By Owen Fay . Posted on September 6, 2022

A company’s “brand” and “logo” are often used interchangeably. But, even though a logo can be a symbol of a business, it’s not necessarily the brand. Creating a logo is just one small step in creating a brand design identity.

A brand design identity consists of the visual elements of the business, such as colors, logos, typography, and graphics that are used to identify and distinguish the brand in consumers’ minds.

With millions if not billions of businesses trying to stand out to consumers, having a strong brand design is crucial for businesses to differentiate themselves from the competition.

If you are developing your first brand design identity for a client or your own business, it’s important to understand what creates a brand design and what it takes to build them.

What is Brand Design Identity?

logo color pallet

Brand design identity refers to the essential brand components that help people recognize a brand, such as a logo, color scheme, fonts, and other design aspects. Consider the recognizable red Coca-Cola lettering or the renowned golden McDonald’s arches. Both brand names are easily recognizable. But when you considered them, what came to mind? Could it be the color, the layout of the logo, or the positioning of their brand?

Brand design is the process of creating a brand’s visual identity by creating a unified compilation of visual elements. The visual identity is the aesthetic that encompasses positioning and brand personality. So, the most effective brand design is informed by research, deep consideration, and guided by strategy.

When a business effectively executes a brand design identity, the insights of research and strategy come to life in the form of websites, marketing resources, packaging, graphics, presentations, etc.

Before any of these touchpoints can be created, you have to define the design elements that you will create.

Your brand may lack a distinct visual identity due to a lack of design, which potential customers will notice. Designing your brand’s visual elements—from brand logos to packaging to your homepage; gives it a stronger market position, can enhance customer experience, can build a strong visual identity, and can help you stand out from potential competitors. Using an online photo editor to create a baseline is a great way to start building most visual elements.

What Goes Into Brand Design Identity?

A key part of creating a brand design is crafting elements that make up visual identity. They exist as components of a brand’s visual identity, so they must work together.  Keep the system as a whole in mind when creating each of the following design elements.

Logo

A logo is a brand’s calling card and stamp on the world. It can come in many shapes and sizes but in the end, it should be recognizable and communicate the brand value. A logo is an aesthetic symbol full of meaning that has the power to communicate the essence of a brand instantly to everyone that sees it.

Colors

The color scheme that a brand uses in its design is essential. Different colors create different reactions and emotions. Each color has an impact on the psychology of a brand’s audience. Understanding the impact is key to identifying the best colors for your brand and will help you get the most out of your design.

Typography

Fonts and typefaces are unique to designs, like colors they can say a lot about the brand. Some fonts can communicate power or leadership, while others could communicate fun or creativity. The fonts you use in your brand design should fit with your goals and overall design system.

Great typography is meticulously and intentionally chosen and designed; they bring a distinct personality to brand design.

Shapes

Shapes can be the simplest visual elements that go into brand design identity, but they are still important. Just because they are basic doesn’t mean they don’t have meaning or create a response from customers. 

Whether they are suggestive or just representational, shapes can make or break the foundation of a brand. Choosing the right shapes to create building blocks for the rest of the design can have an impact on the final product.

Illustrations

Illustrations are another element that can create a powerful and immediate personality for a brand. It’s important to define a unified illustration style and consider how illustrations will be used in all design elements.

The style of your illustrations will also create a response from consumers, they can be friendly or thought-provoking, either way, the illustrations you decide to use have an impact on the brand design.

Icons

Icons and iconography are ways to communicate information with simplified illustrated graphics. They are an art and a science, they should represent what you want to communicate with the information, simply.

Good iconography gives designers an illustrative language inspired by the industry and medium that they are created in. Essentially, icons should be simple and clear to communicate a point.

Texture and Patterns

Texture is the surface quality of the design and patterns are the intentional repetition of shapes or forms. Textures can be a variety of things like, rough, smooth, fuzzy, soft, etc. visual textures can define the quality of a surface when designing a brand.

Patterns are planned structures that can be easily replicated and produced. It’s important to remember that both are supporting elements for a brand design identity. If you are going to use them, they should enhance the message you want to communicate, not distract from it.

Animation and Motion

Animation and motion in brand design bring static designs to life. Both are used in moderation, rather than to entertain users, use them to give feedback or a small interaction.

When used intentionally it can help users build mental models about how a brand works and how they can interact with it. Both animations and motion attract attention, make sure to not make them distracting from the important content.

Layout

The foundation of an effective brand design identity is how all of the visual elements fit together to create the brand. This is the layout of the brand design. The layout gives meaning and organization to the brand and can make it visually appealing or easy to navigate and understand. A good brand design provides balance to a page and implements a hierarchy for users.

How to Execute a Brand Design with Poll the People

When it comes to building a brand design, the elements we’ve outlined are just the building blocks. The brand design comes to life in execution. Effective brand design is the product of proven and well-executed research. Each of these brand elements can be tested on real users to find what they like most, engage with, and what will help grow the brand.

With Poll the People user research can be done in less than an hour, with a smaller budget than other platforms, with a number of great benefits. Here is a short overview of how our platform can help create a great brand design strategy.

1. Do Your Research

First of all, do authentic research. You have to start by studying your users’ behavior to develop the resources they want and need. By doing design research to gain a thorough understanding of the expectations and usage scenarios of their user’s organizations can create amazing brands.

2. Create a Strategy

Secondly, create a brand strategy. You can develop a powerful brand with the aid of an effective brand strategy. It concentrates your long-term objectives and establishes who you are as a company. It also establishes a standard by which development can be measured: you have no way of knowing if your brand is heading in the right direction without a brand strategy.

3. Design Brand Elements

Next, you have to design effective brand elements. Brand components are important because they aid in creating a unique brand identity. Your brand identity determines how your company presents itself to customers, how create content, the font you use on YouTube video end screens, and everything else.

4. Test Your Brand Design

Lastly, test your brand design with Poll the people. Testing enables businesses to make brand design decisions based on real user feedback. It’s a piece of a bigger ongoing process to raise conversion rates and grow the business over time. Poll the People is a usability A/B testing platform that will make decision-making faster, easier, and cheaper.

Conclusion

Creating a brand requires much more than just creating a logo. Your brand’s identity is a three-dimensional collection of design decisions, resources, and distinctive components that come together to give your brand its appearance and feel. Don’t rush the process of developing a brand identity or skip designing any of its components. To make it come to life, test your brand and the most important elements with a user research tool like Poll the People.

The platform will help you get the most out of your concepts, designs, user experience, and usability. If you are ready to access a panel of over 500,000 users, expert-built templates, lightning-fast user research, effective results dashboards, and more, sign up for free with Poll the People.

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