Brand design language
Brand design isn’t a temporary measure, rather a long-term oriented strategic tool that gives your company a major advantage in the competitive market – if applied consistently. It is one of the crucial marketing practices that create a distinctive identity of your brand and all your design components like Logo, Tagline, Email Signature, Website, Business Card need to have an expression of unison and oneness. The brand design creates a lasting impression in the minds of the consumers and can certainly help your brand to stand the test of time. Creating a designing language for your brand is not hard and is actually a fun and creative process, and this article intends to make it even easier for you by focusing on a step-by-step approach towards creating the right design language for your brand.
Do The Research
The first step towards creating the right design language for your brand is market research. Yes, you should conduct proper market research to know about your customer and your competitor before designing anything for your brand. It acts as an insurance policy during the brand identity development stage and can guide towards a successful path for your business.
Know Your Customers
You are not designing a brand for yourself but rather your end-users or customers on which your focus should always be when designing your brand. Although it is the most obvious thing to consider, most companies seem to miss this trick while creating a design language for their brand. Getting insights and knowledge about your customers is not hard and can be done by simply asking them a few questions such as,
- What is your favorite brand and why?
- What makes you trust a brand?
- What does our current branding say to you?
- What brands can you think of that you don’t like? Why? Your customers taste and preference is the most important thing you should consider while designing your brand.
Know Your Competitors
Just like customers, you should also know your competitors. Competitor research will provide you with data that will make you stand out from your competition and would certainly make your business successful. It will help you to understand the overall tone of the industry, things that have worked well for other brands, and at the same time, it enables you to design something new and unique. You can get inspired by other brands and would also help you to understand how they portray their brand design in various social media platforms.
Understand Your Brand Design
After you have looked into your customers' tastes and preferences and know how your competitors design their brand language, the next step is to understand your own brand design. Your brand design should be such that relates to your brand’s core values. It should resonate with your audience in a meaningful way and should seem relevant to the industry, your brand is trying to fit into. The design statement should be unique and it is imperative that you focus on defining the unique selling point (USP) of your brand. The more relevant the design of your brand is to your customers, your competitors, your industry, and your brand's core values the better will be your chance for creating a successful design language for your brand.
Create Your Brand’s Logo
The first thing that a customer is likely to interact with you is your brand logo. For most brands, their logo acts as a symbol for everything the brand stands for. You can get a lot of information about a business from their logo alone. It will not be possible to successfully express your brand through product design if you haven’t first successfully expressed it through your logo. Your logo is a visual element of your business into which you will invest meaning over time, so it must last. This meaning is constructed over time through advertising, product development, services, PR, etc. It is important that your logo look crisp and readable in extreme situations, at extreme sizes, and in every color situation. The best logos can be drawn in the sand with your finger and still be recognizable. Don’t cheap out. Don’t be seduced by the latest 3D filter or a logo that only looks good in high-definition color. Make sure your logo adheres to the most rigorous visual standards.
Choose The Right Colour For Your Brand
Selecting the primary brand color will form the basis of all other colors that you use in your brand and your product. It will affect how people will feel when they interact with your brand and how they perceive you as a brand. Color psychology is a whole subject in itself and here is an article that will definitely help you in choosing the right color for your brand.
Once you’ve selected your primary color, have a play around with finding colors that complement that color well, the goal here is to build out a pallet of colors that can be used for all your products and services — look for around 3–6 colors that complement each other.
The colors you choose will be the main colors used throughout your entire brand. These colors should be used in every piece of product and material you produce to communicate your brand and message. A brand is built upon consistency, you want people to think of you when they see that color — so make sure it speaks volumes about the company you are. Typography
Following logo and color, using typeface is another core way to communicate your brand consistently across your products. Without a doubt, alongside your logo and color, typography is one of the most important aspects of how you communicate your brand. Take a website like Geexec, for example, the majority of the user experience is spent immersed in the text which is styled using Geexec typography. Finding the right font can be difficult though. Where on earth should you start? Serif or Sans-Serif, does anybody ever remember the distinction between those two anyway?
Most brands usually adopt two ‘brand typefaces’, one for headers and one for slogans, and another for body text.
Expand Your Brand: Photography & Graphics
A brand identity is not only made up of logo and typography but also consists of other visual elements like photography and graphics. While your logo, colors, and typefaces might remain constant on marketing mediums and websites, the images and graphics that you might use to communicate particular messages, like special offers, advertisements, or product-specific packaging, will inevitably vary.
Variation is, however, an enemy of a strong brand identity design. When you’re using different images, the key is to ensure that there is consistency among them. You can be as simple or complex with your image rules as you like to employ for your brand. This is the type of practice that becomes necessary for a brand’s survival as a business grows. Create A Brand Design That Works in Multiple Mediums
In the digital age, we are designing for more mediums than ever. The print has always come with its own set of requirements, but now we need to make sure our designs work on web pages, online ads, and more.
Because of this multi-medium requirement, be sure that your branding uses fonts and layouts that translate to all of them. This means creating a design language for a brand that is adaptable, a brand with options.
Think of all the places your brand will be used and start there. Don’t just create your brand with one layout. Design different layouts, a stand- mark, stand-alone typography.
For instance, if you are going to use your branding for Facebook ad campaigns, you must keep in mind the text size limitations that Facebook uses. In this case, a longer style logo or stand-alone mark would work better than let’s say a stacked logo. The layout allows for better use of ad space.
It is now more important than ever to adapt your brand to fit the mediums you are working with.
Review Your Brand – Don’t Be Afraid Of Rebranding
You’ve finished your brand identity design, congratulations! Now what? Well, it may seem like the last thing you want to do, but you need to keep your mind open to reviewing your brand now that it’s in use. If your brand isn’t quite working, you shouldn’t feel disheartened. This is really common as businesses try to find their visual identity and unique place in the market. What’s more important is how you react. Rebranding is a good strategy to use in this scenario.
One of the industry rules/recommendations is to rebrand every 5 years. It keeps branding relevant and in line with the company’s current standing. However, we find that many companies are resistant to rebrand this often. What’s worse is that newer brands or those that are growing fast may be hesitant to rebrand even when their business is changing so quickly. Your branding design should portray your brand’s current message and values to your buyers. If things change, be ready to rebrand so that your creative remains relevant.