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Building Brands – Visual Identity

In last month’s issue we explored the topic of visual identity. We examined the idea that a brand’s visual identity is far more than just a logo and that visual identity is created based on the study of a brand’s strategy and its values and traits. However, the most prominent identifier of a brand is its logo. When we think of logos we think of things that we like or even that we dislike. Designer, Martin Lambie-Narin sums it up succinctly – the logo is capable of assuming a life of its own. If we are exposed to it often, it becomes familiar; if it reminds us of a desirable purchase, it points to satisfaction and pleasure; if it is associated with activities we enjoy, we support it; if it promotes charitable acts, we revere it and if it conjures memories of a by gone era, we take it to heart.

Logos have the potential to become representative of personalities, they can become signifiers of many different things and as such they live a life of their own.

But where do you begin when creating a logo for a brand and perhaps even more challenging, creating a logo for a brand that already exists? Here we will go through some of our key steps when creating a logo.
Research – The initial phase of a project is spent conducting intense research. We need to understand your brand as well as your competition in order to set us on the right path to a solution.

We will assess and critically analyse the information that we gather in an attempt to identity what logo design will best suit your business.

Think bigger picture – while we focus on the logo design we remind ourselves that we need to stay versatile and flexible and consider how the logo will interact with the many different platforms and scenarios that it will need to appear in. From business cards to packaging and pens to vans, we are constantly thinking about how the logo lives and breathes.

Typographic consideration – Many of the world’s most recognisable brands are word marks which rely entirely on typography to convert their message. Typography plays a major role in any brand. Careful consideration is given to the typeface that we choose.

Typographic solutions provide lots of room to explore the brand’s personality, be it a minimalist sans serif modern typeface or a dramatic, curvaceous traditional serif font, they can also be tweaked and refined to further communicate a message. Take for example a recent client rebrand we completed, Cogs & Marvel.

Their logo is comprised of a combination of typefaces. This solution reflects the nature of their business, they are an events agency that combine their renowned logistical capabilities with their wildly creative execution. The emphasis has been placed on the & to highlight how Cogs & Marvel unify these two opposites.

Typography also allows for the exploration of purely unique and custom designed logotypes such as the famous Coca Cola logo as well as a combination of letterforms to create distinctive monograms, think the luxurious interlinked Cs of Coco Chanel, a now iconic identity for the famous fashion house.

Organisations can also employ colour as a tool of identification, possibly for separate areas of a business. Take for example, our recent rebrand of the Osprey Hotel in Naas, Co.Kildare.

The identity was based on the unique architecture of the building and a strong dynamic visual framework was divided for the logo design. In order to differentiate the identities we utilised colour, this carefully considered palette provides cohesion while also allowing each identity to live and breathe individually.

Research, thinking big picture, typography and colour represent the core aspects of a logo development but there are many other elements involved in creating an overall brand identity. These points aim to give a general overview of the topics we explore when we are engaged in a logo design process. In today’s immensely visual society the creation of a well-designed and considered identity is arguably more significant than ever. Make sure to revisit us next month to find out more!

Article by: Eva Shortt


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