Sayani Majumder

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A talented Graphic Designer at EngineerBabu. Has a flair for sharing knowledge and believes in creative expression. Worked on several big projects - designing graphics, branding, and UI for various platforms ranging from eCommerce, Booking, Education, Dating, Travel, etc.

Major Elements of Brand Identity Design

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Brand Identity Elements

Whenever you notice the illustrious Swoosh sign, do you need someone to spell out Nike to recognize what it stands for?

Probably not!

Research shows the average person on any individual day is exposed to over 2000 brand logos and taglines. That’s EVERY DAY!

The visual identity of your organization can make or break your brand in the eyes of consumers.

Establishing and creating a successful brand image demands a lot of tenacity and perseverance. One needs to take into account several factors to ensure that your brand hits the right chord with the consumers.

This article is from a designers perspective on how to create an unforgettable identity for your brand. Go on and give it a thorough read as it could serve as a holy grail for you.


What does the word ‘Brand’ truly mean?

The word “Brand” is often misinterpreted. Some believe a brand is just about the logo or maybe the advertisement campaign. Although these are components of creating a brand image, they are definitely not the whole thing.

Seth Godin, an American author, and a former dot-com business executive define, “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.”

It is a whole experience as well as an emotion for the consumers connected to a service provider or organization.

What is Brand Identity?

Airbnb Logo
Airbnb logo encompasses emotions in a visual form
Source: underconsideration.com

Brand identity is the visual aspect of a brand which covers all the elements that are being presented to a consumer to portray the company’s precise image. It is the visage of a brand that instantaneously makes consumers identify and mentally associate with its products and services.

Basics of Brand Identity Design

1. Color Palette

How important do you think, a naive color palette can be to a brand?

It is so significant that the specific hues utilized by a brand can be copyrighted and protected by law. A single color can be used in a brand so long so that the consumers associate it with only that particular brand.

Colors portray emotions and personality. Thus, while creating a color palette – the brands’ values and emotions which are trying to be projected should be kept in mind.

Colors can represent the nature of the product

Here are some colors and the emotions that they express:

  • Red  
    Red symbolizes passion, love as well as excitement. If your brand wants to convey emotions like – bold, loud and youthful – then red is the ideal choice for you. Examples, Target, CocaCola, Zomato, etc,.
  • Orange
    Orange represents high energy and friendliness. For Example, Fanta, SoundCloud, JBL, etc,.
  • Yellow
    Yellow is the color of luster and portrays happiness. The use of different shades of yellow can represent various emotions; lemon yellow being cheerful & natural, and golden yellow being luxurious. For Example, Mac Donalds, BestBuy, SnapChat, etc,.
  • Green
    When people see green, they usually think of either of the two things – Money or Nature. If your brand wants to be defined with either of the two, green is definitely a good choice. Moreover, green is also the color of neutrality and serenity and can be deployed in the medical sector as well. For Example, Starbucks, LaCoste, Android, etc,.
  • Blue
    Blue can make your brand appear more trustworthy and stable; therefore it should be utilized when you are trying to reach a wide demographic. For Example, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc,.
  • Purple
    Purple, the color of royalty brings a luxurious touch and feel in the company’s branding. For Example, Cadbury, BenQ, Taco Bell, etc,.
  • Pink
    Pink is culturally and stereotypically tied to feminity. Therefore, if a brands’ target audience is women, pink should be considered. For Example, Barbie, Baskin Robbins, etc,.
  • Black:
    There is no more minimalistic and sophisticated color as black. It represents class. When used in the combination of white it gives a unique depth to the whole picture. For Example, Apple, Nike, Chanel, etc,.

2. Typography

Typography refers to the type of font and the various usage of its weight. There are basically four variations in typography:

  • Serif
    These are fonts that have what looks like an anchor or stroke on the end of each letter. It is a little old school and classic. Used popularly in publication branding.
    Examples: Times New Roman, Georgia, etc.
  • Sans Serif
    Sans meaning ‘without’ are Serif fonts that don’t contain a stroke or anchor, and have smooth edges. Sans Serif appears more contemporary and modern.
    Example: Helvetica, Franklin Gothic, etc.
  • Script
    The cursive handwriting everybody learned at elementary school is the script typography. It provides a feminine and luxurious touch to your branding.
    Example: Allura, Pacifico, etc.
  • Display
    Display fonts have their own place in typography and are moreMetallica_logo of a specialized hand-made font. They can take unusual shapes and forms, maybe outlines and shadows too. These fonts create a bold statement in the minds of the audience. One can think of a metal band logo like Metallica as an example.

