The following is a guest post from Toronto-based graphic designer Erin Windrim.
When it comes to a company’s brand identity design, there’s a combination of qualities that must be obtained in order for it to not just fulfill its purpose, but to fulfill it exceptionally!
A brand identity needs to be interesting and relatable to its audience. The personality type depends on the kind of brand it is, but once you figure out your company’s niche, which should be obvious (for example, an eco-friendly cosmetics company targeted toward females under 35), determine the personality that suits said niche and let your brand identity live and breathe it. This makes your brand feel like an extension of your customer, like a best friend. Frank Body, a fun and flirty coffee-infused body care company, is a perfect example of a brand with tons of personality!
When designing your brand identity, think in terms of scale, meaning that your brand could potentially be displayed across a wide variety of mediums and sizes, such as mobile devices, desktops, in print, on billboards, TV screens—the possibilities are endless. So your brand identity (your logo in particular) needs to be designed with these possibilities in mind. Will it scale up and down well? Will it look good in full colour and in black and white? Just a few things to think about. Since Netflix is all the rage these days, take a look at their logo as an example. The bright red makes it pop, the uppercase letters make it loud, and the wide letter spacing makes it legible at nearly any size. It’s also simple (aka no unnecessary decoration) which also helps.
There are thousands upon thousands of brands out there… Our world is more branded than it ever has been, so your brand can’t be dull, boring or generic. Do your research, see what’s already been done, and figure out how you can improve on that. Find your brand’s little quirk and let that quirk be what your brand is known and remembered for. For example, you’ll go bananas for the cute little monkey mascot for Nanashake, one of Toronto’s newest vegan frozen dessert joints.
Have you noticed all the controversy over some of the world’s biggest brands redesigning their logo, almost to the point of no recognition? That’s because these brands were already established and well-liked for their timeless look. It may be tempting to design your brand identity based on this year’s “graphic design trends” but think first if those trends will be timeless or if they’ll pass, and whether they’ll help your brand stand out or be a dime a dozen.
Google’s redesign in late 2015 received some very mixed reactions for this exact reason. Other examples of some poorly received redesigns include the LCBO and Verizon. Why? Because they completely abandoned what made their brand unique in an effort to have a more contemporary look. Instead of trying to be like all the other guys, your brand should live by the wise words of Dr. Seuss: “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
Last but not least, your brand identity obviously has to be visually pleasing! Choose colours and typography that not only make sense, but that look great together. Use the KISS principle (Keep it Simple, Stupid!) and ditch the over the top decoration. And most importantly, consider points 1 through 4.
It’s a lot to think about, I know—this is where having a professional design your brand identity is crucial. For a free consultation, get in touch with me!
Instagram: @erinracheldesigns || LinkedIn: linkedin.ca/in/erinracheldesigns