OnFleek –thought station : Insights

Design your Brand for Better Recognition

Paul Rand, an iconic illustrator and art director had once said, “Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.” He was so right and the saying is apt till date.

How? Well before delving into that lets refresh our brains and get up to speed on what we know on brand and brand identity –

Decades back academicians like Philip Kotler had defined brand as ‘a "name, term, sign symbol (or a combination of these) that identifies the maker or seller of the product"’ and brand identity as ‘A brand name helps an organisation differentiate itself from its competitors’. Later, Seth Godin has put forth a notable definition of brand that caters to the point that: "A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer's decision to choose one product or service over another." Over the years experts and academician all have harped on the same point that a brand is a visual representation which individuals associate with a company, service or a product while an effective brand identity is one in which consumers correlate with a high level of credibility and quality. The core words here has been symbol and visualization which can be safely referred to as what we know as illustrative representation or designs.

Defining brand identity through illustration is not a recent phenomenon as there are historical records over the different that shows the importance of signs and symbolic representation (including the alphabet) in human literary and visual language. To begin with, the bible uses apple as an iconic symbol to depict human evolution whereas Fragment of a vase, third millennium B.C. consists of figures bearing a striking similarity to the cave paintings of Lascaux. Going ahead in time, many kings, queens or important traders have used signs or symbols in seals, stamps or related stuffs to sign or endorse documents for identify one person to another.

Later, during the industrial revolution, the reach and power of mass production profoundly expanded along with the marketing used to promote it. Organizations now came to see that a simple identifying mark was inadequate for distinguishing themselves or their products and services amongst the growing competition in broader marketplaces.

It is much later during the 1870’s that the current era of logo design began, with the first abstract logo, the Bass red triangle – rest as we know it, is an account of modern day graphic design and brand illustration evolution.

Coming back to the need and importance of illustration in defining a brand in modern day marketplace by many a brand evangelists in a sentence can be demarcated as a creative brand strategy that can provide organizations with an ground-breaking approach to define themselves in today’s corporate culture — a place where ‘chaotic’ economies and swift technological change require constant adaptation.

Having said that your brand identity design or your ‘brand illustration’ is basically anything and everything that represents your brand visually is and thus can be –

  • • Logo, colours and design style
  • • Typography
  • • Business cards
  • • Uniforms
  • • Photography
  • • Packaging

& anything else that sets you apart. As for the need of illustration, well here is why –

  • Illustration improves your brand visibility and brand recognition – In today’s marketplace where each category has more that say five to 8 companies selling the same product or services, it is easy to get lost among the crowd. Thus one of the major mechanisms of a creating a brand is a logo because, as the “face” of a business, it’s what people promptly identify. A professional logo design is simple enough to be memorable and potent enough to give the preferred impression about your company. IT HELPS TO GRAB ATTENTION. PERIOD.
  • Design helps your brand make it or break it – Corporates have one chance to get its brand identity right. After all, first impression is the last impression and with competition breathing down your neck you don’t want to be wrong. Thus, a brand illustration is a company’s first introduction to customers. If designed well, it can pique the interest of the public and invite them to learn more about the company; if not, you’ve just alienated potential customers and basically your business has gone down the drain.
  • Creates Top of the mind recall – Consumers buy what they see and like. So a good design creates a point of identification that customers use to recognize your brand. Preferably, you’ll want people to instantly connect with the sight of your brand illustrations with the memory of what your company does – and, more importantly, what feeling it imparts. An aesthetically pleasing element in your brand illustration like colours, logo, etc., triggers positive recall about the brand which might not be the case with just putting out a name there.
  • It sustains Brand loyalty and also increases customer base – Brand Loyalty is something every brand dreams of and this is not possible alone with the product or service quality as the brand grows and expands. Moreover, in such case new conversion are also necessary for sustenance of the business. Herein, comes the need of brand illustrations and good designs as design matters, because it can aide a brand speak without words.
  • Helps to beat the competition - Brand illustrations are a prominent way to differentiate your brand from the competition and thus perhaps is one of the most important reasons you should invest in the quality of your visual brand design.
  • Increases the pride and motivation quotient - Superiority in visual branding expresses your motivation and the pride you take in your business. Consumers will recognize the investment you make in your own brand’s success and know you will deliver with the same passion when it comes to fulfilling their requirements.

As established earlier, design as an element is so powerful that it changes the dimension of everything.

Product design: All corporates, esp. tech companies heavily rely on their product and service package design offerings. Laptops, wear gears watches with phones, fit bit, so many brands have come up with pure design and feature upgradation. A great example of this is iPhones with new versions and system enhancements

Store design: Whether it is the entire experience inside a physical store or an e-commerce site store, merchandising the experience that a consumer has in-store now-a-days defines the purchase design which was not the case many years ago. This commercial space design is so relevant to experiential service and industry like hospitality.

UX/UI: User Design and User Interface is changing and taking the world by storm by defining ‘what brand identity is online and how the consumer experiences the brand online’ - through its website and online experience. Ecommerce and other services and products have taken this as equivalent to physical building of a corporate office or corporate identity.

Brand design: The brand is no longer just a functionality offering of a business; it is now a strategic design element that takes through synchronized theme efforts of aligning the brand to the perspective of the relatable goods and services. Brand design is an multidimensional study of the target audience, the minds and behavioural pattern of the consumer, knowing what stands for the brand and how would the brand would see through its lifecycle meters and parameters that would define its tone, personality and existence in the marketplace midst competition so as to hammer it down.

Communication design: Flowing from all the strategic principles of design, communication is a very strong pillar. How the communication is designed for varied stakeholders, the consumers, vendors, partners, stockholders, investors and owners are key elements in the potential direction as well as implementation of the brand trajectory. Communication defines how, simultaneously, the brand vision will be translated and speculated to all levels coupled with how the brand values will be created. The brand communication also guides through collaterals and campaigns and all forms of written verbal and visual communication how would it connect to its targeted audience in the allotted medium. From logo to all aspects of graphics content creation, promotions and all kinds of virtual identity - everything is a message routed to the consumer of the business which the consumer intends or would intend to be interested in.

Look and feel aka aesthetics guides how we drive to how we eat and how we dress -from lifestyle to every other functional base aspect of life as well. From gadgets to appliances to furniture, it defines all. So, last but not the least, let me give you all little pro-tip on designing brand illustration –

  • • Know the brand
  • • Understand what type of illustrations are needed and how they will be used
  • • Do ample visual research
  • • Aim for a distinct yet flexible style
  • • Choose or create easy to comprehend images.
  • • Use a variation of image types and formats.
  • • Observe copyright laws strictly.
  • • Optimize your images and videos for search engine optimization.
  • • Add social media buttons to your visuals.
  • • Share all your pictures and videos across your social media channels.
  • • Share all your content with link post and image post format.

Now you know that design as a concept establishes businesses which have seen a complete turnaround from starting afresh as a small design company and escalating into the lives of the consumers. Whether it was home grown brands like Good Earth, Chumbak or Global brands like louboutin, Burberry, Louis Vuitton’s, Chanel and more - all these have left their symbolic texture and pattern across the world of design.

Thus, now you know that the time and effort you put in designing or illustrations will not be wasted and is a foundational part of your business. So design away and let images do the talking for your brand.

Design concerns killing your brand? We at OnFleek offer customised design solutions that creatively creates or boosts your Brand value. Contact today!