Brand Public
Branding, Design, DevelopmentMarch 30, 2018

Why hire a designer?

Have you ever been tempted to DIY when it comes to design and marketing? Today, it seems anyone can put together a logo or design with a tap, swipe or click of a button. There are many resources such as apps, programs and templates available for the general user to create a logo, flyer, an e-blast, or website. The question remains: If anyone can create their own brand or designs, why hire a graphic designer?

You should, here’s why:

THE STRATEGY
Graphic designers don’t just “whip together something pretty.” When we sit down with a new client, we take interest in your business and ask questions to understand:

  • Your product or service
  • Your culture and staff
  • Your competition
  • Your target market
  • Your goals & visions

THE EYE
A good designer has the creative eye that most people do not possess. We have been trained in design theory, psychology, ratios, software, and the ability to reinforce a message with unique elements. When promoting your business, you wouldn’t want just anything representing you. A bad or amateur design could potentially misrepresent you and drive away business.

CUSTOMIZATION
Most often, programs such as Microsoft Word, VistaPrint or Designapp will only offer templates or basic clip art. This doesn’t allow you to create a custom brand. The design elements you choose may be the same look another business has. A professional designer will completely customize your look based on your goals and business background. The best part? No one else’s design will look like yours!

TRENDS & SUGGESTIONS
In our modern market, design and technology are ever-changing. Good designers keep up to date on all the current visual trends. This way, when you need something specific created, they can make suggestions based on your industry and vision to attract your target market.

STAY CONSISTENT
The number one rule to build brand awareness is to stay consistent whenever you are representing your business. For example, you don’t want your business card to look different from your website, or your letterhead to have a different logo from your brochure, or your print ads to have a different colour scheme from your Facebook page. Graphic designers will make sure all your materials are unique, yet consistent with your brand.
The outside perception of your brand proves to be crucial in the decision to hire these days. Don’t skimp on your image! You wouldn’t hire a realtor to design your business cards, or your handyman to create a website – so call us today for a consultation. We can’t wait to help your brand stand out from the rest.

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Brand Public

Branding Basics

Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small, retail or B2B. An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. But what exactly does “branding” mean? How does it affect a small business like yours?

 

Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be. Are you the innovative maverick in your industry? Or the experienced, reliable one? Is your product the high-cost, high-quality option, or the low-cost, high-value option? You can’t be both, and you can’t be all things to all people. Who you are should be based to some extent on who your target customers want and need you to be.

The foundation of your brand is your logo. Your website, packaging and promotional materials – all of which should integrate your logo – communicate your brand.

Brand Strategy & Equity

Your brand strategy is how, what, where, when and to whom you plan on communicating and delivering on your brand messages. Where you advertise is part of your brand strategy. Your distribution channels are also part of your brand strategy. And what you communicate visually and verbally are part of your brand strategy, too.

Consistent, strategic branding leads to a strong brand equity, which means the added value brought to your company’s products or services that allows you to charge more for your brand than what identical, unbranded products command. The most obvious example of this is Coke vs. a generic soda. Because Coca-Cola has built a powerful brand equity, it can charge more for its product–and customers will pay that higher price.

The added value intrinsic to brand equity frequently comes in the form of perceived quality or emotional attachment. For example, Nike associates its products with star athletes, hoping customers will transfer their emotional attachment from the athlete to the product. For Nike, it’s not just the shoe’s features that sell the shoe.

Defining Your Brand

Defining your brand is like a journey of business self-discovery. It can be difficult, time-consuming and uncomfortable. It requires, at the very least, that you answer the questions below:

  • What is your company’s mission?
  • What are the benefits and features of your products or services?
  • What do your customers and prospects already think of your company?
  • What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?

Do your research. Learn the needs, habits and desires of your current and prospective customers. And don’t rely on what you think they think. Know what they think.

Once you’ve defined your brand, how do you get the word out? Here are a few simple, time-tested tips:

  • Get a great logo. Place it everywhere.
  • Write down your brand messaging. What are the key messages you want to communicate about your brand? Every employee should be aware of your brand attributes.
  • Integrate your brand. Branding extends to every aspect of your business–how you answer your phones, what you or your salespeople wear on sales calls, your e-mail signature, everything.
  • Create a “voice” for your company that reflects your brand. This voice should be applied to all written communication and incorporated in the visual imagery of all materials, online and off. Is your brand friendly? Be conversational. Is it ritzy? Be more formal. You get the gist.
  • Develop a tagline. Write a memorable, meaningful and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand.
  • Design templates and create brand standards for your marketing materials. Use the same colour scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout. You don’t need to be fancy, just consistent.
  • Be true to your brand. Customers won’t return to you–or refer you to someone else–if you don’t deliver on your brand promise.
  • Be consistent. I placed this point last only because it involves all of the above and is the most important tip I can give you. If you can’t do this, your attempts at establishing a brand will fail.

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Brand Public

2018 Pantone Colour

Inventive and imaginative, Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.

A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future. Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.

 

Enigmatic purples have also long been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality, and artistic brilliance. Musical icons Prince, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix brought shades of UltraViolet to the forefront of western pop culture as personal expressions of individuality. Nuanced and full of emotion, the depth of PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets.

Historically, there has been a mystical or spiritual quality attached to UltraViolet. The colour is often associated with mindfulness practices, which offer a higher ground to those seeking refuge from today’s over-stimulated world. The use of purple-toned lighting in meditation spaces and other gathering places energizes the communities that gather there and inspire connection.


The Pantone Color of the Year has come to mean so much more than ‘what’s trending’ in the world of design; it’s truly a reflection of what’s needed in our world today.” – Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute.

As individuals around the world become more fascinated with colour and realize its ability to convey deep messages and meanings, designers and brands should feel empowered to use colour to inspire and influence. The Color of the Year is one moment in time that provides strategic direction for the world of trend and design, reflecting the Pantone Color Institute’s year-round work doing the same for designers and brands.