3. Shapes and Form

Shapes and form can make or break your brand Identity (pun intended).
Here’s how:

  • Round shapes
    This covers shapes like circles, ovals, ellipses, etc. They give the feeling of warmth and fuzziness. Brands associated with community and unity uses these shapes. A perfectly round shape or circle can also indicate infinity because of its absence of corners and symmetry from all of its sides.
  • Closed Edged Shapes
    These types of shapes encompass triangles, squares, rectangles, pentagon, hexagon, etc. The corners represent strength and efficiency. It is also stable and therefore trustworthy.
  • Straight lines
    Open-ended straight lines have their own connotations depending upon their type. A vertical line suggests masculinity, strength, and virtue while horizontal lines indicate calmness, rest and smoothness. Diagonal lines give a theatrical effect as if they are holding something up.

Design Elements for a Strong Brand Identity

1. Logo

A logo is literally the face of your company. And unlike human faces, it could be improved and edited – without requiring any cosmetic surgeries! Logos for a brand are like signatures of a person. It works as the identification as well as a visual aid for the audience to associate with services an organization provides.

For instance, when you see the “golden arches” your first thought is probably the delicious Big Mac and crispy fries.

When you see Googles’ logo, you instantly think of search.

That’s the strength of an incredible logo. It can influence and trigger how you feel about a company and the products or services they provide.

Following are some broad categories of logos:

  • Monogram/Lettermark
    Which is easier to remember – Entertainment and Sports Programming Network or ESPN? Lettermark or Monogram are typography based logos which utilize just the initials of a brand name. It streamlines the company brand in case it has a long name and indicates simplicity. If yours’ is not a well-established brand, consider writing the whole name below the logo.

Monogram Logo

  • Wordmark
    This is also a typographic logo like monogram but uses the whole name instead of acronyms. It can work really well if a company has a unique and peppy name. The logos of brands like Coca Cola or Google – If the brand name is catchy enough, then a wordmark logo is a cherry on the top.
Google WordMark
One of the most recognizable brands use a WordMark.
Source: digitaltrends.com
  • Pictorial Mark
    Apples’ simple, minimal and highly recognizable logo is one of the best examples of pictorial mark logo. Basically, it is a unique and straightforward representation of the brand. Pictorial Marks, if used long enough, can be embedded in thoughts of users to the extent that they don’t need the brand name written anymore. The biggest challenge in designing such logos is deciding which shape to use as it will stick to the company’s identity for its whole existence. Something simple but effective should be thought considered. Try and play with the names, think of the functionality or look to arouse an emotion.

Apple Logo

  • Abstract Logo Marks
    It is a form of a graphic logo, which isn’t as simple as – Apple’s – Apple or Twitter’s – Bird. It is more of a complex and abstract icon that has a more profound significance. These types of logo give an opportunity to represent something unique as the brand’s image.

Mitsubishi Abstract Logo

  • Mascots
    Mascots offer a unique way for customers to be associated with a brand. They are fun and playful representation of the culture that the organization imbibes. They are most often used to represent big events which involve worldwide participation, for instance, the SuperBowl, Olympics, etc,. 

Wendys Logo

  • Combination Mark
    The name says it all. It is a combination of the visual and typographic form of the logos. The picture and the text can stay side by side, or stacked on top of each other or even designed in such a way that it creates an altogether distinct image, like that of Doritos.

Burger King Combination Mark Logo

  • Emblem
    Think of badges, seals, and crests. It consists of text written inside an icon. It is often used in the logos of educational institutes. They provide the brand with a traditional image, simultaneously striking a chord with the consumers. The Starbucks Coffee’s mermaid emblem logo is an excellent example.

