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The Role of a Visual Vocabulary in Brand Identity Design
Visual elements are a major part of your business's brand identity design. The keystone of that design is the logo, but in many cases, the logo isn't enough to convey all of your brand attributes. A visual vocabulary is a way to reinforce and add to the messaging that is contained in your logo.
A company's visual vocabulary consists of the secondary design elements that are used in conjunction with your logo to form your brand identity. The visual vocabulary is composed of font styles, colors, shapes, layout conventions, backgrounds, photographic library, text treatments (such as taglines) and even the type of paper you choose.
These elements should be used consistently throughout your stationery set and marketing collateral and have the following 9 advantages over use of a logo and text alone:
? The elements of your visual vocabulary become a graphic language, which takes your viewer deeper into your graphics and materials. They add visual interest and continue to tell your business's story. They are another way that you can communicate about your business with potential clients and prospects, aside from the actual words and text about your business.
? Graphics in a visual vocabulary are a method of communication that's more quickly understood than text alone. A viewer can absorb the meanings of colors, symbols, photos, shapes and even font types much more quickly than by reading text. So, in cases where time is of the essence ? when you're marketing to busy people, creating motion graphics such as animations or commercials or designing items that people will quickly pass by, such as car graphics or billboards, this is an important consideration.
? Many people have a deeper emotional connection with graphics than they do with text. Customers will be more likely to form an emotional bond with your brand and company if you use more graphics, as opposed to just using your logo and text on a letterhead, business card, datasheet or brochure. Color and photography are two of the most effective visual vocabulary elements to use to affect this emotional brand connection.
? You can communicate some of the "personality factors" of your business through your visual vocabulary. You can make your company look more professional or people-oriented, more contemporary or traditional or communicate any of your company's values by varying the shapes, colors and fonts used as the surrounding visual vocabulary. So, if you choose your vocabulary elements carefully, the story of the personality of your company can be told through those elements.
? Using a visual vocabulary consistently throughout all of your corporate materials will automatically make your materials look more coherent, credible and professional, through the repetitive use of consistent elements.
? The right combination of visual vocabulary elements can also make your materials more eye-catching. When your materials are in competition with others ? in a stack of proposals, on a table with other brochures or even a postcard coming out of a crowded mailbox ? they'll have a better chance of getting noticed when they are designed with stunning and unique visual vocabulary elements.
? Forty percent of viewers better remember visual elements. A visual vocabulary will increase the memorability of your materials as well, since people will have more visual elements to remember in your materials.
? Elements of the visual vocabulary can reinforce your logo to help quicken the brand recognition building process. One common way that we do this is to use a large version of the company's logo, or a portion of the logo, as a watermark on the letterhead, business card, envelope or website. Not only does this vocabulary element effect add visual interest, but it will help to speed the time that it takes for your potential customers and existing clients to recognize and remember your brand.
? A visual vocabulary becomes a tool kit from which you can easily pull visual elements to create new marketing materials. If you have a business card and brochure and need to create a post card quickly, then many of your visual elements, such as color scheme, font styles and even layout and photograph choices can be pulled from the existing marketing materials and rearranged to create a new piece. This is especially convenient when you have a short time or low budget to produce new marketing materials.
The bonus function of a visual vocabulary is that when you're doing a special promotion, launching a new product or extending your services or product line, you can vary elements of the visual vocabulary or even develop a new set of visual vocabulary elements, to make the materials for your new promotion stand out. While consistency throughout a campaign is important, the elements of your visual vocabulary aren't as set in stone as your logo. This is especially effective when you work just with the colors and drawn elements and leave the text and tagline treatments the same. That way, your materials will still be partially consistent with your other company materials, but you can give your new product or promotion's materials a voice of its own.
Adding some visual vocabulary elements to your brand identity makes communicating with your audience easier, quicker and more emotionally charged. This gives you a highly effective way to increase your visibility and memorability. When used correctly, they can increase your credibility as well. They even can help add some personality to your brand identity and can make future marketing materials easier to develop. And, unlike your company logo, you can modify the visual vocabulary elements you use from time to time to spice up your business communications.
About the Author
Erin Ferree, Founder and Lead Designer of elf design, is a brand identity and graphic design expert. She has been helping small businesses grow with bold, clean and effective logo and marketing material designs for over a decade. elf design offers the comprehensive graphic and web design services of a large agency, with the one-on-one, personalized attention of an independent design specialist. Erin works closely in partnership with her clients to create designs that are visible, credible and memorable ? and that tell their unique business stories in a clear and consistent way. For more information about elf design, please visit: Logo design at http://www.elf-design.com
Logo Design - Branding - Brand Identity Guru
Do you have any idea how important your company logo is? Well you should. It appears on everything from your corporate identity system, brochures to your website, reaching customers, prospects, vendors and the press. In other words, your logo gets to everyone and as they say you only have one chance to make a first impression. Present yourself clearly and dynamically, and you'll look like a professional, even if you are a small company.
