Brand Identity & Logo Design Explained
Brand Identity and logo design work together to create awareness for the business or product. They help in ensuring the consumer is aware of the existence of the product or service and who owns it. Whether you are a big corporate or an individual, it is important to invest in your branding and identity. If you are looking for how to start a personal brand go to this article: What is Personal Branding
What is Branding
A brand is present when what the product means to the consumer is greater than what is done for the consumer. Branding is the emotional aspect that makes people feel as part of the brand and want to be associated with it when they purchase or sell it.
It is presenting a unique selling preposition that sets a product or service apart from others offering the same.
A brand is made by the consumer. The Graphic designer just lays the foundation for it. A text book example of excellent branding has been witnessed in the Coca Cola Company. The company from the onset embarked on an aggressive branding campaign that has proved pivotal in selling the product. Below are some of the things the Coca cola Company did to develop an appealing brand.
What is a Logo
A logo is simply defined as “a symbol or small design that is adopted by an organization to identify it. A logo is therefore present as a symbol representation of the organization or an individual. As mentioned in my different articles on branding however, the logo works hand in hand with other elements such as color schemes to bring out your identity.
Here is a list of the articles i have done on Branding and Brand Identity before feel free to check them out.
What makes a good logo?
This question can’t be answered without going back to the definition of a logo. Its defined as “a symbol or small design that’s adopted by an organization to identify its products, uniform , vehicles and many more.
A logos main purpose is to identify the owner of a good or a service. This helps to differentiate yourself from competitors using a visual image in a fast and effective way. Consumers identifying with a logo has proven the difference in business as over time the consumer is compelled to have a connection or even an emotional bond with a logo.
This makes a Logo a key factor in developing a brand identity.
Over time, the Coca Cola company has been sponsoring FIFA WORLD CUP CHAMPIONSHIPS.
The logo is seen so much in the competitions that the fans associate it with the euphoria that comes with the competition. The emotional bond formed with the logo helps sell the product even more especially during this gaming period.
A good logo therefore should easily be able to help one “identify” a product or a service. Several features define a good logo. Here are some factors to consider.
A logo should be appropriate to the purpose you intend to use it for. If it is for children the choice of font and colors is often colorful and childish look. For example Appealing Child Logo Design Images for Inspiration
A good logo should be able to connect with the intended consumer. The colors and fonts used should not alienate the consumer from the product. Researching the intended market is crucial as the personality of the brand will be carried by a single image. Colors should appeal to the consumer depending on the personality of the brand. A good example is the Hilton hotels’ logo. It is elegant and gives a feel of class and comfort and therefore speaking to the target market that seeks these aspects in their travel.
A good logo is simple , understandable and identifiable at a moment’s glance. A logo designer can achieve this by the use of minimal symbols and focusing more on colors and fonts. Using symbols that can be used for simplified versions of the logo also helps in achieving this. An example is the Google logo.
A good logo should be able to remain relevant over time. It should be able to withstand the test of time. The Peugeot logo has been in use since 1850 to date with few adjustments.
Logos are published on different surfaces. A good logo should be easy to publish on multiple mediums that are digitally and physically possible. These five are easy guidelines in identifying a good logo.
What makes a bad logo
A bad logo can is one that fails to achieve the purpose of identifying the product or service by its use. It may be because of various factors that may lead the consumer to be confused, offended or just too plain to get their interest. Below are some of the features of a bad logo.
Too color reliant
Too many fonts
A good logo should instantly communicate to the consumer about the product. An unclear logo will lead to the consumer to be confused about the products. The imagery , colors and fonts used should be relevant and precise. The texts on the logo should also be direct and precise. The above example of a bad logo leaves one rather lost and confused.
Another way to tell a bad logo is the by the choice of images. Images used should help the viewer to identify with the product. Unrelated images will confuse your product with those from other unrelated industries. This in turn leads to the logo being useless in helping identify with the product.
Trying to copy other logos never works. Being unique is one attribute of a good logo that can’t be overemphasized. Copying other logos that are doing well will in a matter of time lead to a flood of similar logos in the market. When this happens the brand represented by the logo fails to be easily identified by the consumer.
Too color reliant
Another trait of a bad logo is one that can’t be depicted in black and white. Some surfaces will complicate things if the color of the logo is the same as of the surface. Such a logo lacks versatility and the limitations may render it useless in some instances. Basically you need to understand the subjective nature of color.
Logos that are too trendy will eventually be outdated and unfashionable. This is due to the fast changing nature of what is considered fashionable and trendy. A good logo, as mentioned earlier withstands the test of time; a bad one doesn’t.
Too many fonts
The use of too many fonts on a logo design tend to complicate it. The fonts tend to compete with each other and in the end most of what’s intended is reduced to an ugly and complicated design that’s not appealing to the eye. Limit the number of fonts used to the fewest possible.
