Your brand design is more than just a logo. Every element of the shape, colour and design directly or indirectly communicates your brand and business to the audience.
It builds recognition and loyalty when it is used consistently and continuously. Customers are attracted to brands that have similar values to their own. When a business showcases what they value through branding, customers will develop an emotional connection with them.
What is graphic design?
Graphic design is the language used to communicate brand identity to customers. Using a combination of design principles involving colour, font, shape, and style will help you to visually express your business vision and inform customers. Strong brand design can help a business develop a competitive edge by strengthening its customer relationship.
1. Know who you are designing for
Common graphic design trends and practices will often differ between industries, demographics and even geographically. To guarantee a strong brand design foundation, conduct market research on your target audience. Developing a greater understanding of them will ensure that you deliver branding that they identify with. Reviewing competitor branding also helps to strengthen your branding by further informing your decision-making processes and providing a benchmark. Consumers often form expectations for products and services within an industry so consider regularly reviewing both internal and external branding to maintain relevancy. Seek inspiration: don’t forget to incorporate external trends from popular culture, technology etc.
Brand design is just one part of the process in creating a brand identity. Before the creative process starts, I spend time getting to know the brand brief thoroughly. Creating a visual identity is about reducing complex ideas to a simple visual essence. During the creative process, I explore many ideas and concepts before the selection process can start. It’s a big responsibility designing something that will be reproduced numerous times in print and online that represents our client’s livelihood and business.
2. Understand the principles
Graphic design has existed for generations and has undergone thorough research. Numerous studies have been conducted on how people respond to elements of design such as colour combinations, negative space and composition. These studies have found a set of principles that improve brand design. Consider researching these graphic design principles to ensure that your branding connects with your customers on both a conscious and subconscious level. You may want to consider using the skills of an experienced graphic designer.
When designing a new brand identity, I start in black and white as colour evokes a range of emotions and can have many personal associations. I find that building the logo symbol and logo type first in black and white makes the process easier as colours distract from the form and content. Choosing a colour for a new brand identity requires knowledge of colour theory and a clear idea of how the brand needs to be perceived and differentiated. Once the logo symbol colour and logo type colour are decided you can build up a broader range of colours and a system colour pallet to be used in communication campaigns.
3. Test your branding
Your branding will be featured in a variety of mediums. A logo’s colours could shift in hue or saturation and appear worn out if switched from digital to print without proper considerations being made. Similarly, a logo’s legibility could be drastically reduced when viewed on a phone rather than a desktop screen. Test your branding in different media prior to its release to ensure clarity for your consumers.
Most logos consist of a symbol and logo type. A logotype is a word or words in a specific font. A logo type needs to be distinctive and legible across various media and publication sizes. They need to express the values and personality of the company. As a designer, you may need to examine numerous typographic variations as well as consider whether the name should be set in all caps, caps, lowercase and so on. In the design process, you also look at classic vs modern typeface, roman and Italic variations, and consider font weight, scale, and combinations. You must also think about how your tagline will fit with the symbol and logo type.
4. Maintain your branding
Brand guidelines are a great way to manage your brand. They help keep your branding cohesive and are incredibly beneficial when developing future brand designs. They should feature a firm set of rules expressing how members of your business should and shouldn’t use elements of your branding.
I love that Trine is a graphic designer first and website builder second. She got the references to the designers I was influenced by in our branding workshop. When she presented her Bauhaus ideas to me it was a real “Oh wow!” moment.
Keith Malone, Malone Architecture
5. Effective brand design increases value
Effective brand design increases both the demand for and perceived value of a business. When developing your branding, make sure you keep your customers at the forefront of your decision-making process. At the end of the day, your logo should aim to encompass the various principles of graphic design but remain clear and simple. These are key in achieving recognisability and memorability, and elevating your brand.
Designing a brand identity is highly challenging yet rewarding as you get to know the company and stakeholders you work with very well. It is also very satisfying to see your work being used to help increase awareness around a business.
We would love to have a discussion with you about how your brand is communicating with your target audience. Refreshing the look and feel of your brand may help you to elevate your offering. Contact us on 020 3488 4811 to have a complimentary 30-minute discussion.
Once we had the idea, I started working with Trine. I was really throwing balls at her and seeing where she would run with them. She batted several concepts back to me, including the pickle character, which is just lovely.
Sam Devereaux, Flying Pickle