Im Just Starting, Why Do I Need a Logo Design?
Businesses eager to open often give little thought to their identity.With so much to get done, designing an appropriate logo hardly seemslike a top priority. However, this oversight can prove to be acostly error in the long run.
Brilliant Branding Builds Business
Branding is more than product recognition or a simple logo. It is the overall intellectual and emotional impression people have when they think of your company and its product. It is a strong and consistent message about the value of your business.
The Positioning of Success
Many businesses of today are often driven to compete striclty on price, quality, and features of their products and services. Companies who prosper over the long term don't simply offer the best deals, the best quality, or the most impressive bells and whistles. If you want to win big in today's cutting edge world of business, you have to begin by thinking differently and by challenging the status quo. Whether you are a new or an established business owner, these ten powerful strategies will position your company for big success. (1) Adopt the philosophy of "Givers Gain." In 2003, the members of Business Network International (BNI) passed over 2 million referrals to each other. Founded by CEO Ivan Misner, BNI is a business and professional networking organization that offers members the opportunity to share ideas, contacts and most importantly, referrals. Misner founded BNI based on the philosophy of "Givers Gain," which is the belief that in order to get business, it is important to first give business. One of the critical factors in achieving success rests in the ability to develop reciprocal relationships where two parties naturally refer business to each other on a consistent basis. "It's not what you know but who you know" has never been so true as it is in today's competitive world of business. For more information on Ivan Misner and his philosophy of "Giver's Gain," access an interview here: http://www.cvcommunity.com/utility/showArticle/?objectID=1452 (2) Focus on Soft Innovations In today's competitive marketplace, the old equation of spending more on advertising to increase profits it not working as it once did. In his latest book, Free Prize Inside, author Seth Godin, makes a strong case for using soft innovations as a way to get noticed in this crowded and noisy world. Soft innovations are the small yet insightful ideas that can take your product or service from good to remarkable. They are often hidden, and they usually solve a problem that is " peripheral to what your product is ostensibly about." At first glance, you think the soft innovation does not mean much, but once you have it in place, it becomes an essential part of your product or service. Examples of soft innovations include Starbuck's Cards, Dinosaur-shaped pasta for kids, and Amazon.com cutting its ad spend and offering free shipping with the money saved. For more information, read an interview with Seth Godin in Today's Coach here: http://www.cvcommunity.com/utility/showArticle/index.cfm?objectID=1524 (3) Re-groove! How do you operate when the heat is on? How do you respond to chaos? When new skills or new behaviors are needed, how do you respond? Knowing what to do and how to do it is one thing but being able to respond effectively and to keep your cool under pressure and on a consistent basis is a very different ballgame. As leaders in today's world, it is crucial to learn how to work differently and how to be able to shift and bend to meet expectations which here one day and gone the next. The half-life of a great idea or a new product or service has never been shorter, and it is up to you as a business owner to become masterful with reshaping strategies, adding new perks to old products, and to stay on top of your game in the face of dramatically changing circumstances. You may find that your strength of achievement was required to get your company up and running but that same strength is now squelching the creativity of your team. It's time to Re-Groove! It's time to unlock the incredible potential that is inside of you that is required to get the job done under present day demands. If you are dedicated to re-grooving (getting past the old worn out grooves of your past conditioning,) it is essential to work with a coach or trainer who can coach you through the new behaviors quickly and in real time. By learning to re-groove, you will be able to create incredible opportunities for your company and for yourself. (4) Make your brand a "state of mind" Are you winning when it comes to style, a smart and accessible mix of products and services, and first rate customer service? If so, Bravo! However, this is just a part of the equation of what it takes to truly succeed. In order to create a brand that is truly memorable, it is crucial for you to live an inspired life and to make your brand a "state of mind" for your customers. This state of mind could be a feeling of trust and confidence, a sense of well being, or a state of knowing that you are buying from a company who has your best interests at heart. This state of mind cannot develop behind the confines of the walls of your business. It grows and develops when you are in the middle of your potential buyers?in restaurants, traveling, checking out the competition, playing sports, tinkering with a hobby, having fun and lots of it! If you are living fully and in relationship with others, you will be re-energized every day and you will give your customers a vision of what an inspired life actually looks like, because you are living one! Your brand will become much more than your trimmings...it will become the connection that others feel when they think of you as a valued person in their lives. (5) Become masterful at mobilizing resources