Identify the emotions your brand should invoke in the minds of your target audience.
Define the emotions and values you want to communicate with your visual brand presence.
Review the geographic scope of your brand to adjust for cultural differences in creating your brand identity.
Research how brand colors might be perceived differently internationally, and become familiar with different perceptions of brands people might have based on their country of origin.
Research your industry to understand how your competitors use logos, fonts, and colors to build their brand identity.
Industries tend to follow common design trends. Following those trends too closely may create ambiguity between your brands and others, while straying too far outside of norms for your industry might lead to confusion for your audience.
For example, many sports brands have mascots or crest logos, while most technology brands use a modern font or font combined with a symbol. While you should not copy another brand’s exact identity, staying close to industry standards can aid comprehension for your audience.
Choose a logo type that aligns with your industry standards.
Options include font only, font with meaning, font in shape, handwritten, initials, abstract graphic, silhouette, geometric symbol, illustrated symbol, detailed illustration, mascot, or seals and crests.
Examples of common logo types used by major brands include:
- Font only, like Microsoft, Visa, Nivea, and Ebay
- Font with meaning, like Zippo, FedEx, Amazon, and Pirelli
- Font in shape, like Martini, Samsung, Fisher-Price, and Levi’s
- Handwritten, like Kellogg’s, Disney, Miller, and Lee
- Initials, like CNN, HP, Nintendo, and Motorola
- Abstract graphic, like BP and NBC
- Geometric symbol, like Shell, Apple, and US Soccer
- Silhouette, like Nike’s Jordan Brand, NBA, and Puma
- Illustrated symbol, like Java and Schwarzkopf
- Detailed illustration, like ReMax
- Seals and Crests, like Starbucks, Mini Cooper, or the FBI
- Mascots, like Michelin, Quaker, and Mr. Peanut
If you are creating a new brand, look to create a font and symbol combination such that, as the brand grows, the font can disappear.
Choose a font that is a good visual representation of your brand voice and personality.
Traditional brands often choose fonts with sharp edges, which communicate strength and reliability. More rounded fonts are more playful, making them better fits for children’s brands. Avoid using cliché fonts like Comic Sans.
Choose up to three brand colors, based on how their psychological meaning aligns with the emotions and values you want to communicate.
Color increases brand recognition by up to 80%. Colors communicate direct meanings to your audience. Choose hues and combinations of colors that reinforce the meaning your brand is trying to convey.
Examples of color meanings include:
- Red: energy, war, danger, power, determination, passion, and desire.
- Yellow: joy, happiness, intellect, energy, honor, and loyalty.
- Green: health, growth, harmony, freshness, fertility, stability, and endurance.
- Blue: depth and stability, trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and sincerity.
- White: light, goodness, innocence, and purity.
- Black: elegance, formality, death, and mystery.
- Purple: wealth, loyalty, novelty, luxury, power, ambition, wisdom, independence, creativity, and mystery.
- Orange: happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation; also frequently associated with discounts.
- Grey: safety, tradition, also dirt and dullness.
The specific spectrum within these colors can give them further meaning. Pick colors whose meanings align with the feelings and emotions you want to evoke in your audience.
Check your logo, font, and color to make sure they match your core business values.
The business values established in your positioning and messaging as a benchmark to check that your visual identity matches your brand personality and voice.