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What Is Brand Identity and how do we develop a good one?

What Is Brand Identity and how do we develop a good one?

The brand identity is the special sauce of your business that distinguishes you from every other Tom, Dick, and Harry, Inc. on the block. What does your company’s branding look like? It’s what shapes your organization.

How can you create a strong brand identity that takes your business to the next level? What exactly is brand identity, and what does it have to do with design? And how can you develop a powerful brand identity that will take your company to the next level?

Table of Contents

  • What is brand identity?
  • How to develop a strong brand identity
  • Design: the foundation of your brand identity
  • Developing your brand design
  • Typography
  • Color Palette
  • Form/Shape
  • Designing your brand identity
  • Logo
  • Website
  • Product Packaging
  • Business cards
  • Email design
  • Create a Brand Style Guide

What is brand identity?

Swift Brand identity design by Adept Creative

beautiful playful brand identity design for taco shop

Flow Basketball Brand identity design by Adept Creative

Let’s start with a definition. What does the phrase brand identity imply?

The collection of all elements that a firm utilizes to project the appropriate image to its customers is known as brand identity. Even though these phrases are sometimes considered interchangeable, brand identity differs from “brand image” and “branding.”

Branding is the process of actively shaping a distinct brand. The public perception of an organization is known as ba rand.

Let’s dig a little deeper.

Let’s assume you’re a middle schooler. As an awkward adolescent, you want to be seen as cool and be seated at the best table in the cafeteria. But you may not force others to have that impression of you. To build this brand, you’ll need to put some effort into it.

Finally, you must make certain that you look the part. You save up your money to purchase the latest Air Jordans that everyone desires. You get a fresh haircut. You make the basketball team.

These tangible aspects—the shoes, the haircut, and the team membership—constitute brand identity.

The brand identity of your company is what sets you apart from other businesses. Your audience will connect your brand identification with your product or service, and this identification is what ties you to your consumers, creates customer loyalty, and influences how people see your company.

How to Create a Strong Brand Identity

Know who you are

Before you figure out what physical elements make up your brand identity, you must first define your brand.

There are a few key aspects that define you as a brand:

  • Your mission: Your Why
  • Your values: The Beliefs that drive your organization
  • Your brand personality: If your brand were a person what type of personality would you be?
  • Your unique positioning: How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors
  • Your brand voice: Again if you were a person, how would you talk? the one of voice, your vocabulary.

The components listed above are what make up your brand, and it’s critical that you understand them before you start developing your brand identity.

Don’t worry if you’re having trouble determining who exactly you are. Even though it might appear difficult at first, all it takes is a quick brainstorm to help you figure out who you are as a business.

Ask yourself:

  • Why did we start this company in the first place?
  • What are some of our core beliefs and values as a company?
  • What does it take to be the greatest?
  • What distinguishes this company from its competitors
  • What are the first three words that come to mind when you think of your business?
  • What are the three words we’d want our consumers to use to describe us?

Once you’ve decided on who you are as a company, it’s time to construct the personality that will bring your brand to life and show who you are to those who matter most: your consumers.

Design: the foundation of your brand identity

Your design is what will help define the identity of your company in the same way that your Jordans created the brand personality for your middle-school-star athlete persona.

Your corporate design assets are the tangible components that will help define how your brand is perceived. Your logo, packaging, web design, social media graphics, company cards, and employee dress all fall into this category.

In other words, nailing your design equals nailing your brand identity, which equates to creating a successful business that is an exact representation of who you are as a company.

So, how can you properly execute your design and establish a brand identity that will propel your business to the next level?

Developing your brand design

Before you can start building your design assets, you must first establish the fundamentals of your design structure: the foundation of your brand identity.

Before you start making design assets, you’ll need to figure out the following building blocks:

Typography

Typography is the study of typefaces (or fonts), which includes everything from your logo to your website’s text. Choosing logos and brand typefaces correctly is crucial. The four primary forms of typography are:

Serif typefaces (likeTimes New Roman or Garamond) feature what appear to be anchors on the ends of each letter. This classic typography is fantastic for conveying professionalism, tradition, and a touch of old-fashionedness.

  • The foot of a typeface is the character or characters at the bottom of each letter. “Sans serif” refers to typefaces without feet, such as Helvetica and Franklin Gothic. Sans-serif fonts (such as Helvetica or Franklin Gothic) are letters with smooth edges and no anchor or “feet” in
  • Script Typography: The cursive form of Typography. They’re splendid for headlines and subheads, as well as more formal writing like instructions. They really are a wonderful way to add a high-end or feminine touch to your brand. Emulating cursive handwriting (as opposed to computerized font types), they have an old-fashioned feel that’s perfect for any kind of content.
  • Display typefaces are on a whole different level. Each display typeface has its own distinct feature, such as unusual letter forms, outlines, shading, or a more artistic/hand-drawn edge (think Metallica’s lightning bolt font). Do you want to make a bold statement and establish a memorable brand identity? A display typeface is an

The typography you choose will say a lot about your brand, choose your typefaces carefully.

Color palette

brand identity style guide with green and grey brand colors

A brand guide with brand colors by Adept Creative

The next stage is color.

People, your potential clients included, have psychological connections to particular colors that you can exploit to enhance the way your brand is perceived by them.

