Who would have thought something as simple as a brand logo or business card could hold so much value? Well, the truth is, these visual identity elements hold immense importance as they are the face of your brand or brand identity for short. Therefore, it is only fitting that a professional brand identity designer be employed for the job.
Many businesses think having brand identity designers is overrated. Unfortunately, this is the first step of misconceptions that incur long-term damage. This article will help you understand who a brand identity designer is, what they do, and why they are a must-have for a booming brand identity.
Understanding the Role of a Brand Identity Designer
Many people think brand identity designers are basically graphic designers working for your business on a full-time basis. The truth is a graphic designer creates visuals that can be used for any purpose. For example, they might use graphics for communication or any other purpose.
On the other hand, a brand identity designer is a professional focused on creating a complete visual identity system for your business. They have intent and message behind every single aspect and element of their design. For instance, they will have an elaborate explanation as to why your brand has yellows in it and not oranges.
Brand identity designers build the tones for your business. Their designs set the pace and style for your brand, which usually has a lasting impression. But, of course, you must keep your tone and visual identity the same, which makes the job of a brand identity designer even more crucial.
What is Brand Identity Design?
Your company’s brand identity includes all the visual cues that help consumers distinguish your business from the billions of other companies worldwide. Most importantly, your brand identity helps distinguish you from your competitors.
What is the big deal, you may ask? Why differentiate in the first place?
The noise-to-signal ratio in the marketplace is skewing quite a lot. The noise levels are so high that brands find it hard to see and hear. Consumers are busy being bombarded with fake news, adverts by brands that can spend millions and clickbait.
So how can a brand with limited branding resources be seen and heard? How can it make an impact on the audience? How can it build a loyal community and convert it to sales and revenue?
You know the saying: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.
That first step is the brand identity.
A brand identity is made up of a variety of visual cues including your:
- Logo Design
- Brand colors
This list isn’t inclusive – any visual representation of your company is part of your brand identity including using mascots in your branding. The above list simply includes the main elements of a company’s brand identity design. You can read more about each of these elements and more in an indepth guide on the importance of a brand identity system.
Your company’s identity should be consistent across all public facing documents, products and marketing campaigns.
To ensure consistency, many businesses create a Brand Identity Design Guidebook. The book often includes the official logo in a variety of approved sizes, the exact hex codes for brand colors, the official mascot in approved sizes and styles, the correct fonts to use in specific situations and the official way to use the company tagline (for example, how close it can be positioned to the logo, when it can and cannot be used and so forth).
While these details may seem inconsequential, they are important for creating consistency among your brand. They also ensure that the quality of your brand identity remains high no matter who is working with the design elements.
You can see an example of Best Western’s Brand Identity Guidelines here.
Benefits of a Strong Brand Identity
Your business will reap a number of long-term benefits from a strong brand identity.
A brand identity makes your company memorable and easily recognized. Your brand identity becomes ingrained in the minds of your customers. Eventually, your brand identity elicits an emotional response from consumers that compels them to buy from you and not your competitors.
For example, seeing a red can of Coca-Cola will immediately bring to mind the bubbly taste of opening a new can and taking that first sip. For some this memory alone will compel them to go grab a can of Coca-Cola.
A strong brand identity helps you build community. Consumers like to engage with brands that have positive brand identities established through good design principles. And this is exactly what we at SpellBrand offer with our brand identity service.
The Coca-Cola brand, which has been around for a very long time, has established a strong brand identity. Their customers love the Coca-Cola brand and will go to bat for it when asked Coke vs. Pepsi. They will wear shirts bearing the red Coca-Cola color and millions of them engage on the Coca-Cola Facebook page.
Additionally, a well-designed brand identity can add creditability to your company. People like to do business with companies that look professional and credibile.
If you are planning on spending any money on influencer marketing (and you should be if you are serious about gaining any kind of brand recognition), then your brand identity should be in top shape. Influencers would hesitate to respresent and tout a brand that looks bad. This would have a knock-on effect on their own brand.
