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I’m Jacob Cass, the founder of JUST™ Creative. I’m a multi-disciplinary graphic designer, working with clients all around the world. My specialty is logo & brand identity design. JUST™ Get in touch.


10 Must Know Tips for Creating Winning Visual Brand Identities

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On Friday I attended the 2012 Brand New Conference, a one day event focusing on the practice of corporate and brand identity. The event went smoothly again (hat tip to Armin Vit for organizing) and the speakers shared some great tips and stories on a large variety of topics.

The most notable talk of the day for me, was by Simon Manchipp, the CD & co-founder of Someone. Simon’s talk was built around ten things to consider when creating a new visual brand identity.

Below are some of the notes I took from his talk. There are some loose ends, but there are still a number of key takeaways so enjoy.

Tips to consider when branding

10 things to consider when creating a new visual brand identity

1. Make it coherent, not consistent.

A new logo is born useless. The media demands an approach that is instantly useful. Make your new logo useful. Create landscapes that can change and adapt. Information can and should fuel the design and pattern.A brand should be adaptive & coherent, not just consistent.

2. Do more than a logo.

The logo is dying so ask yourself how can you brand without badging?

3. Brand without badging

A rubber stamped logo is not a brand. Remember…

“A new logo should be a symbol of change, not a change of symbol.”

4. The big idea is not the big idea.

The big idea is not the big idea, but rather hundreds of ideas that form the brand. These  ideas should be multi-channelled & multi-faceted.

5. Own moments

Find ownable moments that can be a spring point for the brand. eg. a color, season, taste, feature, etc.

6. Remove the fear

Branding is all fear & risk is attached to everything, but smart clients are those without the fear.

We are hired for our principles, so stick to them.

7. Weird works

Weird shit creates monopolies. Trust the risky weirdo called creativity.

8. Make it people-centric

We are not in design business but in the people business. Educated clients believe in coherent brand worlds. Winning companies are placing design at the heart of their business.

9. Create assets not costs

Design is often seen as a cost in the boardroom but it needs to be seen as an asset. The reason behind it being seen as a cost is that everyone considers themselves as a designer.

“No one trusts creativity because of the dolphin duvet.” (aka everyone is a designer, I chose this dolphin duvet cover for my home). The goal is to show that design is an asset.

10. Chase the opportunity.

Chase the opportunity, not the money. If you are doing interesting work and having fun, enough money will come.

Have you got any other branding tips to share?

37 JUST™ Creative Comments

  • lindstrom

    Good points here, but one should not simply focus on the logo, or even the website design. You mustn’t be afraid of taking risks to get your brand involved in the social and digital media atmosphere. Choose the right way, and your brand will follow. It’s an edge if you’re into visual branding; that way, you can build a repertoire of subscribers by utilizing infographics and other creative techniques. Great post!

  • Jay

    Nice tips. Let me also share an example of a Coffee company’s branding. Their advertising seems to be focused on a “return to our roots” effort.

    They were using phrases like:
    >First “Real Cup of Coffee” -as a unique product
    >People Allowed Choices – focus on the individual

    They were using strategies on these factors:
    >What are the consistent experiences you provide to your clients?
    >What do we need to create in order to achieve this?

    You can ask ideas from your audience or post suggestion boxes for you to know on which areas to improve just like the logo, design, etc.

  • Irfan Siddiqui

    I think the more you engage in your creative thought the more good outcome will be work. I try to read and clear as much doubt me and my client have at the time of dealing into some projects.

    So according to me, what should be given more concern to is, our patience and clients satisfaction!

  • Emmanuel Ayorinde

    These are very insightful tips that both newcomers and veterans should be refreshed about.

  • Kredit

    Choose the right way, and your brand will follow 100%.

  • Conception Web Sherbrooke

    Understand what they need and not what you want.

  • Affordable Web Development India

    That’s interesting and useful tips. I agree with lindstrom “choose the right way and your brand will follow. Thanks for sharing.

  • Adis

    Good points, Jacob. Thanks for sharing them with us, keep it up! :)

  • Ceba

    Do more than a logo and make it impressive, your brand should tell whole story about your business. Effective tips to make over your brand. Thanks

  • Design Alley

    I’m reading one book name of this is “63 Killer Marketing Strategies” by Dan Kennedy. Very interesting book and the Author writes a little about Creating Brand the first steps what you should to do.

  • Fahim

    This is very interesting. I do a lot of re-branding for my clients. Some of the tips here did open my eyes. Thanks Jacob.

  • Boulder Media Design

    Good points. Weird does work sometimes. Building a brand without the rubber stamping, got it thanks.

  • Steve Botts - UK

    Hi, I am in the process of setting up a new business that will provide Business Intelligence Software – nothong new here perhaps – but I want my brand / image / website to be seen as being different such that the audiences will be more inclined to engage. I am drawing up briefs to send out for both brand/logo/image and a website and would welcome an ideas / tips. Many thanks, Steve

  • CArlos Cabanillas Alva

    Interesting post, but did not quite understand what “No one trusts creativity Because Of The dolphin duvet.” Especially as the dolphin duvet … Sorry if my English is not good. I am from Peru.

    • Jacob Cass

      The dolphin duvet refers to the fact that everyone thinks they are a designer. eg. Because they ‘designed’ the hideous dolphin duvet on their bed, they are a designer. Hence, that we need to educate clients to prove that design is an asset, not a cost. Hope that clears it up for you Carlos.

  • Narcisa Ives

    Simon’s talk was built around ten things to consider when creating a new visual brand identity.

  • ludis media

    tips #5 is the one that best worked for me. even if they are all important in a way !

  • Bois rond

    @Jacob dolphin duvet lol. new expression for me. thanks for the great content/article.

  • Mate Cziner

    “Choose the right way, and your brand will follow 100%.”

    I’m sorry, Kredit, but what that sentence even means? If I do it right it won’t be wrong?

  • Dr. AJ

    Very interesting article to read! I completely agree with point # 8 – make it people centric. I have seen a countless number of business fail, especially since the early 2000s, because the economic uncertainty of the times created a situation where small business owners didn’t feel safe, and so didn’t make the best decisions for their futures.. They decided to save costs by cutting on the quality, forgot to focus on the people, and instead focused on the dollar signs.. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!

    - AJ

  • Brian Jackson

    Great tips Jacob

    Tip #6 is exactly what i think.


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