8 Brand Identity Elements

Identity is the name and brand is the game. In this post, I’ve assembled information that’s scattered across the web in order to provide a reliable guide for brand identity design. I’ve pinned it down to 8 elements that you’ll need to include as you create your own brand identity design. And how to work toward the larger goal of building a well-loved brand.

1. Brand marks & identity

brand marks identity

Designed with an almost infinite variety of shapes and personalities, brand marks can be assigned to a number of general categories. From literal through symbolic, from word-driven to image-driven. The world of brand marks expands each day. The boundaries among these categories are pliant, and many marks may combine elements of more than one category. Is there a compelling practical reason to categorize them? Although there are no hard-and-fast rules to determine the best type of visual identifier for a particular type of company, the designer’s process is to examine a range of solutions. As a result, these solutions are generally both aspirational and functional criteria.

2. Sequence of cognition


brand identity marks color

Brand awareness and recognition are facilitated by a visual identity that is easy to remember. It is also immediately recognizable. Visual identity triggers perceptions and unlocks associations of the brand. Sight, more than any other sense, provides information about the world. Through repeated exposure, because of this, symbols become so recognizable that companies such as Target, Apple, and Nike have actually dropped the logotype from their corporate signatures in national advertising.

3. Wordmarks

word marks brand identity

A word mark is a freestanding word or words. It may be a company name or an acronym. The best word marks inspire an easy to read word(s) with distinctive font characteristics. It may also integrate abstract elements or pictorial elements. One example is the distinctive tilted “E” in “Dell” activates and strengthens the one-syllable name. Another one is the IBM acronym has transcended enormous technological change in its industry.

4. Letter form marks


letter form marks identity

The single letter is frequently used by designers as a distinctive graphic focal point for a brand mark. The letter is always a unique and proprietary design that is infused with significant personality and meaning. The letter form acts as a mnemonic device, e.g., the “M” for Motorola, the “Q” for Quest Diagnostics.

5. Pictorial marks


pictograph marks identity

A pictorial mark uses a literal and recognizable image. The image itself may allude to the name of the company or its mission. It may also be a symbol of a brand attribute. The eagle of the U.S. Postal Service is both a symbol of America and a symbol of speed and dependability. So rather than using a plain word, sometimes it is best to go for a pictograph.

6. Abstract marks


abstract mark identity brand

An abstract mark uses a visual form to convey a big idea or a brand attribute. These marks, by their nature, can provide strategic ambiguity. They work effectively for large companies with numerous and unrelated divisions. Abstract marks are especially fruitful for service-based and technology companies. However, they are extremely difficult to design well.

7. Emblems


emblems identity brand marks

Emblems are trademarks featuring a shape inextricably connected to the name of the organization. They do not isolate the elements. Emblems look terrific on a package, as a sign, or as an embroidered patch on a uniform. Therefore, as mobile devices continue to shrink and multi-branding ads with one-sixth-inch logos increase, the emblem presents the biggest legibility challenge when miniaturized.

8. Characters


characters identity brand branding

It’s alive! A character trademark embodies brand attributes or values. Characters quickly become central to advertising campaigns, and the best ones become cultural icons cherished by children and customers alike. Along with their distinctive appearance and personality, many characters have recognizable voices and jingles, enabling them to leap off the silent shelf space onto your desktop.

What’s the next big thing? Does it matter? Does it have long legs or is it a fad? What begins as an idea on the outer fringes may quickly snowball and become mainstream, or it may fizzle. Finally, brands are about relevance and permanence. Seismic shift in the culture, in the capital markets, and technology provide brand makers food for thought.

Do you have some good ideas? Do you want to make it a reality? Count on us!

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