What is a brand? There are lots of ways to define what a brand is. I believe that a brand is simply the collective attributes by which a company or individual is and/or desires to be known for. Brand strategy involves defining those attributes and developing a plan for communicating those attributes clearly. A brand identity is the implementation of the brand strategy, communicating the brand attributes across a variety of visuals and touchpoints:
Voice & Tone
Social Media Presence
Print / Marketing Collateral
Websites / Apps
Design decisions must be tied to the overall brand strategy in order to raise awareness and present a cohesive, authentic message.
Legendary designer, Sagi Haviv maintains that there are three principles to designing a good logo. I would argue that these same principles are also the key to designing a meaningful brand identity:
1. Appropriate: The core idea, feeling or personality of the identity. An identity for a sports team might need to feel bold while a fashion brand might be aiming for elegance.
2. Distinctive: Memorable enough for someone to be able to describe it or doodle it on paper.
3. Simple: The design needs to be functional, easy to apply to a variety of surfaces and digital spaces. It also needs to be scalable, clearly legible even at small sizes. Complicated logos and identities will inevitably break down over time.
Larger brands with multiple offices or locations nationally or internationally may request a style-guide for distribution across locations to ensure consistent application of visual standards.