Today, when consumers can choose a product from many similar ones, a manufacturer needs to stand out and attract attention. One of the primary tools to achieve this is proper brand design.
Brand design is a set of all visual elements – logo, colors, typography, graphic composition, style – that create its recognizable image. It goes into the corporate identity, packaging and labels, business cards, website and social media accounts, design of advertisements and promotional gadgets, look of the premises, etc.
Depending on the business area, additional elements can also be created, such as company uniforms or cars. For design to serve its purpose, it must be attractive, easy to perceive and original, but also consistent.
What role does brand design play?
As we have already mentioned, the right design allows you to stand out from the competition, but this is not its only function. It also helps to:
Better remember the product and;
- influence the target group;
- shape a positive attitude towards the brand;
- build consumer loyalty;
- communicate effectively with customers;
- reduce advertising and promotion costs.
Basic brand design requirements
It is important to remember that aesthetics alone are not enough for design to be effective! You need a set of preliminary research into your target audience’s preferences, competitor experiences, brand characteristics, product features, etc. Without this knowledge, the design will not be related to a specific company and its products, which means that it will remain nothing more than a pretty graphic. Every brand is different. For this reason, the creation process is very individual. Nevertheless, we can distinguish several features that a good design should have.
- It is easy to remember. Elements of visual communication should be simple and easy to perceive. They must also be clearly different from those used by the competition.
- Represents the character of the brand. Gives the recipient information about the nature of the brand and its product.
- Is attractive to the audience. A fun or creative idea is an added value, creates emotional attachment, and contributes to increased sales.
- It is consistent. It means that all elements of design are consistent with each other, logically complement each other, create a harmonious whole.
Elements of coherent design
Color scheme. Start by choosing the palette that best characterizes your brand. Choose 2-3 colors that will become the basis of your design. Remember that they have to look good in many situations and spaces. Consistent use of colors in the design of the brand can be best seen on the example of telecommunication companies – showrooms of Plus, Orange, T-Mobile and Play are recognizable from a distance thanks to their colors. Colors can be slightly modified for the needs of specific campaigns, but it is worth betting on one color that will appear in all projects either as the dominant color or as a color accent, such as red in the Coca-Cola materials, green in Tymbark or blue in the Żywiec Zdrój campaign.
Logo. Always and consistently use one version of the logo on all promotional materials, products, websites or social media accounts. Of course it is acceptable to use a simplified version, e.g. black and white. It is a kind of a brand signature, its symbol to which consumers will attach themselves first and which will mark your company’s place on the market, in stores, online, at various events, etc.
Typography. In this case it is also worth betting on 2, maximum 3 fonts that will be repeated in the ads, posts, in the store, on the blog, products and websites etc. A distinctive font is used, for example, by Nike or Ikea.
When creating advertising campaigns, consistency can also be created by other elements, such as:
- composition and arrangement of graphic elements like in Żabka ads;
- a recurring symbol like the comma in Empik materials;
- style like minimalism in Your Kay products and websites.
Why is design consistency important?
The repeatability and consistency of graphic elements in all visual elements of a company’s activity is very important because it helps the company build a solid and recognizable image and consolidate it in the minds of its recipients. A consistent visual aspect also makes consumers more attached to a brand, which increases their engagement and loyalty.
A lack of consistency can confuse people, who have to sort of reacquaint themselves with the brand each time. This means that a consistent design reduces the cognitive load on the audience. It acts as a kind of signpost that helps them find the brand’s product in the store or online. Distinctive graphic elements provide universal information to audiences in every country where the company operates, for example, regardless of the country we can easily identify an Ikea store, a McDonald’s restaurant or a Nespresso store.
Main photo: Brad Neathery/unsplash.com