I often get to work with clients who have never owned a business before and they come from various backgrounds not linked to design at all.
I noticed a lot of them feel overwhelmed and are not sure where to start when deciding on their brand’s visual direction. Some of them will not even know what a brand direction is.
In reality, every business has a brand identity. Some businesses spend huge budgets to get an outstanding design service and they will have a creative director deciding visual brand direction for them. Some businesses are not aware of this aspect and will never develop a strong visual identity.
Other businesses, especially start-ups will not have a budget to hire a designer to create their brand identity.
So I’m going to explore what you can do if you are in this position and you still want to have your brand identity designed professionally or at least source affordable ready made assets yourself. And of course I’ll provide some examples why great design can help you create a brand that is memorable and outstanding.
Firstly, a great brand design communicates clearly what is your business about. Brand design should present your business core values and DNA. Are you an ethical brand? Are you selling luxury goods? Are you a service provider? When someone looks at your logo, website or Instagram page, they should immediately understand what is your business about.
If the viewer does not create the link in their mind immediately – that means your design has failed and it is not functional. Basically you have wasted your money on creating a visual brand identity that does not serve its purpose..! Sounds gloomy, I know, but there are ways you can prevent this from happening.
Another thing you should be aware of is AUTHENTICITY. People frequently follow trends or copy other designs without understanding if those trends/designs are suitable for their type of business. Another new trend I noticed is using pre-designed logo templates.
This option can be really great for hobbyists or start-ups with no budget but frankly if you don’t choose a correct style template it will do no good for you. For example, I noticed a trend of using hand illustrations for your logos. There are sooo many brands out there using hands as part of their logo these days.
This trend simply became oversaturated, dull and repetitive. You want to avoid design elements that have been overused by others and have no connection to your business. Unless you are a nail technician, you work with your hands or let’s say you’re a ring designer, avoid it. How is a hand illustration relevant to your business? It is probably not! It’s simply a trending element with no meaning and it does not serve your brand.
Image source: amber&ink
So before you get even more overwhelmed about making decisions for your brand identity design, here’s a checklist to guide you through the process step by step.
How to plan visual direction for your brand?
1. Investigate core values and ethos of your brand. Create a list of words that describe them well. These words could be: Ethical, sophisticated, friendly, established, start-up, pioneer, feminine, cruelty-free, minimal, accessible, affordable, luxury, timeless, contemporary and so on.
2. Once you’ve created a list of at least 20 words write descriptive words next to each of them. For example: if you wrote ‘Ethical’, descriptive words could be ‘Organic, fair trade, slow, transparent, open, green’ etc.
3. Now you have your brand’s DNA in front of you. The next step is to start collecting visual ideas and create mood boards of your future brand. Choose images that represent those words. Images can be inspirational like photographs, illustrations, other brand graphics etc. Or informative such as colour palettes, font examples, formatting ideas, paper and packaging images etc.
4. Once you have your mood board you can engage a designer and provide them your research, brand DNA descriptions and personal ideas. A good designer will be able to interpret your vision and ideas into a strong brand identity. Alternatively you can source open license graphics if you have a low budget on websites such as Creative Market
Download the checklist below:
If you still feel not sure how to proceed with designing your brand identity why not to schedule a free 15 min consultation with me? I have designed many brands including my own and I would love to help you on your journey.
Here’s my previous clients feedback about working with them on their brand identity:
"I am so BLESSED to have found her! I am a newbie and totally needed her guidance to create super polished and professional branding for my business. You will feel very confident with your new branding from her. I am so grateful and thankful for her!" - Cathy Gruss, www.visionpartying.com
"Working with Viktorija has been amazing so far and I hope our work together is just beginning with these beautiful brand guidelines. She coached me to better understand what I was asking for, and was so patient with me as I firmed up exactly what I wanted. The final product is absolutely custom and unique. I love it!" - Rachel Weber, Groovy Butter
"Viktorija was wonderful to work with. Her designs are beautiful, she followed the brief really well and any work and revisions were delivered perfectly on time. I love my new logos and colour scheme, which I will be using to rebuild my website. I am so pleased to have chosen her to help me with my rebrand. " - Alexandra Wenman, Author and healer www.precious-wisdom.com