Here at Noto Designs, you know we’re all about our clients’ branding – but maybe we should start with some fundamentals – like what even is a brand? Right off the bat we will correct the misconception that your brand is merely your logo – it’s much more than that.
I like to tell people to think of their brand as being the face of their company. People can tell something about you just by looking at your face, before you even say a word; your brand is no different. True, people might have faces that misrepresent who they are, and the same is true when it comes to companies and their brands. But faces also have mouths, which speak and further instill the underlying personality – in the same way, brands use language to complement their visual elements. It’s our job as your brand designers at Noto Designs to ensure that your branding accurately and beautifully represents your company’s true personality.
YOUR BRAND IS A STRATEGY
You should consider your brand as an overall strategy by which you communicate and mediate everything about your company to your clients. It’s more than just visual, and more than just verbiage – it’s a large-perspective set of ideas and ideals all working together to connect with your clients, send them a message, gain their trust, and build a relationship with them. True, your brand embodies itself in both visual and language-based aspects, but those are merely expressions of your overall brand.
It is crucial to have every element of your brand defined and easily reproducible by anyone who’s creating anything for your company, and because of this it needs to be consistent across the board. Inconsistency leads to misrepresentation, confusion, and disloyalty. Consistency is key!
VISUAL BRAND ASPECTS
The way your brand expresses itself visually will include design items such as your logo (which is typically the first thing people think of when they hear “brand”). Even though people think of the logo as the predominant design element (and surely it does play an important role), there are many other visual elements that are absolutely necessary for a brand to be effective. These elements include typography, color palettes, photography styles, layout styles, graphic elements, textures, illustration styles, icon styles, and more. It’s important for these elements to be designed in a way that expresses your brand strategy well – otherwise you’re sending your clients mixed messages!
The language you use to represent your brand is just as important as its visual aspect. The way your company says things will determine how customers relate to you. You determine the personality (or lack of it) that you build among your followers, which will inevitably create your company’s culture and will define how customers relate to you and what they say about you. Again, your brand voice must be consistent with your visual brand elements, because the goal is to make everything work together for your benefit.
USING YOUR BRAND
Once you’ve defined your overall brand strategy, visuals, and voice, you can then use these elements as a tool to influence anything you create afterward. We suggest articulating all these elements in a single brand guidelines document that you can refer to and that you can ask others in your company to refer to when creating any new customer-facing (or employee-facing) piece. Having this as a resource takes the pressure off anyone charged with the task of creating or designing, and gives clear direction on how your brand needs to express itself. It will ultimately ensure that your company is expressing its brand clearly and consistently.
Using your brand guidelines as a tool, you can confidently create anything you need for your company to operate smoothly and communicate effectively – anything from your website to flyers, social media to your office space, brochures to tradeshow graphics, and more.
Want us to re-evaluate your brand’s effectiveness? Don’t have a brand guidelines for your company? We’d love to help – click here!