If you want to build a successful brand, how will you actually do it?
Branding is a HUGE topic.
(So, it’s safe to say that you can expect a few more posts around branding to come.)
Simply put, a brand is a promise.
What it is that your brand actually promises is up to you. And brand promises vary greatly from company to company, product to product and service to service.
What does not change is that an effective brand needs to be reflected and communicated at every brand touch point. And there needs to be continuity in those brand communications that come from a clearly defined understanding of what it is you’re offering, to who, and what it is that makes your offering unique.
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Discussions about branding, branding budgets, countless hours of design and creativity all often revolve around just the visual representation of the brand. The creation of the logo, choice a font, the selection of images and a colour palette that communicates your product, service, or company can be the extent of the brand to many.
These design decisions are paramount in establishing a successful brand and in defining its physical presentation so we will cover a few key design considerations below.
However, important as these design considerations are, they represent the tip of the branding iceberg, so if you truly want to create a successful brand do not stop there.
(Watch for a future post discussing the total branding experience for more on bringing your brand to life).
Discussing design considerations it is a good place to start.
Design Consideration #1 – Choose From a Kaleidoscope of Colour
Deciding on a suitable colour scheme is one of the most significant decisions a company makes when determining its visual identity.
Colour theory and the psychology of colour are hard at work in logos and brand palettes before we’re ever exposed to any words. So you’ll need to decide which colours communicate the characteristics, traits and emotions associated with your brand.
|Emotions, Traits and Meaning
|Simple, Clean, Pure, Good
|Mature, Secure, Balanced, Calm, Solid
|Strength, Subtlety, Infinite, Finesse
|Clarity, Warmth, Friendly, Optimism, Understanding, Caution
|Friendly, Cheerful, Confidence, Thoughtful, Productive, Creative
|Excitement, Youthful, Bold, Love, Energy, Emotional, Danger
|Royalty, Brains, Loyal, Plentiful, Creative, Wise, Imaginative
|Dependable, Strength, Trust, Confident, Peaceful, Sturdy
|Fresh, Outdoors, Money, Life, Peaceful, Growth, Health
Design Consideration #2 – Pick the Right Fonts
The choice of fonts available today is enormous, but choose wisely as the type style can make a big impact on your brand.
Some font basics to consider – serif fonts tend to be more traditional and formal. And sans serif fonts tend to be more modern and friendly. There are some fonts that appear more masculine (Arial Black) and some more feminine (Allura), so think about your target audience and what would best appeal to them.
As with colour, fonts also communicate a trait, idea, or personality. Some fonts communicate sincerity (Times New Roman). Some can appear childish (Comic Sans) – Please, promise that you will not use Comic Sans…EVER!
Size of font is also a consideration as is the medium where this font will be displayed. Will there be both print and digital requirements?
Design Consideration #3 – Harness the Power of Imagery
A picture paints a thousand words, so you better choose the right picture!
Images associated with brands can act as powerful marketing weapons and lead prospects and customers alike to instant brand recognition.
Time spent scouring through old magazines, or scanning online image directories searching for images that will appropriately represent your brand promise, that will appeal to your target customer and communicate the unique characteristics of your offering, will definitely be time well spent.
Think about whether the best fit for your brand is to feature photos, clip art, illustrations, line drawings, animations, video or some combination of these. Consider whether your imagery must adhere to your primary brand colour scheme or will it be used to extend and enhance it?
You may have the need for custom photography. Consider what images you will need and where you might use them so that you can provide a professional photographer with as detailed a brief as possible.
If you want to create a successful brand that actually looks the part, there will be many design decisions in your future.
Every one of them will be easier to make if you have a clear idea what it is you’re offering, to who, and what it is that makes your offering unique.