Your brand tells the world who you are in an instant.
Made up of your logo, product packaging, website impression, cultural connections, and such things as celebrity endorsements, and, of course, marketing, a brand is a complex thing to create and to develop. It’s kind of like what people do to create the image they want other people to see them as. A teenage girl who wants to belong to the popular group at school might try to create the right image with the right shoes, jeans, haircut, makeup, phone, knowledge of the latest fads, and by belonging to the right clubs. She creates the image and people perceive her as that image. It’s the same with branding. You create the image you want people to see you as.
Your brand identifies you as a particular company with a particular purpose, certain attributes and values, certain strengths, and cultural associations. It, basically, is your reputation—who you are. You want to create the right image that attracts clients and customers. Your brand tells them you are the one they want to go to for what you offer, in contrast to what other sellers of similar products offer.
Branding depends on many things, including the design of all the different elements, using color, type styles, images and shapes, cultural associations, and your company values. It includes the consistency of design and message for your logo, business cards, email, website, and product packaging. Your brand must be consistent in all of these areas to make you instantly recognizable to your clients and customers.
Elements of design that help create branding
There are certain emotional associations we traditionally identify with different colors. Each may help or hurt your brand, so you need to choose carefully. They may appeal or not appeal to your clients/customers. Here are some of the traditional uses of color:
Red is the color of enthusiasm and liveliness. It can put your brand forward as one of high energy, one that offers something up-to-date and exciting.
Yellow is the color of sunshine and light. It says happiness and fun and cheerfulness to most people. If used in your branding, it can lead your audience to feel these emotions in relation to your product and conclude it is a good buy.
Orange is the color of friendliness, warmth and hospitality. It’s also a high energy color and has obvious associations with autumn and thanksgiving. These associations can suggest you are going to be great friends or that you offer the hospitality they desire.
Blue is the color of truth and trustworthiness. It has long been associated with the cliché true blue. It is the color most people name as their favorite. If you want your brand to emphasize these qualities, you might choose blue.
Purple is the color we associate with luxury and royalty. If you want to suggest your product is the one for kings, this will work.
Green is the color of trees and grass—of the natural world. It suggests harmony and if you want your brand to suggest natural connections, this is the color for you. It also has an association with money and with the right design; it can take you into the world of finance.
Pink is the color associated with feminity, but at the same time it’s the color of luxury and used most often to promote women’s products. However, when used in color combinations, pink can suggest energy and liveliness.
Black Is the color of sophistication and modernity. It’s also associated with theatricality and even Halloween when used with orange.
Color combinations further complicate things—as mentioned above, black and orange suggest Halloween. Green and red suggest Christmas, and red, white and blue suggest patriotism and the U.S. flag. The right choice of color combination can make your branding really effective, depending on your choices.
Shapes that support branding
Associations with particular images creates visual impact. For instance, the Disney castle at the beginning of every movie, or in their advertisements, suggests the world of imagination they create.
Vertical lines and images traditionally suggest stability, power, and masculinity—qualities that have specific meaning for your audience.
Curved lines and images suggest softness, and harmony—again qualities that may help create your brand.
Horizontal lines and images suggest a more relaxed point of view, less formality, less structure, and perhaps a more fun atmosphere.
Sharp edges and triangular shapes bring to mind at times the idea of being poked by these edges. This type of image may suggest conflict and a need for resolution.
Basically, there are four major categories of type styles. These are serif, san serf, and script.
Serif refers to all types with little feet or design attachments such as Times Roman or Garamond. These styles are considered traditional and create an image of stability or have an association of being a little old-fashioned, and therefore respected and trustworthy.
Sans serif—or without serifs—refers to type styles without the little feet, like Ariel or Helvetica. These type styles are associated with a more modern feel. Indeed, they are the product of a more recent, modern world, historically. They didn’t exist in earlier times.
Script type styles aren’t used often in copy because they are harder to read. They imitate cursive writing and are used most often in brief headlines or messages and suggest a more casual or even feminine association when used in certain ways.
Display fonts and specially designed types are another category and are the ones that are often associated with logos and create specific identification with a brand. An example would be the Coca-Cola or Pepsi-Cola logos that we can all see in our mind’s eye because of the familiarity they have for us.
All of these elements of design reach out to your clients/customers to brand your business. It’s a very complex thing—a work of art—and demands understanding of how all these elements work together to create the right effect.
Let us help you find the most effective—the perfect brand for you and your company.
Contact us at Pinpoint Marketing for a consultation and the start of a productive relationship that will strategically promote your business by creating that incredible and most effective brand you are seeking.