The One Concept Method


The one concept method is industry standard among small design studios like Rhema Design Co. However, there can be some confusion around what it actually is, and why it’s beneficial to clients.

What it’s not

First, let’s cover what it’s not.

  • The one concept method is not a ‘take it or leave it’ approach
  • It’s not a rigid presentation with no room for refinement
  • It’s not me imposing my wishes on you

I understand why the one concept can seem daunting to clients at first, but I find it the most intentional way to go about designing a brand, and it benefits my clients.

There is a level of trust required from both parties for the one concept method to go smoothly. The client must trust the designer, and it can be scary (for some – for others it may be a relief!) to let go of control. The designer must trust that the client can provide clear and objective feedback. BUT – the designer is also responsible for guiding the feedback and establishing expectations there.

Why it works

The one concept method works because it is strategic. The level of strategy work done before the brand design depends on the scope of the project, which is unique to each client. The one concept method allows me to step into my expertise and partner with you in crafting a brand that will speak to your target audience.

When designing brands, everything has intention behind it, and I share that in the presentation. I want to educate my clients on the intention behind every design element so they can be empowered in carrying out their brand well. I share more here about the importance of brand rationale.

How it benefits the client

I’ve been using the one concept for 4 years now. In the year that I presented multiple concepts, I can’t recall a single one that resulted in a strong final concept. Almost every single time the feedback would be to combine all of the concepts, resulting in a ‘frankestein’ logo.

With multiple concepts, it’s nearly impossible to remain objective and make decisions based on the audience, not personal opinion or trends. That objectivity is important in the development of a brand. Even when asking for feedback, I frame it in a way that centers your audience. For example; ‘what elements of this mark would appeal to your target audience? What elements would not?’

It also allows me more time to flesh the brand out and present it in ways that help you visualize how it would be carried out. I do this through mockups, sample layout design, social media execution. That wouldn’t be the case with multiple concepts. It’s just not feasible to create 2-3 fully fleshed out concepts.

But agencies don’t use the one concept method, right?

That’s correct, most large agencies don’t embrace the one concept method. But, most agencies have a large staff and can dedicate different design teams to fully fleshing out multiple different concepts. And, a huge point: at an agency the investment will be at minimum 50k, but likely far more.

The one concept method results in stronger brands

With the one concept method, I use my years of expertise and strategic design to create a solution that best speaks to your audience. This has always resulted in stronger brands for me. All of the work you see on my website was created using the one concept method, and it’s never led me astray. In fact, a lot of my projects are approved with only minor changes. I’ll continue to use the one concept method as long as it benefits my clients and my studio.