Nine ways to create an iconic and timeless brand

BY Australian Retailers Association
24 October 2019

The challenge for any brand is how a brand can effectively express its own essence, its true 'WHY' and cut through all the social 'noise' in a way that’s more easily digested by those who will buy from you.

As world famous Tennis star Andre Agassi said “Image is EVERYTHING”, and it’s especially true when it comes to creating a logo, the corner stone of any brand.

A logo, by definition is a visual representation of your brand and is far more effective than a written explanation of your products or services.

Here are 9 ways you should consider when designing your brand.

1. Avoid a visual look too similar to another brand

Once a brand has become established it starts to become recognised by the general public. If you choose (or copy) a logo design that’s too similar to another brand, your market presence may be forgotten or overlooked - as your logo is mistaken for someone else’s and, worse still, they win the business!

2. Fonts matter, choose wisely

A font is just as important as the design of a logo. The font should incorporate the same feel as the business AND it should be appropriate and legible. Whether it's modern, edgy, timeless, or a sophisticated italic, it must match the overall appearance and personality of the brand or company it represents.

3. Cliché trends are fleeting

Dots, swooshes, straight lines, 3D shapes; these clichés have been so overused in a logo design that they are instantly disregarded. Don’t try to ‘spruce up’ a logo with these ineffective additions either, as it will only cheapen your brand.

4. Don’t rely on colour

Having a logo that doesn’t reproduce in black and white is a hugely common problem – even the Commonwealth Bank’s logo*, when not in colour, transpires to a black square! So make sure you check that your logos important features work well in colour and black and white.

5. Remember who you're targeting

Your brand must appeal to your target audience if you ever want them to buy from you. So your logo is used as a visual tool to aesthetically draw the attention of your target audience and communicate your brand’s message. Unless your Mum or the kid studying design next door is your target market, don’t rely too heavily on their opinion.

6. Design for tomorrow, not today

Be cautious of creating a brand that look out of date or follows a trend that’s happening right now. A great brand grows with the business and can withstand time as long as the business does. Don’t choose a logo that is representative of a certain decade, era or trend, or you’ll risk making your products and services seem outdated, along with your logo.

7. Vanilla creates more bland

Simplicity is important, but too much is boring and sterile. A “vanilla” brand isn’t memorable and adds to the noise out there. It won’t speak or form an emotion connection to your target audience.

Your logo must incorporate just the right amount of personality, to avoid being boring or overlooked.

8. Simplicity is best

Too many styles, elements or ideas joined in the one brand could lead to a misinterpretation of your business, or attract the wrong kind of consumer. A brand is designed for quick recognition and brand loyalty – too much going on will defeat this.

9. Pay attention to space

A busy brand with everything in it doesn’t appeal to customers. It creates a poor looking brand and becomes difficult to decipher, especially when letters are included.

The visual logo must be clear and crisp to resonate with your target audience at first glance. Stick with an odd number of graphic elements, one, three or five elements work well.

And, always remember the purpose of the 'why' of your brand. This single element alone will often set the tone for creating a brand that will be impactful and succinct, and can be used to represent your business for many years to come.

About the author

Stella Gianotto is fast becoming the go-to branding guru. She is passionate about making branding accessible and understandable for her clients and for industry audiences.As a small business owner herself, Stella understands the juggle that every business owner has with time and finances that enables her to help businesses understand how, and why, they should
be branding their business. For more information go to www.brandforbrands.com/stella-gianotto/

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Australian Retailers Association

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

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