A bad logo design can also be confusing .A great logo is one that communicates the identity of the owner at first glance. An example of a confusing logo is the Starbucks logo. It has always had the text “Starbucks Coffee” surrounded by an image of a twin tailed mermaid (“siren” in Greek mythology). The mermaid tries to communicate the companies Pacific Northwest origins .Later the company changed the logo a few times before settling for one void of the words “Starbucks coffee”. For someone unfamiliar with the brand, it’s confusing what an image from Greek mythology is doing on a coffee brand. Though the change didn’t affect the brand, it’s not common for a confusing logo to do well.
In my opinion, An example of a poor logo design is the Animal Planet previous logo. The logo had an inverted “m” that just didn’t make sense. However, they remade the logo coming up with a simple, sleek and well designed logo.
A good logo is simple and precise. Too many details make the logo fail to achieve its intended purpose. This is because it will look bad on a small surface like a smart-phone. Too many details on a small a logo when published on a small surface will look stuffy or just plain ugly.
For more examples go to 35 worst Logos ever created
The Coca cola Company and Branding
Since 1903 when cocaine was removed from the ingredients of the drink and a more sugary taste adapted ,the company has maintained relatively the same taste to date. This has in turn made the product standout from other competitors.
The current font on the logo has remained unchanged since it was standardized in 1923 which makes the brand identifiable by persons of all generations since then to date.
Held retailers responsible for maintaining high standards
The companies dictated that all retailers serve the drink at a temperature of 36 degrees Fahrenheit . They were warned from serving it above 40 degrees.
Although outdated, this strategy proved helpful in the growth of the brand.
From the year 1886 to 1959, Coca cola priced a bottle of coke at 5 cents. This created a feel of consideration for the consumers further endearing the individual to the product. Even today the price of the beverage is very standardized.
The company made a unique bottle different from other products. The company promoted the bottle as much as they did the logo.
The Coca cola Company Branding Results
These measures among others ensured an emotional connection with the consumers.
Coca cola has grown to be a global product loved and enjoyed by all for now and the foreseeable future.
Key elements of a Brand and how to achieve them
This refers to visual aspects that form part of the overall brand. Its built within a set of guidelines that control how its applied throughout a variety of mediums using approved color pallets, fonts , layouts, measurements etc. These guidelines ensure consistency that make the design recognizable.
If you are developing a brand for the long run, it is advisable to have an overall design of all brand elements you need by one person or branding agency. You will get designs for your whole brand and will use that as a reference point for your brand in future. The designer will create a logo for you and what is referred to as a brand guideline.
A brand Guideline will be a PDF document with all the information about your brand. Here are some good brand guideline designers click here
The main things that you must check are included include
- Complete Brand Book
- Professional Business Logo Design
- Brand Visual Design
- Brand Pattern Design
- Typography Guidelines
- Color Palette
- Logo Usage ( Do’s & Don’ts )
- Brand Applications ( With Logo Posted )
- Social Media Kit
This is however a little expensive and mostly great when you need a rebrand, you do not need to have a full guideline. You can hire a logo and social media kit designer and have all you need to start off.
How to find a Good Logo Designer
A logo is the mark of authenticity and genuineness for a brand. This makes choosing an experienced and effective logo designer crucial .A good designer should know the psychology of colors ,fonts, symbols and other elements to create a memorable and timeless logo .
How much for a logo design
A consistent and identifiable symbol of the entire brand has been maintained.
It is great and you even pay only if you are happy with the results. However, if you are looking to build a serious brand, I recommend you head over to Fiverr and hire a professional to do it.
On Fiverr, you will get professionals for different rates and what is awesome is that you even get to read reviews of what their customers felt when working with them. Also they have samples displayed of previous work and you can easily choose.
You need to understand the designers logo design process from the onset so that you know whether the designer is going to take out the necessary steps to ensure that the logo is not only just great, but also appropriate. A good one will spend significant time researching on market and competitor analysis.
What next after i have found a Logo Designer
Once you get the designer to create your logo, you can explain your whole project and agree on the full aspect of your branding. Enquire whether he can set a rate for designing the rest of your products for you and he or she can create a custom offer.
Here are the other elements he will create for you.
Stationary- A consistent and identifiable advertising and stationery letterhead ,business card
Marketing collateral – consistent and identifiable point of sale flyers ,posters
Products and packaging
Clothing – those worn by employee
Signage -public display signs (interior and exterior designs
Messages and actions
Other communication-audio, smell ,touch
All these make up the identity that supports the brand as a whole. The logo though offers the corporate identity and brand wrapped up into one identifiable mark.
To interview even a wider range of freelancers, just type the service you require in the below box
One important part of your brand and brand communication not mentioned above is your Website. A website is an essential part of your brand too. It will help receive traffic from your social media efforts and have all information about your brand digitally presented. If you are ready please check our article about Website Development and how you can do it yourself or hire a professional.