Epigraph is the branding studio of Atlanta designer Derek Golden.
Always seek the truth.
It's important to investigate the exact nature of a problem that a design is intended to fix. It may not be apparent to either the client or the designer at first glance. Dig until it's found.
Respect the truth when you find it.
When the true nature of the problem is found, both the client and the designer must be willing to confront it with openness and honesty. Only then can progress be made.
Financial success doesn't have to leave a trail of damage in its wake. Care about how employees are treated. Care about how the environment is affected by prdouction methods. Care about whether living beings - human or otherwise - are negatively affected by a given activity.
Work hard to convince people to buy things. And make a solid profit. None of these things are mutually exclusive.
Maximize profits and minimize harm.
Aesthetics matter, but good design does more than please the eye.
At its heart, design is about solving problems and then communicating those solutions. However pretty a design is, if it hasn't solved or communicated something well, then it has failed.
Push for excellence.
Keep going until the design is as successful as possible given the available resources. Don't settle. It disrespects the work and the people who encounter it.
The work matters more than any acclaim.
Helping clients reach their goals through good design is more important than winning awards. The designer shouldn't seek to steal the client's spotlight. The success of the client's brand is the designer's goal.
Work with a purpose.
Have a clear plan with known objectives, and make sure that everything that's done is done for the express purpose of meeting those objectives. Don't waste time on clutter.
Help others as much as you can. Work to change things that need changing.
The process begins with gathering as much information as possible about the makeup of your company and industry. The goal is to get to the core of who you are and why you do what you do. That is the foundation of your brand.
Specific research techniques will vary, depending on whether a brand is being refreshed or created for the first time.
Research for rebrands generally includes an audit of any current and previous brand identities, advertising campaigns, communications, etc. to better understand the brand's history.
For both new brands and rebrands, candid interviews with all stakeholders in the brand - company executives, employees, customers both previous and potential, etc. - are helpful to gauge feelings about the company and brand from various perspectives.
The research process concludes with an audit of the competition to aid in the formation of recommendations for brand differentiation and positioning.
- A detailed research report
Using the collected research, we'll work together to determine your brand's positioning and other characteristics, as applicable.
- Brand architecture
- Tone / voice
Brand identity design
Using those aspects created in the strategy step, I'll develop potential identities for the brand. We'll work together to choose the best one and begin creating the necessary digital and physical materials for the brand.
For the production of physical materials, I'll work on your behalf with companies and/or individuals I trust, or you can choose your own providers. I'll offer whatever amount of help is necessary to guide you through that process.
- Print materials
- Business paper
The final step contains two parts: the launch sequence and ongoing brand monitoring.
I'll prepare a set of brand guidelines that will serve as a touchstone for all future brand guidance. We'll also work together to explain and implement the new brand within the company before launching the new brand publicly through appropriate announcements and/or events.
Post-launch, I'll be available for helping with maintainence of the brand through periodic brand and competitor audits to ensure adherence to the brand guidelines and the effectiveness of the brand's positioning.
- Brand guidelines
- Internal and external brand launches
- Ongoing brand and competitor audits
I've been involved in the design and tech worlds for over 10 years, in fields like web design and search engine evaluation.
Over time, I realized that those tasks didn't fully satisfy my inquisitive nature, so I turned to something that involves more in-depth work on higher-level problems: brand design.
I truly enjoy breaking down a problem to its core components and finding ways that design can be applied to solve it. That's the intent I have for all of my work with Epigraph: to help businesses use design to fix whatever issues are keeping their brand from reaching its full potential.
I'm originally from Alabama. I settled in Atlanta in 2012, where I live just outside the perimeter with my girlfriend and three mischievous dogs.
- Alabama football. Roll Tide.
- soccer. Atlanta United!
- books. Especially those written by David Mitchell, Haruki Murakami, and Douglas Adams.
- The Beatles and old-school crooners like Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby.
- Mad Men, Seinfeld, and The Office (U.S. & U.K.).
- Charles Schulz was a visionary artist, and A Charlie Brown Christmas is the most underrated work of American art of the 20th century.
- The Great American Novel has already been written. It's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
- The answer to life, the universe, and everything really is 42.