Harley Davidson Emblem Logo
 

2. Business Cards

A business card is the most natural means to make your customers reach you.

Keep it clean and only include information that is necessary.  Include a logo that is visible enough, the name of the contact person and ways to connect with him/her.

The standard molds for a business card are as follows, though their sizes and shapes can differ according to requirements.

  • US Horizontal Cards:5×2 Inches
  • European Horizontal Cards: 85×55 mm

Printables’ Guide:

  • Keep document mode to CMYK.
  • Keep it a high resolution (300 dpi).
  • Keep the trim, bleed and safety lines marked.

3. Packaging

If a company’s services are product based, good packaging design is essential to establish a good brand image in the heads of consumers. Packaging is one such element which involves considerably lesser investment as compared to advertising but can reap the same benefits. It is an excellent opportunity to attract clientele and enhance their experience. Whether it is the packaging of a mail cover or the design of a Smartphone box, nothing should be ignored.

4. Website

The dawn of the 21st Century introduced us to the digital era. Therefore our branding efforts should get digitalized as well! Nowadays, customers tend to search and visit a brand’s website to create a mental image of how your organization is. A good site is critical, especially if the organization is running an online business or selling digital products. Therefore, this tool should be utilized in full force to convert leads into customers.

5. Stationeries

Designing stationeries is probably the most enjoyable and fun part. Not only one can experiment with the design and creativity, but also the quality of material such as paper and ink. Stationeries include products like letterhead, diaries, journals, pens, envelope, calendars, flash drives, etc. Keep the printables’ guide in mind while designing.

Creating a Brand Style Guide

The guide to proper usage of your brand identity elements is as vital as designing them because, in branding, consistency matters a lot. For that, a company should always specify how its different assets should be employed in a document called a Brand Style Guide. It outlines and explains the do’s and don’ts of various design elements of the company.


Wrapping Up

In the vast pool of competitors – Your brand identity is what makes you stand apart.

It should clearly convey what you are, what you do and what makes you unique amongst everyone else. Designing a good identity is thus crucial to show a brand in a positive light.

Designers at EB possess solid expertise in creating exquisite branding elements for our customers. We are renowned for designing super quirky and exciting logos, as well as other branding elements. With years of experience in designing and shaping some very recognizable branding elements, we’ve been able to win several accolades. Check out our portfolio, right here and Contact us for a free consultation. 

Client Testimonial
This is what customers have to say about us.

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What is UI and UX? A Designer’s Guide to the Tech Industry

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While delving into the depths of designing an interactive user application or a web interface, the first and foremost buzzword a designer encounters is, “User Interface/UI Design ” or “User Experience/UX Design.” Often there seems a lot of confusion between these two. When someone says that he/she is a designer, people usually don’t get a clear picture as what they actually do.

Are UI and UX the same thing? Or one is just a part of another?

Go through this article diligently and by the end of it you’ll get a clear and comprehensive understanding of the following:

  • What exactly are UI Design and UX Design?
  • Differences between UI and UX.
  • How to design a stunning UI & UX.
  • 5 Common Mistakes that kill your conversion rate.

UI or User Interface

User Interface
A Stunning User Interface
Courtesy: dribbble.com/kristina

The UI design is all about the look and feel, the presentation and interactivity. It deals more with the aesthetics and less with the functionality part of a product.
It includes:

1. Typography:
Robert Bringhurst defines typography as the craft of endowing human language with a durable visual form. It has the power to convey emotions, transfer a message and most importantly define content hierarchy. The font family, size, weight, color, the text structure, everything matters. The readability of the text can have a massive impact on how users experience the product.

2. Color:
If we talk about visual arts, color is the soul of an artistic piece. It can say a thousand words without even presenting a single letter. In UI design, it can perform several functions like supporting and carrying the brand recognition, focusing on the critical parts like a call-to-action button, or beautifying the interface, etc.

3. Component style:
A user interface can contain multiple components such as a background, text fields, input fields, buttons, cards, etc. Designing UI requires pre-planning the elements’ style to maintain uniformity throughout the whole product. A designer has to decide the shape, color, size, even the situation where the same component has to change its form.

