How to design towards YOUR brand identity
Many clients come to us asking for help to design their brand identity. Because of this, we have put some rough guidelines in place:
If the brand is already established try to understand the personality of the brand – its history, function and the ethos behind it all. If the brand is not already established and we are starting from scratch then talk with your client. Extract every detail of who the client is and what the company is about.
Including the following important points;
- Who is the target market?
- How does the company wish to be perceived?
- What format will it be marketed in?
- What type of outlets will it be promoted in?
Research on Competitors
Checking out all relevant competitors in the same market place can be a great starting point.
- Types of colours used?
- Style of typefaces are used?
- Is the visual style used by rivals, Contemporary/Modern/Traditional?
Embrace everything that you have learnt from the brand competitors and then create something unique, positioned away from them all.
Think of the varied uses, colours and sizes of your design. Then stand back and consider it with your client hat on.
Sometimes clients may do their own exploration. This can be into finding references for their branding: you’ll soon see what they like, and – usefully – how broad their understanding of design is but do not worry if they do not. This can really aid the design process and it is also always good to have a open dialogue about the design with your client.
Before starting work on a new brand identity, draw up a design brief from the research you have done previously. This is to form a set of values to stand by and is a proposition upon which the client and you agree.
This is a crucial point, creating the brand strategy will help the client to benchmark against or gauge whether the creative concepts are relevant.
Create the design brief
A brief that’s drawn up with a clear strategy enables both parties to rationalise the design decisions. Without thorough briefing on the brand both the creative and the client end up relying too much on an intuitive idea of the solution, and accordingly run the risk of feedback being subjective.
FOLLOW THE DESIGN BRIEF
While a logo is sometimes the catalyst in your brand identity, not all brands are built on logos alone. I feel that it is incredibly important that when creating an identity, don’t focus on the separate elements. Always consider the bigger picture and how all the smaller elements interact with one another.
Listen to the client
Remember the client knows the product or company vision better than you ever will. Understanding and translating that idea should always be aligned with your client’s expectations.
Understanding & translating the client’s needs correctly is the first step to creating a great brand identity. Whether or not this is done by limiting colour palettes or perfecting the details and typography, a simple identity can become timeless and move alongside the client’s ever-changing visual landscape.