My senior Communication Studies capstone will focus on my desired future career, which is to own my own bakery. This has been a dream of mine for half my life and I have acquired many ideas for it over the years, but I have only recently started thinking about developing the visual aspects of the business. With all the techniques and skills I’ve developed over the years studying Communication Studies, I now know that any design choices made should be well thought out and made with intention, based on a variety of reasons. This includes but is not limited to considering the ethics, accessibility, and usability of designs that one creates. Much thought has to be put into seemingly small and trivial branding decisions such as font, color, and composition, because these all can affect the viewers in profound ways.
Knowing the importance of putting thought into style choices, I will create a complete design book and brand kit for my future bakery as well as design the floor plan layout for the interior space. The design book will include stylistic choices for branding as well as mock materials that could be used for menus, signs, logos, and promotional purposes. This will help me get closer to achieving my dream career and allow me to actually combine all the ideas I have into a cohesive plan. In this sense, the primary audience is me because it will aid me going into my future career path. However, it will also serve as a tool that I will be able to use to show those who I eventually go on to pitch my business idea to—investors or business partners—the cohesive vision for my business, with each intentional design choice demonstrated. This will show the thought and care I put into each branding decision as well as my commitment to building my business and how I have planned out all branding aspects. The secondary audiences for this project then are anyone I need to pitch myself and the business to.
The final project will be a complete design book, either online or physically printed, that lays out all information necessary to build a cohesive brand. This will include logos, colors, fonts, voice in communication materials, signage, and any other aspect that is shown to be important when I complete research on how to build an effective brand kit. In addition to the brand kit, I will be designing an ideal floor plan layout of the interior of the physical bakery space. The final product of this project will be able to be flipped through, whether that’s in print or in an online context, and lay out all branding aspects of my future bakery.
The brand kit aspects I will be designing can be seen in this example, which shows a baker’s logos, colors, typefaces, and different design elements. My brand kit will be similar to this as it will include all of that, but it will go beyond and include the voice of any messaging of the brand as well as mock-ups of menus and signs for the physical bakery.
This example of a restaurant floor plan is similar to the floor plan I will be creating, but mine will include more detail in both the visual design aspect but also the dimensions and sizes of each space once I research and learn more about that.
I have experience in creating brand kits and logos, as I have created a brand persona for my personal website in class before and have designed multiple custom logos for my sister’s endeavors, as shown below.
I have also designed multiple floor plans for houses or apartments that I imagine when writing stories, both on the free web app Homestyler as well as on my iPad, with examples shown below.
This project will be similar to what I have prior knowledge of in that I know how to execute both creating a brand kit and designing a floor plan. However, I will be challenged by having to plan out a cohesive design for every aspect to fit together with design choices that are intentional, make sense, and still show the brand personality and aesthetic that I desire. I have never created a design book for something on this scale before so that will be a challenge to expand my abilities.
In my past experiences, I have used a variety of software and hardware such as Canva, Procreate, an iPad, an Apple Pencil, Homestyler, and Adobe InDesign. I feel comfortable with all of these and they will be useful in my project to draft out and create the brand kit and floor plan.
Due to my inexperience with planning out a business venture, I will need to do a lot of research into how one starts a small business and what that entails, including business proposals and loans. I will also specifically research how to create a thorough brand kit for a small business and what should be included in a design book. To make an accurate floor plan, I will need to learn about the actual space that a bakery entails and what general equipment and floor space is needed.
I do not foresee many large obstacles or struggles for this project. The only issue could be with Homestyler as the web app for designing floor plan can sometimes glitch or refuse to work for periods of time. However, I will also be using my iPad to sketch out the floor plan so I will not be relying completely on the web software. One resource I may need is dependent on whether I want to print my final product as a physical design book, and in that case I would need to have a printing service to produce the book.
In the remaining weeks of the semester to work on my project, I plan to divide my work into different stages. I plan to research for the first few weeks on how to create a brand kit/design book for a small business—what to include, what can be added, how to format it, etc. Further research will include the process of how to actually start a small business, including learning about business loans and business proposals. In addition to the branding and business aspects, I will conduct research about the retail space of operating a bakery and the different requirements of space and layout.
Once I have this research done, I plan to then start drafting my initial ideas for the visual design elements I want to be included in my branding kit. I will experiment with different colors, fonts, logos, etc. and finalize what fits together best. In this drafting stage, I will also sketch up floor plan layouts for my bakery based on the research I did and the aesthetic I want for the space. I plan to begin this drafting stage around week six of the semester and complete the drafting by week nine.
After I make decisions and settle on the design of the brand and layout of the bakery, I will move from drafting to actually assembling the design book. I will format everything into a cohesive layout so that everything I have researched and designed is in one final product together. I hope to complete the assembly of everything by week thirteen of the semester so I can leave time for any last-minute changes or unforeseen challenges that may arise.
Week 4: research brand kits for a small business
Week 5: research starting a small business – what’s needed, business loans, business proposals
Week 6: research floor plans for a bakery – different sized spaces, equipment needs, safety rules
Week 7: start drafting brand kit, experiment with different styling choices
Week 8: start sketching possible floor plans
Week 9: keep experimenting, noting reasons for every change/experimentation
Week 10: make decisions on different styles and layouts, finalize what is going on in design book
Week 11: draft how content will be assembled in design book
Week 12: make last minute changes
Week 13: finalize design book content, make presentation
Week 14: design book fully assembled + being printed (if doing in print)
Week 15: have design book
Week 16: complete all final reports/reflections