Branding - Design Elements

A brand is an abstract concept. It is really something in the minds of your buyers and potential buyers. How do they think of you? What is your reputation? What do they think you do?

It is communicated mainly by consistent words and visual elements (other senses can play a roll. Think the sound of a Harley motorcycle).

Many major brands are known by their logo - the McDonalds golden arches, Rolex's stylized crown. See the three pointed star and you know Mercedes is being referred to - and that is a prestige, well-engineered luxury automobile.

People often think the way you start to establish a brand is with a great logo or other design elements.

In fact, those logos meant nothing until the brands were established. FIRST you know that BMW means "the ultimate driving machine". THEN you know when you see the BMW logo you are looking at a vehicle that is going to have superior power and handling.

Nevertheless, if you are going to build a brand, you need to establish design elements that are appropriate and use them with consistency. Then over time, they can come to mean something:

  1. Name.
  2. Type style.
  3. Logo.
  4. Color scheme.
  5. Any particular shapes, illustrations or images.

Of all of these, name is most important. If your name isn't memorable, your branding isn't going to be salvaged by a fancy logo.

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