By the time you begin making design choices to fit your brand, you should have a deep understanding of your company’s vision and mission—your why, as I like to call it. You also will know your buyer personas inside and out by this point. You’ll know what reaches them on both logical and emotional levels.
Without this knowledge, you shouldn’t make a single move toward your branding design. Anything you create should reflect your brand standards, not dictate them. When you’re ready to move forward, these tips will help you stay on track.
Keep It Simple
The most recognizable brands in the world have simple, easy-to-identify logos. Without much brainpower, you could easily conjure the images associated with Nike, BMW, or Apple, right?
Use the information you’ve gathered from your deep-dive branding examination to cast a critical eye on your logo choices. Will your design speak to the right audience? Will it convey your brand’s mission and vision? Take the necessary time to get it right.
The Psychology of Color
The colors you choose to represent your brand will speak to your buyers. For that reason, you can’t simply select a color because it’s your personal favorite. It’s important to study the emotions that particular hues evoke and pair them together for the optimum reaction.
For instance, if you want to grab attention and convey energy or passion, then red is your color. Yellow is the choice for optimism and happiness. Orange, an increasingly popular color, gives the impression of friendliness, creativity, and even youth. Perhaps that last characteristic is what makes orange the big choice these days, since many of the companies that use it target millennials.
The rest of the list looks something like this:
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- Black: credibility, power, decisiveness
- White: simplicity, classic, innocence
- Brown: rustic, historic, sturdy
- Blue: professional, peaceful, trustworthy
- Green: organic, earthy, growth
- Purple: wisdom, spirituality
- Pink: fun, flirtatious, feminine
With these characteristics in mind, think of the most famous logos in the world. What do their colors tell you about the brand? McDonald’s would be energetic and happy, right? Starbucks conveys organic and simplistic values. BMW, with its black, blue, and white, says it is powerful, trustworthy, and classic.
Focus on Fonts
Choosing fonts that reflect your brand can also be difficult. In many cases, the font for your logo is created specifically for your brand. Not everyone can afford that kind of design work, however. Whether you’re planning something custom for your brand or choosing fonts that are already in existence, make sure the fonts speak even louder than the words you create with them.
You have so many to choose from: big, bold, serif, sans serif, script, thin, serious, whimsical… The list goes on. Some of these fonts will gain popularity so quickly that they eventually become passé. For instance, ask any designer how they feel about the Comic Sans or the Papyrus fonts. We can’t see into the future, but we can definitely keep an eye out for popular choices that may need to be avoided.
Your font doesn’t apply to only your logo. Other fonts will become a part of your font palette. You should choose something that will be easy to read on any platform, including print and web uses. This includes the copy on your website, in your brochures, and on your company swag. Before you start creating anything for your business, have all fonts selected and tested.
Create Your Brand Profile
When you have all these things selected, create a brand profile. This is where you’ll apply your colors and fonts to various situations that just might happen in your business. Create different versions of your logo, including the symbol only, logotype with the name of your company included, black and white versions, horizontal and vertical versions, and any other iterations you think you may need.
Not only do you get a chance to see all your choices together at once, but you also have a place to return when you want to refresh, rejuvenate, realign, or even redesign. Because, while you definitely need to get it right the first time, there may come a day in the future when you need a few tweaks to stay relevant. Nearly every brand mentioned in this blog has faced that eventuality during their long lives. How wonderful would it be for you to get your branding so right the first time that your company survives long enough to need a rebrand? Let’s make that happen.
Your branding design is only a small step on your marketing journey. See how it all fits together in my book, Your Marketing Road Map, available for presale now on Amazon.
Making Design Choices to Fit Your Brand