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.

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Rebrand

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.

Brand refresh

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.

New identity

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.

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