How to Create a Consistent Brand Identity Through Design
Consistency is not about doing things regularly, it is about doing things correctly. We investigate how design can create a consistent brand identity.
A Brand Is What You Make Of It
A brand identity may be created in a graphic design studio, but it only ever truly exists in the minds of your customers, staff and other stakeholders. The perception of a brand is built in the minds of consumers through consistent communication. This means that companies need to maintain a clear and consistent message in all their interactions with customers. Every element of communication from letterheads and emails to social media and websites needs to have the brand identity applied in a consistent manner. The role of design in the shaping of your brand perception is key.
Defining Your Brand Identity
First things first, before you can design or create anything, you need to define and agree on the fundamentals. Any time spent to improve your understanding of your brand values, mission, and target audience is critical. Only once you gain this understanding can you consider moving forward to define the unique selling propositions and key attributes of your brand.
Any market research you achieve will provide invaluable insight and broaden your understanding of your target audience and market positioning. All of the above can help you develop a brand persona and refine your tone of voice for all communications.
Establishing Design Guidelines
So, how do you create and maintain consistency? Ensure your brand is consistently applied with guidelines covering colour palette, typography, and imagery style. The purpose of these guidelines is to ensure correct usage and placement of logos, as well as accurate expression of brand style through visual elements and photography.
Crafting a Memorable Logo
A significant amount of importance should be placed on the correct design and application of your logo. As the masthead of your brand, your logo must embody your brand values and reflect your brand’s personality. Through the correct choice of colours, fonts, and shapes your logo should be scalable and adapt across all platforms or channels.
Designing Branded Collateral
Some brand guidelines are quite short documents that focus on just the basics, whilst others go into great detail about how to apply the brand consistently and may even include guidance on using templates for marketing materials (e.g., brochures, flyers).
Whilst the shorter form of the brand book may be ideal for applying a brand identity to stationery (e.g., business cards, letterheads) it may struggle when trying to create a cohesive visual identity across digital platforms.
Implementing Consistent Web Design
As mentioned above, designing a user-friendly and visually cohesive website requires guidance on a brand identity that goes beyond the basics of incorporating consistent branding elements e.g., logos, colours etc. Brand guidelines that provide directions on the tone of voice, preferred CTA’s and use of imagery will ensure a seamless user experience across devices.
Monitoring and Adapting
One of the most significant benefits of a cohesive set of brand identity guidelines is when it comes to reviewing and assessing brand consistency. Regularly monitoring your brand through auditing using your guidelines can make sure your brand stays consistent and not diluted or disjointed.
The other purpose of regularly monitoring and assessing your brand is essential as it will provide critical feedback on how to adapt and evolve in the future. Brands need to maintain relevance, and seeking regular feedback from customers and stakeholders can provide relevant and actionable insights. Evolving and adapting the brand identity over time is the only way your brand can
So when it comes to the subject of how to create a consistent brand identity through design, the key points include:
- Establish your core brand values, mission and goals
- Capture this insight in a definitive set of brand guidelines
- Ensure your Logo embodies your brand
- Use the guidelines you have created across ALL channels
- Monitor your consistency and adapt & evolve if necessary
To maintain a consistent brand identity, it is important to adhere to certain rules. A professionally crafted brand identity is only the beginning. It is important to apply it with the same level of professionalism to ensure proper execution. Any changes will be part of a well-considered design-driven brand evolution for long-term success, rather than short-term misapplication.
If you would like to know more about helping you deliver a consistently strong brand, Talk to us today.
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