Back to Fluid Thinking
Developing an instantly memorable brand identity
Simplicity plays a major role in the design of an iconic brand, but developing an instantly recognisable brand is far from simple.
Some designers fail to realise that the design of the brand is not for them or their portfolio, and spend too much time trying to make it look pretty; a brand is not for the designer or even for the client, the brand is for the clients target market and if it’s design is over complicated the communication between the brand and the target audience will be lost, it won’t make a good first impression and won’t identify the clients company, product, or service as intended. Basically it’s just a waste of visual space, and with the millions of brands that are all competing for visual space, standing out from the crowd is no easy task.
The best designs are simple, are instantly recognisable, even without the company colours and in black and white. They work without the use of text, but work just as well with text too, and with the best ones you don’t even have to see the whole thing to know what it is. Even without using the company colours I bet you can guess which brand this is:
Can you guess any of these Fluid client brands?
In some cases it’s the product or service that makes the brand successful, brands like Google or YouTube for example, the peoples demand for their service made the brand recognisable worldwide. It’s hard to even imagine a different them with a different identity to the one that already exists:
Some of the most memorable brands have been around for decades like the ones at the bottom of this post, but how can a new brand compete and become successful?
A good brand design usually starts with getting to understand the clients business and target market, a lot of sketching and brain storming, nail and pencil biting! This process helps to get the designers ideas down quickly so that fellow team mates and clients can visualise the concept before the design is worked up in detail. This can also help to give people an idea of how the brand might work on different forms of published and digital media.
Once the concept has been approved and the client is as happy, work begins creating the brand as vector graphics in Adobe Illustrator. Producing a brand in this way means that the end product can always be reproduced at any size, so whether it’s a 73 x 73 pixel avatar for your Twitter page or a 40 foot wide bill board ad the brand will always be as fresh and crisp as the day it was conceived!
The form of the brand usually begins life as a black and white series of shapes and lines that make up the logo up piece by piece. A good designer will make sure that each element sits comfortably and is as pleasing to the eye as possible – so you’ll always be sure that if you find an uneven angle or something out of place in our branding design it’s been done deliberately with reason! At this stage the designer might start looking at various typefaces that will best portray the brands personality and character, the designer may even tweek the typeface to make it unique to the brand, or to make it flow better and sit well with the rest of the logo.
The style of typeface usually depends on the nature of the company or product; for example, it’s more than likely that a designer would choose a strong, bold, sans-serif font produced in ALL CAPS if they were developing a brand for a construction firm or boxing club, or choose a light, lowercase script font to brand a ballet school or a wedding gown hire shop for example – because people already associate bold, strong fonts with big strong boxers and soft flowing fonts with wedding gowns, that’s just the way we’re all programmed!
Choosing the right font is vital, subconsciously it gives the target audience a hint of what the brand is representing without them even realising or noticing it. The same can be said for the colours that are chosen in the design of a brand. It’s important for designers to have a good understanding of the principles of colour theory to help tie everything together and understand which colours emote different feelings in the viewer, and which colours will best represent the client and their product or service. These are all important factors to take into account when creating a brand if it’s going to give its audience a desire to act on it’s message.
Take a look at some of these memorable brands. What do you think makes them so memorable?