We’ve all heard the saying that logo is King. What not everyone understands is that the King is nothing without a Kingdom to rule. I’d like to shine some light on some very essential brand elements every strategic brand should have in place.
1. Memorable logo and logo variations
Needless to say, your logo or logotype is at the core of your brand identity, and it is the piece of your brand identity that people will be exposed to the most. A well-designed logo is recognisable, memorable, timeless and versatile, but most of all it needs to be appropriate for your brand and resonate with your audience. Logo variations ensure you are covered for any logo placement and usage - think teeny tiny favicon in your browser, a massive billboard, or that black and white newspaper.
2. Versatile colour palette
The color palette is usually defined by the colors in your logo. It is considered good practice to limit your primary colours to two or three and complement them with a few secondary colours. This helps your brand identity stay exciting and flexible, yet consist.
3. Well defined typography
As a rule of thumb, two fonts are enough - one for paragraph text and one for headings. These fonts should be simple and easy to read but also versatile. Sometimes an accent font will complement them well.
4. On-brand supporting graphic elements
It’s all about the little details. Different brands will need different graphic elements to support them. It could be textures, gradients, illustrations, icons, short snippets of text presented in a certain way, and more.
5. A clear visual language
A visual language is basically the way all the above fits together. All imagery and collateral should have a consistent look and feel. This doesn’t mean you need to use the same image and layouts over and over again, but you should have a well defined visual style.
I like to present the logo with variations, colours, typography and any supporting graphic elements on a brand board. Having all these elements gathered in one place is like having a bird’s view of your brand image. A good way to keep on brand is to always refer back to the brand board and any pre-existing visuals.
Bonus: Brand voice in alignment with the brand
Your brand is not all about how it looks like, a big part of your brand is how it feels like, and how you talk to your audience will greatly influence that. If your logo is quirky and playful and your colour palette is bright and colorful, there will be a serious clash if your copyright is cold and professional. If your emails are super formal, but your fonts are frisky and fun it won't work either.
Having strong brand foundations and a clear brand strategy will ensure it all fits together seamlessly - your visual language and your spoken and written language. A coherent brand experience means your audience's expectations are always met, therefore building trust and loyalty.