Sponsored by DesignCrowd:
Your brand identity includes both intangible and tangible elements. Your brand’s promise to consumers is its foundation, and it’s the most important intangible element of your brand identity. Your brand’s name and logo are arguably the most important tangible elements.
It’s essential that you design a brand identity with tangible elements that clearly communicate your brand’s promise to consumers in a unique and memorable way. Whether you’re developing a brand identity for a new startup or an established small business, don’t undervalue its importance. If your business succeeds, you want a powerful brand that can stand the test of time.
To help you in your own brand development efforts, here are five tips to design a memorable brand identity:
1. Choose Your Words Strategically
When you’re designing a brand name or slogan with a designer or through a design marketplace like DesignCrowd, make sure you choose words that have some strategic relevance to your brand promise, but don’t be too obvious. A brand name that obviously describes the products or services it represents can be hard to protect with a trademark.
You don’t want to invest time and money into building a brand identity only to be accused of infringing on another person’s mark in the future. That can be a very costly mistake, which could force you to have to rebrand. In other words, all of your efforts put into building your brand will be wasted.
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Select typography that is consistent with the brand image you’re trying to develop. For example, a corporate law firm would be making a mistake if it used a playful, childlike font in its logo (Yes, I’m talking about you, Comic Sans). Be sure to choose a font that’s easy to read, too. A great looking font is useless in a logo if no one can read what it says.
People perceive colors differently, and those perceptions elicit specific emotions which are subconsciously transferred directly to your brand. There is a reason why blue is such a popular color for brand identities. Color psychology studies have found that blue is universally liked by men and women and by people of all ages.
On the other hand, brown is universally disliked, so tread carefully if you’re considering using earth tones in your brand identity elements. Just because UPS succeeded with brown doesn’t mean you can, too. In fact, it just might add an obstacle for your brand to climb.
As you design your logo, make sure it is flexible enough to be used in a wide variety of applications. Consider the resolution of the file you’re creating. Is it large enough that you could print the logo on a banner or billboard without quality degradation? Also, consider the weight of the font your logo uses. Will you need to print your logo at a very small size (e.g., on a pen)? If the font weight is too thin, it will be extremely difficult to read the text when the logo is very small.
And don’t forget to think about color flexibility. If you’ll be using your logo in a lot of printed materials that have to be produced using an offset printer (e.g., brochures, point-of-sale collateral, direct mail, etc.) and you want to use your full color logo in those materials rather than a one-color version of your logo, then remember that more colors means higher printing costs. Can you afford that? If not, you should create a logo that uses no more than two colors, or make sure you really like the one-color version of your logo because you’ll be using it a lot.
If there are multiple employees, business partners, and so on who will use your logo for a variety of purposes, then take the time to develop a set of brand identity standards. It’s imperative that your brand is represented consistently to consumers, and that consistency includes how your logo is used and looks. For example, which colors is it acceptable to use for the logo? Many companies have a standard color palette for their logos and brand identity standards which explain their logos can only be shown in that color palette, in a single color from that color palette, in white, or in black but never in any other color.
Brand identity standards could also explain how much white space should appear around the logo (e.g., half the size of the logo on all sides), how small it’s allowed to be shown, or where and when an accompanying tagline can be used. Furthermore, brand identity standards should remind your team that the logo must only use the original fonts and be resized proportionally, so it doesn’t appear skewed in any way.
Designing a memorable brand identity requires strategy, creativity, and consistency. A memorable brand isn’t built overnight, but with consistent use of your brand elements, it can become one.