Branding is a very important process you should start thinking about from the moment you decide to turn your idea into a business project. In this article I listed some of the principles you should keep in mind when working with a design agency on your branding:
1. Keep it classic
Trends change fast, which is why great brands tend to choose more classic solutions for their logos, brand colors, inscriptions, etc. Remember that classic doesn’t mean boring – it means that designers should use more traditional fonts, shapes, colors and imagery that will stay popular for a longer period of time.
2. Make sure your branding reflects your character
This is usually among the first and the most basic instructions you receive from branding experts. Company mission and statement should reflect on brand design, which means that if you are making a logo for a law firm, you won’t use vivid colors and dynamic shapes. On the other hand if you are designing a logo for a beach bar, making it too plain and square definitely won’t attract people in a need for cocktails and relaxing music.
3. Stand out
The worst thing that could happen to a brand is to get mixed up with another one. Sometimes this happens unintentionally, but in a lot of cases entrepreneurs intentionally copy rival brands in order to imitate them and dig into their customer base. This is never a good idea. Copying trademarks can lead to cease and desist letters and lawsuits. Even if you don’t end up in court, copying other rival’s branding will definitely affect your reputation.
4. Don’t use more than three colors
This is one of the main design rules. Even if you are making a logo for samba dance troupe, don’t use more than three colors. There is also a financial reason for this, because you will need to pay premium prices for additional colors, when printing office and promotional material.
5. Minimalism always does the trick
If you look at some of the best known brands, you will realize that they don’t splash users with huge set of vivid colors and don’t contain dozens of different lines and shapes. Successful brand logos are simple, easy to draw and remember.
6. Don’t write long slogans
A slogan is a very powerful branding tool, especially when it is short and easy to remember. Some of the good examples are: “I’m loving it!” and “Just do it!”. These slogans stay in consumer’s mind for a long time and they characterize the brands they represent. Good slogans are timeless, and they can be repeatedly used in advertising.
7. Choose a memorable name
Company name is very important, which is why the process of choosing the right name tends to be very frustrating. Your name should be memorable and it shouldn’t be inspired by short–lasting trends. Another very important thing to have in mind when choosing a company name is the domain-name availability. Today we can’t imagine a business without an official website, which means that you should try to find a free domain before making a decision.
8. Choose colors wisely
Choosing colors is not easy. You need to select the ones that will create the right psychological response. This is very important for online brands, because if you want to draw traffic to your website, you need to engage visitors from the start. If you want to draw attention you should use high-contrast color-schemes, and if you want to give consumers the feeling of peace and serenity you should choose light and peaceful color combinations.
9. Leave some blank space
Blank space is designer’s best friend. It emphasizes the important parts of websites and it makes your branding breathe.
10. Personalize your branding
Add a little bit of “you” to the mix. Choose something you like and add it to your brand no matter what designing experts and guidebooks say. This will show your audience that your brand is unique and that you personally stand behind it.
Branding is not as easy as everyone thinks. Logos made in online logo-makers, rewritten slogans and poor selection of colors can hurt your company image. Companies that don’t give branding enough attention are not taken seriously and they tend to have a lot of trouble with attracting customers and business partners.
President, Brand Strategist at Straydog