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The Essentials of Brand Design

Brand design is the process of creating a distinct identity and personality in order to communicate and promote a business, organization, person, product or service. Today we will explore how it works and what it can do for you.

Because the term ‘brand’ itself refers to a very broad range of attributes, this identity goes way beyond the purely visual, spanning many different aspects of an organisation and its products or services and harnessing many different communication and design skills.

Presenting a consistent and coherent image to the world demands that many aspects of an organization are considered and designed so that they fit together as part of a whole. Conceiving and representing a brand is therefore a careful interplay between a number of design disciplines, ranging from strategic decisions, down to the choice of inks and paper used for stationery and packaging.

The following elements make up the general components of an overall brand experience:

  • Business strategy

  • Physical and virtual environments

  • Sales process

  • People and culture

  • Products and services

  • Brand strategy and identity

Brand design is therefore a much deeper and broader process than visual identity design, although graphics are often a crucial way of succinctly symbolising and evoking a brand and its associations. In fact, brands reach people via what many designers will call touchpoints, including:

  • Visual elements, including corporate identity and other graphics

  • Customer service

  • Product attributes

  • Physical environments

  • Print communication

  • Online/digital interaction

  • Language/copywriting

  • Packaging

  • Materials and their visual or tactile qualities

  • Form

  • Sound

  • Other marketing communications activity

So what are the benefits of spending time and money on your business' brand? Brands generate ‘sustainable value’ and ‘sustainable wealth’ for a business. Strong brands can exist ‘independently of whoever is running the company at any particular time’. However, if you’re trying to add value to day to day processes and costs, a business must think about its brand because it is a way of specifying and generating long-term sustainable competitive advantage.

In other words, brand design is a careful and deliberate management of all the ways a business reaches its end users or customers – and that includes its own processes, innovation and culture.

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