The ability to galvanize resources, both human and monetary, and to build effective and efficient projects with them is a critical component of success in today's marketplace. We are quick to look first at the monetary costs of a project and quickly get cold feet, when the reality is that we have valuable resources hidden in our personal and professional lives which may not cost a dime. Social capital is one resource that is one of the most valuable assets available to business owners of today. The term social capital emphasizes that very specific benefits are made available from the trust, reciprocity, information, and cooperation associated with social networks. The value of social capital is that people can draw on the wisdom of each other to solve common problems, especially as it relates to money, time, and resources. (6) Buck conventional wisdom In 1971, Rollin King and Herb Kelleher decided to start an airline that you might say?was different and a little bit quirky. They began with one simple notion: If you get your passengers to their destinations on time, at the lowest fare possible, and make sure they have a fantastic time doing it, people will choose you over a competing airline. This is the story of Southwest Airlines, who chose to move beyond the status quo by offering services and a sense of style that bucked conventional wisdom. With their focus on fun, games, and "Love Southwest Style," Southwest has made its mark with its strong focus on stellar customer service and conveniences such as allowing customers to proceed to their departure gate without stopping at the ticket counter, skycap, or self-service kiosk. Most importantly, Southwest has honed in on searching for important personal qualities in those they hire-- the perfect blend of energy, humor, team spirit, and self-confidence to match its famously offbeat culture. Southwest was once dismissed as a maverick, as their strategies seemed strange to the "airline powerhouses." These same powerhouses are now looking in awe at what this "maverick" has built. The strategy of originality worked?It had the sticking power required for success. (7) Become a Talent FarmWhen recruiting new employees, what are you looking for? Raw talent? Raw communication skills? Intellect? Athletic ability? Commitment? Skills? Flexbility? What about all of this and more? If you are a company who wants to operate at the leading edge, where change is the greatest and success is the goal, you will want to recruit the most talented group of people you can find?those people who are self- starters and who are living boldly in the world. By developing a "talent farm" culture, you can instill a mindset of excellence from the top to the bottom of your organization. This culture encompasses a deeply held belief that having high caliber people is crucial to your success. With this "talent farm" approach to recruiting, your company will also be required to recruit great talent every day. Successful businesses and organizations have a strong sense of what they are looking for, and they are always on the look for new talent and ways to retain them for a lifetime. (8) Embrace your core values What is it in life that you most value? Do you value beauty, leadership, creativity, stability, or family? You can choose to orient your life around your wants and needs or the list of things you feel you "should" be doing, but if you embrace your core values and build your life around them, you will find experience inspiration and joy at a level you never thought was possible. Whole Foods Market is one of the fastest growing supermarkets of today, because its commitment to fresh, nutritious products is a value that keeps customers coming back for more and employees happy, hard working, and committed. When you focus your business on doing what feels right and what fulfills you, you will have no regrets, because you have been true to the very core of your being. (9) Become a "white hot center" of influence A "white hot center" of influence is an organization or group that you most want your company to be aligned with tightly and in a relationship which is reciprocal. One connection into a strong center of influence can position your company to attract a stream of qualified opportunities. (Example: You are an interior designer, and you want to be in the middle of Southern Accent or Better Homes and Gardens Magazine.) In order to attract a "white hot center" of influence, you have to become what you want to attract. Be well educated, highly skilled, experienced, trained and innovative in your product development. Fill your network with other business owners who are up to big things in the world and who are experts in their respective fields. Attract talented people into your company, and tap each and every talent and skill available in your company. As you begin to raise your bar in all areas of your business and enhance your network, you will eventually become a "white hot center" that will attract others by the thousands. (10) Just Begin! Start where you are, and begin today to create success in your life. Drop the excuses, reasons or people to blame, dis-empowering attitudes and behaviors and get on with the business of living the life you know you were born to live. Do what you know you want to do, and do it with passion. Begin today to create the tomorrow you want. As Peter Drucker said, "The best way to predict the future is to create it"
Trademark: Do I Need One for My Business Name and Logo?
Wondering if a trademark is important to you as a business owner? Let's start with the basics. A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, or logo that distinguishes and identifies the source of goods of one company or person from another. For example, the name Kraft is trademarked, as is Nike's "swoosh" logo.
