Technology is the primary driver behind brand design right now. It has changed so much in the last several decades that the impossible or exorbitantly expensive has become possible and affordable.
But once upon a time, not that long ago, brands were primarily displayed on big, bold print mediums. There was the larger-than-life billboard, full-page tabloid, and the flashy magazine spreads. And although these mediums are still important factors when considering brand design, it’s the technology we use to view brand designs that is the most important factor. In other words, how a brand is seen in the digital world.
This isn’t a new concept – websites and the Internet in general has been a player for more than 20 years. But web brand design tends to follow trends – meaning a business often inadvertently ends up designing a site that looks similar to their neighbour’s.
Every business is in this same boat so the challenge becomes to create one that stands out in the crowd.
1) Use bold and original imagery. For a nominal fee, anyone can get their hands on high quality stock images. To elevate your brand design above the crowd, invest in proprietary images or for that matter, original photography.
2) Keep messaging simple. One of the fastest ways to lose your audience is to clutter up your message with too many words. Keep your messaging as short and concise as possible.
3) Create an outstanding logo. Your logo not only identifies who you are, it is the descriptor of the promise of what you’re delivering. You want your customers to easily make the connection between your logo and your products or services.
4) Show restraint. To work across multiple platforms, a brand design needs to forgo complicated acrobatics and stick to the clean and simple – even if the technology allows you to create the complex.
The most important thing to remember is that branding and designing cannot be done on a whim. Both have to be intricately tied to a business’s strategy. Your brand design – and by extension your website and mobile website – is no longer just the wallpaper behind your company; it has to be reflective of the direction your company is going and it has to respond to what drives the company. If you’re designing without answering to your business plan, then you’re simply decorating.
Stay tuned for the final blog post in this series on brand design for the smartphone.