Branding is a requirement in today’s world. A solid and powerful brand evokes strong emotions and feelings and creates a deep connection with customers. Branding is beyond advertising. It is beyond proving that your product or service is good. Branding represents who your brand is, its values and missions, and what lifestyle it wants to portray.
Creating strong branding is not enough to understand your mission and values. You need to show them through all the elements you present on websites, apps, social media, and even your product packaging. The colors you use, the tone you use, and the story you are constantly telling your users, potential clients, and current clients are paramount to creating a brand identity that will transcend a transaction or website visit.
Finding and hiring an experienced branding agency San Francisco might be the key you need to unlock your potential. Before you go looking for the agency of your dreams, let’s take a look at the elements that make up a good brand:
Many people confuse the brand identity with just the logo. They think that displaying the logo everywhere a client will look enough to create a consistent branding experience. The truth is, brand identity goes way beyond the logo. However, the logo is quintessential to branding. It is the minimum identifier of your brand.
If a brand has done an excellent job representing itself, people will see a logo and have all the brand’s experience. Additionally, another part of the logo is hugely important: the wordmark. This is usually the brand name, or keywords, that are always presented in a specific typeface. It should be used on all collateral and marketing campaigns that the company does.
The logo is the brand’s signature that the brand makes something people are watching. As we said before, it is the minimum brand identifier, and designing it properly to convey the brand’s message is the first step in creating a brand identity that will resonate with the right audience.
Choosing the Right Logo Size
Assessing your logo’s size depending on the setting is hugely important. It might be the difference between a professional company and one that looks like they are making it up as they move along. Make sure there is a reason for the size you are using. Lastly, make sure that it remains readable when you resize it to fit different spaces. If it needs to change to do so, have your team develop a minimized version of it. What’s important is to keep the identifiable aspect of the logo to make sure you are not losing your branding identity.
Positioning is Key
Where you place your logo is not just a coincidence, and it needs to be consistent. Just as its size is important, placing it at the top corner or the bottom corner will give a different impression to users, so consider what you are trying to accomplish. Additionally, where you place it, it will show your relevance to it. If it is next to a lot of text or images, it might get lost, which might be counterproductive.
Colors and Styles
Logos will need to adapt to different mediums too. That is why it’s vital to create a brand book of the different ways your logo can be displayed to keep its consistency. For example, you might have realized that the ink does not show its true colors for printing it, so it’s better to have a white and black logo version for printables. Maybe you need a logo that is readable on a black background, so you adapt it. Same as we said before, if you change its size, it’s good to have a smaller version of the logo that keeps the essential elements.
To maintain brand identity, make sure you have brand guidelines on how to use the different styles and colors of the logo. Always, always focus on consistency. This is what reinforces the trust in your brand.
Brand colors are an essential feature of your brand because they set the visual tone for anything related to you. Everything will be related to your brand colors from your website, app, presentation cards, and even clothing. Choosing your brand colors is key to creating your brand. Considering your competitors’ colors, psychology, and other factors is necessary to develop the right palette for you and your target audience.
Brand colors are usually organized into two tiers:
Primary colors are the main colors you will use for your brand.
Secondary colors: these are the options that will give you more flexibility when considering different materials, packaging, or adverts. They help you stay on brand when things change, but as their name indicates, they are secondary and should never be used over your primary colors–remember consistency is king.
Just as colors and the overall design of a page and logo are critically important, so are the typeface and fonts. A font represents the tone of a written piece. Try to imagine a comic sans style font with the words ‘I will always find you’ and little hearts on the ‘i’s. It is adorable, and it gives you a real sense of innocence and loving energy. Now, imagine the exact words written with a pointy and almost scrappy font; now it looks more threatening, right? Although this is an extreme example, it shows how fonts and typefaces communicate an essence beyond what is actually written.
The typography will need to be consistent throughout all media and platforms to communicate with your customer base and prospective clients. Of course, there will be some variety to it. Most brands will have two typefaces for their brand identity. This allows them to adapt the typography to the objective of the communication without losing brand consistency.
And last but not least, it is good to have a typeface in your guidelines that is globally available on most computers and websites. This way, there is no chance of some creative person using a typeface you had not authorized just because the planned ones were not available. Remember, consistency creates trust; trust creates a customer base that truly knows you and cares about your brand.
You’ve heard the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” If typography is important, so is having brand guidelines for pictures and images. Images should represent the brand both in the way they were captured, the way they are presented, and the content they show.
Nowadays, with social media and the widespread use of filters, matching the filters used on pictures is a great way to let people know they are seeing something from your brand without even needing to see your logo. And that’s the key when it comes to brand identity. You want each element to convey that they are addressing you and no one else.
This might sound a bit too draconian, but just as an influencer wouldn’t let a bad picture of them be tagged, so should your brand take significant consideration of the images and photos it uses.
Ensuring you understand these guidelines and have a clear set of rules for your designers and marketers on how your brand should be presented to the world is essential to remain consistent and creating a unique and everlasting brand identity.
Understanding that brand identity goes beyond adding your logo everywhere is the key to creating a successful branding identity. Remember that customers now don’t buy a brand. They don’t care enough. There are so many similar products and services out there that they are looking for a brand to connect with and feel like they belong to, which makes them proud to invest time and money in that brand.
And more importantly, along with all the things mentioned in this article, follow the lead of your brand design agency because its team understands brand design on a different level.
About the Author
Jenna Kramer is a corporate relations specialist with over ten years of experience in employee relations and brand development roles. She is also a dedicated volunteer within the disability advocacy space and loves to bake and run marathons.