Bringing a Brand to Life
Julie Pelstring, AMR Senior Digital Graphics Designer
What do you think the biggest misconception of branding is?
Designing and branding is not just making something pretty. It’s choosing elements wisely based on what the brand should look and feel like, and who is going to be seeing/using your product. What vibe are you shooting for? What font, color, and language you choose – it collectively makes you feel a certain way, and that, is your brand.
Once you have that in place, all the decisions become easier.
What steps do you take to create the brand? How do you get there?
Your brand should be something you know by heart. Start by asking it questions. Is it masculine or feminine? Does it wear glasses? Would it wear hair gel? Would it go to the club or a fancy dinner on Saturday night?
It’s knowing who the brand is, its personality, at its core, and knowing the perception of the people who interact with it will have.
Once you know that, you’ve done the hard part. Now you can create a core piece that reflects who you are. And using that as a jumping off point, or a flagship piece, which will be the basis of all future pieces.
The framework of the brand gives you the flexibility to make things cohesive without being cookie cutter or exactly the same.
What’s a good example of building a brand?
When I came on board at AMR, there was a brand, but it wasn’t reinforcing what we wanted to say. Or more importantly, who we were at this stage in life. So, we asked the hard questions. Who are we? Who do we want to be? How do we get there?
Branding is a lot like personal awareness and development. Where we landed on our brand personality was:
- We wanted to be professional but approachable, so we moved to casual text (Hi, we’re AMR)
- We wanted to show that our people were our best resource, so we put ourselves front and center, and used only our first names on our website and in promo materials (We’re on a first name basis at AMR)
- We wanted to be modern and forward thinking, so I added a bright yellow and light blue to the color pallet and used negative space, which backgrounds and a sans serif font when updating collateral
What is one thing I can do to improve my brand?
Figure out who you are; that drives decision making. Once the brand is established, and the guiding principles are put in place, ask the question– is it in alignment with the brand?
One personal way that I like to look at design is like a puzzle – Incorporating all pieces, putting them all together, and creating a core understanding among all the members of the team- that will ensure implementation is cohesive, on brand, and will deliver superior results.