Chapter 13. Brand Identity

Brand identity consists of several components: logo presentation, color palette, typography, the system of brand identity elements, and a few brand identity carriers to demonstrate how everything works together. We will skip the first part as it's essentially the logo presentation already shown to the client. Following that, the color palette usually comes next.
Please note that each color is accompanied by several notations from various RAL (professional color classification) catalogs. This is done to help the client easily identify the required color shade when working offline. The number of colors can range from two to twelve; I have not encountered more than that in my practice. The palette can vary, but it should be justified from the brand platform and brand identity functions perspective.
Fashion brands, which strongly express seasonality, may have their own color palettes for each season. This is due to the rapid change in color trends. In such cases, I recommend developing a versatile style that can easily complement any color palette.
Typography or Font Map
As I mentioned earlier, fonts influence perception and the overall brand image. Text layout is divided into several elements: headline, subhead, quote, text body, and footnote. All of them are necessary for use in future promotional materials, from websites to marketing kits or product presentations. Any advertising material cannot do without text; besides the layout of the page itself, fonts – and there may be several of them – must work together to maintain an ideal balance, not disrupt it.
In this chapter, I will briefly touch on all sections of brand identity; later, I will provide more detailed information on its application and branding of various carriers.
By the way, what are carriers? You will often hear new terms from brand managers and designers; do not hesitate to ask for a detailed explanation of these words. Don't be afraid to appear ignorant or uninformed. The vast majority of my clients encountered branding jargon for the first time. I always had to explain the meaning of various terms, and that's perfectly normal. You are not obligated to know them.
Brand identity is also known as "corporate identity," and different designers use either one or the other name.
In essence, they mean the same thing. The term "corporate identity" comes from the English meaning of brand identity - brand id (short for "identification"), which means why a brand can be identified, meaning distinguished from other brands. In the Russian language, the abbreviation "id" gave rise to the word "айдентика" (identity). Call it whatever you like, but remember that since the branding market in Russia is still quite young, everyone has their own understanding of the term.
I have encountered situations where designers interpret what should be included in the brand identity presentation differently. Just like with logo presentations, be sure to clarify what sections are included in the brand identity development. Ask for samples. Each designer may have their own way of presenting it. In some cases, you may receive a logobook (logo + business card), and the designer may claim that, in their understanding, it constitutes the brand identity.
You should consider that recently, many young and not-so-young people "learned" in fast-paced online schools, quickly mastering Photoshop (basic graphic editor), and immediately started searching for work. Study the portfolio of a brand identity designer very carefully. There should be no less than 20 works presented. Carefully evaluate them before making the final decision.
Now, let's move on to the brand identity carriers
Carrier of branding refers to objects of branding, which can be items such as a business card, letterhead, pen, mug, t-shirt, car, advertising billboard, cap, hoodie, as well as complex items like marketing kits, social media designs, websites, and more. The list of carriers varies for each business, depending on its goals and communication platform. To determine the list of carriers, I recommend completing a simple task.
Describe the customer's journey for your business from entry point to exit point. For example, becoming a client of my agency can happen through various entry points:
Receiving a business card
Receiving an electronic presentation via messenger
Seeing advertisements in search engines
Engaging with my social media pages
Reading my book
Seeing a branded car
Receiving a recommendation from my clients
This way, I can compile the initial list of carriers through which my clients will first experience my brand. My task is to convince them that I am an expert in my field, punctual, accurate, creative, and open to collaboration.
Accordingly, I will need
Office kit (business card, letterhead for contracts, and stamp)
Marketing kit (electronic presentation of my services with contacts and a brief portfolio for those who won't visit my website)
Advertising banners (creatives for advertising in search engines and social media)
Branded social media pages
Book cover design with contacts
Car branding design
And, of course, a website
Every business will have its own list, its own customer journey, and its own marketing. Some businesses create souvenirs and branded merchandise for their employees at the start, while others leave it for later.
I prioritize customer acquisition and retention as the most important, which is why this list is logical. Retention includes carriers that will make the customer come back, constantly reminding them of your brand when they encounter these items repeatedly. These can include items like mugs, shoe spoons, fridge magnets with bottle openers, notebooks, pens, shower caps, shoppers, document folders, phone number cards for car windshields, t-shirts, aprons, pins, and many more, depending on your creative ideas and budget.
