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Branding is the process of shaping the perceptions that a consumer holds of a product, service or organization. A key element of branding is the use of graphic design to accentuate and emphasize these perceptions. This article will explore the importance of graphic design in the branding process.
Brand recognition is the ultimate goal for marketers. For consumers to recognize a brand means that the business or product has occupied a specific place in their minds. This begins and ends with the graphics and design considerations employed when branding. Design that is purposeful and resonates with the core offering/values that the business or product espouses is essential. Furthermore, it needs to be distinctive. Distinctive branding is how an organization will be able to achieve brand recognition.
The following list of symbols are examples of distinctive brands that have been able to separate themselves through effective graphic design in their branding. See if you can guess which companies each represent (see the end of the article for the answers).
- Three stripes
- Bitten apple
- Two Bulls
- Golden arches
Branding is, first and foremost, a reflection of the people that comprise a business and what they are striving to achieve. Employees will have to band together under the banner of their company in front of their friends and in open professional scenarios. Therefore, it makes sense that how the company is visually represented should reflect the tastes the organization workforce. If everything is synchronized internally – from the employees, management, and product offering to the branding – then the foundations are laid for the organization to impress third parties externally.
Design that is completed to a high quality will communicate a sense of professionalism to existing and potential clients. First impressions are key in converting leads to clients across many industries. The first impression of many individuals to a business and its product will be through how they choose to brand themselves.
To illustrate this, I shall use myself as an example. I am an avid online shopper and regularly make purchases on a number of different online stores. I only make purchases, however, on online shops that I trust. How I determine whether I trust an online store or not (rightly or wrongly) is by how well designed their online shop is. My logic is that only legitimate stores will take the time to design their online shops to maximize not only the customer’s experience but also their branding.
Graphic design is a key element in successful branding attempts. Business’ can either decide to outsource this crucial function, hire a graphic designer or do it themselves. The last option usually manifests out of necessity and is commonplace in startups and small businesses. Graphic design software like CorelDRAW is available for businesses in this situation (CorelDRAW coupon code here). Otherwise, hiring a graphic designer and keeping one available in-house would be better than outsourcing graphic design jobs. Having an internal graphic designer allows them to gain a more intimate understanding of the business and the product offering as opposed to risking a case of miscommunication with someone external to the company.
Answers: Adidas. Nike. Apple. Red Bull. McDonald’s. Lacoste.