Creating an effective brand: 6 things to remember

Creating your brand is probably going to be the most important design investment you ever make. Your products or services may change and evolve, but your brand will always remain constant, representing the values and culture of your organisation. The colours, images and words you use will be shorthand for who you are and what you stand for; they will connect your customers to you, providing instant recognition, and evoking associations of what your brand means to them. 

A good brand will last the lifetime of a business, building relationships with generations of customers – so what is it that makes a brand work? Here are 6 things to keep front of mind:

  • Tell a story

    The best logos are more than just a cleverly executed piece of design, they tell a story about the business – perhaps picking up on an aspect of the product or service – as with the speech mark icon used by Vodafone.

  • Choose timeless over trendy

    It can be tempting to create branding that says ‘right now’ – but just like that shirt you bought last year, styles can date quickly. Instead, taking a more classic approach in design terms will help to ensure that your brand looks as fresh in 10 years time as it did when it was first created.

  • Keep it simple

    This adage works when applied to so many things in life, and branding is no exception. The fact is that simple is easier to remember, and your goal is to plant a visual seed in the subconscious mind of your prospect, so don’t overcomplicate things. Again, just think of some big name brands like Apple, Tesco, Nike, and you can see they all follow this rule closely. Simple is easier to recall – especially when your prospect is moving quickly around a supermarket, or driving past a billboard.

Branding-Examples

  • Make it versatile

    Your logo will need to be designed in such a way that it maintains its integrity as it works across a whole range of online and offline mediums. It will have to be flexible enough to look great whether it’s being seen in full colour on a mobile, digital device, or as a monotone advertisement in a newspaper. 

  • Consider introducing a sense of motion

    It’s not always appropriate (it wouldn’t be right for a funeral director for example), but having an element of movement can really add a further dimension to a logo – just think of Nike’s tick, Virgin’s signature, or Honda Motorcycle’s wing. On the subject of wings, the Twitter bird logo is another good example – over time, the avian icon has gone from perched and static, to soaring upwards in full flight. 

  • Be original

    This advice works on two levels. First, be sure you are not – consciously or subliminally, being influenced by any other logos you may have seen. Secondly, don’t cut any corners and use library images or stock illustrations in creating your logo.

The more original you can make your logo, the more secure your ownership of it will be.

Perhaps the most important piece of advice to bear in mind when setting out to create a brand is to make sure you engage a professional brand designer, one who fully understands the nuances of branding. You may well have your own strong ideas about how you want your brand to look – a good designer will work closely with you, adding your thoughts to their own inspirations, but always adhering to the guidelines essential for effective branding.

If you need to develop a brand, make sure it’s built to last.

Studio 18 can give you a brand to be proud of, one that will help you build recognition and awareness in your market sector. We can develop Brand Identity Guidelines to make sure your branding is reproduced correctly wherever it’s used – we can even be your Brand Guardian, taking full responsibility for your identity, liaising with suppliers and other third parties whenever you need us to. Get in touch to find out more now!