For demonstrating all parts of the brand identity, a few carriers will be sufficient, and a more comprehensive list will be developed after the brand identity is approved during the brand book development stage, but we'll talk about that later.
Now, let me tell you about the elements of brand identity, their importance, and application
An excellent example of an independent brand identity element is the famous checkmark of the global sportswear brand Nike. Just seeing their recognizable logo, everyone immediately understands which brand it is and how it differs from Adidas. For Adidas, it's the three parallel stripes, which are present on their popular original series tracksuits, where three simple stripes adorn the sleeves and pants. For fans of the Adidas brand, this is enough to recognize each other on the street.
Another recognizable element can be a character. If you see Ronald McDonald, you'll never confuse that restaurant with KFC. What to focus on depends on the brand's communication platform, audience, and communication style. The set of brand identity elements provides freedom in branding various carriers and interacting with potential clients at all levels.
A repeating element of brand identity becomes a pattern. This technique is widely used by almost all fashion brands (LV is a prominent example), some have recognizable textures (Bottega's weaving), and others have unique branded patterns (Burberry's check). They don't try to be similar to each other; each brand has its distinctive style, and you'll never confuse the products of these brands due to their recognizable brand elements.
Elements of corporate style: meaning and composition for the enterprise
Corporate identity is an important visual communication tool for businesses. It is a collection of elements that create a recognizable and consistent brand image. In this article, we will look at what a corporate identity is needed for an enterprise, what elements it consists of and what you should pay attention to when ordering the development of a corporate identity.
1. The importance of corporate style
Corporate identity plays an important role in establishing the identity and attractiveness of the company. It helps to reflect the values, mission and uniqueness of the brand, as well as creates a unified visual impression for the audience. Corporate identity promotes brand awareness, differentiation from competitors and the establishment of long-term relationships with customers.
2. Elements of corporate style
a) Logo: The logo is the central element of the corporate identity. It should reflect the identity and characteristics of the brand. The logo can be verbal, graphic or combined and should be unique and memorable.
b) Color palette: The color palette defines the primary colors that will be used in the visual materials of the enterprise. Colors should correspond to the character and values of the brand, as well as take into account the psychological associations they evoke in the audience.
c) Typography: The choice of fonts in the corporate style is of great importance. Fonts should be clear, easy to read and conform to the overall style of the brand. They can be used to create titles, texts, and other visual communication elements.
d) Graphic elements: Graphic elements, such as illustrations, photographs, textures or patterns, help to create a unique visual image, increase visual interest and emphasize the individuality of the brand. They can be used in a variety of materials, including advertising, packaging, websites and social media.
e) Style and composition: Defining a common style and composition in a corporate style is important for creating a unified visual image. This includes the selection of graphic elements, the placement of the logo and other design elements, as well as the creation of a consistent visual rhythm.
3. Important aspects when ordering the development of corporate identity
a) Understanding the brand and its goals: Before starting to develop a corporate identity, it is necessary to clearly define the goals and values of the brand. Understanding its identity, target audience and competitive environment will help to create an appropriate and effective corporate style.
b) Cooperation with professionals: To develop a high-quality and attractive corporate identity, it is recommended to contact experienced specialists in the field of design and branding. They can help in creating a unique and brand-appropriate visual image.
c) Taking into account the opinions and preferences of the target audience: It is important to take into account the opinions and preferences of the target audience when developing a corporate identity. Analyzing and understanding the needs and tastes of your audience will help you create a more attractive and effective design.
d) Testing and adaptation: The developed corporate identity must be tested for the reaction of the audience and make the necessary adjustments and adaptations. This will ensure the effectiveness and attractiveness of the style for the target audience.
Corporate identity is an important visual communication tool for businesses. It helps to create a recognizable and consistent brand image, establishes the identity and attractiveness of the enterprise. Corporate identity consists of elements that include a logo, color palette, typography, graphic elements, style and composition. When ordering the development of a corporate identity, it is necessary to take into account the understanding of the brand and its goals, cooperation with professionals, taking into account the opinions and preferences of the target audience, as well as testing and adaptation of the style.

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