STEP 1: KNOW WHO YOU ARE.
HOW TO NAIL YOUR BRAND'S IDENTITY
A solid brand identity is essential to success – without it, you’ll struggle to stand out from your competition. It’s so much more than a logo, a typeface, or a colour scheme alone – it’s what communicates your values to your audience, what defines you to the world, and it’s essential that you get it right.
As a creative agency, we know what it takes to get your branding spot on, so we’ve compiled a list of our top tips for how to nail your brand’s identity and start your business on the strongest footing possible.
IDENTIFY WHO YOU ARE AS A BRAND
Before you can begin creating a brand identity, you first need to establish your brand’s core fundamentals. Some things to consolidate are your values, your USP, your vision and mission, and the voice you want your brand to have. From here you can decide what shape your brand identity is going to take.
For example, are you a brand whose mission is fighting against climate change? If so, your identity will likely be less playful and more serious, in keeping with your values. Conversely, if you’re a children’s toy company then you can have more fun with your branding.
Your brand identity is your opportunity to showcase your brand values to the world, but how can you do this unless you’ve formally defined them yourself?
CHOOSE AN EFFECTIVE TYPEFACE
You might be surprised how important a typeface is for a brand identity. A typeface acts as a window into your brand’s personality, and it’s one of the key elements of your brand identity.
Fonts carry implied meanings and can make a piece of design look old-fashioned, modern, playful, personal, and more. Serifs give copy a traditional feel, whereas sans serif is more contemporary. Script fonts often appear like handwriting, and offer a personal touch. Funky, unique fonts are often the most memorable, as they stand out from the crowd. The possibilities are endless.
We’d suggest choosing a couple of different fonts for your official corporate typeface, as this gives you variety for differentiating between headings and body text. Be sure to choose complementary fonts that contrast one another without clashing. For example: Futura and Georgia; Coneria Script Demo and Linux Biolinum; or Walter and Ubuntu.
CURATE YOUR COLOUR PALETTE
It’s no secret that colours hold meanings. Green is often associated with the environment and the outdoors, as well as abundance and wealth. Red is the colour of passion – be that love or anger. Blue suggests sadness, whereas yellow indicates joy. The examples are endless, and as such the intrinsic meaning of colours is something to bear in mind when selecting your corporate colour palette, as you can use it to your advantage.
Consider the USP that you’re trying to communicate via your brand identity, and opt for colours that help to demonstrate this. For example, if your brand is all about sustainability and environmental protection, hues of green would help to convey your mission. Metallic tones suggest opulence and are, in turn, perfect for luxury brands offering premium services. Or, if you’re a creative brand that wants to make a splash, then bright and bold colours offer the most potential.
KEEP YOUR LOGO SIMPLE
When it comes to your logo – the biggest individual component of your brand identity – we suggest keeping it simple. A logo needs to be instantly recognisable and easily replicated in order to be effective, and simple designs achieve this the best. Take flags of the world as an example. The simplest ones – Japan, Scotland, France, and Canada to name a few – are the ones that stick in our minds. It’s the same with logos.
Isolate a defining component of your brand, whether that’s your mission, your name, recurrent product motifs, or something else entirely, and convey this through your logo. This way your mission, values, products, or services are communicated effectively and efficiently to your audience through your flagship iconography.
If you’re not sure of what we mean, take a look at Apple, Dove, McDonald’s, and Amazon’s logos. The Apple and Dove logos convey the company name undeniably, McDonald’s communicates not only their name but also one of their most popular menu items via their so called ‘Golden Arches’ – the Happy Meal – and Amazon communicates what they can offer customers thanks to their well-placed arrow – every item, from A to Z.
Lastly, it’s important to be creative. We appreciate that with so much visual design out in the world already, it’s difficult to be 100% original or unique, but that doesn’t mean that you can simply recycle old ideas and pass them off as new. Consumers have a far-reaching memory for brands both past and present, so you need to ensure that your own identity is not lost amid the sea of content due to a lack of creativity.
Branding is one of the first steps in establishing your business, so once you’ve nailed this, you can get started on the daily running of your business instead. Creating a knock-out brand doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time. But, by sticking to our formula for cultivating your brand identity, you won’t go far wrong!
If you’re looking for help with creating a brand of your own, we’d love to hear from you! Follow this link to start a conversation today.