Although logos are generally considered the entirety of a company’s brand, they are actually really more of the tip of the iceberg. A well-designed logo is important, but a brand’s visual identity includes much more. If you are contemplating a brand redesign, consider how a more holistic approach can add value and longevity to your overall brand.
Your logo is only the beginning
Your logo and visual identity system go hand-in-hand. A strong logo makes it easier for your target audience to recognize and remember your brand. But a less cohesive visual identity system can undermine a good logo. Since a logo (even a great one) is only part of your overarching brand, it can be equated with a poorly articulated visual identity.
What is a visual identity system?
A visual identity system is a collection of graphics, colours, fonts, icons and imagery that includes your logo in your brand guideline. When used and deployed consistently, these guidelines become the visual identity associated with your brand. Your logo is the first impression your audience sees, while your visual identity system is the personality behind your brand and logo that reinforces your message. Read about the importance of creating clear brand guidelines.
Best practices for creating a resilient visual brand identity
To ensure your brand is resilient over the long term, here are a few tips from Ext. Marketing’s creative team:
- Do some upfront work
• Brainstorm with your internal team to share your company’s vision and what you are hoping to achieve by creating a strategy document.
• Research logos and visual identity systems that you like (and why) to guide your creative team.
• Look at competitors and other creatives to see how they are being perceived compared to how you want to be seen.
- Bring ideas back to the strategy document
• The first step in creating a logo starts with a meeting between you and your designers. Before the designers can visually represent the brand; they need to understand your organization’s vision and personality.
• If you want a logo that stands the test of time, think beyond immediate timeframes, and focus instead on where you want to be in five years.
• Your logo’s value should address all key strategic elements.
- Try to avoid design fads
Some recent trends in design include “retro” concepts or gradients that might look great now, but they could quickly date your brand.
- Accessibility is key
People need to clearly see your logo. How discernible is it? Does it stand up with contrast checkers, across all mediums? Read more about the importance of accessible design.
Time for a redesign?
If you think your visual identity does not ideally encompass your brand personality, strategy, or your company has evolved and your logo is no longer an accurate representation of your company, this might be the right time for a redesign or refresh. This is especially true if your logo looks dated, or if there are technical issues and it doesn’t perform well either digitally or in print.
Although you can choose to completely redo your logo, a thorough logo or visual redesign could mean you’ll lose your hard-earned brand equity and recognition. You might want to do a refresh to elevate your logo, rather than a complete redesign. Or you might keep the logo as-is, and update the visual identity system for a brand refresh (while maintaining your brand equity).
Brilliantly designed marketing material – whether it’s a brochure, website, pitchbook or anything else – doesn’t just happen. Developing stunning visuals that truly differentiate brands requires design thinking, or a strong methodology for developing creative ideas.
Whether you are an emerging manager kickstarting your brand or an established firm ready for a redesign, Ext. Marketing is the financial services marketing and brand consultant that can help your investor-focused brand succeed long-term. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.