Here are some of the colors in the rainbow (as well as a few extras) that your brand may use to boost its presence:

  • Red: Red is the color of passion and energy. If your brand identity is loud, youthful, and thrilling, this is the hue to use.
  • Orange: Orange is a powerful and high-energy color that works well for appearing pleasant and lively. It’s less popular than red, so it’ll also set you apart from the crowd.
  • Yellow: Yellow is a hue that evokes happiness. It’s a fantastic color if you want to feel fun, approachable, and affordable.
  • Green: Green is a highly adaptable hue that may be used for virtually any brand. Although it is associated with money and nature in several cultures. If your company is linked to one of those concepts, green is an excellent choice.
  • Blue: Blue is the most universally appealing color in the spectrum and may help your business branding to seem more stable and trustworthy, so if you want to appeal to a broad audience and encourage them to trust you in the process, choose blue.
  • Purple: The color purple is associated with aristocracy, so if you want your branding to have a more premium feel to it, this is the hue to use.
  • Pink: Pink is historically associated with femininity, so if your brand is intended for women, pink should be a serious contender. It’s also an excellent hue for brands with a soft or luxurious personality.
  • Brown: Brown may be the least useful color for branding, but it might just work in your favor! Any time you do something new, you stand out. Brown may also lend a more rugged or manly impression to your business.
  • Black:There ‘s nothing as classic or successful as black if you want to appear modern or sophisticated.

 

Form/Shape

When it comes to your designs, you should think about both form and shape. This little yet efficient component that may be utilized to encourage the desired emotional response from your customers: for example, a logo made up entirely of circles and gentle edges would elicit a very distinct response from one made up entirely of squares.

Here’s how a range of forms might shape your brand identity (lights intended):

  • Round shapes—Kittens and puppies, shiny surfaces, sparkling lights—these are all about the sweet and fuzzy things. Companies that use round forms can create feelings of togetherness, unity, and love. The rounded edges may also be interpreted as delicate.
  • Straight edged shapes—The use of geometric shapes, such as squares, rectangles, and triangles—which make people envision strength and efficiency—creates a sense of stability and trustworthiness. The assertive lines provide a feeling of security and honesty, but you must be cautious because if the forms are not balanced out with something interesting like dynamic colors, they might feel cold
  • Vertical lines– connote manliness and power, whereas horizontal lines suggest serenity and calm.

Designing your brand identity

Gaea fashion logoMusic Poster designed by Adept Creative

Your brand identity is made of many elements. 

Once you’ve discovered the foundation of your design, it’s time to work with a designer to bring your brand identity to life and turn who you are as a company into tangible design assets that you may utilize in marketing. Your brand identity can be represented in a variety of ways. One asset or another might be more significant depending on your business’s nature. A retailer, for example, should put a lot of thought into their menu and physical environment. A digital marketing company, on the other hand, must pay close attention to their website and social media sites.

The following are some of the most important components of brand identity:

Your logo is the foundation of your brand identity. You should try to achieve the following with your designer when creating your logo:

  • Clearly communicates who you are and what you value as a brand;
  • Is visually appealing: simple, clean and uncluttered goes a long way;
  • Is classic, not trendy: the last thing you want is for your logo to go out of style in 6 months;
  • Plays along with your industry’s standards—and if you veer off, do so deliberately;
  • Make a lasting impression on your audience.

At the same time, you need to be sure that your design partner provides your logo in a variety of formats (such as a black and white version or several sizes) so that you always have the one you require—and that it is consistent with your brand identity.

Learn more on how to design the perfect logo.

Product packaging

Pink gin bottles

Era Japanese Whiskey bottles designed by Adept Creative

If you’re selling a tangible item, the packaging is critical in attracting the right clients. Don’t underestimate the importance of good design in enhancing the customer experience — and, in turn, increasing loyalty and repeat purchases – when it comes to liquids like cold-brew coffee or letters you’ll send to your consumers who bought clothes through your ecommerce business. Packaging is a fantastic opportunity for your design work to shine.

Read our ultimate guide to product packaging.

Business cards

IThe first thing to consider when starting a new business is, of course, the name. If you’re doing any sort of commercial development (and who isn’t), you’ll want to stock up on business cards. A well-designed card may help boost your reputation in the eyes of potential clients or customers by reinforcing a good impression of yourself.

When it comes to company card design, keep things simple: one side of the card should have your firm’s logo and the other should contain your most important personal information.

Learn How we design the perfect business card.

Email design

Email is an excellent way to connect with your consumers and generate revenue. However, most people are suffering from inbox overload, so if you want to stand out among the competition, you’ll need a unique design approach.

Consider the aim of the email. Are you attempting to establish a personal connection? Keep it brief, sweet, and straightforward if that’s what you’re after. Are you attempting to teach? Then make it legible and scannable by formatting it correctly, as well as including a few photos to help it stand out. Are you attempting to inform your consumers about a new apparel collection you’ve launched? Make a few beautiful product photos the centerpiece of your message.

Check out Designing emails.

Website

Your website is one of your company’s most prominent pieces of its brand image. Customers will define your website before deciding to do business with you, especially if you run an online business or a digital product. Your website is the ideal place for your brand identity to come through loud and clear.

Learn the building blocks of effective web layouts.

Create a brand style guide

Brand style guide

It is critical to maintain your brand’s distinctiveness with a style guide.

You’ll want to make sure your design assets are utilized in the appropriate way once you’ve got them, which is why a brand style guide is so important. This document, which details your design assets, when and how to utilize them, as well as any brand don’ts and do’s, will guarantee that any future design is consistent with your brand identity and conveys the proper impression with your audience.

Consistency is crucial for building a strong brand identity. You wouldn’t want your brand to look completely different on social media than it does on your website. Customers would be confused, and your brand would appear less trustworthy and professional as a result. So, be sure to stick to a brand guide that covers all of your business’s components. That’s what will help you develop brand recognition and loyalty in the long run.

In a nutshell, it’s all about the brand.

You must establish your brand identity, which distinguishes you from the crowd and informs your clients who you are and what to anticipate when dealing with you. It’s critical that you get your branding right if you want people to see your company in a good light. It’s now time to start designing after you’ve learnt how to nail that identity.

Want more branding suggestions? 

Sign up for our free brand identity email course to get started.

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