Whether it’s on purpose or not, your company has a brand. This corporate identity makes them relatable to their customers and helps them to stand out from their competitors. There are many individuals that determine the makeup of a business’s brand, including members of the C-suite and the Human Resources manager; however, one can never forget that the graphic designer is a key member of that team.
Graphic designers form an essential role in the process of creating and maintaining a company’s image or brand. All advertising campaigns, the potential candidate experience, and behind the scenes customer service and technical support activities must promote the single identity of the company, and the designer’s hand dips into all of these fields. The graphic designer works in many areas of the company from logo design to copywriting to the online presence to form and letterhead creation.
The goal of a brand is to portray the company in a unique, recognizable, and positive way. This could include the business name, the logo, a catchy slogan, local and national commercials, and that large billboard off of State Street. But a brand is also made up of each experience the customer has with the brand, from the salesperson in the store to the customer service representative. It also, in a different way, stretches to the hiring team and the experience that candidates have when applying to work at the company.
The brand image – what people perceive about the company – is not always what the company intends. Sometimes, a brand image may be negative and the company must work to improve its image to the public.
When done right, a company’s brand can help it become a household name that is identifiable by a shape or color. Think of Nike’s swoosh or the McDonald’s golden arches.
In order for a graphic designer to create a brand for a company, he needs a full understanding of the organization – it’s goals, it’s attitude, and even it’s field as a whole. To accurately represent the company, a designer must completely research enough about the organization to present an effective depiction of the company’s image through lines, shapes, colors, and words.
What should you expect from your graphic designer working on creating your brand? The answer varies. A designer working in branding will use a broader focus than one simply creating a website or a newsletter. Instead, he is developing an entire campaign with a consistent message throughout using various media that touch upon every aspect of the company’s advertising.
Your graphic designer could work on any or all of the following elements in a branding campaign:
- Business cards
- TV, radio, internet, or in-store advertising campaign
- Typeface design
- Packaging creation
- Hiring experience
The graphic design team must understand every aspect of the company and its field in order to communicate with you and others involved in creating a brand.
Branding can be seen everywhere you look. It exists in characters, like Mr. Peanut for Planters and Mr. Clean, and in phrases like “They’re grrrreat!” (Tony the Tiger describing Frosted Flakes) and Just Do It for Nike. Branding can even be in a typeface, such as Walt Disney or Coca Cola’s recognizable text. Branding has become so recognized for so many brands, that games and apps exist that test one’s knowledge of different company logos and brands.
Branding does not, however, need to spread across every media in the way one might think. For instance, the Pillsbury Doughboy is recognizable enough, but that doesn’t mean that he needs to be on every employee’s business card and every letterhead and every piece of advertising that exists. Your brand can include multiple pieces of a puzzle that all come together to represent the company, but are still recognizable as belonging to the puzzle by themselves.
Oftentimes, we know a website or company by the familiar colors and graphics, such as Facebook’s white F surrounded by blue, Twitter’s bird, or Pepsi’s red, white, and blue streaked circle. They use these brand symbols often enough that they stand out on their own and we can recognize the brand even in the absence of text.
Logos on products, the packing they are wrapped in, and the slogans repetitively used, are all examples of branding. The fact that the organizations consistently use each of these elements – whether alone or in conjunction – shows that the graphic designers successfully developed a branding campaign that has transcended the company name alone.