4. Layout arrangement:
It includes organization, arrangement, and spacing of the things mentioned above. The app screen or web page layout has to be arranged keeping in mind the hierarchy of the content and how to control the eye movement of the end user. Visual weight has to be balanced, and proper spacing should be provided so as not to make the content look cluttered. A designer has to arrange components according to their importance.


UX or User Experience

As humans, we are obsessed with things that look good.

A functional and aesthetically pleasing user interface may turn many heads, but it is not the only thing that is needed to retain users. When a design decision is made based only on how good it should appear, the product is no longer being designed for the users.  That is where UX comes in the spotlight, and to the designers’ rescue.

User Experience
A Delightful User Experience
Courtesy: dribbble.com/ramotion

User experience design is a human-first way of designing a digitally interactive product. This term was first applied in the 1990s by Don Norman who was a cognitive scientist and co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group Design Consultancy and according to whom, “User experience encompasses all aspects of the end user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.

This process is scientific and can be applied to any real-life situations and places such as our room shelves, vehicle experience, movie theaters, etc.

If you want to provide a good user experience, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the product user flow designed so that the user can achieve their objective quickly?
  • Is the usability good enough that the user can use the product easily?
  • Are design decisions being driven by reliable data and user research?
  • Is the product intuitive enough to guess and present what the user wants?

UX design provides solutions to real-life user problems. By thinking through questions like the ones mentioned above, and finding an acceptable answer to each one of them, a product designer can achieve this goal. It is a relatively new field because companies worldwide are slowly realizing that it is equally important to attract, as well as retain users through their product.

A UX designer’s role includes a myriad of responsibilities, namely:

  • Analyzing competitors and customers
    A competitive analysis helps a UX designer to gather useful information about the product landscape, its details, the market share, etc. It is also done to research the user demographics, visual design language, content, and language. This data is then compared to have an understanding of the product’s general competition.
  • Deciding product structure and strategy
    While vision gives clarity for the desired goal, strategy defines the journey to achieve it. Even before the design and development begin, a strategy is made to create milestones of what should be done step by step.

    UX Strategy
    The following elements constitute a good UX strategy

     

  • Wireframing
    Wireframes are like the backbone of designing a product, also called a low fidelity prototype/representation. It contains the elements needed on a screen and the order in which it should come. It is created quicker than the actual design because everything is represented in its purest form (e.g., crossed rectangles for image placeholders). In the wireframing stage, it is easier to do changes after gathering feedbacks.
  • Prototyping
    While wireframing provides the visual idea of the planned layout, prototyping gets more close to the actual product. It consists of middle to high fidelity representation. It gives the look and feel of the final product as well as the interactions, which further proves itself helpful in user-testing.

So, to sum it up, UI design is how products appear, and UX design is how it functions.


Points to Ponder On

1. Don’t just design transitions, but the whole interaction

Designers go head over heels seeing those fabulous Dribbble designs and fancy transitions. The innovations that have occurred in modern interactive devices such as smartphones, smart-watch, etc. have made it possible to bring in a plethora of effects and inspirations too such as scrolling animations, button transitions and all sort of flashy things. While it is tempting to use these from a predefined library, the goal should not go out of focus. Use whatever is necessary and feasible for development.

2. Think Quality over quantity

Following types of data could emerge from user research:

  • Quantitative:
    Survey results, A/B test data and conversion rates – measurable data that indicates numbers – where, when or how much.
  • Qualitative:
    Observations of user test participants quote from contextual interviews – data that helps the product designer understand the why.

If being in a dilemma, or being in a situation where only one of them can be chosen, having an understanding of why users do something is more valuable than having numerical measurements that may not even be helpful in the issue involved.

Recommended Read: Top Trends In Design and Web Development

3. Use more research methods

Every research method has its perks as well as drawbacks. That is why using a mix of them can provide more dimensions to the data acquired. Triangulating research can enable UX designers to confirm data accuracy and relevance, helping them to have a more precise view.

