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Traditional Branding

Published on April 21st, 2016 | by Editor



Here’s a hard truth, when constructing an original brand just having a logo doesn’t cut it. A logo doesn’t ensure a brand identity system is going to work.

Here’s the answer to the question you are asking: Its one thing to have a common brand identity and another to have a malleable brand identity system. Sounds the same? The difference is one teensy tiny word system.

A brand identity that sticks in the psyche of a consumer is a system of different components working in cohesion, providing a consistent, flexible and united identity. Fortunately, this system can be broken into three main fundamental features for you brand identity:

A brand identity is what the public focuses on due to its visibility. This includes a logo, the center of your system, a blend of letters, signs and design. A logo displays your unique strengths, it doesn’t have to show what your product or service is. The more simple the logo the better. It should be something that can be used in large print or small print, in color or black and white, on screen or on paper, and can be used regularly without fail.

An alternative symbol could be added to provide more spring to your system. It could be your logo without the letters (think all the designer logos recognizable without letters), or a redraft of your logo (the horizontal Starbuck sign instead of their usual one), some sport teams even have lesser logos (stamp or lucky charm), different from their principal one.

One of the easiest way to make a brand noticeable is through colors. Most brands use from one to three colors as their go to colors and if they are constrained by one color when using a media they choose their principal color. Develop a pyramid of balancing, tributary and tertiary colors as your core colors but keep options open with a palette of tributary colors to keep things interesting. Tints or shades could be used according to you brands system.

As with colors, a solid set of letterings is also important, and just like with colors a primary set and tributary set of letters could be used. The main set of lettering could be used for titles, lighter serif set or sans-serif set could be used for body text, and a set of letters with some personality for quotations.

Some systems end here, but you can take it a step further. Any features that may add a graphic style to the subject matter, or a unique way of approach to your signs. What could be some other features for your system?

Your brand voice, how does it sound? What does it discern? What does it not discern? What does the brand converse about? You brand is going to talk about many things, using online material, a sales pitch or promotion tools.

An e-book from distilled covers all the major features of starting the base of your brand system’s speech. The speech pattern and the attitude of that speech should be in line you’re your whole piece of brand identity system, it should work in cohesion with other elements.

Last but not least, think about a reference system for your system, an easy to refer to handbook commonly known as brand book or style guide. The reference manual should have divisions or sub divisions for each of the features discussed above, it should provide a set standard to ensure the whole system has evenness and harmony, but it should also allow some flexibility, some give to your system to ensure that all the sections do not feel totally the same.

So in the end a brand identity system entails more than just a logo. Some thought is needed to how the features works with other features and still have tractability, union and constancy across the whole organization. A set of standard is needed as well to ensure the brand identity is up to par in each promotional tool used.

What other feature might make an amazing system? Share your opinions in the comments section below.

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