Identifying your brand
Hey guys. My name is Emily Hoover and today I’m going to talk about branding. I’m going to cover some of the basics so you have a base knowledge of branding when you go to collaborate with your designer. I’m also going to cover some tips and tricks for how to prepare for your design meeting as well as work with the designer. A quick little background about me: I’m currently a designer at 434 Marketing in downtown Lynchburg. I’m also a freelance designer and I also just launched my own stationery company called Prickly Pear Paper. The online store will be launching later this year. I’ve done branding for all sorts of people, from indie music artists to authors as well as larger corporate businesses, and the branding packages have been very technological oriented, very sleek, very modern, all the way to extremely artsy, hand lettered, calligraphy. I’ve kind of done the gambut for design logos. As you can see here are some of the examples from my freelance design. They are a lot more on the artsy side, and those are my favorite to do so I’m going to have those in my presentation.
Now that you know a little bit about me, I’m going to start diving right into the basics of branding. This is something you need to take extremely seriously because your branding will either make you or break you. It is your first impression. When someone goes to a coffee shop and sees your business card or searches something on Google and finds your company, your website. That brand is their first impression. You’ve got to make sure that it’s strong and that it really encompasses your brand or your story and what you’re trying to offer to that customer. Also something to consider when you’re making your brand is to make sure that you carefully choose the colors and that you carefully choose the style of your logo. You want to make sure that you’re hitting your target audience. I’m going to cover some of the color theory later so that way you have a better idea and understanding of what I’m talking about. You’ve also got to make sure that your brand matches the style of your company. If you sell super indie and awesome tee shirts with fun graphics, make sure your logo explains that and has that look and feel to it as well. Make sure that once your brand has been created, you do not stray from it. Hopefully your designer has created a style guide for you so you can reference that and make sure your brand is seamless across the board. There is nothing worse than incohesive branding. It makes your company look sloppy and unprofessional.
Now I’m going to cover the types of logos you can create with your designer. There are three kinds of logos. A symbol and icon, a combination mark, and a word mark. I’m going to start with the symbol and icon. If you’re going to go this route, keep it simple and keep it bold. Be very easy to remember. However, if you’re in the beginning stages of your company, I don’t suggest going this route. Think of companies like Apple, Nike, Target … those symbols are very easy to remember. They’ve been around for a while. Everyone knows them. If you want to at some point want to go just to a symbol, I suggest you start with a combination mark. That way you have the name of your brand with the icon. At some point, you can move just towards the symbol. That’s what I really suggest. Then there’s the word marks. These are uniquely styled text logos that spell out your company’s name. If you’re going to go this route, make sure you choose a graphic designer that is proficient in making fonts and hand lettering. They have the tools and techniques and they have an eye for the small detail. They’ll create a stronger looking wordmark than your basic graphic designer. An example of some of these are Coca-Cola and Disney.
Now I’m going to talk about if your branding should be classic or contemporary. What kind of branding do you want to have? What kind of style or look do you want it to have? This is something you really need to think about when you’re creating your brand. If your company is more trendy and it’s aimed toward people in their 20s or 30s, go for a contemporary brand. This is a type of style that will draw in that type of audience. There are both pros and cons to both the classic and contemporary look of branding. Your branding will eventually have to be updated or rebranded at some point in your company’s history. If you choose to go with a classic logo, you will have less rebranding to do. But if you choose to go with a contemporary logo, you’ll have to keep up with the trends if that’s something that you want and is important to your company.
Classic usually never goes out of style. It’s very timeless. It looks put together. It can make your brand look more expensive. But they’re also usually simplistic in style. If you’re going to go for a contemporary logo, you usually have to rebrand sooner, but it has that playful and indie look. It’s usually aimed toward a younger audience but it has lots of character to it and it tends to be hand lettered or hand drawn.
Now we’ve got to type up the strategy of the color. It is very important that you don’t choose a color just because it’s your favorite. You’ve got to look at the big name companies in your industry. What colors are they using? If everyone is using blue, you might want to stick to that because that’s kind of the industry standard and explains what everyone does in that company. Colors can evoke very strong feelings and emotions, so you’ve got to make sure you choose your color wisely. Red means very passionate and strong emotions, where yellow is usually very cheerful and very warm. Blue usually communicates networking. It is the corporate color. Communications. Orange is high energy. Enthusiasm. Confidence. Green is very nature, wealth, luck, growth. Purple is royalty, creative. It can also be calm and soothing if you think about the lavender end of the purple spectrum.
Next we’re going to talk about finding your designer. There are a lot of great places that you can find designers. You can start with marketing and design firms. They tend to be a little pricey, but they do include the whole package from marketing plans to website design and development to SEO, etc. However, freelancers are also a great place to start. You can find their work on Instagram and Facebook, business pages, LinkedIn, Behance, and Dribble. They always have contact information on there. It’s always a good place to start. But you could also choose to work with a friend. However if you do choose to go down this path, it is super important that you create a contract. You do not want a ruined friendship in the end. Also if you choose to work with a friend, make sure that creating logos is a strength of theirs and that you like the style they have as a designer. In the end it does not matter how cheap you got your branding package for. In the end it matters how strong your branding is.
So here are some tips and tricks on how to prepare for your design meeting with your designer. First you should come prepared with a description of your company and a list of your competitors. If you have products, bring some examples with you. If you’re working with your designer through a website or online sources, make sure you send them pictures of your product so they better understand what your company is, what you do, and also your competitors will help them understand this is what is already been done with logos and how to make you stand out from your competition. Also, I highly suggest you create a Pinterest board or something like that so the designer can take a look at that and see the trends and styles you like. It’s a base for them to work off of. Also, super important, know your budget before going into a project. If you tell a designer your budget, they’re more willing to work with you and tell you what you can get for that budget. Remember to keep an open mind for working with your designer. You hire them as a professional and they understand what’s going on with trends and in the world of design. Remember when you’re collaborating with your designer that it takes time to create that perfect branding package and something that you’re going to love that will last a long time for your company. Don’t rush that process.
Now you know a little about branding and hopefully that will help you better collaborate with your designer. My contact information is below if you’d like to collaborate with me or talk with me a little more about branding. I look forward to seeing your new brands.
About Emily Hoover
Emily is a graphic designer, web designer/developer, illustrator, photographer and lover of good design. She graduated from Liberty University with a degree in graphic design with studio art and photography minors.
She loves to add her own unique style to her designs by combining an illustrative style to her modern and clean layouts. Also, she enjoys the art of typography and creating her own hand lettered work. Emily is always up for the challenges of a new project and enjoys the problem solving process to create a beautiful end product.
|Date Added||July 5, 2016|
In this video, Emily Hoover will outline the basics of branding, how to work with a graphic designer, and key design considerations that every business owner should be prepared to make:
- The Branding Basics
- Types of Logos
- Classic and Contemporary Styles
- Color Strategies
- Finding the Right Designer
- Preparing to Work With A Designer