Often, a brand’s identity is defined by the company logo design. While, of course, a logo is the face of your business, it is just one of the many facets of a brand’s identity.
When it comes to establishing a strong and unique brand identity, your business would need to put in efforts on much more than just creating custom logo designs.
A brand identity defines who you are, what values you stand behind, and what the overall personality of your company is.
Now, if you are thinking, “what does graphic design have to do with brand identity?” then, that is precisely what we will be discussing in this article today.
And, to start with, let’s understand the basic definition of brand identity and why it is important for any business. Following this, we’ll cover 5 simple steps to take when looking to establish a unique brand identity for your business.
According to Investopedia, a brand identity can be defined as “The visible elements of a brand, such as color, design, and logo, which identify and distinguish the brand in consumers' minds.
In simple words, a brand identity is how and what your target consumers see of your business. It is the personality of your business and the solution to your consumers’ common challenges; and needs.
Well, so, let’s assume you are starting a new real estate firm and looking to create a healthy customer base.
Now, of course, you’d not be the first or the only real estate firm in your area of operation.
So, how do you expect the customers to take note of your brand among many other players operating in the same area?
Yes! By creating a unique brand identity.
However, distinguishing from the competition is just one of the reasons why creating a brand identity is important.
Another, very strong, reason which signifies the importance of having a unique brand identity is building trust and familiarity.
It is a very basic human tendency to get inclined towards a brand that is known to us. For example, when you think of buying a new Smartphone, your first choice is most likely to be an iPhone.
Why? Simple. Because you know the brand and have trust in it.
So, the next question that arises in this series is, “how can you create a unique brand identity?”
From the above discussion, it is pretty clear why brand identity is important for your business. And, since it’s all about the perception which the audience creates after interacting with your brand, graphic design has a major role to play in ensuring a unique brand identity.
Now, it is important to note that a brand identity is pretty different from a brand image or branding.
A brand identity consists of various elements, such as:
Clearly, for all these elements to work in unison and help establish a unique brand identity, it is required that you follow professional graphic design principles; in a step-by-step method.
What are these steps? Let’s take a look.
To begin with your brand identity structure, you need to outline your Unique Selling Point (USP).
This would require you to do the following;
-Thorough market research
-Understanding the competition
-Knowing your niche
In-depth market research will help you understand what the latest trends of your industry are that would help you create relatable designs for your brand.
Additionally, when you go through your closest competitors you’ll understand what they are doing which makes them successful and popular. You need to note down the brand style which they have adapted to such as; the color scheme, the font style, the illustration pattern, etc.
Based on all your findings from the market research and competitor analysis, you can now work towards creating your niche.
Outline the attributes of your brand which align with the latest trends and customers’ needs but, are different from what is already offered by your competition.
Remember we mentioned at the beginning of this article that how often a brand identity is related to the business logo design?
Well, that’s simply because, whenever there is a new brand that is launched in the market, the logo is the very first thing which the consumers pay attention to.
And, because a logo is not only the first point of attraction for customers to your brand but also a visual summary of everything you want your brand to be, the logo is a natural starting point for creating your brand identity design.
Refer to all your findings from the first step and start sketching the logo designs which you deem fit and relevant to your brand.
It is recommended that for this initial phase, you avoid the electronic medium and sketch your ideas with a pencil and paper.
Once you have filled several sheets of paper with all the shapes and graphical representation of your brand, leave it for a while before you narrow down to a final few (stick to three logo policy).
You can then take the final set of your logos and start refining themusing an illustrator or any logo designing tool that you are acquainted with.
Just like your business logo, the color scheme for your brand also holds a lot of importance in creating a unique identity.
Colors are known to evoke certain human emotions and, therefore, it is important for you to pick the shades with which you want your consumers to feel about your brand and help get emotionally connected.
The findings from the first step would come in handy for successfully executing this step as well.
Check out this blog to understand more on the theory behindcolor psychology in graphic design.
The next step in the process of creating a unique brand identity for your business is to pick your brand’s typography.
Just like the colors, the type of fonts that you use for your brand designs helps in creating a unique identity for your business.
In general, brands tend to stick with two typefaces for their designs and communication channels. One for headers and slogans, and the other for the body text.
There are several fonts available for you to choose from for your graphic designs. Here’s one such list of50 free fonts for graphic design that we have compiled for your reference.
Alternatively, you might even think about having a customized font developed for certain elements which could go a long way toward cultivating your unique brand identity.
Well, now that you have covered all the main aspects of creating a unique brand identity for your business, it’s time for some real-time auditing.
The brand audit would mainly require you to check the following aspects of your design style guide;
-Is it consistent on all platforms (offline and online)?
-Is it relevant to your target audience?
-Does it keeps the brand’s message, voice, and behavior in sync with each other?
Social media is a great platform to execute the first level of your design style guide audit. You can keep a note of how your potential customers are engaging with your brand designs on different social media channels.
Apart from this, you can analyze the consistency and success of your brand identity by keeping a check on a few performance metrics; such as Google Analytics, customer reviews, social media discussions, etc.
Establishing a unique brand identity is a must for every new business and graphic design plays a vital role in this process. If you are a small business or a new business looking to create a unique brand identity of your own, we can help.
Simply get in touch with us at email@example.com