Given the year that we've just had, many companies have sought out a new brand identity or a rebrand to refresh their offering and keep them competitive during the pandemic.
It can be a stressful and oftentimes, painful process, but fear not. We've created an easy guide to help you construct a unique brand design identity. From clarifying what a brand design identity actually is to imparting advice on the creation process, we'll be sharing some relevant guidelines for putting a successful brand identity together.
What is a brand design identity?
A brand identity - simply put - describes a company. It represents internal characteristics about ‘who‘ the brand is, its essence and personality, as well as external characteristics, such as the visual elements that bring the internal traits to life through design.
A brand’s visual characteristics are far more immediate than its internal ones, which is why design is so relevant.
If the external doesn’t capture the essence of the brand, it becomes so much more difficult to convince consumers that the brand is authentic.
Creating a brand design identity – the process
At Appetite Creative, we have experience working with several brands through the process of rebranding. We have developed tried and tested processes around creating strong brand identities. Our main focuses include:
1. Branding workshop
Creating a strong and effective brand identity requires a few steps. The success of your brand will rely on well-defined values. It's useful to run an initial branding workshop. This will help you to define your brand's vision and understand how you see yourself in the future; the brand's voice and how you communicate with your audience; and the brand's values and what you stand for.
Identifying these will mean that you have your core values to form the ground level foundation from which to develop your brand.
From there, you need to think about developing a consistent visual language for the brand. One that connects and engages your target audience and makes your brand stand out from its competitors. Have its USP clear.
Work on connecting specific words and ideas to your company and/or product.
Selecting the right words and nailing the tone of voice is fundamental to developing the brand's language.
3. Brand book
The brand book outlines the rules you want the brand to adhere to.
By focusing on this, you can be sure that all your assets across digital and non-digital platforms will look and feel consistent.
Brand design identity guidelines
Defining your brand design identity guidelines through your brand book means that you will have a brand instruction manual to refer back to. And this will allow you to remain focused around how you're communicating your brand message.
The guidelines should include visual details as well as important aspects about the company’s voice, tone, and messaging. Also include the company’s logos, colour palette, typography, imagery and tone of voice in here.
Guidelines are extremely important as not only do they keep content consistent, but they will ensure that the company/products retains its reliable image, which will help with generating brand loyalty.
Examples of strong brand design identity for business
One of our clients, Hitachi, wanted to display its internal manifesto in a new way, so we designed and created a comic book version of the manifesto to share what the company does and what it offers. It was a clear and fun way for the digital solutions company to engage with its consumers.
Take MeMo2, independent marketing company, which wanted to refresh its brand. We changed the colour palette and the font, to update the look. Employee business cards were also modernised, incoporating the new colour scheme for a minimalistic yet sleek approach.
We also worked with media company, The DMA Institute, which wanted to change its branding ahead of entering new markets. Given that they were keen to generate new sales, we knew a non-aggressive colour contrast would work best. Not only did we change the colouring, but we also transformed their logo, created a new tagline and devised a brand-book that reflected the brand's personality and professionalism.
Hire the brand design identity experts
It doesn't take much but careful consideration around these steps can help to freshen up any brand design identity.
Give it a go or if you're needing a hand, feel free to contact one of branding specialists to elevate your brand’s look.
Jenny Stanley is managing director at Appetite Creative