All conversations are 'Breakthrough' based rather than time based.
All conversations are 'Breakthrough' based rather than time based.
Behind the scenes with Levi Banner
The starting point
Levi Banner is a truly energized human being out to make a real impact.
He came to me with a powerful vision to establish his Brand Identity as a world leader in the field of Yoga Training and facilitation. Levi is a very successful and gifted trainer, travelling the world taking up to fifty participants at a time through a life-transforming certified program several times a year. He has a focus to bring his very unique style to a global market where he can diversify into other key areas of training and product merchandise.
The key issues that needed to be addressed were as follows:
The Yoga market has literally exploded over the past ten years. There are many extremely gifted trainers in the field with huge fan bases. Many of these Yogis have an establish brands that dominate the market. Entering this arena means that you need to have something radically different from the rest - something that has the power to turn heads.
The main action is happening in the USA, with the training market being largely in the range of 25-35 professionals looking to connect with a sense of deep vitality and meet both physical and mental challenges to live a more connected life: a sense of connecting to something powerful and transformative.
Strong communities form around particular styles, making it important to communicate the core message of what you stand for.
Trends come and go very quickly in almost every popular market. Finding a way to create a brand that transcends this high fall-out pattern is vital. The need for something that taps into our deep, iconic sense yet contains a message of potential is a defining factor.
The good news was that although there are some major players in this market, they tended to have a somewhat similar look and feel in the way they presented their material. Big, highly stylized photography, scrolling Wordpress templates and a similarity in how their brands were presented and applied across different products.
Key Points to work with
Levi was not only a multi-faceted teacher of Yoga, Astrology and Breathwork, he had also been a rapper, graffiti artist and dancer. All this worked into the mix to give him a unique perspective on the what he was dedicated to sharing with his clients.
Importantly, he was up for something really different and even provocative in a positive, creative way. He was adamant about moving away from the ‘format’ yoga style that has become a uniform.
We spoke about how we could experiment with ways of presenting him that would have a significant stand-out in his core market – position him as an innovator, literally showing – visualising - his willingness to take people on a real journey, moving them in unexpected ways and skilfully guiding them into the unknown, past their comfort zones to catch sight of something transformative and significant.
'Unexpected' became our mantra.....
The process in action
I had studied yoga for over 20 years and had also trained in India many years ago. I had watched how yoga had grown into the now vast industry. This brought both good and bad things to play. There was a kind of pat vocabulary in so much of what I now saw.
I saw a real opportunity to revolutionize the approach. Bringing this sense of the unexpected into play in the context of yoga had real energy.
We spent a lot of time and focus discussing every aspect of what Levi was moved and inspired by. I wanted the big picture. We opened up some wild possibilities and I Mind Mapped our conversations to capture all the subtle aspects, things that could be missed. I sketched things that stood out as significant. I wanted to get to the core of what Levi was about and his business ambitions, to open a portal to what sat outside of our current vista or context.
I always begin with a nice fluid pen and paper. This liberates my mind from the protocols of computers.
I spent time looking at graffiti tags and street icons. I watched how the strong humanistic symbols managed to stand out even above some of the astonishing lettering and colors. I studied, asked, listened and started creating.
I just kept looking and working with this key word of 'Unexpected'.
This stage is all about experimentation - nothing is fixed. In many ways it is a form of chaos: unstructured free flow of ideas. It is the essence of the creative process in flow. I rarely show this to people as it can often look like a complete mess. Basically anything is accepted into the mix often the more obscure the better because I don't want to miss anything! Some elements will eventually find their way into a cohesive brand design.
As soon as I'm happy that something really interesting is coming through we go through the different concepts. Out of this we aim to establish a definite way forward. From here we evolve the final Brand Identity and all the styles that go to support it across different platforms. Importantly at this stage things are still fluid. The process is still fully active, going through things in detail, testing, gaining feedback and adjusting course. In this case we were powerfully struck by one of the designs and moved forward with the following developments.
“Sometimes the Universe brings you people that exceed your expectations and hopes. Davide was brought into my life at just the right time. He created for me a wild and beautiful branding that only an artist like him could come up with. Beyond my dreams.”
Levi Banner - International Yoga Teacher and Trainer at the world renowned Yoga Barn in Bali.
Finally after an amazing process of exploration we arrive at our final Brand Identity icon. This always brings a tremendous sense of accomplishment and respect for the creative process. At this stage I produce what I call the 'Brand Library' which consists of a Dropbox folder containing a plethora of different sizes and formats. This ensures that the Brand Identity has the capacity to be applied to absolutely anything, across both physical and digital. It includes any custom designed fonts and graphical elements.
But we are not finished yet! Throughout the entire process I'm not thinking logo'. Instead we are building a Brand Identity. This sits in an entirely different realm. The Brand must be positioned at the helm of a powerful support team of elements. This I call the 'Brand Vocabulary', meaning we create a visual vocabulary that supports the brand icon to say this is YOU - this is your own UNIQUE form of expression. This includes the style of photography, the fonts and typography style to be used on all information and products. It includes colours and how the Brand translates across things such as packaging.