Top 8 Design Tips On Building a Strong Brand Identity
Almost every choice a brand makes in showcasing its company impacts its identity, from ad taglines to its online store setup and everything in between. This is why it’s so important to consider carefully and thoroughly understand every choice’s impact.
Like people, companies all have a distinct identity that sets them apart and expresses who they are and what they do. But instead of showcasing this through clothing, speech, and other personality traits, businesses use visual elements such as their logo, color scheme, typography, iconography, and other branding.
If your company doesn’t deal with brand design, you will have a massive issue with doing it yourself. Naturally, it’s always best to trust such crucial tasks to a professional. The modern market has many outstanding branding companies of all types and sizes imaginable. Big corporations can enjoy quality brand design services, and small businesses and startups can. Brand design agencies are teams that follow design trends — and sometimes even create them — to provide their customers with the best branding solutions possible.
However, it’s possible to understand some of the essential parts of effective branding on your own to get a better sense of how these facets come together to create a company’s overall personality. Check out our top eight tips for memorable brand identity design below!
#1. Ask the Audience
The number one goal of branding is to appeal to customers. But not just any customers, the right customers, or the target audience for a company’s products and services. The best way to figure out what this target audience likes and wants is to ask them. Market research and test groups can be highly effective method of experimentation and perfecting branding as it allows for honest feedback from users. This can also help to point out problems the design team overlooked.
This may seem obvious, but many companies skip over research, relying on their teams to solve problems. But this comes with too many biases. Stakeholders, fellow employees, and other people working within the company all have different views than potential customers and will only partially understand their mindset.
#2. Keep it Simple
When trying to be unique in such a competitive industry, the bold and more outgoing you can be, the better. Although this can sometimes work, it often fails. Being one-of-a-kind is good, but sticking out like a sore thumb can be a turn-off for potential buyers.
The more complex and intricate the branding design becomes, the more likely the messaging will be lost. More than being exciting and intriguing, visual brand elements must be relatable and understandable. No one will buy from a company if they don’t understand what it sells or what it’s trying to say. Plus, the simpler branding elements can be, the quicker they can be adapted to many needs and the more suitable they’ll be for a broader market. If branding elements must be redesigned every time they’re printed on a new set of apparel or marketed in a new country, it’ll save time and be too inconsistent to be helpful.
#3. Stand Out
Being uncomplicated doesn’t have to mean sacrificing creativity. Simple is often the most recognizable; consider the McDonald’s arches, which are just two curved lines, or the Nike swoosh, which could be mistaken for the flick of a wrist. These symbols are iconic yet quite plain.
Although a design should be functional, that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Often, the way to be bold and daring is through colors, layouts, or exciting compositions. Using the same old elements in a new way can catch customers’ attention as it evokes familiarity and intrigue. This is where having a professional design team comes in handy, as a sound designer will understand trends and have the creativity to use them for unique applications that fit the brand.
#4. Be Flexible and Responsive
If you’ve done an excellent job of establishing a simple and effective enough design, making it responsive will be easy. This allows the same elements to be adapted for different mediums, whether a new audience or a new product. For example, a company logo could be displayed in full on a website but be simplified for apparel such as a hat. This logo may even be modified further to create a minuscule emblem to fit the little places. However, it must work there, do well, and be recognizable. The Chanel double C’s are just as iconic as the full logo, and the Disney castle is just as memorable as the simple Disney font or bubbly D initial.
Creating a more minimalist or modern design can be helpful as simple is often more legible and will not need as many variations. Once shrunk, more complicated logos and elements can quickly become difficult to read.
#5. Stay Relevant
Trends change quickly, especially with the ebb and flow of social media. Because of this, consumers are always ready for the next best thing and will soon grow bored of seeing the same branding. That’s why it’s essential to have a unique design and be on top of fads. Strategies should constantly adapt to the current market to remain exciting and relevant. Tapping into these trends can be a powerful way of garnering interest, building a following, and boosting sales.
Videos are the key to customers’ hearts and are the way to go in the fast-moving world of social media marketing. While images, text, and spoken messages can all be handy, videos often make the most impact. They can showcase products and services, better demonstrate achievements and announcements, be more relatable, provide visual and auditory intrigue, and much more. They can also clarify messaging, help with SEO rankings, boost emotional response, and demonstrate professionalism. Videos can be used in many ways, from ad campaigns to social media or websites.
#7. Trendy Typography
When designing, most people think about images, graphics, and colors and forget about fonts. But typography can be an excellent opportunity to showcase some brand personality, creativity, and pizazz. Although text should first and foremost be readable, it can also be interesting. Take Disney’s brand-specific font, for instance, which has become synonymous with the brand and establishes its personality as a fun, cartoony media company that caters to children.
Typography is used often, perhaps more often than any other brand element. From blog posts to marketing copy and everything in between, a brand’s typography will be something customers will consume in large quantities. And, whether they realize it or not, audiences will have reactions to those brand fonts. For example, something reminiscent of college textbooks will quickly tire out a reader and bore them, while a layered graffiti font may attract a younger crowd and turn off those looking for something more serious.
#8. Effective use of color
It may seem that colors are simply an artistic choice, but they’re much more than just pretty adornment. Simply picking colors that look good together or attractive is a waste. Instead, the response to these colors and any preconceptions about them should be taken into account to make the color scheme as effective as possible. Entire industries or types of products often have ties to specific color schemes. For example, sustainable and earth-friendly products usually use greens and browns in marketing.
There are also connections between psychology and color. Subtle and muted colors create a more calm and welcoming attitude, while bold, bright colors showcase urgency and outgoingness. Some colors may even speak better to specific age groups or audiences. For instance, bright and contrasting color combinations are usually used for children’s products.
The Bottom Line
Running a business in 2022 is a challenging task with so much competition. That’s why so many brands seek help from professional agencies. But a clear and easily understandable brand identity that follows the tips above, whether created internally or with outside assistance, will be sure to find success.