Your Visual Identity is the presentation of your company or entity to the public. Every brand image starts from a logo design acting as the symbolic centerpiece of your identity, followed by graphic and web design to create a consistent personality for your brand. Design, layout, colors, and graphics, they collectively express the personality that you want to convey and that your target audience will associate with your brand.
A logo is the symbol that represents a company, entity or a person. Before you start designing a business card, letterhead, or any other part of a brand identity, a company/entity must have a logo. It is often the most important design element because a logo is the basis for all other marketing materials. To this end, logos are one of our specialties at KDbranding.
There are a few different logo styles worth highlighting:
1. Symbol or Icon (Brandmark)
This type of a logo design doesn’t have text associated to it. Larger companies like Apple, Nike, Playboy, Mercedes etc. usually select this style of logo, but for small companies it can be risky since it doesn’t express what the company is about or reinforce the company name. These logos are memorable, simple and easy to implement in designs and branding; they easily fit in everywhere a logo is desirable. A symbol can also express ideas much stronger than text. In most cases symbols or icons are abstract shapes or stylized eye-catching objects, a simple representation of a business.
2. Lettermark (Initials)
Lettermarks are basically initials from a company or brand name. Some of the most famous logos of this style are: McDonalds, IBM, CNN… They are similar to symbols but are a text or acronym based mark that represents their business. Many companies choose to use this type of logo because their name is too long, hard to pronounce, or it just have too many words (and initials). They can be very creative and captivating. Merging 2-3 different letters can really make strong and lasting visual impression.
3. Wordmark (Typography, Text)
Wordmark is typography based logo or commonly referred to as a logotype. The best examples are Coca-Cola, Google, FedEx, Disney, Facebook… They may seem simple but it’s deceptively hard to find the right font that will fit your company image and stay memorable and creative. Text-only logos are great choice for start-ups, and individuals (for example bloggers) too, because they spell out the company or brand name. Most of the time (99%+) the font is custom and designed just to be used as a logotype.
4. Combination Mark (Symbol and Text)
These logos are combination of a wordmark, lettermark, and symbol or icon. It gives the flexibility for the use of just a symbol or symbol & name of a company. Well known logos in this style are Adidas, Macys, Sprint etc. Combination mark logos are common and spans across all industries. They are particularly popular because businesses can have the best of both worlds: their name and a visual icon next to it. It requires more time for a designer to create an exceptional combination mark due to their complexity which requires all elements of the logo to work seamlessly together or separately.
5. Emblem (Symbol with Text inside)
This type of logo is similar to a Combination Mark; however, it doesn’t have elements that can be separated. Instead, it is an icon or symbol that often incorporates text within it… The most popular emblem logos are BMW, UPS, and Harley-Davidson… This type of logo usually is associated with companies that have short names or predominant acronyms. It can be tricky to design an emblem since they are more difficult to downsize and maintain readability of the text inside the symbol. Proportions are critical.
Stationery Design (business card, letterhead, envelope)
Designing Stationery as part of one’s branding is always challenging. It has to encapsulate the personality of your brand and express exactly your entity strives for: trendy or classic, modern or vintage, professional and/or approachable. It is part of your Visual Identity that has to leave a lasting impression on the minds to your clients and consumers.
It is especially important to have professionally design stationery to make your business standout. Business cards are frequently a marketing tool and first impression, followed by letterheads and envelopes which are the key elements of a consistent brand and design. If your print material is not extremely attractive and it’s not something that people would like to hold and read, you just missed a chance to show how serious and credible your business is.
I found one resource that explains it well: “You wouldn’t send an email without your company logo and formal signature attached at the end, would you? So why would you send a paper letter printed on plain white copy paper? Even if you hand-sign the letter, if you don’t have corporate letterhead then you’re passing up a stellar marketing opportunity. “
Well-designed business stationery tells current and prospective clients that you’re worthy of their trust.
It is extremely important that each detail in your business image is eye-catching and it leaves a differentiating, positive and strong association to your clients.