First let’s start off by defining what exactly branding is: Branding is the perceived emotional feeling and look as a whole. What does this mean in designing terms? Well you could describe a ‘brand’ as an organization, service or product with a ‘personality’ that is shaped by the perceptions of the audience.
The key to creating a successful brand and identity is by first defining who your target audience is and by playing off their emotions. You need to define who you are and what kind of first impression you want to give off. Keep in mind, your logo or website is going to be seen first, so you want to make sure you capture that potential customers attention within the first 3 seconds.
What are some key aspects on creating an identity? In most cases, identity design is based around the visual devices used within a company, usually assembled within a set of guidelines. These guidelines that make up an identity usually administer how the identity is applied throughout a variety of mediums, using colors, fonts, layouts, icons and so forth. These guidelines ensure that the identity of the company is kept coherent, which in turn, allows the brand as a whole, to be recognizable.
On that note, it should also be stated that a designer cannot “make” a brand – only the audience can do this. A designer forms the foundation of the brand, creates the emotion, but the company and its core values are what really DEFINES the brand.
It is the consistency of this core idea that makes up the company, driving it, showing what it stands for, what it believes in and why they exist. It is not purely some colors, some typefaces, a logo and a slogan. Although these are required to continue with the emotion, it is simply not the only thing that can define a company.
There is a major element with creating your identity: Keep your identity continuous throughout your entire company. Your logo, websites, business cards, letterhead, envelopes, email signatures, make sure they are all the same. The goal is to be recognized across large audiences whether they’ve used your services or not. Do not stray from your identity, so make sure when you’re starting your company or redefining your brand, that you do it right the first time and continue with that brand throughout the life of your business.
Here are some examples of companies we’ve worked with who have created not only an identity but also a brand: