Whenever a company’s corporate identity is created, the concept of the brand mustn’t be lost or forgotten. Furthermore, brand identity should include a whole system for working with it, giving any new designer a clear understanding of how to use and develop it. We have put together a few ideas that can be treated as a foundation for creating a brand identity:
Brand identity builder
The corporate identity builder is one of the most convenient yet sophisticated solutions, as the agency’s mission is to create an easily adaptable modular system that would operate according to a set of rules. One example is the corporate identity for the Miory district of Belarus that we have developed. The concept is based on the cranberry leaf (the berry is the symbol of the district). We placed the cranberry leaf in a square and thus produced a module that can be used to create various brand identity elements.
The established system allows for the building of an unlimited number of visual variations. This empowers any designer working with a brand identity to create something unique while keeping in line with the overall concept. The brand identity builder is a great solution for any company that has a large number of brand carriers of various formats. And a design like this is highly praised by experts. Miorski Krai’s logo design won the Best Logo Design Award by DesignRush.
Display of real objects in graphic form
Many corporate identities are based on something palpable. More often than not, the real-life underlying idea is developed in graphic form. To better understand the phenomenon of transfer from the real world to that graphic, let us explore the example of developing a corporate identity for iFly. The company’s core business is flying in a wind tunnel. The agency needed to come up with a brand identity for three target audiences – beginners, children, and professionals. The designers adopted the forms of clouds as the basis – cumulus clouds (beginners), stratus clouds (professionals), and cirrus clouds (children).
Transferring the real shape of clouds provided three types of patterns, which then formed the foundation for the iFly corporate identity. With the three types of patterns, we were able to clearly distinguish between the three audiences, created a unique brand identity with an underlying concept, and established a foundation for further work with the iFly corporate identity.
Transferring items from reality into graphic form is one of the most common techniques in creating a corporate style. The main challenge for the agency that picks this method is to find the right visual image.
Data-based corporate identity
Data can be easily translated into graphics, and there are hundreds of ways to display data. If a company has a history or a bulk of data to work with when creating an identity, it is always worth a try. In our work for FC Dinamo Minsk, we took the club’s entire history and processed the stats of its wins, losses draw, and championship titles. Based on our findings we were able to build a pattern, which formed the basis for the corporate identity of the season. Each component of the new identity for FC Dinamo Minsk is now founded on a piece of history, which can inspire its fans. It is not just something new; it is an essential link between the past and the present, which is reflected in all the elements of the brand identity.
Communication-based corporate identity
Powerful words are the best helpers in creating an effective brand identity. Building your brand on words is a great option because words are easy to work with and they can be adapted to any communication tool. For example, look at the brand identity we designed for a charitable foundation. The name of the foundation is Kind Association (Dobraya assotsiatsiya), and its abbreviated name is “Da”, which is the Russian for “Yes”. “Yes” is the most powerful word in the Russian language, which plays a key role in charity. We asked people to write various “yes” words and transferred them into graphic form. This way we showed that each “Yes” is unique. You can then work with the logo not only in the brand identity, but also in any message: on the website, in newsletters, in documents, and so on.
Character-based corporate identity
A character is a great but time-consuming option for a brand identity. You have to not only come up with a character but also make a series of images where the character would interact with the audience. This will make it possible to use exciting forms of communication on documents, business cards, websites, catalogs, or vehicles. We designed a character for a children’s summer camp. The challenge was that we not only had to come up with a linear development story but also divide it into levels of complexity because children of different ages come to stay at the camp. We adopted the name SkillCamp as our starting point and created our Tent Dude. He became the main character to communicate on behalf of the school. To differentiate the age groups we introduced various colors. Green stood for the junior group, yellow for the middle group, and red for the senior group.
Sometimes you do not need any additional forms other than a font to create an effective brand identity. Look at The New York Times or The Guardian. The typeface is the foundation, on which they build their engagement with consumers. It is also the basis of their brand identity. We also designed an identity for a media outlet in which we combined five unique fonts for the first time. We made a logo, which serves as the basis for the corporate identity of the Belarusian events guide. Any event poster is always about diversity, from theaters to open-air events, from movies to exhibitions. So we decided to reflect this diversity in the logo and brand identity, taking five different fonts – from classical to modern – to create a logo that would emphasize the uniqueness of the events guide.
When creating a typeface identity, it is important to keep in mind that letters can be manipulated in any way and can become the basis for both brand identities and communications. A font is a new brand. We tend to recognize many companies based exclusively on fonts.
Naturally, these are some of the basic options for building brand identities. There are many more. Whichever you choose for your corporate identity, keep in mind that it should first and foremost effectively address all of the company’s challenges.