Branding & identity
We like to say a brand is the feeling people get when they think about it.
That’s paraphrasing a quote from Sir John Hegarty, but by definition, brand identity refers to all the brand elements that hold how the consumer perceives a brand—logo, wordmark, colors, typefaces. A consistent brand identity creates brand equity, ensuring consumers can identify the product whenever they see the brand colors, the typeface, or the logo.
What’s the difference?
A brand identity project falls into one of three categories: a brand refresh, rebrand, or new identity. Regardless, we present a logo, typefaces, colors, brand collateral (like business cards, wall graphics, and swag), voice and tone standards, and a brand standards guide that governs the usage of brand elements across mediums.
A complete makeover. In a rebrand, we may use little or none of the existing assets, and instead create new photography styles, new illustrations, new icons, new typeface standards, and a new logo. A rebrand is suggested when the product or company has an identity, but it’s not tied to what they believe—what they stand for. The goal of a rebrand is to create a new image of the company that represents those things.
A few touch-ups. In a brand refresh, we don’t start from scratch. Instead, we update existing elements, which may include things like refining the logo, adding new typefaces, or confirming a color palette. The goal of a brand refresh is to identify slight tweaks to the existing identity that make the visuals more aesthetically pleasing and consistent across the suite of collateral.
From scratch. You’re launching a new product, service, or company—what’s it going to look like? A new brand identity starts with a Belief Session, where we help uncover a brand’s first and strongest differentiation: the beliefs and values that drive their actions. A new identity includes establishing a wordmark, logo, typefaces, and color palette, and may sometimes include voice and tone, naming, and a tagline.
Our approach to branding: the “brand system”
Creating a brand system requires going further than designing a logo and walking away; a brand system includes everything the product needs, from the logo and wordmark to the way it’s talked about about and the way people identify it.
A brand identity can only be called a “system” when you can operationalize it—and the core messaging it’s based on—throughout the brand. A system provides meaning behind each element in a way that is cohesive. A system means there’s reasoning for how and why every element lives together. A system means that nothing is arbitrary; everything represents what’s meaningful about what you do.