A brand does not only live from processes, the human team, profitability or its relationship with customers, it needs a “pretty face” that makes it known. Do not underestimate the power of brand design!
Brand design is the creation of the visual identity, that is, the aspect that characterizes a brand and distinguishes it in the midst of a saturated market. To create a visual identity that refuses to be ignored, strategic and intentional brand design is needed, encompassing a unified system of elements such as logos, colors, typography, illustration and photography.
When brand design is executed effectively, the ideas from research and strategy come to life on the website, marketing materials, packaging, presentations… As you can see, it’s very important and today we tell you everything you need to know!
What elements does brand design include?
A fundamental part of brand design is the creation of the design elements that make up the visual identity of a brand.
A brand’s visual identity is the aesthetic embodiment of its positioning and personality. That’s why the most effective brand design is research-based and strategy-driven.
Since a brand’s visual identity is essential, you must make all the elements work together as a system, only then will the brand design be functional.
Whether it is a word mark, a concept mark or a combined mark, a logo is the hallmark of a brand in the world.
A logo is an aesthetic symbol full of meaning that has the power to communicate the essence of a brand in a visual instant to all who experience it.
Colors are essential to brand design. Each color has a distinct impact on the psychology of a brand’s audience. Understanding that impact is the key to getting the most out of colors in brand design.
The foundation of an effective brand design is the way its visual elements are organized and placed in relation to each other. This is what is known as layout.
Layout makes sense of the design and makes it visually appealing. It provides page-to-page balance and implements an intuitive hierarchy that makes visual communication easy to navigate.
Fonts and typefaces are a unique design element, as each is a design system in itself.
Because they are meticulously and intentionally designed, typefaces bring a distinct and prepared personality to the brand design.
Photography is a key element in brand design and includes representative images that support brand positioning and personality. The style and treatment of photographic imagery influences the brand design as much as its content.
Interactive elements are design elements that users can interact with, typically on a website or online experience. By engaging the user in a dialectical relationship, interactive elements add a powerful character to brand design that goes beyond mere animation or motion.
According to cognitive psychology, form is the most basic visual stimulus. But just because they are basic doesn’t mean that shapes don’t possess meaning. Whether obliquely suggestive or simply representational, shapes are a powerful foundational component of brand design.
Iconography is a way of communicating complex information through simplified illustrated graphics. Good iconography provides designers with an illustrative language inspired by the industry and medium for which it is created. Simplicity and clarity are essential for effective iconography.
Data visualization is the process of representing complex data in illustrated elements, such as charts and graphs, so they should always be clear and understandable, as well as aesthetically pleasing.
Illustration is another element that can lend a powerful and immediate personality to brand design.
It is important to define a cohesive and uniform illustration style, as well as to consider how illustrations will be used with other design elements.
Texture and pattern
Texture refers to the quality of the surface in the design. Just as tactile textures can be rough, smooth, shiny, blurry, etc., visual textures can redefine the quality of a surface.
Pattern, on the other hand, is the intentional repetition of form. Patterns are planned structures whose geometric nature means they can be easily mass produced.
It is essential to remember that textures and patterns are supporting elements. They should enhance the intended message, never distract from it.
Video is a unique, dynamic and compelling way to introduce storytelling into brand design. Video has been proven to hold the attention of audience members longer and more deeply than any other media or audiovisual format.
Animation and motion
Animation and motion bring a design to life, otherwise it would be static and boring, but both should be used sparingly, so you can get the feedback needed to engage, inform or entertain users.
When animation is used subtly and intentionally, it can help users build mental models of how a system works and how they can interact with it.
The advantage of motion is also its drawback: it attracts attention. We are sensitive and prone to be distracted by any kind of motion, whether it makes sense or not.
How do you execute brand design?
All good brand design begins with research. Brand design should be based on information gleaned from market research, customer research and internal research.
Only by understanding a brand’s market landscape, the unique needs and challenges of its customers and the perspectives of its employees can a designer hope to lay the foundation for a strategic approach to brand design.
2. Clarify the strategy
Effective brand design is based on a comprehensive brand strategy. This includes a well-defined framework that describes the fundamental elements of positioning, such as the brand compass, brand archetype, brand personality, among other aspects.
When you have the framework, the blueprint and the roadmap for the visual identity, the brand design is successfully materialized and the creation process is streamlined.
3. Design your elements
With the research ideas and strategy direction in place, you can get to work on creating the brand design elements, from the logo and color scheme, to typography and photography, each element should be created as an integral component of the unified aesthetic system that is your brand’s visual identity.
4. Create your touch points
Touchpoints, such as the website, marketing materials and signage, are the places where your brand’s visual identity comes to life in an interplay of brand design elements.
Creating the touchpoints is the final step in brand design, where visual elements are creatively combined to strategically communicate the brand’s key message.
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