1. CONTEXTUAL BASIS
The brand profile
To generate the desired image for a brand among relevant target demos, all touchpoints – including website, business cards and publications, showrooms, work environment and the culture fostered within the company, as well as communications both internally and externally – have to be consistent and speak the same language. This is secured and steered through a corporate identity.
The contextual and strategic basis for the CI – and thus for the brand design – is the development of a company’s own brand profile. This step is where the brand’s character, values and objectives are made clear – with a constant eye to the wishes and expectations of the groups being targeted and to setting the company apart from competing market participants. Based on an analysis of the brand’s specified characteristics and the needs of the target demo, the brand profile defines
- Vision and mission
- Target demo(s)
The brand profile can then be used to align the components of a corporate identity that creates the guardrails for a holistic, coherent presentation of the company. The brand profile is an important first step in clarifying the brand’s role in the world – and then communicating it effectively.
We identify the brand’s strengths
We are convinced that a quality resides in every company, every brand, one that is fully unique. We identify these individual strengths and create a brand profile: either together in co-creative branding workshops or with a constructive/critical view from the outside. Whichever path you decide to take, the result for you is always a strategic basis for your corporate identity. And for us a valid briefing for the appropriate brand design.
Concept and draft brand design
Brand design is the direct, visible expression of a brand’s personality. It uses visual means to convey what the brand stands for, the posture, performance and competencies it embodies. Successful brand design has the power to impart a feeling for the brand at first glance: whether it is classic or innovative, whether it stands for skilled craftsmanship or digital expertise, whether it deals with sustainable products or complex processes.
It is how to create potential identification and projection points for the company’s competence, position and pledge of performance – both internally and externally. It sets the company apart from other market participants, i.e. competitors on markets for both sales and employment.
Such a public image therefore goes a long way towards determining how the company is perceived by specific target groups: customers, suppliers, associates and potential talent. This makes brand design an essential visual control instrument that can contribute to the sustainable success of a brand.
We shape brand personalities
We use the brand profile to create a custom-tailored brand design that makes the values and performance of your brand clearly discernible. Either based on your existing design that we optimize, hone and develop further, or as a visible image we invent anew from the ground up.
Elements of the brand design system
Brand design is a lot more than just a logo: to generate an image among target demos, the logo, or rather text/image branding, has to be embedded in an appropriate design context. To achieve this, we use the brand profile as a starting point from which to integrate the logo into a concept and a draft for the brand design that includes the following elements:
- Signet (“logo“) i.e. text branding / image branding / text/image branding
- Typography, house font
- Color concept
- Design pattern
- Design elements (recurring graphic elements)
Developing the brand design — 3 design routes
As part of our work to create a custom-tailored visual appearance, we usually draft three design routes. These always reflect the brand personality we have identified but do so in different ways: for instance by employing different color combinations, typographies, text/image branding. This helps us form a basis for our discussions with you — and gradually work out together a finalized brand design.
Using brand design: equipping business
What looks good in theory now has to pass the litmus test in practice: in this step, brand design is rolled out across all relevant media und touchpoints to generate a brand design that is consistent throughout: from business cards, letterheads and invoicing templates, compliment cards and brochures to labels and packaging as well as all spatial solutions, e.g. in the form of a pathfinding system. A dynamic image, self-consistent and properly applied, can visually anchor communications with the observer and develop it further.
Applicating brand design: website
We usually deploy brand design digital first: the implementation of brand design usually starts with a responsive website, the central communications and sales channel for most of our clients. Further means of communication are then worked out in the wake of the design developed for the company’s digital design. This is how we ensure that all media are designed from one source and thus, to those it targets, both clearly recognizable and attributable.
4. DOCUMENTATION AND FURTHER DEVELOPMENT
Setting the rules for use: Brand Design Manual
If the brand design proves its worth in practical application, rules for deploying all its elements are then documented in a Brand Design Manual or Style Guide. Clear and binding guidelines make processes efficient and prevent visual arbitrariness that runs counter to coherent brand management. With a Brand Manual, we create transparency for our clients as they continue to use:
- The logo / text-image branding with sizing, interspacing and safe zones in various media and formats, use in color and black-and-white
- Naming, use and allocation of core and distinguishing colors as well as permissible combinations
- Naming, use and allocation of fonts, font styles and combinations and sizes
- Definition and use of graphic elements as well as e.g. icons
- Image style, editing and image expression as well as positioning and combination with graphic elements
Your foundation for striking brand communications
Together with you, we are digging up a treasure — and putting it out into the world:
We offer you every step in the branding process: from working out the brand profile to the design and launch of the website.
At the end of the process stands – with brand profile, brand design, execution and a Brand Design Manual – the foundation for consistent communication, management and ongoing development of your brand.
Our seven rules for good brand design
Good brand design strengthens a brand’s competitive power. What makes brand design good for us? To answer this, we have seven rules inspired by Dieter Rams:
Good brand design is contextually well-founded
It is always based on the brand’s core, its culture, values and competencies.
Good brand design shows attitude
It uses it to create potential identification points for people: consumers, associates and coworkers.
Good brand design differentiates
Those with the courage to do things differently distinguish themselves from the competition – and show that they have confidence both in themselves and others too.
Good brand design is recognizable
It is so striking that the transmitter is identifiable even without a logo.
Good brand design is aesthetic
It appropriately applies the means of design inherent to the brand, its services and industry within their temporal context.
Good corporate design is holistic in thought
It tangibly reduces cognitive dissonances for coworkers, consumers, associates.
Good brand design creates clarity
It is self-consistent, comprehensible, modular and can be deployed across all media.