Logo Design Is Important, But It’s Only Part of Your Brand’s Design
Legendary logo designer Paul Rand said, “Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.” Considering he designed some of the 20th century’s most iconic and well-known logos, he had some serious street cred on the subject. Enough cred at least to be hired by Steve Jobs.
For many companies, brand design begins and ends with designing a logo and slapping it on a website, social media, and if you are kicking old-school business cards. But that approach is at best, superficial and likely giving a brand the short shift. It also puts logo design at the beginning when the best practice case studies have proven that other brand steps need to come first. For instance, a Brand strategy is one of the steps that should come before logo design.
What is Brand Design?
Brand design is the careful and strategic development of all the sensory elements that can emotionally connect a brand to its audiences. Correctly done, it contributes to the strong and positive associations that audiences attribute to a brand. Done well, it helps form a strong brand identity.
While many consider these brand associations purely visual, many brands have successfully taken brand design to other senses such as sound, taste, touch and smell. Think of the unmistakable rumble of a Harley Davidson motorcycle or the smell of fresh coffee in Starbucks.
Coca Cola became one of the most valuable and recognizable brands globally, not just merely because of their logo but also because of the unique shape of their glass bottles and the colour red. For many people, Polar Bears still represent the Coke brand.
“Brand design is the careful development of all the elements that connect a brand to its audiences.”
Where Should You Begin with Brand Design?
Jumping straight into logo design is jumping the gun and for many confusing as there is no foundation for what the brand should be. Before exploring the visual and sensory elements that should link to your brand, you need to have several key pieces in place:
Stick to a Proven Design and Development Process
Every brand design project should start with a written project brief that lays out the key objectives, background information, specific deliverables and timelines of the project. Be sure to include detailed information on the brand strategy, messaging and primary audiences. Hold an in-person meeting to discuss the brief document with key team members. Clarity is the goal, and the brief is key to keeping the project on track. Refer to the document whenever reviewing design concepts.
What Should You Include in Your Brand Design Deliverables?
In some ways, the sky is the limit in terms of brand design deliverables. But those typically evolve. Start with a list of the foundational items needed by every market-ready brand platform. This stage is where you should be turning your attention to the logo design and its applications and standards. Here’s a full list of what to consider:
Where our brand design services will help you
We've helped not-for-profit, healthcare, hospitality, and commercial enterprises design brands that reflect their personalities and connect with audiences. Our blend of brand strategy, design insights, and proven processes get the job done. We can help you:
- Brand Strategy - so that you know your vision, mission, promise, values and personality, to name just a few things. Brand personality is particularly essential to have a handle on.
- Audience Definition - who are the people your brand needs to engage to succeed. A brand designed to appeal to Millenials should be different than one for Boomers. Spend the time to understand and document your most important audiences deeply.
- Competitive Analysis - get to know who, where and what competitive barriers you’ll be up against, including positioning, price and promotion.
- Logo/Brand Identity
- Primary and Secondary Fonts
- Brand Colour Palette
- Brand Architecture
- Stationery Items
- Collateral Materials
- Presentation Materials
- Website & Social Media
- Brand Visual & Language Guidelines
- Shareable Templates
- Ensure your brand’s look and feel is an accurate reflection of who you are and what you do.
Develop enduring brand design elements that will work across multiple platforms and channels.
Have the tools you need to ensure that the integrity and consistency of your brand are protected.