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.
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.
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
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,
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?
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
Social media profiles such as Facebook and Twitter
Sales collateral such as brochures/flyers
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. Need help? Check out our Branding Services.
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!