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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Graphic design and business branding basics

Business identity contributes to brand equity
By Tiffany Olson

Your business identity is used to communicate your purpose to consumers and highlight what sets your products or services apart from those of your competitors. Establishing this identity is one of the most important tasks a company has because of its direct impact in regards to reputation and prosperity.

Whether you are operating a big corporate business or running a small locally-owned shop, you must have a strategy in place to promote your brand, and graphic design plays a large role in that. Integrating your brand identity throughout all aspects of your company is crucial for the consistency needed to develop consumer recognition. Here are some key steps to successful branding.

Identify your business brand

Whether your company is first forming its brand identification or working to redefine it, it's necessary for you to think ahead and answer the questions of what your goals are for the business and how you want to be viewed in the public eye.

This requires careful consideration, and for established companies, it also means taking a long look at the opinions consumers already have of your products and/or services based on your company's current image. Before you can settle on a brand, the appropriate research must be done to find out the desires, needs and habits of the kind of customers you want to attract.

Incorporate professional-looking graphic design features

After the concept of your brand has been developed, it's time to start incorporating it into all the elements of your business by using graphic design features. The first step to this is designing a logo. The groundwork for branding has been laid down once a logo is created. Your logo should be placed on all advertising opportunities, your website, packaging material, etc.

Because it will essentially become the face of your company, it's important to work with a professional graphic designer that is knowledgeable about the characteristics that a quality logo should possess. Just as a logo can benefit a business in many ways, one that is not appealing, doesn't translate well to multiple platforms, is too complex, isn't relevant to your products or services and was obviously not done by a professional can work against the positive image you're trying so hard to build.

Integrate your brand identity

Once your logo has been designed, you can begin to place it on different platforms where it's sure to get noticed and start to look at additional ways to integrate your brand identity through various aspects of the business. Every employee should be familiar with the message you’re trying to convey and expand on it through each individual customer or client interaction. Taglines should be memorable and concise and all materials containing graphic design features should be easily connected back to your company.

Some of the most successful businesses in the world have been built on branding strategies with quality graphic design at the foundation of it all. Always keep in mind that consistency and a clear message are vital to brand identification.

About the author: Tiffany Olson has a passion for blogging as well as graphic design. She knows the importance of good design and loves to help others gain knowledge on this topic. When she's not writing she loves to travel, do yoga and make art. 

Image licenses: 1. Alejandro Peters, CC BY 2.0; 2. Author owned and licensed.

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