Building a brand identity is often a long, laborious, creative project that requires several steps. Here are 10 tips to have in mind while designing a brand identity.
1. Know exactly what you want out of your business.
In order to know exactly what you need to communicate through the brand’s identity, sit down and come up with a list of keywords that define the brand. Try to ask as many questions as needed in order to know exactly what is needed.
2. Always work with a brief.
In order to avoid any misunderstandings, you should consider working with a creative brief. This way, you know exactly what your customer wants and at the same time, you avoid being too subjective. A brief will give you important details, such as audience research, brand values, brand mission and so on.
3. Do your research.
Depending on the type of product the brand will represent, make sure to be up to date with your research on that particular niche. This way, you’ll get a better understanding on the target audience and will be able to design a matching brand identity. At Elevate Creative, we do logo design for many San Diego, California companies, which is a market we know very well. But when doing logo design for companies around the country (or world), it’s especially important to research your target demographic.
4. Know the brand’s competitors.
While doing your research, take a look at the competitor brands. In order to build a strong logo design, try to come up with some creative ideas that will differentiate your brand from the competition. Make sure your design is unique. Go to the stores that carry products like the one you’re designing the logo for, and see what you could do better or different. Figure out if the brand will be local, national or international, and try to develop a brand identity that fits with your specific geographic needs. For instance, if I was creating a logo for strictly a San Diego based brick and mortar company, how would that logo design differ from a logo I was creating for a national company, or an international company?
5. Brainstorm the concept.
Once you’ve got all the information you need from your customer, along with the brief and research, it should be helpful to brainstorm a few concepts. By this point, you already know your do’s and don’ts regarding the brand’s identity. After coming up with a list of ideas, review them with your client and keep the top 3 design concepts.
6. Start sketching the logo.
After you have all the details necessary, it’s time for drawing! You may find it easier to start designing the logo by sketching a few ideas. This will allow you to have a better image of your idea and can also boost your creativity. As you draw your concepts, you’ll notice you’ll come up with more and more ideas.
7. Digitalize your work.
After you come up with some great logo ideas and sketches, start digitally manipulating the design. You should probably stick to around 4 to 6 ideas to show your customer. Feel free to try different fonts and color schemes until you are completely satisfied with the result.
8. Don’t ignore the other visual elements
While the logo is extremely important to a brand’s identity, there’s a family of other visual elements that sustain the brand. Make sure they all go together in terms of concept, fonts and color schemes.
9. Set the style guidelines.
Once you’ve created a great, unique visual concept for the brand, make sure you set a list of rules for using it. The Style Guidelines will allow your customer to use the brand’s identity in the correct way, whether it goes online, offline, on billboards or t-shirts, on notebooks or calendars.
10. Monitor the feedback.
In order to be sure your brand stays strong, always be attentive when it comes to feedback. Your brand may need to be adjusted from time to time, in order to keep step with the changing world we live in.