When you’re developing a visual identity, there’s no room for dithering. When everything is important, nothing is important. And even if you’re working with the most talented designers, you can’t outsource prioritization. The crisper you can get in defining your goals, the better the results will be.
As with any project, we started by helping the Material Design team better understand our world—specifically how we see GV fitting into the venture capital landscape. Daniel began the conversation by reviewing our existing brand, and forecasting how our new brand would differ; Laura Melahn, from our marketing team, shared research on how other venture funds express their values; Bill Maris, our CEO, described how he wanted to see GV continually grow and change as a business.
While reviewing our goals—modern, trustworthy, technical, approachable, the list went on and on—we realized we had more than twenty. Brendan Pascoe, a project manager from the Material team, pushed us to focus. “All of this can be a part of your overall brand,” he explained. “But there’s only so much a visual identity can communicate.”
Brendan was right, we needed to prioritize.
To narrow down your ideas without wasteful argument, I always recommend the note-and-vote process. It sounds so simple—quietly write down your ideas, self-curate, silent vote—but it works. In less than an hour, we had whittled our list of 20 down to two, clearly defined core goals.
We invest in companies in order to help them succeed, and we often work with businesses during difficult periods of growth. That sense of partnership and trustworthiness was what we wanted to communicate most with the GV brand.