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Brand Identity Applications | Part One

January 9, 2015

Brand Identity Applications | Part One

The design of the core brand identity elements—i.e., the mark and the logotype—is only the beginning of the identity process. Marks should not be shown to the client until rigorous testing and exploration of the concept’s viability is complete. From the design perspective, what may work in isolation may not meet the rigors of an entire system design. Seeing a signature out of context on a blank sheet of paper doesn’t help sell—clients need to envision the possibilities.

Key applications that represent real future scenarios need to be identified. Frequently, these are outline in a contractual agreement. A typical list for a small engagement might include a business card, a home page, an advertisement, a brochure cover, a letterhead, and something fun like a baseball cap. On larger projects, the designer needs to demonstrate the effectiveness of brand extensions and the ability of the identity to work across business lines and markets served. In retail projects, the designer needs to explore how this identity would work within a retail environment and affect the customer experience.

Design exploration helps build a case for a particular design concept by demonstrating that it will support the marketing and communications needs of the company into the future. Flexibility, consistency, and sustainability are essential. The magic of an idea becomes real and easier to approve.

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