A BRAND’S IDENTITY
IS MORE THAN THE
SUM OF ITS PARTS
A brand (or visual) identity is a system of interconnected parts, such as logos, symbols, color, fonts, etc. that are used to identify a business in the marketplace, in contrast to its competitors.
When developed correctly, a visual identity projects a professional, confident, and cohesive appearance. In design terms, this result could be considered “gestalt”–a German word for an organized whole that is greater (or other than) the sum of its parts. Having only one part, such as a logo, is not considered an identity. Similarly, a single melody does not make a song.
Core Identity Elements:
The name of your business or product is really the beginning; the foundation of your foundation. It sets the tone for everything you say and do. A name that’s simple, accurate, appropriate, and accessible is critical to forming a memorable and lasting impression. But just like a visual identity, there are rules and principles to follow when choosing the right one. And unfortunately, gut instinct isn’t one of them.
Simplified version of a logo that may use letterforms, but never words. Think of them as a logo’s relative, only refined for smaller spaces.
Color is all about emotion. What hues and values truly represent the business’s personality and point of view.
Words are clearly about communication. But the typefaces words are set in are also a very important consideration, because style, like color, evokes emotion. Choosing a font that’s in harmony with other identity elements and the message it’s conveying, makes reading it much more meaningful and cohesive.
Extended Identity Elements:
It’s hard to have a conversation if you don’t know who you’re talking to, or if you’re just talking to everyone and hoping anyone will listen. So what you say, how you say it, and who you say it to, matters a great deal in creating an effective and sustainable message.
Having an online presence for your business is almost as important as having air to breath these days. And technology changes quickly, so staying up to date on the latest web accessibility standards, and remaining relevant by providing authentic, rich content is critical for growing your brand.
A product on a shelf needs to speak clearly and loudly, contrasting as much as possible against the mob of competitors. At the same time, retaining a cohesive look in order to create trust and memorability.
While most communication is digital these days, businesses still need to identify themselves through printed materials. And those touchpoints need to show consistency–from annual reports to vehicle wraps, a unified look is key.
Interior and exterior signs, event and store displays, wayfinding graphics, etc. They all play a huge roll in adding consistency and clarity to a visual identity.
There’s no better place to apply your identity than to a walking, talking billboard.
“A WonderLab of Creative Possibilities”
A VISUAL IDENTITY IS
THE FIGURATIVE SOUL
OF A BUSINESS
Like the groove of a song, an identity is the driving force and soul of a business. Developed and nurtured correctly, a cohesive identity grabs attention, differentiates from competitors, and builds trust through a consistent look and message. Unfortunately, not all songs have groove, and surely not every identity has a soul. That’s why conducting deep research and gaining valuable and unique insights (creative business strategy) before designing anything, is so important in the development of creating an effective and sustainable visual identity.
A BRAND’S IDENTITY NEEDS A GUIDE.
The mark of any effective visual identity is a clear and thorough style guide, because it’s impossible to predict every design situation, brand execution, or implementation of visual elements. So for those held with the responsibility of accurately promoting your business, it’s most helpful to have a roadmap full of guidelines, rules, and tips for how to best use (and not abuse) your identity assets.
SO, WHAT ARE YOU MADE OF?
Gasoline and grit or cinnamon and spice? Whatever characteristics you identify with, it’s critical for every business to genuinely understand who they are–for themselves, for their customers, and for the success of their business.