The same goes for working with brand ambassadors. Invest in getting a strong brand identity so that your brand ambassadors would feel proud to be associated with your brand. This goes for your consumers too who can potentially become your brand ambassadors.
In fact, it has been proven time and again that people, consumers and brands tend to associate with brands that look good, strong and consistent.
Benefits of Hiring a Brand Identity Designer for Your Business
Having an amateur brand identity – or worse not having one at all – is like walking into the most important business meeting of your life dressed in a bathing suit. No one will take you seriously. And even if you have something good to say, you’ve hurt your credibility so badly with your first impression, no one is going to give you the chance to speak.
For example, which of these two companies would you prefer to do business with just by looking at the design of their site:
While both may be incredibly good architectural design companies, based on first-impressions I would lend more credibility to the people behind Site B.
There are some design elements in Site B that could be updated to make their brand identity stronger; however, you should clearly be able to see through this example how good design can make a difference in consumers choosing one business over another.
This is exactly why hiring an experienced brand identity designer is so important. It’s an investment in the future of your business and will generate a strong ROI over the lifetime of your company.
A professional brand identity designer will help you create your logo design, website, marketing collateral, business cards and all other communication material so that you have a high-quality and consistent design to lend your business extra credibility.
They incorporate the perfect blend of color palettes, visual elements such as font and texture, shapes and lines, and other key elements to make a design that creates a strong and lasting brand identity.
However, it doesn’t end here. Your brand identity designer maintains your style guide as a roadmap for future designs and campaigns.
Authentic Brand Identity
A brand identity designer would spend quality time discovering your market segment, target audience, buyer personas, and brand essence and then create an identity that would make the right impact. They would not go rushing into creating designs just for the sake of how they look. Instead, they would undergo an intense design process to give you an identity that will stand the test of time.
A brand identity designer makes your company memorable and easily recognized. Thanks to their efforts, your brand identity becomes ingrained in the minds of your customers. Eventually, your brand identity elicits an emotional response from consumers that compels them to buy from you, not your competitors.
Key Elements of Brand Identity Design and Why They Matter
Your company’s brand identity includes all the visual cues that help consumers distinguish your business from the billions of other companies worldwide. But, most importantly, your brand identity helps distinguish you from your competitors.
A brand identity is made up of a variety of visual, design, and written cues. We list and explain their importance briefly here.
Like a newborn baby, your brand needs a name. Name is the first element of identity, whether of a living or non-living, tangible or intangible object. This name becomes the mark of identification for your brand. People refer to, connect to, and share their reviews based on the name.
Some names have earned a reputation for being considered benchmarks for every product. For example, every detergent is called “Surf,” while every diaper is called “Pamper.” This is the impact a name can create.
Therefore, pay special attention when choosing a name for your brand. Of course, you cannot name your brand “Economic Mobile Phones” or “Natural Ingredients Beauty Products .” The name has to be concise, simple, yet catchy. It can be your brand logos, like Dove or Apple, or something else.
What matters is the visual identity you create to support and complement your brand name.
The next element is your logo. A brand logo is your business’s second most important element if you want it to maintain its place in the competitive market. Now here we draw a slight boundary. Not everyone needs a logo. Your requirement for a logo depends on your business type and scale.
For instance, a car mechanic doesn’t need a logo. However, when he decides to market his services or service station to a larger market and attract potential customers through social media marketing, he’ll need a logo to create a strong brand identity.
When it comes to design, you can be as creative as you like. But this is where a brand identity designer comes in. They will ensure you don’t overdo or underdo it.
Since these are creative folks with a strong sense of style and design, they can create a logo that will support your name, complement your brand story, and effectively communicate with potential customers.
Remember those subtle “red is the color of love” and “white is the color of peace” analogies we drew when selecting flowers for a bouquet? It turns out that it was pretty valid, but the color theory extends way beyond.
Colors have impressions. They convey feelings and messages. Every color has a temperature, tone, and feel, which helps us differentiate between their shades and use them where they best fit. These aspects of color come into play in a brand identity design too.
