Here is another project which showcases the consistent use of image branding elements as I talked about in my post Brand Image Tips for Small business Owners.
I started working with Restore North Shore, a Chicago remodeling company, a few years back …creating a set of basic brand image elements for them … logo, color palette, type face selection. These element were then integrated into a website and more recently I have created Lawn signs, Car Magnets and t-shirts, working from the elements I originally established.
And here are the branding elements all working together, delivering a strong and consistent look for this small Chicago business.
in Chicago Branding, Chicago Graphic Design, Chicago Web Designer
There is something very satisfying about redesign projects. We were contacted recently by Chicago based Quadra Applications & Technology, who were looking for a new logo design. They already had a new website in the works and felt the time was right for a revamp of their identity- their main request was something that looked more professional.
In redesigning a logo it is not uncommon to work from some element of the old logo, whether it be the color palette, style of font or icon. In the case of Quadra we adopted the cube of their original logo, reworking it to encompass a sphere and connective framework. Teamed with a modern open typeface the new logo is much more fitting for the IT market they serve.
and here is the logo on the new website www.quadra-ati.com
in Before and After, Chicago Branding, Chicago Graphic Design, Logo Work
I talked yesterday about the elements of Brand Image and how building a style guide can help ensure your brand image elements are used in a consistent way thus ensure a strong brand image.
Well here is a great example of using brand image elements consistently, in this piece of work I completed recently for MAC. The look and feel of this product sheet fits in beautifully with the rest of their promotional pieces, website, business card etc. by using a predetermined color palette, typeface typesetting, layout and logo treatment.
Collection of other graphic design pieces produced for MAC
in Chicago Branding, Chicago Graphic Design
Developing a killer brand image is not something reserved for big corporations such as Pepsi or Apple. A professional and memorable brand image is just as achievable by a small business, here are a few tips to get you on your way.
Define your brand image elements
A carefully crafted collection of brand assets will create an impression with your customers as to your products and services and in essence give them a “gut feeling” about your company. They should evoke something positive, unique and instant. A brand image is not built from a single element like a logo but a collection of elements including;
- Color palette – with primary, secondary and tertiary colors,
- Type faces
- Type setting
- Tag Line
even things like
- Scents – ever noticed a distinct scent when you enter a store such as Holister or even IKEA?
- Texture- think about the texture of bags used in packaging
- Sound – recognize this
- Decor – In a bricks and mortar business does your decor enhance why your are trying to convey with the reset of your brand assets?
- Writing Voice
Creating your brand asset collection is no small feat and is generally the result of extensive research into the market you want to serve and the type of image you want to portray and the experience you want your clients to have.
Create a Branding Style Guide
Once you have established you brand assets it is really useful to create a style guide to optimize the use of your branding elements. For example
- Logo usage – minimum size, orientation, optimum white space border, use in black and white, position
- Colors – color combinations, definition of colors in terms of pantone, RGB, CMYK and hex e.g ( #000000)
- Type Face- Font choices, sizes, colors and line spacing
- Imagery- styling of imagery- think borders, angles, image filters etc.
Used your brand elements consistently
Your brand image will be most powerful when you use your brand elements consistently, ensuring your clients receive the same experience no matter how they interact with you.
Here are some of the places where you need to ensure it is used consistently
- Web site
- Social media profiles such as Facebook and Twitter
- Business card
- Email signature
- Powerpoint presentations
- Sales collateral such as brochures/flyers
- sales tags
This list could go on and on but once you start down the road of applying your brand assets to your business tools it becomes easier to use your brand assets than not.
As a web and graphic designer my “design” eyes never seem to rest. If I am out and about driving, I am reviewing and critiquing logos on the sides of vehicles, if I am waiting at a clients office for a meeting to start I am analyzing the patterns in the carpet or on the wall coverings. Just sitting here as I type I can see patterns every where from the wood grain on my desk to the grill of my computer speakers. I am constantly absorbing design all around me; patterns, textures, shapes, color palettes, color combinations, type faces … to many it may sound exhausting …but to me it’s not!
