If you already have a business or project, or if you are going to do something about it, you need a logo and a visual identity to position yourself on the market in front of your customers. Therefore, you will probably need professional help in creating the above.
Whether you decide to hire an agency, a freelancer, or a friend who knows a little bit of graphics, you need to know some basic information that you should discuss so that the collaboration to be productive.
Visual Identity of a Brand is a complex thing that contains the core values, vision, message and mission of the brand transposed through design. The starting point, of any visual identity is the logo, which we find all around us, is already impregnated in our lifestyle in one way or another.Although this is extremely important and gives the tone of the whole visual identity, it will never be used for itself, because its role is to be easily identifiable with the person, service, product or business for which it was created, it is his role.
There are some basic rules for creating a logo, rules left by one of the world’s most respected graphic designers: Paul Rand (university professor, art director, graphic designer, known for creating logos, especially for such as: IBM, UPS, Enron, Morningstar, Inc., ABC and NEXT by Steve Jobs, etc.)
Paul Rand exposes 7 questions through which any designer can figure out whether the logo he created is a good, sustainable one, and it is important for you as a client to know what to ask your graphic artist. The questions are as follows:
- Is it distinctive?
- Is it visible?
- Is it adaptable?
- Is it memorable?
- Is it universal?
Will it resist over time? (here it is meant not to be built based on a current trend, but which may, over 1 year, be totally expired, therefore the inappropriate logo)
And the last question, but not neglected, is it simple enough?
Once your designer responds positively to these questions, you are safe, and you know that your logo is or will be a quality one. Of course, although what I’m going to write is a cliché, the rules are also made to be broken (but you must know them before you can do that) and they should not hinder anyone’s creativity.
For the job to be technically good, it is also important how the logo is taught, it must be made in editable vector format (so that it can be scaled to any size).
Beyond the logo, for any kind of business, person, product, there is the possibility of having an identity manual or at least some instructions around which you can build the visual identity of your brand.
This is particularly useful if you work with external collaborators. Receiving a document of this type, besides automatically positioning yourself as a professional, you will ensure that you respect the values of your brand and the desired message will be transmitted through the visuals, without being used incorrectly, plus you will ease work to you and those around you.
There are some basic elements that anyone should keep in mind when it comes to Brand, such as:
The color of the logo, if used in a single color or color variations, as it should be used in the background against the dark background, has a white to black and black version on white or gray scale.
In my opinion, any logo should have a monochrome version, even if we are in the 21st century and live in the digital age, we rarely use printable materials. If this need is met, I think that the designer’s duty as a professional is also to cover these possible future problems.
Any logo has a maximum dimension (maximum for not eclipsing the graphic composition on which it is positioned) and a minimum size (minimum to remain legible and identifiable) relative to the surface on which it is used. These maximum and minimum sizes come together with the minimum free space around the logo to ensure ventilation of the composition.
There may also be a section of Do’s and DO NOT to exemplify the proper use of it.
The fonts used
Typically, a single font is never used in a visual identity. In principle, it determines which type of font is used for a particular type of text (e.g. what is used for the title for the subtitle and what for text body or other exceptions)
Whether they are for social media or print, where they are used and what.
Types of illustrations – if they exist, depending on the brand (e.g. Skype) where they are used and under what circumstances.
How will the identity be applied to different materials, whether printed or digital?
To get a better understanding of what I’m talking about, I’ve prepared some examples of IDs from international brands, and they can be found in general and in example data, in different forms, can be a PDF presentation embedded in an application, or a website.
NETFLIX – Explains the principles of the brand and its use through an interactive website without taking focus from where it should be, and how it works.
I Love NY – presents your Brand through a PDF application, keeping the layout simple to highlight how the city’s identity is highlighted.
SKYPE – being a very large brand does not even leave the slightest detail of their visual identity, they expose in detail each element from the logo to colors, illustrations, etc. The presentation of my manual has also been found through the PDF application.
SPOTIFY – is a music platform that has evolved very much in a very short but their identity is a very good one from my point of view, especially considering the target audience.
HELSINKI ARTS UNIVERSITY – their identity is playful but not childlike but also complex at the same time. Their presentation was found on the Behance design platform.
The process of creating a visual identity can often prove difficult or difficult because of the lack of clear communication. What experiences did you have from this point of view?
Keep in mind these few guidelines in conversation with the designer and not only will the result be better, but the process will be much easier and more enjoyable for both sides.