Friends of Distility often ask us what the key brand design elements of a project are. Since they (or their clients) can’t invest in defining a brand that works across all media, they instead define their brand’s visual identity through a single application – often a website – and they want to know which key design elements they should keep in mind before diving in.
What People Wish Was True
Many people who approach us are hoping for a sort of checklist: “Select your fonts, colours, style of imagery and you’ve got your bases covered.” But the truth is that it’s tough to fit these elements together in a way that actually wins space in the customer’s mind and isn’t visibly formulaic or shortsighted. If you don’t want to be rebranding a year later, you need more than a list of basic visual “stuff.”
Brand Design Begins With Strategy
At Distility, we start every brand design process with a look at our client’s competitors: how are they applying visual elements? We then look at other brands that may inspire the project and ask the same question. And while doing this, we keep our client’s brand purpose, promise, position and personality very, very close to our hearts.
From there, we develop a visual system that creates a consistent and compelling brand look and feel. And this is more than just a logo. It’s a whole order of design elements which, when combined, employ a certain logic to create a distinct and strategic point of view for the brand. If we didn’t do this, the full experience of our client’s brand would be compromised, because it would lack the ability to truly engage. And in this day and age, that means being forgotten.
Take a Step Back
So when our friends come to us with that question – “what brand design elements do we need to sort out for our website?” – we urge them to take a step back and rethink the use of brand in their overall business strategy. If they have no choice but to define their visual identity while (and not before) executing a project, it’s critical for them to hold high and mighty some key questions.
Key Questions About Brand Design Elements
- Are you trying to create a website, or an experience?
- Are you being strategic and looking at the best of your competitors?
- Are you looking at the best parallel industry brands for inspiration?
- Are you sure you won’t need to rebrand again in the imminent future?
We won’t leave you high and dry. Next week, we’ll put forward some of the visual elements we advise our friends on, with some key questions to help you evaluate the use of each one.