Brand Identity

Brand identity is essentially, the face of a company, it is what the consumer, the audience, the viewer first observes, and for these reasons the identity must show what the company represents, it must portray an emotion or style to depict what the company is about, however it must do this in a very subtle and subliminal manor, and give the viewer a sense of the companies morals. The logo is a very important aspect of brand identity, however it is only one factor in many different details to give a company or business its face, the logo is of course where you get your first impressions from, but it is only a gateway to the company’s image.

 “A brand is not a logo. the term logo is short for logotype, design-speak for a trademark made from a custom-lettered word (logo is greek for word). the term logo caught on with people because it sounds cool, but what people really mean is a trademark, whether the trademark is a logo, symbol, monogram, emblem, or other graphic device. IBM uses a monogram, for example, while Nike uses a symbol. Both are trademarks, but neither are logos..What really matters here is that a log, or any other kind of trademark, is not the brand itself. it’s merely a symbol for it.” – Neumeier,M (2006). 

According to Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D., from his book ‘brain longevity’; the average american sees 16,000 advertisements, logos and labels in a day. –  Singh Khalsa, D (1999), David Airey, in his book ‘Logo design love’ demonstrate this be showing a picture of every logo he saw whilst doing his morning routine, from the toothpaste he brushed his teeth with, to his laptop at work, Airey goes on to explain that all of these logos are stored in our memories and we build a trust or relationship with specific brands, these brands are usually the more expensive luxury products, as they have a better brand identity and connect with the audience, for example a person is more likely to buy walkers crisps rather than a supermarkets own brand crisps, the crisps are practically the same, the own brand crisps are cheaper but the consumer will buy walkers because they have a better brand identity and advertising.


  • Neumeier,M (2006). The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Business Strategy and Design. berkely, CA: New riders. 1.
  • lamson, G. (2013). Designing a Brand Identity. Available: Last accessed 25th Jan 2014.
  • Airey, D (2010). Logo Design Love. CA: New riders. 2-9.

creating a brand…

Creating a brand is not the same as designing a corporate identity programme, though the confusion still persists. A brand is a great deal more than a logo, more than a graphic universe, more even than the sum total of all its visuals, slogans and ancillary products. A brand is a invisible entity, a story in the mind of consumers, a sense of excitement at the prospect of seeing, touching or acquiring a particular thing. in other words, a brand is a compelling story.

Heller S, Vienne V (2012), 100 ideas that changed graphic design, Laurence King publishing

The power of persuasion

Dan Ariely asks, Are we in control of our decisions?

The power of persuasion is not something you directly identify with design, but i think it plays its own part, its a designers job to create an emotion in the hearts of there intended audience, the consumer. me, you.
Persuasion and the ability to influence a person is something you would usually associate with a person, like Derren Brown, but thats not what i’m looking at here, these videos detail how companies and business use tactics and strategies to entice there target audience and persuade them to participate, communicate or buy what they are offering. the reason this helps me is because knowing how a business works and manipulatesit audience, can give me an advanced insight in how i should design for them.

In the above video, Dan Ariely looks at why some people chose specific options as opposed to the other choices available, and why simple changes in design can make all the difference. His knowledge of the human mind and how the vast majority of people think about basic tasks, is what make this video so interesting. His example that explains that changing a question that says: “tick if you want to participate” to “DONT tick if you want to participate” can be all the difference, especially if that question concerns organ donation, he explains that that is why 7/10 counties in Europe, have high numbers of people willing to donation there organs, and why the other 30% have low numbers of people.

Knowing how people think is something i believe a designer should know, it is important to understand the subliminal choices and emotions that a person make when viewing a piece of design, be it a logo, poster, website…ect.

Coca-Cola’s Empire

Coca-Cola get their prestigious and reputable identity from their persistence to keep to tradition, they continuously strive to look forward, however they never forget there their roots stand. The Coca-Cola logo is a prime example of this, in the company’s 100 odd year history the logo has hardly changed, if any change at all, however it always stays looking fresh and tidy on all of Coca-Cola’s products.

Consistency is the key to their success, you will notice every year, around november time that the same specific Coca-Cola advertisment appears on our television screens, both the company and we, the consumers, see this as a tradition, and another factor to cokes gigantic empire, it is one of the many branding/advertising strategies used by Coca-Cola.

