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Titillating musings from the team at Graphica.

June 28, 2012

Elements of a strong visual brand

Businesses strive to have a strong visual brand. Everyone wants to have a well-known brand name like Apple, Nike, or Nordstrom. It’s a good thing to aspire to.

The cornerstone of a great brand is a strong logo. I once interviewed a potential designer who told me she could “cr_ _ out a logo or whatever I needed”. Well…there’s a lot to consider before “cr_ _ping” one out. It’s actually a lot harder than that. Here are items to consider when getting started. These apply to both new logos and refreshing existing ones. I’ve expanded on just a few topics below.

Appropriate
Does your logo reflect the tone and nature of your business?
Does it reflect your company’s values and mission?
Does it connect with your current and future customers?

Strategic
Does your logo map back to your brand strategy?
The decisions about your brand need to map back to your business plan. If they don’t then you need to reconsider your decisions. This of course includes logo development.

Reproduction
Can your brand live beyond one medium?
Will it look equally as good on printed collateral, websites, ads, a coffee mug, or perhaps engraved on a crystal statue?

There are many reproduction processes to take into account — commercial printing, screen printing, on-screen, etching. A logo that relies on a lot of color gradations will not reproduce well when embroidered on a company shirt. A logo with tiny details will not reproduce well at a small size, nor will it read well at a distance. A logo that contains more than two colors will be more costly to produce. For example, business cards are typically printed on a two-color press. If your logo is more than two colors, you will pay more.

Creative
Is it unique?
Will it make you stand out in a crowd?
Will it be memorable?
Your logo should be distinct enough that your company is top of mind with potential customers. A smart and creative logo will be more memorable. It will be a direct reflection of your company.

Consistency
Do you have brand guidelines to protect the integrity of your brand?
Is everyone in your organization aware of them?

Time
Will the final product stand the test of time or will it feel dated in a few years?

Cost
The brands mentioned earlier have one thing in common — they’ve spent a ton of dough on building their brands. It does take an investment — both time and money.

Craig Terrones

Craig Terrones Principal and Creative Director

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