Branding design: the graphics and image of the brand

Branding design: the graphics and image of the brand

The fourth step to give body and substance to your brand

In this column we have discovered some of the pillars on which the success of a brand is based. We talked about brand positioning, brand identity, brand strategy... now it's time to examine the question also from a graphic and visual point of view, touching on the topic of branding design. As for the previous arguments, also in this case we do not have the ambition to exhaust all the possible implications, we will instead try to limit the discussion to the most useful and most interesting aspects for a business based in Switzerland or Italy, beyond the sector belonging specific. The assumption from which to start is quite obvious: any company, in order to represent itself to the public of consumers, needs to a modern, persuasive and coherent image.

This time we are not talking about identity (values, mission, vision) or market positioning (how we want the product to be perceived by users). Our eye – it is appropriate to say – will instead be focused on the design, and that is on the set of elements that contribute to the creation of a coordinated image lived up to expectations. What do we mean by coordinated image? Neither more nor less are we referring to the sum of the various graphic elements and, especially, to how these are presented to the end user. Working on branding design means putting transversal knowledge into the field aimed at building or restyling a brand as far as its graphic design is concerned. So let's think about the logo, whose importance is such that it deserves a separate focus, the next one, but let's also think about the packaging of the products, the graphics of the newsletter, the cover of the Facebook page... Ready to get going?

FROM COLORS TO FONT: THE BLOCKS OF BRANDING DESIGN

Branding design comes from a spark, from an intuition, from an awareness of the entrepreneur or graphic designer or the agency to which one entrusts. In principle there are them: the colours, the shapes, the letters that accompany the logo… If we think of Google, the combination of red, blue, green and yellow comes to mind, if we think of Red Bull we have blue and metallic grey, and so on for Nike (black and white), Ferrari (red, yellow and black), Airbnb (red and white) and many others. A striking example is football clubs, a full-fledged business recognizable everywhere by the colors of the shirts and the club. This should work for your brand, and it should also work for the font and graphic elements underpinning your design (again: the comma from Nike, the prancing horse from Ferrari, the G from Google…). It goes without saying that these multinationals embody excellence in their respective sectors, however the awareness of committing oneself to the best remains valid take advantage of colors and graphic details and make them memorable.

FROM WEB DESIGN TO OFFLINE DESING… AND VICE VERSA!

The famous spark we mentioned in the previous paragraph arises in the imagination of a person or a team, but must then be translated into practical choices and actions. Where? Usually on a graphic or designer's PC or tablet. That's right: branding design, today, is first of all web design, a profession founded on digital applications and software of various nature and complexity. This corollary has led in many cases to obvious contradictions, such as the distance that is created between the showcase site and the physical point of sale: the former well-kept and polished, the latter neglected and far from the image you want to convey online. When such an eventuality occurs, it is the brand that pays the consequences, unable to convey the same emotions and the same values ​​inside and outside the company. A typical scenario is that of hotels that invest in image, promotion and social media but forget to modernize the rooms and the structure… upon arrival, guests have an expectation destined to be quickly betrayed, with inevitable negative effects on brand reputation or brand reputation. So be careful to balance both offline and online investments, unless of course you are managing an online-only business such as an ecommerce or a virtual tour operator with no headquarters.

THE PACKAGING ISSUE: PRODUCT DESIGN

We want to dedicate a separate paragraph to packaging design, i.e. to the design of the packaging of the products or services offered. In this case we are talking about something that can also differ greatly from the original design of the brand, for example taking up only the logo but differing in everything else from the coordinated image of the brand. The reasons that lead to such a choice are many: the desire to launch a line of items distinct from the brand on the market – perhaps because they are created in partnership with another company or with a testimonial who “infects” the packaging with his style – the need to accentuate the values ​​chosen for those products, for example environmental sustainability (recyclable packaging, ecological inks, etc.), and many other equally valid reasons. In this perspective, the packaging takes on a particular relevance as it allows the company to explore new design frontiers without risking compromising its image if the product does not find favor with the public.

Having ascertained that branding design is fundamental and concerns numerous aspects, from the logo – tip of the iceberg – to the packaging of individual products, we just have to face the last chapter of our excursus dedicated to the brand. We will therefore talk about logo branding and how it is possible to give light to a brand by creating a state-of-the-art logo and accompanying it, if necessary, with a spatial payoff! Stay tuned and don't forget to download the Innovando ebooks”Writing for marketing"and "Effective communication”, available for free download from our website. See you soon!