- What is brand identity?
- What makes an effective brand identity?
- What does brand identity include?
- How to create a smart brand identity
Just like your views, habits and beliefs make up your unique personality, brand identity is a “secret ingredient” that distinguishes your company among multiple competitors.
What is brand identity? What does it have in common with design? How to create a memorable brand identity that will make a difference for your business? In this article, we’ll address these and other important questions.
What is brand identity?
Brand identity refers to unique designs created by a company to build a certain image in the eyes of its customers and partners.
Brand identity is often confused with branding. Branding refers to marketing techniques and methods which are used to build a unique brand.
Let’s take an example to see the difference between these two terms. Imagine that you’re a teenager who goes to school every day. You want your schoolmates to think you’re cool. You want to be invited to parties. You want others to respect your opinion. However, you can’t force other people into thinking you’re cool. You need to work hard to create a certain image that will be appealing for others.
For example, you need to watch trendy YouTube channels, know the latest memes, take up a sport, and so on. Branding refers to all these efforts to build the right image.
Also, you need to take care of your appearance. This means buying a new pair of Adidas that half of the school dream of, doing your hair in a new way, becoming the captain of a school football team, etc.
All these tangible items (sneakers, hair style, team membership) make up your identity.
Now let’s go back to the world of business. Your brand identity makes your company recognizable and memorable. It helps customers instantly identify your business. On top of that, brand identity forges a strong emotional bond between you and other market players, creates the right associations with your products and services, builds up your client base, and enhances the perception of your brand.
What makes an effective brand identity?
For starters, let’s take a look at the main building blocks of a corporate identity.
The world of fonts is big. To come to terms with it, let’s split all fonts into four main categories.
- Serif fonts (e.g.,Times New Roman, Garamond) have tiny ”feet” at the end of each character. These are classic typefaces that stand for reliability, loyalty, and traditions.
- Sans serif fonts (e.g., Helvetica, Franklin Gothic) have a more smooth, modern feel to them.
- Handwritten fonts (e.g., Allura, Pacifico) imitate a written text. (Why did they bother to teach us how to write beautifully at school?) If your brand sells luxurious items or products for women, you can’t go wrong with a font from this category.
- Decorative fonts make up a special group of typefaces. Each of these fonts has a unique characteristics, whether it’s an unusual shape, shadows, or handwritten element. If you’re dreaming of a spectacular brand identity, pick a decorative font and let it speak on your behalf!
Remember that a font is not just a set of letters and digits written in a certain way. It’s a design solution that has a voice. A typeface will become a visual representation of your brand, so be sure to choose it wisely.
Now let’s move to a color palette. The first thing to understand here is that each shade has its emotional connotations and meaning. It would be stupid not use such a powerful tool for promoting your business! By mixing different colors, you can shape the way customers perceive your brand.
Take a look at what meaning is hidden behind the seven rainbow colors and a few other hues.
- Red is all about passion and emotions. If you’re a bold, energetic brand, be sure to paint your logo and other designs red. You won’t regret it!
- Orange is another powerful color that emanates friendly vibes. Businesses use orange less often than red, so your emblem is sure to stand out!
- Yellow is the color of the sun. This shade translates joy and happiness. If you position yourself as an inclusive and accessible brand, yellow cannot lack on your company logo!
- Green is, hands down, the most versatile shade in the rainbow palette. This hue will become a great choice for any brand, regardless of its industry. However, if your company has to do with environment or finance, you absolutely must incorporate green into your color palette!
- It’s hard to find a person who doesn’t find shades of blue appealing. Blue is an established color code for solidity and stability. It’s an ideal choice for building trust with your clients, affiliates, and partners.
- Violet is associated with luxury, royalty, and exclusiveness. This magnificent shade is a common choice among companies that work in the premium segment.
- Pink is traditionally associated with delicacy and femininity. If your target audience mainly consists of women, you should consider including pink into your color palette. Also, this delicate shade is loved by businesses that produce or sell luxury items.
- Brown is a rare guest on logos. If you choose this color, your brand identity won’t go unnoticed! Plus, brown bring forward the power behind your business.
