Brand Development Guide: Dreamera

Left page: a calm river in the misty morning. The Dreamera chimera is drinking from further down the river. In the foreground is a white hand holding a fishing pole. The caption says "Secret Ingredient: still capture from the dream, Quiet River Fishing."  Right page is the table of contents, listing the elements included in the guide: About the COmpany, names, philosophy, history, ideas, contemporary mood board, historical mood board, type exploration, logotype variations, final logotype, color palette, custom mark and variations, secondary typefaces, social media image examples, and brand applications.

I love learning things, so I’ve taken lots of courses on Coursera. One of them was CalArts’ Specialization in Graphic Design. The capstone project for the specialization was to invent a company and create a brand development guide for it.

The “secret ingredient” requirement was any extra addition to the guide that wasn’t already in the requirements. I chose to illustrate a scene from one of the dreams my company, Dreamera, rents out.

The appearance of the chimera downstream illustrates my idea that branding in the “off-the-rack” dreams would be non-invasive and would seem to be a part of the dream. (Because the point is for the customers to relax, and invasive ads are not relaxing!)

Left: About the company. My start-up rents dreams to replace nightmares. Names: Dreamera, Dreameo, Dreamflix. Philosophy: Boundless and Intrepid yet Serene.  Right: History. Carrie Belefonte used to have stress nightmares working her old corporate job. She tried for years to find ways to stop them. Meditation, nature walks, better diet, she tried them all. She knew other people had the same problem. How could she help them all? If only there were some way to change the channel, to turn on a different dream…
Carrie teamed up with a sleep scientist and a software designer, and they came up with a patented dream rental system that uses light and sound emitted through the Dreamband sleep-friendly headband to give the user a predetermined dream.

The course does a really good job of walking students through each step and what to include in a brand development guide. My company was inspired by the fact that I have very similar experiences to the company founder, Carrie Belefonte, and by companies like Netflix and Blockbuster.

I thought it would be a great idea to replace nightmares with the good dreams of one’s own choosing, so I set out to create a company that allows for just that.

Ideas. "Dream rentals" is in the middle. Maine ideas off of that are custom, aspirational, adventure, relief, change the channel, and dream. There are a bunch of ideas off of those, including quirky, tailored, success, nirvana, fun, travel, relax, different, choice, vision, slumber, cinema, and chimera.

Including the mind map was one of the requirements. My thought process isn’t always this organized and legible (especially if no one else is going to see it). But this exercise really helped me see what direction I wanted to go in.

We included our visual research, consisting of both contemporary and historical moodboards. I focused heavily on the concept of dreams, and the relaxing color scheme of blues and purples.

Next was the logotype. I tried different typefaces, then different styles of my chosen typeface. I tested it in the different colors I chose for my brand, then added the logo itself.

The logo, a chimera, is also where I got the company name from. The idea being a chimera is an amalgam of lion, ram, and snake, and Dreamera dreams (if you pay for customization) are an amalgam of characters and settings of the customer’s choosing.

Secondary typefaces. Both pages have the purple-blue/lavender/indigo logo and logotype combo at the top. On the left is the slogan and test paragraphs in a sans serif, and on the right they're in a serif. They read: The Dream of Your Dreams. Now here you go again, you say you want your freedom. Well, who am I to keep you down? It's only right that you should play the way you feel it. But listen carefully to the sound of your loneliness, Like a heartbeat drives you mad In the stillness of remembering what you had And what you lost And what you had And what you lost. Oh, thunder only happens when it's raining. Players only love you when they're playing. Say, women, they will come and they will go. When the rain washes you clean, you'll know. You'll know.
Now here I go again, I see the crystal visions. I keep my visions to myself. It's only me who wants to wrap around your dreams And have you any dreams you'd like to sell? Dreams of loneliness Like a heartbeat drives you mad In the stillness of remembering what you had And what you lost And what you had Oh, what you lost. Thunder only happens when it's raining. Players only love you when they're playing. Women, they will come and they will go. When the rain washes you clean, you'll know.  Below is the slogan in three different styles, in each typeface.

Next I had to choose the brand’s typeface for the slogan and copy text. I had it narrowed down to a sans serif that, when bold, made me think of thought bubbles and a serif that, ultimately, I felt looked more professional.

Finally, we had to create images (I chose Instagram stories) and apply our branding. My applications include the headset (available to rent or purchase), an introductory email, a screenshot from the Dreamera app, and the “menu” of dream packages available.

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