I’ve started doing design before the world of the internet overtook our lives and society. Who could have imagined the internet has just a significant impact on us and changed our lives forever, from day to day shopping, how we watch TV and how we commute every day. The old ways of business have changed, and as a designer, it is a challenge to come up with a unique look. As we are no longer dealing with the local market, but globally. This means that competition among business is extremely competitive and exciting at the same time. It brings everyone on a leveled playing field.
The challenge in the business world is to stand out from at times, a quite saturated market. What differentiates your brand to what is in the market? How can we cut through the noise and make that noticeable impact? Brands and businesses need to be unique and able to differentiate from competitors. You have something that your competitors don’t. To create a powerful brand, we need to look at creating a unique visual communication that speaks to directly to your customers. Be a personable and approachable brand that builds and shows trust, knowledge and longevity.
Having a good brand improves recognition, delivers value and generates new customers or leads. Branding is one of the vital element for a business to cutthrough from the noise. It creates validity and equal power towards larger and established brands.
Below is a brand guiding principle that I live by every time I am engaged in any branding project. By responding to these questions, it helps me shape and develop the look and feel of the brand.
1. What kind of personality do you wish your brand to portray?
2. Who are your competitors?
3. What do you want your brand to be known for?
4. What differentiates you from your competitors?
5. What are your core values?
6. Describe your brand in 5 words.
7. What brands do you admire?
Once we determined the brand characteristics, we would refer to the 7 principles in designing the brand. In this section, we will explore colours and shapes.
Colour Psychology. I cannot recommend Shigenobu Kobayashi enough to any designers or marketers. His simple to read and reference guide ‘Colorist – A Practical Handbook for Personal and Professional Use’ has been sitting in my design kitty for many years. Colour is the building blocks of design. It influences perceptions that are not obvious. As an example, when you think of red, you will think of love, danger and strength. According to Kobayashi’s colour image scale, red is the most intense colour and provokes the strongest emotions. Red also represents iconic and influential, seen in brands such as Coca Cola and Youtube.
Red – youthful, bold and exciting. Brands: Coke, Qantas, HSBC Yellow – Optimism, Clarity and Warmth. Brands: Mcdonalds, Nikon, Shell Blue – Dependable, Trustworthy and Stable. Brands: Dell, Oral-B, Facebook Green – Peaceful, Growth and Health. Brands: Woolworths, BP, Optus
Shapes. Like colour, shapes have emotional connotations, and it too can trigger different emotions and memories. What do you feel when you see the shape of a star? The first thing that comes to my mind is success, and achievements.
Most importantly, no matter what colour and design you go with. Keep it consistent from across the different platforms – from print to digital. This will allow your audience to be able refer to your brand when you push it across the various mediums.
By Mark Boey, Executive Creative Director at Untitled Studios. Mark is an award-winning Creative Director. Throughout his 20 years in design and broadcast work, Mark has collected a plethora of local and international awards, from local Australian AIMIA awards to International Promax awards. He has led numerous prestigious teams responsible for R&D development, concepts and directing.