- Black is a surefire way to craft a sophisticated, appealing, and mysterious image. The best thing about this hue is that it combines well with any colors.
Besides fonts and colors, another important element is geometry. Geometric shapes have the power to enhance the impression you want to make on your audience. For example, when looking at a circle emblem with smooth lines and square logo, you’ll be experiencing different emotions and thinking about different things.
When creating a logo, you need to consider emotional connotations that go with different geometric figures.
Circle shapes (circle, oval) communicate warmth and create a welcoming atmosphere. It’s a great choice for companies that want to show their clients that they care about them. Also, rounded corners and flowing lines emanate femininity and elegance.
Geometric shapes with straight or sharp angles (square, rectangle, triangle) are associated with strength, stability, and trust.
Straight lines also have their own meaning. Vertical lines stands for masculinity and power, while horizontal lines convey serenity and delicacy.
What does brand identity include?
Let’s find out what what exactly we’re referring to when saying “brand identity”. Listed below are the main elements of brand identity.
It won’t be an exaggeration to say that a logo is the key element of your brand identity. When working on your corporate emblem, heed the following guidelines.
- Your logo must have be simple and minimalist.
- Avoid using multiple colors and fonts. It will distract a viewer and make your design look amateurish.
- Forget about trends unless you want your logo to look irrelevant in a year.
- Your logo must meet your industry standards. (If you choose to ignore established design solutions and go your own way, do that carefully.)
- Your logo must make a strong impression and stick in the memory.
It’s best to create several versions of your logo and then pick the best option. For multiple uses, you must have your logo in different formats (raster and vector) and sizes. Also, it won’t hurt to create a black-and-white design as well.
If you’re going to grow your business, you can’t do without professionally looking business cards. An original business card will amplify the impression you’ve made on your potential clients and partners. Your business card must have a minimalist design and only contain crucial information about your company. Bold design solutions are not welcome here.
Letterhead is one of the main brand identity elements. This document is used for selling propositions, orders, applications, and other business correspondence. Letterhead with your corporate logo on it becomes a powerful promotion tool. It’s not uncommon that a potential client or partner start their acquaintance with your company with your letterhead.
Email remains a widely used channel of communication. How do you make your business emails stand out among hundreds of other messages? Think about what goal you’re pursuing with your email. To build a bond with a recipient, you need to be friendly, polite, and welcoming. Make sure your email is straightforward and easy to read. If, for example, you want to tell your audience about your new clothing line, it’s a good idea to add a few photos to hook your customers.
If you’re producing tangible items, make sure they have an appropriate packaging. The right packaging can make a good impression on your customers and encourage them to make new purchases. Don’t miss the opportunity to showcase your brand identity in such a smart and unobtrusive way!
How to create a smart brand identity
There is more than one way to create a beautiful and catchy brand identity for your business. You can find a seasoned freelance designer, commission a design studio, or use online logo makers. Let’s focus on each method one by one.
It’s a great option for medium and large companies with big budgets.
- Professional designers.
- Big choice of studios.
- Long waiting times
If you’re stretched for money, you can hire a freelance designer. Finding a designer whose price fits your budget is a doable task. Plus, there is no lack of freelance websites where you can easily find the right person for the job.
- Big choice of designers
- High-quality logo (if your designer is experienced)
- Finding a professional designer that works for a small fee is hard.
- Designer may take your advance payment and disappear.
- You may not like the design.
If you’re just starting out or have a growing business, consider using an online logo maker. Try and craft a beautiful brand identity with ZenBusiness. Check out what designs ZenBusiness can offer (logo, business card, letterhead, envelope, favicon):
- You can create multiple designs in a few clicks
- Low price (small-size logo is available for free)
- You can edit and download your designs at any time
- Designs are available in vector and raster formats.
Choose the method that suits your needs and start working on your brand identity!
Brand identity can help you stand out from the crowd and introduce your company to your target audience. To get an impactful visual style, prepare to invest a lot of time and money into developing a unique brand identity. There is no doubt that your efforts will eventually pay off! If you already have some ideas for your future visual image, don’t hesitate and get down to work without second-guessing!