Brand New’s First Round is For Everyone

By Guest Contributor Laura Des Enfants

Fresh off First Round in Austin, Texas and I’m inspired. First Round is the Brand New one-day event where designers and design teams present the first-round pitches they give to clients for branding, logo, and identity projects. 12 design teams prepped the overflowing audience, laying out their backstory, presenting their pitch, and sharing the outcomes of each project. It was an unprecedented opportunity to hear designers talk so openly and in such detail about their particular preparations, the reasoning behind each project’s iteration, and their varied experiences.

First Round in Austin featured pitches from designers.

Photo by Lindsey A. Miller Photography

Armin Vit and Bryony Gomez-Palacio, co-founders of UnderConsideration and Brand New, curated and produced the one-day event, and kicked things off by sharing one of their own pitches. They followed it up with six key points that can guide designers in how to shape the creation and presentation of practically any new work to clients.

First Round in Austin featured pitches from designers.

Photo by Lindsey A. Miller Photography

The six points rang true throughout the day and can easily be applied to not only the simplest but also the most sophisticated projects.

6 First Pitch Pointers from Brand New

  • Keep the presentation itself as un-designed as possible
  • Build it so it can present itself, without you in the room
  • Start by repeating what the client has shared with you in previous meetings
  • Use actual, real-life examples for mockups as much as you can
  • Present all options equally–except for the last one, which is usually your favorite, and then go bananas
  • End with reiterating all the options to begin the real conversation

As the day progressed, one could see that these bullet-pointed items applied to every single presentation given in Austin. Although the variety, type of client, and style of the presentations differed, the criteria Brand New shared remained relevant.

First Round in Austin featured pitches from designers.

Photo by Lindsey A. Miller Photography

It also turns out that at First Round it doesn’t matter where you are in the arc of your career. Sharing with peers in this situation, you learn something, get inspired, and recognize, with a smile, the machinations and fine-tuning that take place in the process of start-to-finish pitches.

The next First Round takes place in San Francisco in May. You can read more about it here

By Guest Contributor Laura Des Enfants

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