Just like your personal identity makes you unique, your brand identity is the secret sauce to make you stand out against all of your competitors!
Your brand identity design is what shapes your company.
But what exactly is brand identity? What does it have to do with design? How do you shape a strong brand identity that takes your business to the next level?
If you already have raving fans, you may have a recognised brand already so – in theory – you already have a brand identity, however strong or weak that might be. Your brand identity should reflect the qualities that your customers associate with your brand, so it is absolutely worthwhile spending some time and effort ensuring that your brand identity works to support your brands core values, its goals, its entire persona.. please remember though – an awesome brand identity can not replace good brand delivery, but it can help to set expectations and generate positive customer attitudes.
Your brand identity is the collection of all those visual elements you have (logo/icons/fonts/colours) that attempt to sway your consumers thoughts and feelings about your brand.
Brand Identity Rules
1. You must stay consistent. Swapping and changing your brands colours, logo, fonts, regularly is BAD for recognition. Wait until you have a massively recognised brand before changing. Even then, make sure you ask yourself if there is any need to ‘re-brand’. People will need to see your brand again and again until it becomes familiar to them, you may see your logo every day – they don’t.
2. Choose two main fonts for your brands identity. You will consistently use them throughout your entire marketing campaigns, your website, your business cards, leaflets.. anywhere there is a need for text you use the same fonts all of the time. Make sure they ‘sit’ well together as you will be using them a lot
3. Your brand will typically only have 2 primary colours that is uses (yes – only these colours – yes all the time) and a few secondary colours. So for example, you may of noticed my 2 main colours are 2 hues of pink and black – then my secondary is a medium grey. These are the colours I have in everything.
Choosing Your Colours
People have psychological ties to different colours, so using them strategically in your brands palette can have a serious impact on how your brand is perceived by your audience. At the bottom of this article is a short explanation of each of the colours, psychology wise, to help you choose your right palette. Please remember that there are lots of hues and other things to take into consideration such as patterns and imagery that will also sway your consumers – but its a good place to start!
If you are considering a more in depth look at your brands personality and what colours/fonts/patterns are best to use then I strongly recommend having a clear brand strategy in place before building up any kind of brand identity. My course Supercharge Your Brand takes you through this process step, by step. Click here for more information.
Choosing Your Fonts
Fonts tell a story, and are an integral part of building up a brand identity. They evoke thoughts and emotions – just like colours! So using the right ones paired with the right palette – you have one killer brand identity!
The 4 main kinds of fonts
Serif fonts are the most classic, original fonts. They are named for the little feet at the top and bottom of the letter forms. Serifs date back to the Romans who flared their brushstrokes out at the top and bottom, creating what we now know as serifs.
They are goto fonts for logo designs and print copy and are generally considered to be the most trusted fonts on the planet. Our eyes love them for everything from short titles to long pages of text.
Brands that use this kind of font have some of these attributes : elegance, quality, expensive.
Sans serif fonts
Sans serif don’t have the little feet at the top or bottom, they are quite a simple efficient, clean and modern choice for a brand identity.
Brands that use this kind of font have some of these attributes : creative, fun, intelligent
Whereas brands that are more intense, focused and strong may go for this style – but thick bold serif styles.
Scripted fonts are those that are reminiscent of handwriting. There are usually two extremes to this style.
Extravagant Scripted Fonts
These are immediately recognisable for their over the top curls and flourishes that extend from the serif, known as swashes.
These are to be handled with care. Using them for extended amounts of copy can lead to your design looking outdated and difficult to read.
Stick to this kind of style for wedding invitations, romance book covers, and any design that wants to feel more historical/traditional.
Casual Scripted Fonts
Casual scripts developed in the twentieth century and resemble less the work of calligraphers and more of sign painters. These scripts have far less swashes and are more legible. The work well for anything with a more casual, homespun feel including logos, posters, and pamphlets, and tend to feel timeless.
Brands that use this kind of font have some of these attributes : responsible, sensitive, timeless, soothing
Opulent fonts are your more extravagant fonts, think colours and illustrations. Really OTT and in your face.
Brands that use this kind of font have some of these attributes : luxurious, dramatic, self assured, high end.
Colour Psychology List
As promised, here is a list of colours with their basic colour psychology explanations.
Positive: Physical courage, strength, warmth, energy, basic survival, ‘fight or flight’, stimulation, masculinity, excitement.
Negative: Defiance, aggression, visual impact, strain.
Positive: Intelligence, communication, trust, efficiency, serenity, duty, logic, coolness, reflection, calm.
Negative: Coldness, aloofness, lack of emotion, unfriendliness.
Positive: Optimism, confidence, self-esteem, extraversion, emotional strength, friendliness, creativity.
Negative: Irrationality, fear, emotional fragility, depression, anxiety, suicide.
Positive: Harmony, balance, refreshment, universal love, rest, restoration, reassurance, environmental awareness, equilibrium, peace.
Negative: Boredom, stagnation, blandness, enervation.
Positive: Spiritual awareness, containment, vision, luxury, authenticity, truth, quality.
Negative: Introversion, decadence, suppression, inferiority.
Positive: Physical comfort, food, warmth, security, sensuality, passion, abundance, fun.
Negative: Deprivation, frustration, frivolity, immaturity.
Positive: Physical tranquillity, nurture, warmth, femininity, love, sexuality, survival of the species.
Negative: Inhibition, emotional claustrophobia, emasculation, physical weakness.
Positive: Psychological neutrality.
Negative: Lack of confidence, dampness, depression, hibernation, lack of energy.
Positive: Sophistication, glamour, security, emotional safety, efficiency, substance.
Negative: Oppression, coldness, menace, heaviness.
Positive: Hygiene, sterility, clarity, purity, cleanness, simplicity, sophistication, efficiency.
Negative: Sterility, coldness, barriers, unfriendliness, elitism.
Positive: Seriousness, warmth, Nature, earthiness, reliability, support.