Anyone can launch a business today. But for the business to grow and for it to thrive in a competitive space, there is one especially important ingredient. And that is branding. Branding is an art that every entrepreneur needs to learn. And in this blog, we are going to talk particularly about graphic design for branding.
In the words of Seth Godin, “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. “
Put in simple words, how you see your brand and how your target customers see your brand are not always the same. Branding makes both these perceptions meet at a common point.
A whole lot of components go into branding. And one critical element among them is graphic design for branding. When people look at your business they do not just see what products or services you offer. They see how you offer them; how you position yourself in the market. And how your business is different from your competitors. That’s when they are convinced to choose your business over the others. Branding backed up by strong designs can help you achieve this.
The moment we talk about graphic designs for branding a logo is perhaps the one thing that most people think of. But branding goes beyond logo design. Though logo design is indeed the most crucial building block.
So, when we talk about graphic design for branding, what kinds of designs do you actually need? Let’s find out.
We’ll quickly go over the types of designs that you cannot take lightly when you are planning your branding strategies.
Without a doubt, this is one of the most critical elements in graphic design for branding. As a face that introduces your brand to your audience, your logo provides a sample of your brand’s style, personality, and even the quality of your products or services.
Imagine there are two brands, both of which you are unfamiliar with. But one has a poorly designed logo that has no clear message. And the other has a crisp logo that instantly evokes a strong emotional response from you. Which one would you choose? You are more likely to place your bets on that unfamiliar brand with a dapper logo, right? That makes the case for having a good logo design as the first step in planning graphic designs for branding.
Another critical piece of brand identity that can make or break first impressions will be your business card. Do you think business cards matter even in this digital era where people launch a business with the click of a button? Yes, they do. Business cards are tangible and that’s a unique dimension to explore especially in this digital age.
How you incorporate your logo, the tagline and other little details you add and the overall look and feel of your business card can all help strengthen your brand image. What’s more? You can add your social media handles, website address, and contact details so people will always have the option to come back to you later even if they do not immediately make up their minds about your business.
Graphic design for branding focuses mainly on customer touch points. That’s why packaging design is a vital aspect of this. Packaging design includes a myriad of elements. From the product packaging and labels to the packaging inserts and shipping boxes, every aspect of the packaging design can make or break the customer experience.
Aim at creating something unique, easy to open, and with the label clearly displaying all the essential information. Use colors to grab attention and prioritize legibility when it comes to choosing fonts for the design.
Graphic design for branding also includes the social media identity of a brand. Designs for social media for a brand range from custom images to illustrations, videos, and more. These are designs that ensure consistent engagement with customers. And they help widen your reach.
Moreover, many internet users discover brands on social media. And when they do, they visit the brand page to get an overview of the brand. In other words, your social media page will be their first encounter with your brand. Strong branding takes social media designs seriously. Because if your brand designs like business cards, website design, and other aspects do not look anything like your social media page, it’s not exactly strong branding.
Digital banner ads, video ads, and social media ads are just a few marketing designs that every brand needs for online advertising. Considering that a vast majority of people now use digital channels to find out about new brands or a product they wish to buy, digital designs of a brand now play a crucial role in the brand’s growth.
Your online advertising designs should all be consistent with your website or app designs. And there should also be clear links between these channels so that customers will be able to go back and forth when they need information or when they need to interact with your brand.
This includes all the promotional designs that are used to advertise the brand through offline channels. These designs matter because if what they see offline and online are not consistent it makes it difficult for them to trust your brand.
Offline advertising designs include brochures, flyers and newspaper ads, and even outdoor advertisements like billboards. Aligning your offline and online advertisement designs helps in creating a wholesome experience for your customers and shaping their perception of your brand one step at a time.
Finally, there is one other type of graphic design for branding that influences the way people look at your business and that is communication design. This includes all the communication emails that a brand sends to its customers. And traditional mail communication tools like business postcards and event invites.
Ads are intrusive since they reach customers when they are least expecting them. Communication designs on the other hand feel more personalized. When customers see a relevant email in their inbox or a mail that interests them in their mailbox, they might save it and go back to it later. So, these designs often contain a lot of information and need a lot of personalization if you want them to be successful.
Most businesses have all the above designs but not all of them have the same stance in the market. Why is that? It’s because for your branding designs to actually work, you should have a concrete plan in place. Here are a few things to consider:
Do not create a social media page just because your competitor has it. Define a purpose for the page. For example, have you seen Apple’s Instagram page? You will not see any Apple products featured there. The page simply shows off the brilliant images captured on an iPhone. It creates a sense of community while also highlighting the stunning camera performance of Apple devices.
Similarly, you should have a clear purpose defined for each social media channel and direct your designs accordingly.
Information about what your brand does will only be enough to bring people to you. But for them to explore your brand, interact with it, make a purchase and finally stick with it, you need to humanize your brand. After all, people love doing business with people, not merely big names in the industry.
When you define a personality for your brand, you are clearly laying down what your brand stands for. You are adding character to your business and bringing it to life so people will feel a stronger connection.
So, you have decided on the persona for your brand. You want it to be seen as “friendly” or “professional” or “funny” or “sophisticated”. But how do you ensure that people get these vibes? By clearly defining a tone of messaging for your brand and sticking with it. Formal, witty, using a lot of emojis – you can have your own style. But make sure that your promotional designs and social media designs all sound similar. That’s when you get the right emotional response from your audience.
Summarizing all that we have discussed so far, the best way to use graphic designs for branding will be to tell a coherent story with them. Stories help people better understand your brand and make it easier for them to trust it. Remember, graphic design for branding goes beyond aesthetics. Good design has a purpose to solve. So, being clear about where you want your brand to be going and then creating goal-oriented designs are the best ways to get better at branding.