4. Use more participation

It is required to have a common showcase arena where the project progress, findings, and planned steps can be exhibited to promote more transparency and participation. Choose the participants strategically and make it easy to access whatever is relevant to them. Users, stakeholders and colleagues, everyone collectively has more ideas, insights, and perspectives than a single UX designer, so take advantage of this great asset. Everyone may not be from the same demographic, but they drive the design to a more user-centric approach, which further promotes relationship building and helps build something astounding by collaboration.

5. Be visual in the first steps

While design documents provide insight into client requirements and user needs, it is preferable to be more visual. You don’t need to worry even if sketching is not one of your skillsets; nobody needs to be an artist while delivering ideas about the user flow and design. One of the most significant benefits is that it provides a broader understanding of the problems a UX designer is trying to solve.

Common Mistakes that are Killing Your Conversion Rate

The facts below provide an overview of the current situation:

  • 38% of users leave a website if the content or layout is unattractive.
  • 47% users expect a web page to load in two seconds or less.
  • 95% of visitors agree that good user experience is the most crucial element of a website.
  • 94% of people will close and stop trusting a site if the website design is not engaging.

    Mistakes in UI/UX
    Mistakes that kill your conversion rate

The attention span of users is getting smaller day-by-day. They want results with less effort, less time and patience is barely existent. Getting through many screens to get what they want is a huge turnoff which drives them away, especially in a market where there are many more competitive products and content out there.

Mentioned below are some aspects that might be killing your conversion rate:

    • Confusing and Cluttered Layout
      Putting more and more content in one visible part of the screen order to put it in the users’ glance at first, is a terrible idea.

      If everything is made to draw attention, none of them gets it

      A designer should think more precisely and put themselves in users’ shoe to understand – What is the most important thing they may want to know or do. Information should be presented step-by-step according to that importance. There should only one goal that is to be focused – Conversion.

    • Device Unresponsive Design
      More and more users are using digital services on their mobile or tablets, which are easy to carry on-the-go. When they are not able to enjoy the best features on small screens, they leave. Responsive design of a digitally interactive product makes it flexible across all screen resolutions.
    • Unintuitive Navigation
      After de-cluttering the content, the next task at hand is deciding the hierarchy and navigation. What a website or application has to offer should be evident in the heading, and how they can gain from it should be described shortly in subheadings. Do not re-invent the wheel. Put things where users’ expect to find it. Do not make many positions, look or form changes from what they are used to. This might confuse and frustrate them. User-friendly navigation keys are critical, as there is only a second or two to convince a user to stay.
    • Text-Text Everywhere
      Nobody has the time to go through blocks of text. What an end user does is comb through it to get an overview of the subject. Therefore using related, informational, and soothing imagery may take the users out of the monotonous boredom of reading and at the same time feed the knowledge about the text they might not be reading. So try to use less but precise wording wherever applicable.
    • The 404 Dead-End
      There are situations where a user might not be able to find what they need and land on a 404. Consider a use case of an e-commerce application, where the user cannot find the product he/she was looking for. Such situations can be creatively utilized to drive the user to someplace where they could have a new start. The home page or the seasons’ new outfit collection might be a good place to start with. Presenting the users with aesthetically pleasing illustration, or animation of an empty crate is also an excellent way to hold on to them.

Concluding View:

“People ignore designs that ignores people.”

— Frank Chimero, Designer

Over the last decade, hardware has witnessed tremendous transformation. Now products have become much cheaper, efficient and smaller. Therefore making similar softwares proficient of beautiful animations, graphics, and interactions is extremely critical.

Now it is just not enough for designers to create an efficient application. Users are expecting more and more out of their devices; they want impeccable efficiency along with beautiful graphics and tasteful interactions.

This transition is pushing designers to get more creative with their design strategy.

The responsibilities of a designer have unbundled to much more than they used to be. With the influx of so many domains, designers now need to be appropriate ‘specialists’.

That is why designers at EngineerBabu are handpicked from the crowd to create the best possible user experience possible for our customers. We have solid expertise in creating world-class design solutions.
With a portfolio of more than 100 exquisitely designed products under our wings, the tremendous hard work our dedicated 
team puts-in is quite evident from the smile of our satisfied customers.

Check out our creatively designed products, right here.


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