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All You Need to Know When Designing Brand Identity & Tips on Portfolio Building

All You Need to Know When Designing Brand Identity & Tips on Portfolio Building

Before expanding any brand, business, or company, it has to be organized and recognizable for your audience and potential clients. A brand identity shapes the different aspects of the brand and its marketing strategy while supporting the goals of the business and the consumer experience. A successful brand identity consists of various key elements that set the intentions for the brand and for the business or clients. 

What is a Brand Identity? 

The meaning of brand identity is the combination of elements that a company creates to display the correct image to consumers but is different from the brand image or branding. Brand identity becomes associated with the product or service and establishes a connection with consumers for improved customer loyalty and perception. The development of a brand identity should evolve the core values of the brand, determine the value proposition, and establish an ideal target audience. 

How to Develop and Design a Brand Identity 

Developing a brand identity is essentially knowing who you are – what makes up your brand and why. Things to keep in mind while establishing a brand identity are your mission, values, brand personality, uniqueness compared to others, and the overall brand voice. Before deciding on a visual identity, the foundation of what the brand is has to be clear and well-thought. Once the basic elements are laid out, it’ll make it easier to move on to the visual aspects of your brand. 

1. Brand Voice 

Before designing a brand identity, the foundation of what the brand is has to be established. The visual identity has to support the actual identity of the brand to reinforce the overall voice of the brand. There are things to keep in mind when setting up a brand identity to highlight the voice such as what the brand promises to provide for customers and what makes it unique or stand out from the competition. Plus, focusing on the keywords or the characteristics of the brand also helps in choosing visual concepts. 

2. Typography 

Depending on the typeface, the brand will transmit a distinct impact that should match the aesthetic of the brand. Some fonts may be more youthful, while others may give off a more serious vibe. Although there are typefaces that tend to be neutral, the issue is making those stand out from the other neutral font brands. 

3. Color 

Dictates the emotional impression of the brand. Different colors have different meanings so it’s vital to familiarize yourself with the background of each color to accurately reflect the aesthetic of the brand. The chosen colors can also affect consumers’ purchasing behavior. The colors of the brand should also coordinate with the voice and keywords of the brand itself. 

4. Logo  

The shape of a design is also indicative of the expression of the brand. Sharper edges will provide a more serious and stable feeling while rounded edges express a warmer or more feminine tone. While a brand logo is important along with a corresponding shape, a brand should also have various versions of the logo for different uses such as a wordmark. 

5. Consistency 

Once the brand identity is created it’s important to maintain the brand over time. Having guidelines for brand materials helps in coordinating how and when to use them. Another key aspect is the idea of brand reinforcement. This doesn’t mean including the brand logo on absolutely everything but rather enforcing content where and when needed to support the brand values. Reinforcement and consistency can be involved in the form of the logo or by utilizing the brand style or color palette as long as the visuals are recognizable as the brand. 

What is a Brand Portfolio? 

A brand portfolio helps in evolving an identity around your brand and consists of various elements. Essentially, a brand portfolio is a representation of the brand, its work, skills, and experiences. The following features are ones that should be organized when arranging a brand portfolio: 

  • Mission statement: A brand’s mission statement should describe in clear terms the purpose for building the brand, the background, and the reason for the chosen time frame for establishing the brand. 

  • Description and images of the product: To provide transparency and full understanding, a brand should produce a product presentation from production to packaging to store positioning. 

  • Product and market research: Data collection of competitors, potential marketing channels, and sales opportunities allows brands to see what’s working and what’s not to shape their own strategy and surpass the competition. 

  • Business plan: Every brand requires a well-thought-out marketing strategy and business distribution in order to follow a plan and ensure success. 

  • Visual brand identity: This would include all visual aspects such as logos, fonts, and colors that correspond with and support the brand's written and foundational identity. 

The Importance of Building a Brand Portfolio 

The importance of a brand portfolio begins with a critical sense of communication to fully comprehend the goals and objectives of the brand. A portfolio also helps avoid tunnel vision with the brand, which could be very influential in future budgeting and deadline decisions. Rather the solution is to establish a defined strategy which is done by analyzing all aspects of a brand – its background, its purpose, and its goals. 

  • Identify your objectives: You must know what the goal is for creating a portfolio first before diving right in. What is the primary goal for your portfolio? What is the portfolio attempting to achieve? 

  • Determine your target audience: Before appealing to the target demographic, you must understand them and their needs. What are the ideal audience demographics for your brand? 

  • Plan for content: The content must be relevant to the target audience in order to fully appeal to them. The process is not just about presenting information but also forming it to be instructional, educational, or persuasive while maintaining an entertaining tone. 

Steps For Building a Brand Portfolio 

A seemingly intimidating task, building a brand portfolio is just an organizational tool for the brand. This is vital not only for presenting all the information to potential clients but also helps in organizing a plan for yourself and the brand. A portfolio also works for promoting and highlighting the achievements and credentials of the brand and its products or services. There are several brand design portfolio templates online that one could use as a reference while creating your own, but essentially the following elements are what make up a complete brand identity portfolio. 

1. Plan a Strategy 

Not only is it vital to plan out day-to-day ideas but also long-term decisions and investments. Elements like investor goals and risk tolerance should be considered while brainstorming a brand strategy plan. 

2. Clarify Mission Statements & Objectives 

Once a plan is put in place, the supporting information must be clearly presented for any cooperating prospects. An explanation of why the brand became, what its purpose is, and the intended target audience serves as the intro which would then expand into where your product or service would be sold, what makes the brand different from others, and what the competitive advantages are. 

3. Elaborate on Products, Services, or Projects 

The services or products of the brand should be clearly defined in the portfolio including the purpose, sizes, color options, materials, and benefits. Images should also be provided as well as a video demonstration if applicable. Each product or project could also be described in detail through its parameters, the challenges encountered during the project and how it was resolved, plus the end outcome. 

4. Feature Associations, Testimonials, or References 

If a collaboration is applicable, include a summary of the brand’s involvement with the organization or people of the industry. Client success stories or testimonials will provide credibility to the brand and its products for potential new clients. It also helps in promoting the benefits through real-life examples. 

5. Add a Call-to-Action 

Placing call-to-action buttons will encourage your website visitors to do whatever the intended call-to-action is. Whether it’s “call now” “place order,” or “sign up here,” the CTA should draw people’s attention through size, page placement, or color contrast. 

6. Provide Contact Info 

Make sure to include all contact information for the brand so that customers will be able to efficiently reach you. The location of the info should be organized together and should be easier to go through in case visitors have any questions. Information such as an address, phone number, and email would be helpful to include, as well as any social media networks. A contact form is necessary to keep customer questions or concerns in order. 

Develop Your Brand at IMM 

Istituto Marangoni Miami has the resources for you to develop your own brand and brand identity. Through clothing design courses in our associate, bachelor, or master’s programs, students are able to advance their skills in fashion design or other fields to use in their future endeavors within the industry. For those who wish to take their skills to the next level without having to dedicate their time to a full degree, The Miami School of Fashion also offers short courses on fashion design, as well as for fashion business, fashion styling, and interior design. The short courses are intensive, one-year programs that will guide you through the basics of the chosen area of study with a final individual project to encourage using all previously learned skills and techniques in the program. The classroom teachings from local and international instructors who have extensive industry experience ensure that you become a well-rounded professional who is prepared to be successful in the industries of fashion and luxury.

  • Brand Identity
  • Brand Portfolio
  • Fashion Business
  • Portfolio Building

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