Even at 30,000 feet the “Chicago web designers eye” is primed and ready. As I peered out of the window on a recent flight to Vegas I was greeted by an amazing patchwork of shapes and contours that had been highlighted by a sprinkling of snow. How cool is that!
in Chicago Graphic Design, Chicago Web Designer, Miscellaneous
As 2012 rolls to a close I like to take a look back at some of the projects I’ve worked on over the year. It’s been a real mixed bag but I must have enjoyed myself as the year has flown by. I have created websites, logos, brochures, illustrations for a book, power point graphics, car magnets, lawn signs, business cards, mobile websites, e commerce sites, an icon for one of the largest banks in America and even the cover for a book. My clients have been located both here in Chicago and a little further further afield… St Louis, Louisville, Wentzville and further away still … Belgium. There are no geographical boundaries for the Chicago Web Designer – your creative partner.
So here is a little showcase of my 2012 web and graphic work
January: Powerpoint graphics for a large national bank
February: Web concept project for a St Louis bank
March: WordPress conversion project for Ruth Hasser
April: Identity design for Select Food Sales
May: Community Website for the Humble Catholic
June: New website and branding elements for Restore North Shore
July: Refresh of Lincolnshire Academy of Dance
August: Rework of The Rockwood
September: e commerce site- Zagros Robotics
October: Illustrations and cover design for book: Mr Bison’s Journal
November: Responsive web site design for Mr Bison
December: Identity deign for InDeBom
I am looking forward to another bag of design challenges in 2013!
in Chicago Branding, Chicago Graphic Design, Chicago Web Designer, Illustration, Logo Work, Web Design Projects, Wordpress
The name of this blog is “The Chicago Web Designer” but that doesn’t mean our clients are all based in Chicago or that we only offer web design.
Take this recent project for example; a logo and business card design for a company based in Belgium.
Web design makes up about 70% of the creative projects we undertake but in the last year alone we have seen projects ranging from icon creation for one of the biggest national banks in America to illustrating a self published book. We are more than happy to work with clients requiring traditional design skills, say for the design of a new logo, business card or brochure, but also never shy away from any creative project. Sometimes a client will call with a report or presentation that needs to look top notch and are looking for our creative input. No project is too small for the Chicago web designer.
in Chicago Graphic Design, Chicago Web Designer, Logo Work
As a graphic designer I have designed many things, logos, brochures newspaper ads, business cards, invitations, menus, graphics for t-shirts, 20ft banners that have hung on the side of a building, I could go on and on but I won’t bore you.
There is something however I have never tackled before and that is the design of a book cover, until now.
Here is a sneak peak at the cover of a new book by freelance writer Edward Bison
The book is a funny, light hearted collection of observations and stories geared towards the adult market.
I was also commissioned to illustrate the book , which was another first.
A revamped website will be launched shortly to coincide with the publication.
Web design is generally my bread and butter but occasionally I get a completely different project on my plate.
I am currently deep in the middle of an illustration project for a freelance writer who is just getting ready to publish his first book. The book is a compilation of 100 humorous observations and stories and I will admit has had me crying with laughter. It is hard to draw when you have tears running down your face.
Each of the stories require an illustration and have turned to my old faithful ink pen to illustrate the old fashioned way. It is quite a liberating experience to spend a day filling pages in a sketch book rather than staring at a computer monitor. I have about 75 illustrations completed already, a mere 25 to go.
And as a little teaser here is a sampling.
The book is due for release around Thanksgiving.
2012 © Chicago Web Designer
When I lived in the UK I worked for a security print company, creating anti counterfeit design elements. It was a fascinating one in a million job. My designs not only had to look good but more importantly they had to perform. They had to be difficult to counterfeit , which is no small task.
So I thought I’d share with you today a geeky side of graphic design and look at a design elements I created for security print. It is a design concept I invented (see patent) that is used to camouflage messages
Hidden in the following design is a message…scroll down to see what it is.
This concept was used for creating an anti counterfeit pattern that was used on a Microsoft certificate of Authenticity
and on Bank notes printed for Northern Bank in Ireland
© 2012 Chicago web design