It comes in many flavours and colours, but ultimately it conforms to a few conventions that separate the awesome from the average.
You can tell when food, regardless of how special or everyday it is, has been prepared by an expert food lover, an expedient novice, or worse still, on a production line.
And so it is with identities. The care, experience and skill that goes into one of Heston’s Salmagundis is matched by the rare abilities of the designers who crafted logos for Apple, MTV, and Coca Cola.
Good design oozes quality like a 35 day aged Porterhouse steak. So what separates The Ledbury from the kebab house of brand identity creation?
- The message: From the authority of Goldman Sachs to the rebellion of Harley Davidson, identities are often the brand’s shop window, so it helps to communicate as far as possible what you want the brand to mean to its community.
- The idea: From the invisible arrow in the Fedex logo to the exuberance of Yahoo, a great identity boasts an idea that elevates the message to something altogether more interesting.
- The confidence to be different: There are few sights as reassuring to the novice brand manager as a new logo that reminds him/her of something else (usually a competitor). All this actually demonstrates is a deep lack of confidence. Be different or don’t bother, for similarity won’t help customers to choose you over your competitors. If Innocent had arrived looking like every other fruit based soft drink they would undoubtedly have failed to make the impact they have, or made the founders as rich.
- Simplicity: It is easy to be complicated, it takes hard work to be simple. The best designs are always graced with effortless clarity, e.g. Google.
- Versatility: Today’s identities need to work hard in multiple formats from a 96-sheet poster to an iOS app. Our mobile lifestyles mean that brands need to communicate in ever tighter spaces. (Worth reminding your designer when he/she is adding further intricacy to your logo on their 56 inch retina Mac screen.)
All these attributes come naturally to those who are talented design craftsmen, who have learned their trade, and for whom you may be asked to pay a premium.
And like food, you get what you pay for.
If you need some advice with your branding identity and strategy please feel free to get in contact with us at Mimo.