Ok, so you want to brand yourself online or brand your business online? Lets get started on the basics.
Where did it begin?
Branding could even be a pre-cursor to language. The first cave paintings by early man didn’t contain any language, I’m guess you knew that already.
The oldest known sculptures known to man are 40,000 years old. The above is 30,000 years old and was found in Australia. Even back then men had a fascination with oversized breasts, some things never change.
While we didn’t call it branding in 580BC, this pot is one of the first examples of what might be called branding. For most of history, people were illiterate, so people gravitated toward images which they could understand.
The Roman emperor Constantine was one of the first to use branding as a way to differentiate his empire from others. He did this by imprinting his image on coins and other objects. This helped people to identify his empire and distinguish it from others.
Branding continued to be used throughout history as a way to differentiate products and services. For example, during the Middle Ages, blacksmiths would often put their initials on their tools to show who had made them.
The word “branding” is thought to have originated from the Old Norse word “brandr”, which means “to burn”. This is likely due to the practice of branding livestock with hot irons to mark them as property.
The history of branding on plates is a long and varied one. Early branding was often done by hand, using a hot iron to branding on plates. This method was often used to brand livestock, as well as to mark property ownership. Over time, branding became more refined and sophisticated, with the development of stencils and other methods of mass production. Today, branding on plates is still used for many purposes, including advertising, product identification, and even art.
The first coke bottles were made of glass and were designed to be distinctive and recognizable. The shape was based on the contour of a coca leaf, and the bottle was embossed with the word “Coca-Cola” in script. This design helped the company to achieve its goal of becoming a household name. The company also used unique marketing techniques, such as giving away free samples of its product. These efforts succeeded in making Coca-Cola one of the most popular drinks in the world.
Eventually brands began to notice the emotionality behind brands, and emotional messages started to be remembered more than the features themselves. Marketers were starting to sell lifestyles as opposed to products and services.
These adverts played up to, people’s basic emotions, status, a better life, smelling better.
Diversity in branding
Coca Cola was one of the first brands to use diversity in its branding. Now watch this video I’m linking to, and tell me how much emotion you feel. Brands were just starting to become a part of the culture. The combination of music and a brand leaves something behind deep in your soul. Whenever you hear this song from now on you’re most likely going to be thinking about coke subconsciously, so you’re probably going to want to buy coke.
Social cohesion through branding
Great brands are unifiers, Coca Cola wanted to teach the world to sing through its campaign and there was something truly beautiful about this video. Even if the video didn’t stop racism it certainly started to change people’s perceptions about race. The best brands create movements through an emotional connection that in turn creates social cohesion. These types of brands generate customer loyalty where people want to keep being a part of something that touches us on a human level. We will pay more for a brand that we connect with than a brand that is just cheap. Brands are in part created in your mind.
Most clients want a logo that describes the product or the service. It’s important to keep the logo a little vague. For example, could apple have gotten into all the industries that it’s in by using another logo that described its first product, the apple mac? By keeping their logo more unique, neutral and less about the product it’s allowed them to enter more industries.
A logo is not an illustration.
A single line of text and big areas of solid colours, will last longer. Illustration styles change over time, so staying away from illustrations will keep the logo current. Logos with lots of detail in an illustration won’t produce well small on either mobile device or printed media.
A logo can’t solve every problem.
A logo is like a good suit, its look goon on you but can’t solve every problem you face.
A logo must be visually engaging.
It must be strong and clear, it must be seen across a room. Small typography in pastel colours rarely get seen nore do many big brands have these types of colours. Most big brands have strong colours that contract against their background.
It must have a mnemonic value
Why was the o in red? It is things like this that make you think about the logo.
Unique logos often hide visual elements in their logos.
Word marks are just that a line of text. Often word marks are existing fonts that are edited fonts to make them look more unique. These word marks are usually easy to decipher as to which brand they represent, but usually require reading. Whilst some don’t need reading at all like the coca cola word mark.
Icon logos can be a unique way to show your identity.
Whilst the Chace Bank logo is unique, this kind of logo can be developed into something that looks too generic. For a while companies wanted logos like this to represent lots of technology coming together.
Here we see that there is a visual consistency to the NBC logo, focusing on circles. The font was modified to suit circles.
So the starting place for your logos should starting with your font. Typography has meaning, each font style is expressing something different. Each font has a different subjective meaning, for example, times new roman might come across as generic and to some boring, however in certain situations such as weddings, newspapers these show elegance and class. Putting your fonts next to each other helps you compare easily.
At this point you have narrowed down your final 6, now you can experiment with colour, adding additional graphics etc
When choosing colour look at what the competition is doing and try to go in the opposite direction. The reason you do this is that you want your brand to stand out against the competition, if the general marketing is using pastel like colour use bold colour like red, greens, and blues. With this in mind still be mindful of colour meaning
Red is the colour of passion, energy and excitement. It is often used in design to create a feeling of urgency or to grab attention. Red can also be used to convey danger or warning.
In colour psychology, red is associated with the emotions of love, anger, fear and aggression. It is often seen as a powerful and emotional colour. Red can also be associated with power, strength and determination.
The colour blue is often associated with calmness, serenity and relaxation. Blue is also said to promote mental clarity and focus. In design, blue is often used to create a sense of stability and professionalism.
Green is often associated with nature, growth, and freshness. It can also represent hope, renewal, and fertility. In design, green can be used to create a calming or refreshing effect.
The meaning of yellow can vary depending on its shade and context. In design, yellow is often used to create feelings of happiness, energy and optimism. It is also associated with wisdom, intellect and logic.
Orange is a colour that is often associated with warmth, happiness and energy. In design, orange can be used to create a lively or cheerful atmosphere. It is also often used to draw attention to important elements.
The colour pink is often associated with femininity, sweetness and romance. In design, pink can be used to create a soothing and calming atmosphere. It is also said to stimulate creativity and imagination.
Pink is sometimes seen as a more playful and fun colour, making it perfect for designs aimed at children or young adults. It can also be used to add a touch of elegance to a design
Purple is the colour of royalty, mystery and magic. It’s also associated with creativity, imagination and spirituality.
In colour psychology, purple is associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, and vitality. It is also a colour that is often used to symbolize luxury and wealth.
Purple has long been associated with royalty, mystery and magic. In colour psychology, purple is often seen as a colour of wisdom, dignity and independence.
White is often seen as a symbol of purity, innocence, and neutrality. In colour psychology, white is associated with cleanliness, freshness, and new beginnings. It’s no wonder that many brands use white in their marketing and advertising campaigns.
While there is no one definitive answer to what the meaning of black is in design, it is often associated with power, sophistication, and mystery. Black can be used to create a sense of drama or to add a touch of elegance to a design. When used in excess, however, black can be overwhelming and depressing. If you are considering using black in your design, it is important to strike a balance between positive and negative connotations.
Brown is a colour that can be associated with both positive and negative connotations. On the one hand, brown can represent earthiness, stability, and reliability. It is often seen as a colour of comfort and reassurance. On the other hand, brown can also be seen as dull, boring, and lifeless. When used in design, it is important to consider the specific context and associations that brown might have.