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10 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting Out a Brand Identity

10 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting Out a Brand Identity

Mistake # 1: Have a Clear Goal

We have to be clear about the reasons why we are creating a brand identity: we want to launch our product to retail, are we going to start printing, are we going to expand operations, or create a business chain?
Why? There are many factors to think about when doing identity work and if we do not know the reason why we need an identity, the real objective can easily be missed.
Since the manual can be as long as necessary, having context will allow us to focus on what we really need.

Mistake # 2: Do not confuse Branding with Identity

What is a Brand Identity?
Everything you can see, visual language is brand identity.
Typography, colors, logo, composition, graphic identity, packaging, web graphics
and many more.
What is Branding?
¨Branding is the feeling of a person towards a service or company.
You can't control the process, but you can influence.¨ - Marty Neumeir, The Brand Gap
In definition Branding is not what you think about your brand, it is what other people think about your brand.

Mistake # 3: Not knowing who we want to talk to

Designing a visual identity is not about what we want, it is how we want to be perceived.
When we communicate who we are, it will be much easier to connect with the people we really love.
But if the brand identity is not aligned with who we really are, it will not be successful (no matter how good your logo is).

Mistake # 4: Lack of consistency

Just because you have a good logo, brand-aligned colors and typography,  it does not  mean your visual identity is consistent.
If you want to create a brand that will be remembered for years, you have to make each element to be designed complementary to the other.
And repeat the same solution, either color composition or other elements in common so that over the years the brand is visually remembered for something specific.
For example:
Red - CocaCola
Yellow - McDonalds
Blue - Facebook

Mistake # 5: Treat the reader of the brand identity manual as creatives or designers.

Although sometimes they are, don't assume all readers have a “designer's eye”.
It is necessary to explain the concepts, justify what we did and explain everything that is placed in the manual, in such a way that it is understood without using design terminology, and that it is easy for any reader to understand.

Mistake # 6: Lack of Explanation

A brand identity has to explain what we want to say. Many times a solution is applied when it is not the best, therefore you have to be very explicit about the things that can and cannot be done. In addition to explaining why it cannot be done a certain way, the reader has context of what to do or not to do.

Mistake # 7: A limited brand visual identity

Visual identity is made to communicate effectively, in many cases you have to give designers the tools they need to create content. If this guide is not delivered and remains up in the air, you will end up with inconsistent content. We must not assume details or forget specific rules.

Mistake # 8: No branding system

A brand system is how all design elements work together to differentiate it.
Combining all elements generates a consistent communication and effectively represents the brand.

Mistake # 9: Inconsistent Elements

If there are inconsistent elements, both internal and external communications will look different.
A brand identity has to be repetitive. Over the years this repetitive element produces a  brand that stands out from the rest.

Mistake # 10: Don't View the Big Picture

If the logo is the product, the presentation is the packaging, and good packaging makes it clear to what it is.
In this case our packaging is the Brand Identity Manual.
Taking all the previous concepts, we must never lose our objective, which is to communicate to the reader of the manual,
what we want, how we want them to use it, our personality, the way we want the world to see us,
and much more important, what we sell. This has to be aligned with how we communicate (the typography, the colors, etc).
All concepts enhance who we are, without neglecting what we sell.

Kenneth Kessler

Diseñador UX / UI