Brand design is critical to brand success, but there are many myths about what a successful brand should look like.
This article dispels 12 common myths about brand design, from the notion that every brand must include a complementary symbol to the idea that it must match the profile of the target audience or be “sales-oriented”. We explain why these myths are false, and provide some tips on how to create a consistent and recognizable brand.
Myths about Brand Design
- Any trademark must refer to the activity of the company or the identity of the product.
FALSE: It is a common misconception that every mark must allude to the business or product identity of the company. While this may make sense in some cases, most brands do not have to follow this line. In fact, many successful brands have names that have nothing to do with what they do. Instead of focusing on what they do, brands should focus on creating a unique and memorable identity.
- Each mark must contain a symbol that complements the logo.
FALSE: Another common myth is that every mark must contain a symbol that complements the logo. While this can be useful in some cases, it is not always necessary. In some cases, the symbol may even be superfluous or even optional. The important thing is that the brand has a coherent and recognizable design.
- Every trademark must be unique, i.e., it must not respond to conventional graphic codes.
FALSE: It is also false that each mark must be unique and must not respond to conventional graphic codes. In some cases, a conventional and recognizable brand may be more effective than a unique and little-known brand. What is important is that the brand be consistent and adequately represent the organization or product.
- In any brand, the logo must be manipulated, that is, the letters or the relationship between them must be altered.
FALSE: Another common myth is that every brand must be friendly, informal or colloquial. In reality, this is only true in very few cases. In most cases, a professional and serious brand is more effective in establishing credibility and trust in the organization or product.
- Every trademark should be friendly, informal or colloquial.
FALSE: Another common myth is that every brand should be friendly, informal or colloquial. In reality, this is only true in very few cases. In most cases, a professional and serious brand is more effective in establishing credibility and trust in the organization or product.
- Every brand must be modern, that is, conform to contemporary graphic languages.
FALSO: It is also not true that every brand must be modern and conform to contemporary graphic languages. In some cases, a classic or retro brand may be more effective in connecting with the audience. What is important is that the brand is consistent with the identity and values of the organization or product.
- Every brand must adhere to the latest graphic trends.
FALSE: It is important to point out that not all brands must adhere to the latest graphic fashions. In fact, only brands of short-lived companies should do so. If a brand wants to maintain its relevance and durability, it must have a timeless and consistent design.
- Each mark must be “refreshed” at regular intervals.
FALSE: It is also false that every brand must be “refreshed” periodically. A redesign is only warranted when poor quality or loss of competitiveness is identified. It is important to remember that a consistent and recognizable brand is fundamental to connecting with audiences.
- Every brand must be “dynamic”, i.e. it must be able to change its shape.
FALSE: Another myth states that every brand must be “dynamic” or designed to change shape. This is not true and should only be “changeable” if the diversity of activities requires articulated sub-brands. Flexibility is important, but not at the expense of brand consistency and identity.
- Every brand must fit the profile of the audience.
FALSE: The brand must fit the profile of its owner, whether it is an organization or a product, and it is the offer that must be attractive to the target audience. If it adapts too much to the tastes of the public, the uniqueness and identity of the brand can be lost.
- Every brand must be a “seller”, i.e., it must encourage people to buy.
FALSE: Not every brand must be a “salesman” and encourage purchase. In some cases, a brand can be more effective if it focuses on building a long-term relationship with the customer. Instead of selling, the brand can focus on building an emotional connection with the audience.
- Every brand must be synthetic and pregnant.
FALSE: Finally, it is assumed that every mark must be synthetic and memorable. Although this should be the case in many instances when the requirements of reading speed and memorability are paramount, in other instances this requirement is superfluous. Clarity and coherence are more important than brevity and simplicity.
Tips for designing a brand
Creating a professional graphic brand is a unique and specific process that does not follow universal rules or predefined recipes. The design must be adapted to each case and, in particular, take into account the specific constraints of the company’s strategy and communication needs. Each brand has its own characteristics and requirements that must be taken into account in the design process.
It is important to remember that the generality of standards is not always applicable in brand design. As mentioned earlier, all twelve hypotheses presented are incorrect due to the inclusion of the word “all”. Each case is unique and must be evaluated individually to ensure that the graphic brand effectively conveys the message and achieves the organization’s goals.
Creating a professional graphic brand requires thorough research to understand the specific needs of the company and its target audience. This includes determining the company’s values, its position in the market, its competitors and its current image. Only with this knowledge can a brand be created that is truly representative and effective.
In summary, graphic brand design is not a universal process and the specifics of each case must be considered. Each organization has its own identity, and its brand design must effectively reflect this in order to achieve the organization’s goals. Therefore, it is important to work with professional designers who are able to handle the specific case and create a unique and effective graphic brand for the organization.
Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for designing an effective brand. Each brand is unique and must be designed in a way that is consistent and appropriate for the organization or product. It is important to keep in mind that many of the common myths about brand design are not true and that each brand must be analyzed individually to determine its optimal design.