5 Top Tips for Awesome Identity Design

By Gareth Robertson

 

 

Getting your identity right in business is essential. Whether you are setting up a new business or rebranding an existing company, the core elements that make up the corporate identity are just as important as choosing the right accountant, getting the proper insurance cover or listing as limited or sole trader. Here are our 5 top tips for getting your identity spot on…

 

1) Understand what a Brand, Identity and Logo are…

Knowing how these three elements work together is vital. A brand is a perception of your business formed in the minds of your customers, you can only control this by executing your identity in line with your vision for your business. An identity is formed of the tangible graphical items within your business – uniforms, stationary, website, social media imagery, signage, vehicle livery and of course the logo. The logo is a single mark or icon that embodies the whole of the identity in one identifiable mark. All three work in tandem and it is important to understand this as well as having a clear vision for where you want to position yourself as a business and a brand.

 

2) Understand that Every Business Already has a Brand…

Even the smallest business has a brand. They might not know it, they might not have tried to establish it or cultivate it to where it is today but they have a brand nonetheless. Some businesses that I come across insist that they don’t have a brand, and they “concentrate on getting the job done”; but that statement in itself creates the positioning of a brand. Replace the word “Brand” with “Reputation”… Now, every business has a reputation and every business wants a great rep. Your reputation IS your brand; whether you like it or not in some cases. Think about your reputation and brand, how do your customers perceive you to be as a business? Why do they choose you over competitors? Try and describe your reputation and brand in a single sentence; this sentence will become your Customer Value Proposition and should summarise your reputation/brand feel and ethos.

 

3) Don’t DIY your Design Work…

In my experience, a plumber is a plumber because they’re great at fixing boilers, pipes and leaking taps. Generally, they’re not great at drawing up the critical core elements of a corporate identity that will help shape their brand and reputation as a high end plumber and gas engineer, looking for contract work with corporate building and property developers in the London region. A graphic designer however, will understand the market that the plumber is trying to break into and they’ll be able to paint a picture through a new identity that will add legitimacy and credibility to a small business looking to work with larger corporate entities. I’m a designer and if my tap was leaking, I’d get a plumber in to fix it because I’m great at designing logos but rubbish at fixing taps!

 

4) Be Prepared to Spend Cash to Get it Right…

It is vital to find a designer or design team that you’re comfortable working with. Designing an identity for a business is a two way process involving the client and the designer. The client provides the critical review on something that has been lovingly crafted by the designer. Designing something unique and eye catching  will take time, skill and patience to get right so you must enjoy working with your designer and you should be prepared to pay for their creative eye, drawing and technical skills and experience. Very occasionally, we have our identity design prices questioned by clients. I am 100% confident that we are very competitively priced against other local creative agencies and my response to queries like this is whatever we design will be at the forefront of the business for anything from six to ten years; which actually represents exceptional value for money.

 

5) Don’t be Afraid to Take your Time…

Your identity will be at the forefront of your business for the best part of a decade; and possibly longer. So take your time to explore all possibilities and make decisions after digesting all options presented by your design team. Designers appreciate clients who value the work they do, so being diligent and careful with your decisions will fill them with confidence in you as a client and inspire them to go the extra extra mile for you! Every identity design project needs to be delivered in good time but there is no point in rushing anything through at the sake of speed or saving money. Get it right once rather than pay for it twice.

Author:
Gareth

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