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Published On: Thu, Sep 20th, 2018

Explore the Exciting Journey of Designing a Brand Identity

Logo design is the first step in creating a brand identity. To establish the brand by linking it to the business to express the business ideals involves a lot of hard work. Indeed, for a graphic designer, designing a logo is an exciting project. It is highly challenging and stressful to create logo design options based on market research by going through a lengthy exploratory process to stumble upon some on some magical design. It is a gratifying experience when the designer can narrow down on the options and make clients accept and approve a logo that the world can see. But, creating the logo is not enough because the logo has to speak about the business and bring people closer to it to realize the essence and spirit of enterprise.

The logo becomes the business brand but to make the brand uphold the company in its correct perspective, it is essential to infuse life into the logo by going through a process of brand identity design. Larger organizations that have several layers of management depends on a brand identity system that provides tools and a unified vision that becomes the guiding light for everyone to build the brand.  

photo/ Gerd Altmann

The purpose of this article is to throw light on the aspects of designing a brand identity, but before we proceed further, it is essential to understand what logo, brand and identity mean and how these relate to one another.

Brand

A brand is a perceived image of a business organization that captures the emotional response to a company as well as its products and services. The conversations that customers have amongst themselves about the company and how it keeps spreading reflect in the brand.  A brand is a bundle of expectations, memories, relationships, and stories that are responsible for influencing the choice of consumers for one product or service over many others. The brand acquires value whenever consumers choose it, spreads the right word and pays a premium for possessing it.

Identity

A description of the various visual devices that uphold the company constitutes its identity.  It comprise of a framework of style guidelines together with a package of optical components that helps to build a corporate image that is consistent and cohesive. Marketing collateral, stationery, messaging, signage, packaging, digital projects, and signage are some of the visual devices that help to leverage style guidelines and brand elements.

Logo

A logo is the highest impacting visual device consisting of identifiable visual elements that help consumers to discover and remember a company’s brand and share it with others. Logos are the icons that we usually see which are symbolic, and it can even be a logotype or a combination of both.  For logos to become most effective, it has to be appropriate and straightforward that makes it memorable, and its versatility should create a timeless appeal that passes through generations.

Let us now proceed with designing the brand identity.

Creating a design brief

It is the most crucial phase in the design process because it guides the remaining part of the project. It consists of thorough research to establish a vision that helps to see through the project and direct the activities that assist in achieving the goal.  The process comprises of three steps beginning with market analysis and consumer research followed by realizing the vision and establishing goals that help to build brand personality. The final step involves perceiving the logo and creating an identity design brief.  As you go through the process, you get answers to questions like how the consumers view the brand as compared to others, what is its positioning statement, who your audience is, the values and beliefs that the brand underlines about business, etc.

Designing the logo and identity system

The second phase comprises of logo design and creating the identity system based on the design brief.  

  • Logo design – The logo design begins with designers trying out various designs that flow from the conceptualization of the design brief. It comprises of sketching many variations of the design that designers have in mind that are translations of the concepts and by rubbing on the ideas or tweaking it time and again provide new directions to designers to explore and focus on solutions that they would not have usually thought about. After selecting a few best concepts, designers would work on it further to refine it and give it a final shape.
  • The identity system – After the logo is complete, it is time to embark on a journey for creating the identity system.  The identity system helps to create a precise visual language that assists in interpreting the logo by complementing the thoughts that go in designing the logo. It offers a whole lot of useful and flexible elements that should help to design marketing and business collateral.
  • The style guidelines – The logo style guidelines define the rules of logo usage, color palette, typeface system, layout guidelines, etc. It is essential for those creating marketing materials and design collaterals that can have a cohesive voice and looks. Style guidelines form the core of the identity design, and it accompanies logo templates, fonts and allied resources that create a complete package to make it easy to design the brand.

Monitoring the brand

After launching the brand identity, consumers start interacting with it just as they would with some living entity and therefore it is essential to care for the brand identity by monitoring its performance closely. Caring for the brand helps to detect shifts in the target audience quite early, get a feel about the way the market evolves and if changes happen to the products and services related to the brand. These indicators point to the need for rebranding. The task is quite challenging as it calls for maintaining familiarity and consistency that aids brand recall.

The branding process begins with the logo but goes much beyond the visuals as the logo comes to life by becoming the face of a business that also demonstrates the values and the spirit that underline it.

Author: Charlie Brown

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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