Selecting the right color palette creates a visual identity for the brand. Your colors will define your buyer persona. For instance, an orange and red color combination with shades of yellow will create your persona of a summer soda brand.
Undoubtedly, you would not want rose red and peach on your business card if you’re a corporate company, no matter how much you like the combination. So the question is, why not? Because these colors do not complement the “tone” of your business.
But, hang on, what if you’re a corporate company run by a woman? Then, maybe yes, you might be able to add hues of peach or red, but very carefully so.
Tagline or Slogan
A tagline is the quickest way of telling people who you are, what you do, and why you’re doing whatever you’re doing. Clearly, this makes taglines the trickiest element of a brand identity.
However, slogans do not necessarily describe or introduce a brand. They are more marketing-centric and can change as per the ongoing campaign. Thus, a brand can have several slogans but will have only one tagline.
Taglines and slogans can attract potential customers by touching pain points or evoking emotions. Nike, Apple, and countless other brands have taglines that touch human emotions instead of describing their work.
For example, L’Oreal has the slogan “because you’re worth it.” Although this tagline doesn’t say anything about what the brand sells, it creates a powerful foundation for attracting ideal clients by making them feel special for choosing L’Oreal’s products.
Fonts have an immense visual identity in themselves. Every font style conveys a message and gives off a vibe. Therefore, they make up the elements of brand identity design.
Thin, long fonts emanate a professional and to-the-point feel. Big, bold ones give off power and pressure. These fonts are usually used in ad campaigns intended to attract unwavering attention. Curvy, cursive fonts are girlish and fragile, while round ones seem “childish.”
Every font style tells a different story. Your brand identity designer understands which font will best suit your brand.
This list isn’t inclusive – any visual representation of your company is part of your brand identity, including using mascots in your branding. However, the list above includes the main elements of a company’s brand identity design.
Your company’s identity should be consistent across all public-facing documents, products, and marketing campaigns.
To ensure consistency, many businesses create a Brand Identity Design Guidebook. The book often includes:
- The official logo is in various approved sizes.
- The exact hex codes for brand colors.
- The official mascot in approved sizes and styles.
- The correct fonts to use in specific situations.
- The official way to use the company tagline.
While these details may seem inconsequential, they are important for creating consistency in your brand. They also ensure that the quality of your brand identity remains high no matter who is working with the design elements.
In the ever-increasing market competition, you need more than a social media handle and smart marketing tactics. Having a brand identity that supports all your marketing efforts and creates a lasting impression.
A professional brand identity designer is the best solution if you wish to have a flawless brand identity that doesn’t change with the weather. At SpellBrand, we are experienced, professional brand identity designers. Contact us today and request a free quote so we can prove to be the right company for you.
Good Brand Identity Design Example
To help you further visualize the benefits of good brand identity design, I present to you select elements of SEOmoz’s brand identity.
On the website you can see a few elements of SEOmoz’s brand identity including the official logo, Roger the Robot (their mascot) and the brand colors (blue/light yellow) being used throughout.
You’ll notice these same elements can be found on their other brand assets.
On SEOmoz’s official Twitter profile you can see Roger their mascot and their official logo prominently displayed.
On Facebook again you can see Roger displayed as well as the same type of design being used that was used on the Twitter page. All of this creates brand consistency.
Here you can see one set of SEOmoz business cards which again follow brand guidelines. It matches up well with the type of design seen on their Facebook page and also prominently displays their mascot, Roger.
And the final example of good SEOmoz brand identity design can be seen in their conference signage. You can see the sign is made with the official SEOmoz logo including the exact colors that the logo must always be.
These are just a few examples of good brand identity design from SEOmoz. I’m sure if we were looking at their corporate stationary, official PowerPoint deck or other collateral, you would see the same identifying elements throughout.
A great brand identity designer will help your business create this type of consistency for your business.
Here at SpellBrand we happen to be experienced, professional brand identity designers. Contact us today and request a free quote to find out if we are the right company for you.