Into The Limelight
To stand out in a cluttered world, become a recognized expert
Naming Names... How to Name your Business
Sometimes the best inspiration comes from hearing about the deconstruction of other company's names. For you, I am happy to share how I came up with "Slice A Day :: your slice on marketing"... First the purpose and vision of my site was to have people volunteer some marketing stories...true case studies of business owners and how they promote business. Then gathered the supplies for brainstorming. I had a sheet of paper, pencil and a dictionary/thesaurus. Let the brainstorming begin!I love really clever, catchy and visual names. It comes from having a web design and creative background. The AIGA.org hosts a local networking event called "Brew" with the tagline "where ideas perculate". I loved it! And to mimic it's genius, here is where that spark of inspiration took me.::: Start List :::? "grill - where ideas sizzle" ? "water cooler" ...sidenote: i thought that's where people really talk openly ? "feedbag - serving up ideas" ? "your market draw" ...sidenote: i don't know how i got here ? "evoke" ...sidenote: now i'm just writing words, synonyms ? "persuade" ...sidenote: this is where the dictionary & thesaurus come in? "convince"? "share"... a few minutes pass by... a few more minutes pass by? "Slice-A-Day.com" ...sidenote: visual images of pie and cake ...sidenote: slice is a portion of a bigger piece...hmm? "Share Your Slice On Marketing" ...sidenote: tagline that explains and supports vision ::: End Brainstorming List :::
Franchisor Policies for Unlicensed or Sold Territories
Franchisors often have issues when they own a brand which has service vehicles; where franchisees wish to operate in non-franchise assigned territories. We had this as a re-occurring issue in our franchise system. We came up with this policy, which is also in our Confidential Operations Manuals. Here is a sample policy for our franchisees:
Brand Building 101
Building your brand into a brand leader isn't easy. There are 2 areas that can really help you grow your brand, passion and consistency. Passion is incredibly important. You have to understand that even if you are a start up or a one-man operation, or are well on your way, you are still a brand. You have to care passionately about the way your brand is nurtured, developed and presented to your target audience. Everything that leaves your building, every impression that your staff and your company make, is lasting. Take advantage of this opportunity to get your customers and potential customers to remember you in the way that you want them too!
Are You Brand Worthy? Are You Brand Worthy?
Branding is a one hot topic, although it is wildly misunderstood. To make things even more confusing, branding is often tossed in the same basket as marketing which makes its application to an entrepreneur or sole-practioner even more unclear.
The Big Uneasy: Clearing the Clouds of Guess
People often come to me to assist them with developing their brand because they are unable to accomplish the business success they desire. They're experiencing what we call the Big Uneasy--the state of being when things are hard. They are stuck in an idea, unable to make it happen, and dreams are unfulfilled. Life is heavy, there's a lack of flow... the Big Uneasy has taken over.
Speech on Branding from a Franchisor Founder
I was asked today by a group of students; What do you feel is the best way to build brand name and why? And what significance do you feel are relevant to a strong corporate identity?
The Importance of Branding - Can It Really Make a Difference?
As consumers, we don't really think about the importance of branding. We just seem to go with the flow of brand names that have become synonymous with our daily living. But the impact of a name reinforces the importance of branding when we promote our business. Think about one of the world's most popular athletic shoe companies, Nike. The importance of branding is exemplified by the fact that when you hear Nike, you think athletics and "Just Do It." A great brand name and association has catapulted Nike to the top of its industry.
Brand Identity - Corporate Identity and Brand Value
Companies work hard building the strength of their brands - it is critical to the ongoing brand management process to have meaningful and actionable data-driven measures of these efforts.
Branding Your Products Is Important
I was chatting with a couple of friends, all of us are either copy writers or graphic designers?or both?.in the advertising industry, so, naturally, our conversations leaned towards the topic. This one particular friend who works in an American advertising firm is now an Art Director, so, needless to say, he considers himself a notch higher than us mere freelancers and employees. After all, he is the one person who decides on the direction of a whole advertising campaign. He is also in-charge of a couple of large International brands of products. And during this conversation, he told me about this story that inspired me. He says that branding is so important to a product that it can either make or break a product?or even the company.
Positioning and Branding - Brand Identity Guru
Where is your brand positioned in the marketplace? How is it perceived, both positively and negatively? Can you identify your brand's core strength's and equities? What are the barriers or threats standing in the way? A brand strategy company will provide you with an objective assessment of your brand.
The Art of Successful Branding
Branding: it's a term that carries great weight in the world of advertising. Successful branding is best illustrated by the world's most prominent corporations, but it's no less important to the small business owner. Your Brand is your identity; it's every single puzzle piece, fitted into the big picture of your company. From your name and logo to your business philosophy and corporate mission; from your advertising campaign message to your design elements; from your products and services; all that is owned, produced, stated, sold and marketed by your company falls under the broad heading of your Brand.
Effective Public Relations Essential for Personal Branding
Move over pop star "Posh Spice" Adams and English soccer hero David Beckham, the personal branding power of newly engaged Australian celebrity sports couple Lleyton Hewitt and Rebecca Cartwright could be worth up to $100 million dollars.
Brand equity can be defined in many different ways. I have developed a simple, yet powerful, definition of brand equity. For a brand to be strong it must accomplish two things over time: retain current customers and attract new ones. To the extent a brand does these things well, it grows stronger versus competition, and delivers more profits to its owners.
All About Branding
In this article i will explain how you can make your brand an succes.
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