Designing and defining your business' brand identity is one of the most important ways that you can help it succeed. The companies that are memorable, trustworthy, and most importantly, making lots of money today are the ones with a strong and clear brand identity. Unfortunately, whilst this aspect of marketing is essential for success, there are still lots of businesses that get it totally wrong. Whether you're struggling a little with your logo, trawling through typefaces, or think you've got it all covered but want to make doubly sure, you're in the right place. We've pulled together the basic ideas behind branding and simplified them, with plenty of examples, so that you can make sure your brand identity checklist is all ticks.
A Typeface That Shows Who You Are
If you're still at the logo designing stage then this is one of the biggest factors you're going to have to spend time on. The vast majority of logos feature a typeface in one form and even those that don't, tend to be accompanied at some point by words. A lot of people point to Apple as an example of an iconic logo that doesn't require a typeface but think about the packaging on an iPhone. There's endless font on iPhone packaging. It's simple, sans serif, clear and concise, if you wanted to be arty about it, you could call it minimalist. This typeface fits perfectly with the image that Apple wants to portray. Apple products are designed to be simple and clear to use, their overall aesthetic is clean and minimalist. Every letter on that packaging, on the user interface of their products, on their website, their store-fronts, has been chosen because it neatly echoes the brand's core values.
If we go to the other end of the scale to Apple, there are brands that are a little more 'maximalist'. They want their name to stand out above the others, they want to be seen as fun, cool and edgy. Some of the master marketers in this sector are the people in charge of running the best online casinos. Vegas Slots Online is a casino provider that's branding is a classic example of this. Their typeface is chunky, capitalized, and features bold serifs on the key letters. They've replaced their period with a star, italicized the font, and chosen to use contrasting colors black and yellow, totally unlike Apple's shades of grey. The company wants people to know that fun is what they're about. The bold and bright yellow serves another purpose, to highlight the deals that they find for their customers. and point to the key sections of the website. By keeping their typeface sans serif and clear to read on the rest of the site, they position themselves as fun, but trustworthy. Clever green ticks draw the eye to the features of the sites that are listed, again making things easier for the customer. Instantaneous fun, at a trusted, good value casino is what this customer wants and by picking out the most important parts of the site, this company achieves that goal for them.
A Logo That Looks Good on Anything
There's no correct way to decide whether your typeface or your logo goes first, but you absolutely must make sure that they both work in harmony. We've discussed two companies above that have managed that with clever use of typeface, but let's look at one big brand with a bad logo, Asics. This sportswear label has chosen a good typeface. It's bold, streamlined, easy to read, and would look good on a pair of trainers. However, they've totally confused things by including their logo at the front of the lettering. The spiral or wave effect could look nice on a tee-shirt, but it makes the brand name look like Oasics, or Basics. It should go without saying that designing a logo that confuses people on your own company name is not a great idea.
Of course, Asics isn't the only one who's got this bit of branding wrong. There are loads of things brands do wrong on Instagram and one of them you're very likely to be guilty of yourself. One of the beauties of Instagram is that the layout is done for you, right down to the font. This is Instagram's branding. It is easy to read font, that is clear and concise, everyone knows that they're using Instagram. However, when it comes to stories, they bring out a whole range of fonts vaguely reminiscent of 90s Microsoft 'Word Art'. If you're telling your brand's story and using confusing fonts and weird filters, you're not getting your brand identity across clearly. Ditch the cursive fonts, stick to the one you've already decided on. If Apple wouldn't do it, then neither should you.