Visual Branding, creating the image of your brand.
During all this time, with more than 15 years of experience as a designer and multicultural Branding specialist, I have named and given life to a series of brands and products in all areas of business internationally, from mining companies to dairy products. Branding is like life and the relationship you have with people. Think what attracts you to your friends, why you hang out with them, what draws you them, how you connect with them. The same thing happens with Branding, it's how you connect, how they see you, what they think of you, your personality, your attitude, the places you go to.
Visual Branding = Brand Image. You must give your brand a name, a personality, an attitude, dress it up, show it around, take it to the same places the people you want to connect with, make it visually attractive so that it remains in the memory of those you want to conquer. The world flows outside, get out there and see what's happening!
Naming, the first step.
When you meet someone, you ask their name. The same goes for brands. The name is very important, it is the first thing that catches your attention, connect the name to an image and boom, your memory registers it! But it is not so easy to create or choose a name, nor is it something that is left to luck, although there are cases in which the name of the grandmother has worked perfectly for a brand. With all the brand noise there is, I recommend going out and taking a look around, see what there is, what is missing and where you can take advantage, what is happening. See if there is something that you love and it has to do with your product and the group you want to connect with, if your proposal is better or you can improve it. That is Benchmarking, apply it internationally, even if you only sell in your country, look for brands that have similar proposals to those of your product. This will help you expand your vision, open you mind.
What is your why?
What I always ask my clients is what is your why. The first step is not knowing what your product is for, but why you created this product. It's your why that is going to make a difference and it will align you with other people who believe in the same thing as you. From then on, I ask who your competition is, who you would like to look like, what is the profile of your buyer, what is the personality that you think your brand has examples: it is male / female, young, dynamic, etc. The answers will place you in a space that will allow you to search and create a perfect name, one that differentiates you, that places you in a niche, one that people will remember immediately.
Logo, the second step
But the name alone is not enough. Our mind is used to associating words with images, taking us directly to a field of emotions and experiences. That's why the name of your brand must have certain elements that make your audience remember immediately, to have you in top of mind, present permanently. For example, what name / logo do you think if of when you want a hamburger, a jean, a beer, a pajama or an ice cream. What does your memory tell you, what emotion does it generates, what color does it bring, what name? Names need typography and color so they have personality, a visual identity of your brand. This first part is very important although we do not always have the tools or the budget to give visual life to our product. We usually think that anyone can do the name and the logo, it’s easy to draw, copy paste. We think that it is not necessary to pay someone or spend on something when what’s important is to sell, so that's fine, whatever looks good enough, no concept. So, you put any name that feels cool with a drawing that your nephew did. With this attitude in mind, your dreams of the ideal business become your worst nightmare, nobody remembers you, they do not understand your name nor the drawing, so your business collapses. I understand that many times we do not have resources, that we do not know how or what to do. But would you allow anyone to operate your heart, really? The brand image is the heart of your company.
I observe then I exist. I will tell you some cases of names and logos that I have created which can help you understand the difference of developing your brand following a logical path that you can implement, even if you don’t have the resources.
Jacinta Fernández Initially, we were commissioned to work with the Maidenform brand, as they needed to rebrand. We went out to investigate, visiting all the points of purchase and we reviewed the competition, prices, product exposure and the behavior of the buyer, but above all we focused on what women were looking for when buying. It was then that we verified the absence of a Peruvian underwear brand made with Peruvian Cotton Pima, which is almost like silk feel when used in garments and is highly demand internationally. With this information the client decided to create a Peruvian underwear brand, not only in materials and production, but also in attitude. I focused on creating a Peruvian name, with personality, with character, but it had to be a person, a woman, a designer to make it, the name should feel different and elegant. Once chosen the name, Jacinta Fernández, I inclined to create a feminine, Peruvian logo. I chose a very subtle, fine typography, warm gray, and I designed an isotype / icon which was a set of vertical circles with intertwining lines. The circumferences are born from the cups of the bra playing with lines like those found in Peruvian fabrics, and in designs of ancient Peruvian crafts. Those lines represent the cotton thread as well and I put it vertically as if spinning. Although the consumer does not interpret all the elements or questions the forms, the name remains in his mind with a distinct image.
Aku Hotels When we were commissioned to work the name of a boutique hotel in San Isidro half a block from El Olivar Park, the first thing I thought was the tranquility of the area. The whole concept of the hotel was created around the practical, modern, relaxing and welcoming atmosphere. We made an analysis of the hotels around, the offers, the services, the demand, the prices and the type of target client. We also analyzed the offers of international hotels, of the same style. It was so we came to the name AKU which in Sanskrit means moon and in Indonesian means me. The name was short, mystical and easy to remember and the story of the name was woven around the image. The message to get across was in this place I rest. The hotel would have some interior design tones of purple and some touches of colors of the Andes mountains. That's why I chose an eggplant purple, which we applied to exteriors as well, and a modern typeface with a set of mixed letters using the V like a U, resembling ancient scrips. The association of color and the name as an image is immediate.
Tres Cruces Beer This beer was created as a Premium Peruvian beer based on 100% barley. We wanted to work with a name that would land us in Peru. Tres Cruces /Three Crosses is a natural viewpoint in Cusco, the highest point where the Incas observed everything, Cusco crosses have a mixture of Christian and Inca symbolism as well. But Tres Cruces also represents to the 3 regions coastal, mountain and jungle. That's why I choose to work with this concept even on the label, something that you will see later. I decided to work with an old typeface, an ancient type with capital letters in different sizes to create a sense mysticism, like an old seal. As an icon, an ancient cross redrawn, ununiformed, almost like a dagger. I used black colors on the logo since it would be applied over a warm golden brown. The name is of easy remembrance and visual registration.
How do you want to be remembered? Creativity is an investment that generates greater value for your brand.
In the next blog I will talk about the creative work of labels and packaging. Subscribe to my mailing list if you want information that adds up.