6 IN 60 // Six Insights in Sixty Seconds: BRAND IDENTITY GUIDELINEMay 24, 2019
1. Start with why
Why are you creating a logo or considering a logo refresh? It may be for strategic reasons such as a new brand, a name change, a corporate merger, or spin-off. Or, it could simply be the right timing and a desire to modernize, refresh, or simplify. Logo changes that are built on a differentiated brand positioning not only create a strategic basis for change, but also help to communicate your ‘why.’ Whatever the reason, telegraph your purpose, especially to internal stakeholders.
2. Evolution vs. revolution
Are you looking to refresh an existing brand identity or create something bold that’s a break from the past? Most corporate brand refreshes seek to modernize and simplify an existing logo leveraging or tweaking existing styles, typography, and color palettes.
Many logo design changes today are often modern simplifications to the current design that help improve or optimize the identity for digital deployment, e.g. smartphone/app usage.
3. Avoiding beauty contests
Design can be highly subjective so creating a brief (we call ours the ‘Design Blueprint’) creates strategy and structure to the logo design process. As noted before, a new brand positioning can be an invaluable foundation to help guide new logo design and to help eliminate personal preferences and subjectivity.
4. Name / type / symbol / color
A brand identity is about the inter-relationship between the above four elements. Our process focuses initially on font and symbol styles. Color exploratory comes last, once the final design idea is agreed upon.
5. Communicate and activate
It’s not just about creating a new logo and a style guide, a new identity should be the first step in thinking about how the brand can be activated more effectively across every customer touchpoint. A detailed brand activation roadmap and our BrandWheel™ (customer touchpoint map) can help create a framework for making smarter decisions about when and how to deploy the new brand to achieve consistency and coherence.
Make sure you build a team and invest the time and money to execute and activate the new brand properly.
6. Ignore the haters
New logos or logo changes always cause a big stir and draw scrutiny and criticism from media and social channels. It’s important to build support and advocacy for a new logo design, both internally and externally (customers, Wall Street, media). Make a clear action plan and communicate effectively based on how you answered #1.