“There are three responses to a piece of design
Yes, No, & WOW! wow is the one to aim for.”
Founder Citi Media
Design is the silent
ambassador of your brand
- Paul Rand
Creative Stages of Branding Design
Today competition between businesses is rather sharp. To stand out among the crowd, a company needs to be unique and recognizable by customers. A strong brand is what stands behind each successful product. Some people got used to thinking that only marketing specialists do all the job in branding. However, if you say it to professional designers, they’ll tell you how wrong you are.
Of course, it’s not a designer who sets the goals of a company or defines its personality still it is a foundation of all the branding process. To receive the expected results, the company has to set the priorities and values at the start point so that the crew working on branding could see which way to go. They do not necessarily need to be defined and used for all the cycle of brand existence. The goals can be modified later during a creative process but it’s vital to have some directives in the beginning. Moreover, before designers start working on a visual part, they need to identify the character which company or product wants to present. Designing a brand without this knowledge is like drawing a portrait from a photograph.
When the goals are set and a company’s personality seems clear, designers go to the research work. This step is essential for all kinds of designer’s job, be it a logo or a mobile app. The research helps to immerse into the environment of the future brand and comprehend the peculiarities which may influence its success.
First goes the market research. Designers dig out the information about the market and potential competitors. It’s good to learn from someone’s experience be it good or bad. Having the necessary data experts can create a unique and efficient logo and build a brand identity that will stand out the competition.
Some people often mistake a logo for a brand but it is only one stage in the process of branding. However, it would be wrong to underestimate the role of logo design. It is the basic mark of brand identity, the most prominent symbol of brand image and the foundation of effective marketing strategy enabling its connection with the target audience. we’ve described essential stages of the creative process in logo design. They are:
- Setting the task
- User research
- Marketing research
- Creative search
- Choice of style direction
- Choice of color palette
- Testing different sizes & environments
- Creating a style guide
Logo design is not the only visual representation of a brand. Certainly, the major focus will always be a logo but there are some more elements deserving the attention such as mascots and typography. Companies often look for the ways of personalizing a brand and designers have a solution. Mascots are the custom design characters created to represent the brand in a quite symbolic way. They can be created as a part of a logo or exist as an individual brand element. Another visual element responsible for brand identity is typography. Many logos are created via typography or contain fonts in it but typography doesn’t end here. Banners, business cards, correspondence a company applies should involve brand identity signs as well.
When the logo is ready, the color palette is chosen, and other visual elements are prepared, it’s time to unite them into harmonic corporate style. It is required when a designer works on branding for companies providing services. Various attributes can become a branded item depending on a type of a company. There are some common brand items which are used by different companies:
- Business card and Stationary.
- Billboards and Banners.
- Vehicle Branding.
- T-shirt and Hats.
- Packaging Design
- Advertising Products
The work is done. The visual material is complete. The last task for the designer is to make sure clients will use all the assets properly. A style guide is a document providing instructions about correct and wrong ways to use the graphics created for the brand. Traditionally, a style guide includes the explanation of the idea standing behind a logo as well as the presentation of a corporate color palette which can be used for different purposes. It can be good to demonstrate the examples of incorrect usage in order to avoid poor visual performance. As you can see branding is a complex process. Each step should be well-thought, based on the needs of the target audience and business goals.