Your brand identity is about your company’s personality and the way your mission connects with clients. While this is more than a logo, or a series of fonts and colors, these visual elements are part of a comprehensive strategy that boosts your ability to meet the demands of a digital and print world, while still presenting a cohesive identity.
The more control you have over the visual identity of your brand, the more control you have over consumer perception. That’s why consistent, creative and thoughtful visual components of brand identity mean so much to your business’s success. Not sure where to begin? How about a quick and dirty vocabulary lesson on the elements that make up your brand identity.
A logo is a graphic symbol that represents your entire company. The more simple the logo, the more effective the meaning. Take the Nike “Swoosh” for example. This simple logo is iconic. It symbolizes more than a company, it represents a feeling, an intention and a way of life.
A logotype is different than a logo, but functions in a similar way. Logotypes are stylized versions of a company name, typically designed in a visually unique and stimulating way. IBM’s blue striped letters exemplify the idea of a strong logotype.
Be sure to decide if you want a logo or a logotype – rarely do you want both. Part of your branding also means creating standards around whichever visual identity element you use. For both logos and logotypes, you’ll want to have lockups that accommodate variations of color, placement and usage.
Most companies create a color palette as a part of their brand identity. Often these are the colors used in the logo. Most businesses pick one or two primary colors, then one to two accent colors. You’ll want to have the hex codes and CMYK for all colors, to ensure the consistency of your brand identity across all platforms.
The fonts your company uses in print and digital media, as well as in body copy and headlines, all contributes to your brand identity. Serif fonts are widely used for body text because they seem to increase both the readability and reading speed of text. Sans serif fonts are attention-grabbers, and great for headlines, subheads and pull quotes.
You don’t want to use the same three photos over and over again, but the images you do use should have a consistent look and feel. Do people look directly at the camera as they lift weights, or do they look away, fully engaged in their fitness activity? Are the photos close ups, soft focus or crisp? If you bring in illustrations or graphics, be sure they also have the same style. Don’t use cartoons in one brochure if you use realistic drawings in another. Whatever decision you make for images, use a consistent style in all materials, whether printed or online.
When you want to create an engaging, consistent brand identity, what you really need is to build a branding system. This is challenging for business owners and managers entrenched in the details who don’t have the time or expertise to think of standards like white space, color blocks, logo size and spacing and other technical details. This is where a professional graphic designer can pull together a cohesive look for you.