Branding

Brands matter.

Brands help you sell more, with less effort, at a higher price than you could without them.

They are about every interaction between the thing you are selling and the people you are trying to sell it to. Brands are at their most powerful when they provoke emotional connections. The most valuable brands tap into timeless human truths that transcend the things they represent.

People and brands are in constant conversation.

Our job is to join the conversation and then shape it in ways that build all the emotional and transactional connections needed to make extraordinary things happen. Powerful conversations happen when you use the right tools to connect with the right people in the right places at the right times with the right impressions and feelings. We know that the quickest path to the wallet is through the heart. Whether we are creating a dialogue or simply trying to inform, we are stickiest when we remember first to engage and entertain.

Branding grid.

LOGOTYPE + SIGNATURE

A logotype is a word (or words) in a determined font, which may be standard, modified, or entirely redrawn. Frequently, a logotype is juxtaposed with a symbol in a formal relationship called the signature. Logotypes need to be no only distinctive, but durable and sustainable. Legibility at various scales and in a range of media is imperative, whether a logotype is silk-screened on the side of a ballpoint pen or illuminated in an external sign twenty stories off the ground.

A signature is the specific and nonnegotiable designed combination of the brandmark and logotype.

COLOR

Color is used to evoke emotion and express personality. It stimulates brand association and accelerates differentiation. As consumers we depend on the familiarity of Coca-Cola red. We don’t need to read the type on a Tiffany gift box in order to know where the gift was purchased. We see the color and a set of impressions comes to us.

Color creates emotion, triggers memory, and gives sensation.

TYPOGRAPHY

Typography is a core building block of an effective identity program. Companies like Apple, Mercedes-Benz, and Citi are immediately recognizable in great part due to the distinctive and consistent typographical style that is used with intelligence and purpose throughout thousands of applications over time. A unified and coherent company image is not possible without typography that has a unique personality and inherent legibility. Typography must support the positioning strategy and information hierarchy. Identity program typography needs to be sustainable and not on the curve of a fad.

APPLICATION

It’s important to choose a group of real applications to test the viability of concepts to work within a system. No mark should ever be shown on a blank piece of paper. Decision makers need to see the identity the way that a customer would see it. They need to see how it will take them into the future. Designers need to conduct rigorous testing before any concepts are shown and to demonstrate flexibility and durability.

Brand Objectives.

Design is an iterative process that seeks to integrate meaning with form. The best designers work at the intersection of strategic imagination, intuition, design excellence, and experience.

Reducing a complex idea to its visual essence requires skill, focus, patience, and unending discipline. A designer may examine hundreds of ideas before focusing on a final choice. Even after a final idea emerges, testing its viability begins yet another round of exploration. It is an enormous responsibility to design something that in all probability will be reproduced hundreds of thousand, if not millions, of times and has a lifetime of twenty years or more.

Logotype + Signature.

The best logotypes are a result of careful typographic exploration. Designers consider the attributes of each letterform, as well as the relationships between letterforms. In the best logotypes, letterforms may be redrawn, modified, and manipulated in order to express the appropriate personality and positioning of the company.

The designer begins their process by examining hundreds of typographic variations. Starting with the basics - for example, whether the name should be set in all caps or caps and lowercase - the designer proceeds to look at classic and modern typefaces, roman and italic variations, and various weights, scales, and combinations. The designer then proceeds to manipulate and customize the logotype. Each decision is driven by visual and performance considerations, as well as by what the typography itself communicates.

A signature is the specific and nonnegotiable designed combination of the brandmark symbol and logotype.