• inksplotdesigns

Brand Design – how to get it right from the start

When asked about brand design, the mind often goes straight to logo design, and whilst a logo is an important part of your brand, your brand is far more than just your logo.

I work with a lot of clients who are keen to re-brand. They didn’t necessarily do it wrong the first time around, but often there are glaring gaps in their brand identity and, more often, the problem is simply a lack of thought, fore-planning and consistent use of assets. Another very common situation I run into as a designer is people cutting corners and trying to DIY their brand design rather than outsourcing it to professionals, so they often start by creating an incomplete brand.

If you’re looking to build a brand, my very first tip to you is simply this: hire a designer. Developing a strong visual identity is a crucial part of your growth, and getting it right from the beginning is the single best thing you can do to set yourself up for success. Here’s how.

1. I said it before, I’ll say it again: hire a designer.

2. Define your goals; what do you want to achieve? How do you plan to get there?

3. Define your target audience. This is important; everything after this is designed to fit their view of the world. What do they need? What do they value?

4. Determine what makes you stand out against your competitors. How are you unique? This is your selling point.

5. Define your values. Is your business science-based? Perhaps your care deeply about sustainability? Either way, green is probably going to feature in your colour palette.

6. Develop your brand personality and voice. Authoritative? Child-friendly? Caring? How you choose to present written content needs to run parallel with your visuals. If you’re aiming to be an authoritative industry leader in biotechnology, you probably don’t want to sound childish and humorous. If you’re opening a toy shop, however, that may suit you perfectly to allow you to connect with a much younger audience.

7. Develop your core visuals: your logo, colour palette, font pallet. This should be considered carefully and I strongly advise you to, at the very least, consult a designer. You can read here why you should never DIY your logo.

8. Develop your secondary visuals: brand patterns, photography styles, icon bank, etc.

9. Pull this all together in a brand guideline package. Any designer will be able to develop a comprehensive and easy-to-follow document that you can provide your entire team so that everyone is on the same page. It is your business bible and should be applied everywhere. Literally everywhere.

10. Build your social media platforms – keep in mind that these should reflect (both visually and within the written content) everything you’ve considered so far. Your bios should reflect your brand voice and, preferably, your values – this makes you personable, reliable and will build consumer trust.

11. Build social media templates to save time in the future, but also to ensure that your content remains consistent.

12. Build your website – every aspect of this should be determined by your brand guidelines: colour choices, photography style, written content, fonts used, etc.

13. The final, and quite possibly the most important piece of advice I can give you here; be consistent. Follow your brand guidelines as if your life depends on it. It may not seem important in the first few instances, but over time it builds an identity that customers will recognise – this builds consumer trust, brand awareness, reliability, etc.

If you’re looking to start a company or potentially re-brand an existing one; get in touch. I specialise in brand design and development, and am available for a consult or to walk you through it step-by-step.

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