Do you want to be a professional designer? Are you looking to make the transition from an amateur to someone who works on viral campaigns? Wondering how to make the jump?
Well, the first thing to know is that the biggest difference between an artist and a designer is that a designer has the responsibility to convey a message, to celebrate a brand, and to emotionally connect with the audience.
When you know this, you know how to turn simple art into graphic design that can stop anyone in their tracks.
Even if you are aware of the basic schematics of graphic design, do you know what it takes to create a branded design? We’ll answer that in this blog.
Before we get to the questions, let’s take a step back and understand what a branded design is. Knowing this and understanding what separates it from other types of campaigns can help you approach this topic with ease.
Let us consider that you are creating a mockup for a water bottle ad. The mockup design will include the design elements that celebrate the product, the image of the product, and a soothing color scheme that can invite attention.
But if you have to turn this into a branded design for a campaign, you have to pick colors, fonts, and design elements that celebrate the brand’s visual identity. No generic design will work here. Whatever you pick, it has to come together to remind the audience about the brand and connect emotionally with the brand’s specific target audience.
A well-designed branded campaign makes it easy for the customers to pick the products off a supermarket shelf or recognize an advertisement if they see it on a moving bus. That’s how powerful a branded design can be.
A branded design is all about imprinting the brand’s identity in the minds of the consumers. So, the design you create will be a visual representation of the brand you work with. The branded design you create helps the brand shape its brand image. In short, branded designs of all kinds play a pivotal role in branding.
So how do you begin?
Before you get to the drawing board, sit with your customers and get to know them.
Wondering what to ask? Here is a list of questions to get started with.
Branding designs are indispensable in a business’s branding efforts. So, to ensure that you create branded designs that align with your client’s expectations, you need all the information that helps. And the below questions help you gather the essential insights to make the design collaboration better.
Have you ever worked on a design project and then the client feedback is mostly that the design is not consistent with what they had in mind? While this is understandably vague to cause frustration, stop for a moment and think about why the feedback is coming up now. Well, this is because the design came before exploring branding guidelines.
Every business owner or brand has a set of guidelines that they go by whenever they have to represent a brand. Their chosen colors, the logo size, the font usage, and so on. These put together in a document are known as branding guidelines or brand style guides. So, before you even attempt to begin the design, ask for this document.
If the brand does not have one, then create one for them. This will make your work easier and make the client appreciate you too. Moreover, with the brand guidelines in place, even if you work with the same client in future, for additional designs, you’ll have a clear foundation to work on.
You have the guidelines but you cannot possibly create a design that connects and resonates with the brand without knowing the story. So dig into it and ask questions that tell you more about the business, the product, and the goals of the campaigns for which you will be creating the designs.
Having the answers to these queries can help you understand consumer mindset and also understand how to bring the brand story to life.
Storytelling is a significant part of any branding or marketing campaign. Get the story and you are 90% through. Because the brand story helps you understand the kind of emotional impact the brand wishes to create and thus you can create designs that are emotionally appealing.
Now that you have a pulse on the brand, it is time to get into the specifics. Good design is subjective, yes, but historically we have seen that one design style appeals to a particular section of audience while completely putting off another. So the key to creating what can be called good design for a brand is to know their target audience.
Gen Z and Millennials have very well-established preferences in color, design style, and even font. This goes for Boomers, Gen-X, people of a particular culture, race, and religion too. By knowing who you are designing for, you have a better chance of getting the message across to them.
So ask your clients about the target audience. Don’t stop with age and gender. Get to know their likes, dislikes, trends the target audience follows, and references they get. What if you created a branded design incorporating a popular pop-culture reference that feels totally irrelevant to the target audience? The design does not perform as expected! So, discuss with your client and understand their target audience clearly before starting the branded design.
Design has one job, we said. That is to get the message across. Designers use visual hierarchy, color theory, and design psychology as tools to make that happen. But you must know what customer search intent and the brand’s intent with a particular design is, to do so.
So ask your clients about intent so that you know if you have to highlight the product price or the features. This can have a major impact on the success of your design.
In fact, intent goes beyond visible factors like product features. It also talks about what the brand wishes to achieve with that particular branded design. For example, is the design meant to bring back an old customer? Or is it meant to convert a potential lead into a customer? When you know the role the branded design is to play, you can approach the design from a clearer perspective.
As a designer, when you know how to tackle branded designs, you can tackle most kinds of design projects. Because, unlike open-ended projects, branded designs come with strict guidelines and requirements. With all the essential information you gather, you can create designs that meet your client’s expectations.