Brand identity is the use of consistent visuals, colors, and design to create a specific look for a brand or business. This helps establish a recognition of the brand and an association with the image that they are looking to have represent them. While not all brands will necessarily be as recognizable as companies such as Apple or Nike, it is still important to maintain a strong sense of brand identity. This helps elevate the company and give it a more professional look.
It also really helps establish the identity of the brand. What is the demographic that you’re targeting? Young? Older? Male or female? What is the feel of your product? Organic? Modern? Vintage? Each of these aspects play a role in the type of marketing and brand identity. A modern, vegan bar in LA will create a very different identity than a vintage boutique in Seattle, and that plays heavily into the brand identity. Who you are as a business should be reflected in your design choices so as not to have a juxtaposition in who you are and how you present yourself, as consumers will struggle to connect with a brand that is scattered and not unified.
Even businesses such as restaurants can use brand identity to establish a specific look, one that will help attract customers and take them a step beyond your average restaurant. Places such as Applebee’s and Olive Garden may have particular themes and looks, but nothing exactly stands out. This work from restaurant Five & Dime Eatery showcases how a restaurant’s identity can expand past just the general and be unique, helping give consumers a new look at it. By using such a distinct look, the restaurant is able to create an image that will be only associated with them, as well as a consistent brand for all aspects of their company.
Brand identity is the best way to encompass good design. People are naturally drawn to strong elements of unity and repetition, which are two aspects of design, and those two elements play a big part in what brand identity is. When we see not only good design, but an overall aesthetic applied to a business, we’re automatically more attracted to it. Our brains connect the dots and we create associations of the brand with that particular image. This is why brand identity is the second step in having good design. Without good design, it’s impossible to create a successful brand identity. Once a good design is chosen, based on the logo/word mark and the feel of the business, it’s important to go from there to pick the colors and other design choices to complete the brand. From there it’s determining what types of brand packaging will be designed and how things like the website, letterheads, and business cards will be designed as well as other merchandise.
Whether or not you’re starting your own business or helping someone else, always keep brand identity in mind and make sure to expand your design beyond just the basics and to think about how to represent the brand as a whole.