In this week’s lecture we learned about what we can apply our brand to.
Our brand’s tone of voice, values and colours can be applied to anything our brand does/ produces. This can include things such as:
- Headed paper- Headed paper can be used within a company for letters and invoices. You can apply aspects of your brand to this by putting the logo at the corner of the paper or come up with a design for the layout and colours used on the paper that coincide with the brand values and colours.
- Envelopes/mailers- How we package things can make a big impact on the person’s experience when interacting with it. How colourful and easy to open the package is, is there an interesting use of typography. If the packaging of an item is beautifully presented and makes an impact the product itself could appear even better.
- Social Media- Social media can be a great tool to interact with fellow designers/ customers or advertise your brand. If you keep the tone of voice/images and colours consistent throughout all platforms , the brand itself will appear strong.
- Stationary- Stationery can be used as an additional item from the brand that can spread the brands relevance and awareness among consumers especially if done really well.
- Funding opportunities- Having a strong presenting brand can help when it comes to applying for funding for any of your future products.
- Wearables items- Wearable items can be another fun, additional item – like stationery, however you have a lot of creative freedom when it comes to items such as this; clothing, bags, shoes, sunglasses… anything you can think of and sometimes, the more out of the box the better. If these items are designed well in ways people would actually want to spend good money on it can help promote but also fund parts of the business
- Video idents- Video idents for your brand can include things like; animated loading screens, web titles and logos and these can be used to show personality to your brand and catch people’s eye.
- Office design- If you ever own your own studio, making the interior design of the space match your brand can really bring the whole brand together but also to life. It can be done in simple ways like painting walls or furniture the brand colours or it can be more innovative with the layout of the offices designed with the brand values in mind- maybe eye catching murals and lighting arrangements that fit the brands theme.
- Business cards- Business cards are an essential part of the brand, they are really useful for networking or getting in contact with clients. The design of a business card can really express the brand with its use of colour, layout and typography.
In this lecture we were asked to start designing our own business cards.
Before starting to design my card, I first gathered inspiration from examples of business cards on pinterest, you can view this here
My business card went through a lot of iterations, I started out with this:
I quite like the colour choices of this card and warm tone and more positive emotions they convey. I decided to use quite a lot of circles in this design to tie in with my wordmark but it all feels a little busy and distracting. The blue colour that I added in for contrast is adding even more to the design and overall I just think a lot of it could be toned down.
I still liked the idea of bringing in the theme of circles from my wordmark but I thought I’d just tone down the amount and colours in my next design:
In this design, I changed the colour choices to 2 solid base colours- green and purple, I think these colours work well together but the green doesn’t really fit in overall as its only used once. I think the amount of circles is still too much and distracts, it also doesn’t fit in as well as it did in the first design as I am using my monogram on the front side instead of just a wordmark. I liked the change in orientation, this was something I saw used before and I thought it was interesting and could catch user’s eye.
I think for my next design I will get rid of the circles idea and just strip everything back, create a much more minimal design:
I used the change in orientation again
This week I read 3 of Marty Neumeier’s books about branding. These are some of the main points I learned from each one:
The Brand Flip
In this book Neumeier explains what a modern brand model is. He describes it as;
- Company creates customers – using its products
- Creates brand – through purchases
- Brand sustains company- through its customers
These three things (Products, Customers and Brand) had been used in previous models but never in this order before as brands and advertising are always evolving. These days, “the product is no longer the innovation, the customer is” In today’s world a brand is all about the experience it can provide its users and creating loyalty through them, to sustain your brand and company.
The Brand Gap
Marty Neumeier describes a brand as “a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or organisation” People are intrinsically emotional beings and will buy on trust when it comes to brands. This really emphasises the fact that the brand really is what the customer makes it which is why it is so important to know your brand values and present them well.
He explain that when it comes to creating your brand it is important to focus on these four things;
- Differentiate- People are naturally to drawn to things that are different so it’s important to try to make your brand feel different to others. This always felt like huge task as coming up with a completely original brand seems impossible but Neumeier explained that there are smaller, simpler ways to do this. If you have a good idea of what your brand is, focus in on one thing about it to simplify your overall brand value. This makes your brand seem different because others may not have thought to focus on this thing in the same way or to the same extent as you.
- Collaborate- Collaborations are difficult and hard to organise but they are very needed when it comes to design. There are a lot of options when it comes to choosing and using collaborations and it is very useful when you pick the right style for you and your brand.
- Innovate- Your brand should feel distinct, easy to understand immediately and likeable. By focussing in one thing in the first point, it is already easier to make your brand more understandable as it cuts unnecessary information for customers to digest. To make you brand likeable I think comes down to the tone of voice you convey and how consistent it is with your brand values across all applications of your company. Consistency builds trust and I learned that trust and reliability creates delight in a customer.
- Validate- You should bring the audience in on your creative process as it makes them feel involved in the brand and makes the brand more trustworthy which can bring about a lot of loyalty from the customer. Along with this you should make sure that your visual marque is recognisable and relevant to your brand and field.
This is Marty Neumeier’s longest book and it basically encompasses the first 2 with some additional information.
In zag Neumeier talks about “Brand – Brand Combat” and how goes more in depth on differentiating yourself from the competition. He talks about how the barriers to competition today, lie within the mental wall customers build against clutter as we are all being bombarded with information constantly.
Something will take into account from this book is that customers prefer to be bought over being sold which emphasises the idea of not treating your customers as one object that you sell to but as a community that you let into your company and involve in the brand. Important things to note in finding success in your brand are;
- Finding a trend and riding that wave. Trends rise and fall constantly if you can fit your brand into a trend early enough it can differentiate your brand from competition and the popularity and relevance among consumers will rise with it.
- Finding who your are. knowing who you are and finding your passion in your brand can make the brand seem so much stronger and in return more trustworthy for customers.
- Strong brand purpose can simplify a lot of clutter and over-information that can happen when you are more unsure of yourself and your brand. Knowing your brand’s purpose and being confident in it, presents your brand strongly
- Changing assumptions allows you to take something that does exist but change it enough to feel new and different to a target audience.
- Building loyalty in your consumer base is very important, as stated before your brand is nothing without your consumer and loyalty makes the base and brand stronger.
- A strong brand name can go for amongst competition, something simple and effective is so much easier for consumers to latch on to and allows for the brand to be easily talked about to increase its relevance.
Overall I felt I learned a lot about the branding and advertising fields through these books but also this module alone. Neumeier’s books however did help explain how these concepts (logo, brand values, tone of voice) work in real life, in those respective industries. There’s a lot of thought and psychology that goes into how consumers (the public in general) will react to certain aspects of branding and how to use that to your advantage is all quite interesting to me. I feel like some brands appear closed off almost like they feel better than their consumers, learning that allowing your brand to have personality and an openness to it was almost thrilling to me as that is something I was trying to convey before I had read this and it is also something I enjoy in other brands.
Marty Neumeier has a lot of good advice in these books and presented them in a really easy to understand manner which I was grateful for as I was worried a more industry based book would be over my head but it was actual pretty applicable to the personal branding project we’re currently completing.