solutions for independent creatives and producers, helping them feel creatively empowered in a holistic and creatively-nuturing environment.
STEP 02. DESIGN
Only after a thorough discovery and diagnosis, visual concepts could begin to be fleshed out. We began be elaborating on the style preferences of the target customers.
Stylescapes were created to establish the visual language and aesthetic preferences of each target customer, as well as to inspire the direction of the visual identity. So color, texture, logos, type styles, photography, and messaging were researched, then composed, using found art and original design concepts. It’s important to point out that stylescapes are strictly for in-house decision-making purposes only and never used for public consumption.
Once the overall style was locked in, concepting of the logo could begin. Inspiration was drawn not only from the business attributes and customer stylescapes, but also from the vast amount of audio/visual equipment owned by Innervoice—cameras, mixing boards, instruments, cables, amps, etc. all became key elements of the final logo form, reinforcing Innervoice’s style and focus.
A simpler form of the main logo that can be used in spaces too small to easily read the main logo, such as social media profile pics and avatars.
The dashes are representative of a camera lens and various degrees of visual and audio settings, as well as the numerous, individual features offered by Innervoice.
This color palette was chosen to reflect simplicity, unity, and positive energy.
Headlines, subheads, and pullquotes are set in different weights and styles of the same san serif type family, Bai Jamjuree—an evenly-weighted Google typeface that works in both print and digital platforms, creating cohesiveness with the logo design. All body copy uses various weights and styles of Archivo–another san serif Google font, that is crisp, clean, and compatible with the heading font.
It’s character shapes are very balanced and evenly-weighted, which helped inspire and align the logo design, after many, many thumbnail sketches, of course.
During the Discovery phase of this project, I became aware of the many opportunities Innervoice offers its clients. Typically, having too many features can dilute the message and strengths of the business. But in this case, it only helped to solidify it’s true mission.
Because of all these features, it led me to envision a “wonderland” of opportunities; a magic place where creative ideas are embraced, experimented on, nurtured, and brought to life.
So I combined the idea of a magic kingdom and a scientific lab, and created the name, “Creative WonderLab”. Ultimately, my client was so taken by the name, they now officially call their building their WonderLab, and have also named a separate educational arm of the business, WonderLab Academy.
Innervoice is as much a visual studio as a sound studio so imagery plays an especially important role in conveying the look and feel they seek. Using personal, inspirational shots of creatives in action conveys the passionate, focused, energy of Innervoice.
The messaging speaks directly to their target audience, expressing that everyone is welcome to experiment and achieve their goals, regardless of skill level and budget.
“Empower Your Inner Voice!”
“Dream Big. Do Bigger.”
“A WonderLab of Creative Possibilites”
Various abstract shapes are used to break up content, add interest to layouts, and call attention to specific points. An energetic trio of colored and dashed lines represent sound level meters, dials, and meters. They are also used on interior walls throughout the WonderLab.
Now that we have an in depth understanding of Innervoice, their target customers and market, and have the foundational visual identity in place, the strategy for building the website could begin. We started by focusing on the target customers usability needs– how would they typically access Innervoice’s content?
Their choice was overwhelmingly mobile (as opposed to desktop computer), so the site was built to be responsive and scale content proportionately for all current and popular devices and web browsers. Then we focused on what content was most relevant to them, and organized it order of importance.
Next wireframe layouts were created to establish general positioning of content; then color layouts we designed, based on the wireframes. After adjustments and approvals, the layouts could then be converted into code for the website layout.
Innervoice would also be taking control of site maintenance and content updates after initial completion of the website, so we used the WordPress content management system platform, because the user interface is very user-friendly and compliant with the latest web standards.