– “There is nothing particularly special about the product that separates Coca-Cola from other similar drinks: its just a maroon, fizzy, sweetish drink that is momentarily refreshing. there are plenty of other drink that do the same job. So why is coke one of the world’s best known and loved products? Because of consistent, ubiquitous distribution and promotion. – wally olins, the brand handbook

One thing that Coca-cola do to stay ‘in the loop’ is to think of new ideas for promoting their products, one of the recent changes was the introduction of the green bottle, their aim; to reduce the impact their packaging has on the environment.

Coca-cola’s responsible marketing charter:

  • We don’t market any drinks to children under 12 because we believe parents should choose the drinks that are right for their families. We help parents make informed choices through better consumer information
  • We will work with an independent consultancy to constantly monitor TV ad placement
  • We do not have direct commercial agreements with primary schools and are only in secondary schools by invitation
  • We will not associate ourselves with cinema films where the core audience is under 12

The Coca-cola logo:
In 1886, Frank M. Robinson, suggested to his partner that the drink should be called Coca-Cola, thinking that ‘the two C’s would look well together in advertising’, he wanted to create a unique logo to go with it, he proceeded to experiment with writing the company name in elaborate spencerian script, which was a form of penmanship characteristic of the time period that coke was invented.
– ‘The white swirl, also known as the Dynamic ribbon, was added in 1969 as part of a graphic redesign, the design for Coca-Cola was based on a bold, dramatic curve, reflecting the unique contour of the bottle.

The fact that the elements of the Coca-Cola brand have changed barely or in a very minimalist way over the past 120 years, are some of the key reasons that the company is one of the most famous and most popular brands in the world.

  • Olins, W (2008). The brand handbook. london: Thames & Hudson. 40-41.

Notes from The brand handbook

‘A brand is simply an Organisation, or a product, or a service with a personality’

‘predominantly brands where advertised at the person who bought the shopping, usually the housewife (1950’s…) thats why historically advertising has been so important.’

‘the corporate personality (design council 1978)’

Branding activity rules

  • is a design, marketing, communication and human resource tool
  • should influence every part of the organisation and every audience of the organisation all the time.
  • is a co-ordinating resource because it makes the corporations activities coherent.
  • above all makes the strategy of the organisation visible and palpable for all audiences to see.

The consistency of purpose derives from the vision, or the core idea, and is almost always the base from which a successful branding programme can be developed.

[page 30/31 take away questions]

‘The prime identifier for almost all brands is the symbol or logo. the other tangible elements – colours, typeface, strap-lines or slogans, tone of voice and style of expression (sometimes called ‘look and feel’) – are also important.’

 logo 7

Product:  What the organisation makes and sells.

Environment:  The physical environment of the brand, how it lays out its stalls.

Communication:  How it tells people, every audience, about itself and what its doing

Behaviour:  How its people behave to each other and to the world outside.


Web branding for a drinks product

The above images show how a companies identity can be used in a web design format, with most of the sites the first element the user sees is the logo in the top left corner, it is here because a internet user will read a web page in a left to right ‘z’ shaped pattern, meaning once they have seen the logo they will move over to (with most sites) the navigation bar and then down to the main content. meanwhile through the whole site the designer will have maintained the company’s colour scheme and typefaces, they do this to trigger parts of the viewers memory to make them form a database of what the company’s memorable elements. What i mean by this is: if a poster for a product used helvetica and the website used century gothic, the viewer would get slightly confused and feel that either one is untrustworthy or fake, consistency is key when forming an identity.

Logotypes for drinks products

The above images are a collection of logos from some of the biggest drinks companies in the world, looking over them i have noticed that many are very bold and loud, they use bright vivid colours in a range of different hues, however a few are actually white and rely on the background colour to extenuate the chunky, broad nature of the logotype.

The logos are like this because they must stand out from competition on a shelf of some or all of the above products, it is interesting that from these products, the most popular is most likely coca-cola, which is the only logo from the list that uses and cursive typeface whereas the others opted for bold san-serif, sometimes outline font that use an array of bold eye-catching colours, when coca-cola use a specific tone of red to entice its audience.

A little look at brands & design

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