As a designer, I get asked a lot to design a 'quick logo'...which is like asking a builder to build a house without a blueprint. They could probably put together a kick-ass cubby house or cabin, but they can't build a double-storey, 4 bedroom, 2 bath mansion without a plan.
While a logo is a key element in a brand's identity; it's not the only hero.
So what is a brand?
There are 3 terms that will help you understand what I'm talking about. There's your brand which is overall how people perceive your company. Then there’s branding which are the actions you take to build a certain image of your company, then the motherland is your brand identity. This is the collection of brand elements that together create one brand image. A logo for example is a key element to your brand identity, but there’s also your colours, typography, voice, graphic elements and more.
“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
- Seth Godin
Why is your brand identity important?
Your brand identity should be a well thought out strategy. The way your business's branding elements come together should be appealing to your target audience. When developing your brand identity, you need to be focused on who your ideal client is, what problem your business is solving for them and why they need your service/product.
Design is the visual tool of communication. Your branding should be sending a message to your target audience about who you are, what you do and why they need you. Your designer will use the design principles (hierarchy, repetition, balance, contrast, alignment, colour, typography) to put together your brand identity and there should be purpose for the elements in which they use.
Branding/design without intention is simply decoration.
What are the key elements of brand identity?
Logo - your brands mark. This can be a suite of logos that all represent your brands mark, including formats like landscape, stacked, monogram and more.
Colour - colour has so much meaning, for example when we see green we think of nature but it's also known to represent money.
Typography - font choice, typesetting.
Illustration - does illustration speak to your target audience? This can be linked with your graphic elements.
Photography - the photography style, editing and more can all count towards your brand identity.
Graphic elements - it could be a pattern, sub-mark, icons or illustration that all count towards the graphic elements of your brands identity.
Tone of voice - your brands intention, how they connect with the audience and the story you have to tell should all be considered with your tone of voice.
How do I create a brand identity?
I highly recommend that you source a designer who has experience in brand identity. Good design will cost money, but I can't even begin to describe how much bad design will cost you. Your business will be build around many of the thought out elements in your brand design, so it's really important to nail it.
Goodluck, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like to discuss your brand identity.