Salt + Studio
How to Be Branding Ready
Updated: Feb 15
Branding is the intangible force behind your business. It is the reason clients are drawn to you and the way you become known. Although this crucial design component is often overlooked, it is one of the foundation blocks to true success in a business.
Building a brand strategy enables you to ensure your messaging stays focused and aligned throughout your different media. But how do you begin?
What can you do to get yourself ready for the task of building your brand?
The first step is identifying your Brand Values, which helps you communicate what your goal as a company is and what sets you apart.
Create a mission statement - this should explain your company goals and why or how it came to be.
Introduce a supplementary/positioning statement - similar to a mission statement, but referring specifically to the service or product offered.
Explain your brand in 5 words - what is your brand personality?
Know your value proposition - what problem does your company solve?
Explain the benefits of your business offerings - this should help identify your target market.
Describe three messages you are trying to communicate through your brand - why do you matter to your market?
The second step is identifying the visual elements of your company identity.
To help you decide how to visually align your brand to your values you can answer these questions:
What are your brand colours?
What colours should not be used?
Describe your brand style and image.
Describe what is not part of your brand style and image.
Do you want to have more masculine or feminine characteristics?
Do you want your designs intricate and in depth or simple and obvious?
Is colour important, or do shades (grey) communicate your brand better?
Do you prefer a conservative or extravagant look?
Should your designs be authoritative or approachable?
Is your brand best understood as fun or serious? Professional or casual? Youthful or mature? Modern or classic? Sporty or elegant? Extreme or safe?
What attributes and emotions do you want associated with your brand?
What attributes and emotions do you not want associated with your brand?
Thirdly you can begin to personify your brand and answer the following questions:
What other brands would be friends with your brand?
Where would your brand hang out?
What five songs does your brand have on their playlist?
What actor/actress would be best suited to play your brand?
What type of animal would your brand be?
Now, understanding the visual elements specific to your brand will help you decide on the media assets for your Logo. The many different types of logos are listed below and selecting a main one will help you understand how you want to communicate to your market.
Logotype : Logo consists of stylized typeface of company name or initials in a simple shape
Pictorial Mark: Logo consists of a representative image/icon incorporated into the typeface name or initials of your company name
Abstract Mark: Logo consists of an abstract shape or symbol to convey an attribute - they should be identifiable without a name
Emblem or Enclosure: Logo consists of a pictorial element or shape with the company name or initials fully integrated into the image.
The sub-elements of a logo (style) are also important to identify:
Web 2.0: Vibrant colours, 3D, shadows, reflection, colour transitions
Contemporary: Clean typeface, fresh/vibrant colours, stylized vector-type images
Classic: Literal imagery, traditional typeface, neutral/timeless colours
Detailed/Stylized: Distinctive/elaborate typeface, details and textures within imagery, flowing lines
Complex Illustration: Hand drawn, often include a character/mascot
And finally choosing a style of typeface:
Serif : Font with finishing strokes on the ends of each character
Slab Serif: Font with large block-like finishing strokes on the ends of each character
Sans Serif: Clean font without any finishing strokes
Script: Cursive or hand written style; can be either casual or formal
Blackletter: Heavy and bold, elaborate, similar to European Hand Lettering
Answering these questions and defining your brand is the start to building your brand identity and strategy and can help you when working with other companies.
These tools help you ready yourself for the branding chapter, and are great answers to have available when reaching out to branding companies. This will ensure they are able to easily understand your needs and desires and design the most effective package for your business.