The process of branding your company is a simple one, with a little bit of knowledge. First, you need to be able to develop a business plan, outlining the goals of your company and the needs of your client. Develop the length of time required to achieve this business plan. Second of all, if you do not have a business name, chose one that suits your company. Be sure to check the internet to see if a domain name is available and make sure no one in the state claims that name. Next, you will want to consider the look, feel, and emotional response you wish to gain with the client’s first contact with your business.
One of the most important things when branding a company, is to appeal to color psychology. Choosing the right color palette to reflect your business is crucial to the emotional and psychology feel of your product or service.
Hot, Trending Colors
An easy way to find the latest trending colors, is to visit your local big box home improvement store. They have paint chips with colors paired together that work well together and appeal to the current market. But, go there with the basic understanding of color theory and knowledge of what colors inspire your clients.
Basic Color Theory
Study the color wheel to help you choose the right color combination for your design.
Roy G. Biv
In college, I learned the color spectrum as Roy G. Biv. These letters represent the colors of the rainbow. First, I start with the warm hues. I have red, orange, yellow, and move toward the cools with green. The cools are blue, indigo, and violet. When I see these colors, I immediately think of:
RED – hot, passion, drama, suspense
ORANGE – warm, cheerful, positive
YELLOW – hot, sunny, happy
GREEN – calming, nature, fresh
INDIGO – corporate, loyal, trustworthy
VIOLET – spiritual, luxurious, creative
If I look at any color wheel, these colors will fill the same places around the perimeter of the circle. The color value demonstrates the intensity of the color. In computer graphics, I would probably refer to it as the saturation of color. The best demonstration of color value is most easily seen between black and white. Black would be the full saturation of color and white would be the opposite. The gray scale, making up the colors in between are the value of black. Each color around the color wheel has its own value. In another example red would be the most saturated and pink values would lighten as it approached white.
I use analogous colors in my design work. I choose colors that are side-by-side on the color wheel. For instance, I combine warm colors, like red, orange and yellow. Or, I might want to use cool colors together instead. I just chose the next analogous color and go for it. I either go clockwise or counterclockwise on the color wheel to choose my next color. I might go with a blue-green next. I continue in the same direction around the wheel.
A complimentary color is a color on the opposite side of the color wheel from the one you used last. They are harmonious with one another.
This is where going to the paint center can help out with more advanced combinations. Take a look at a booklet and see how the colors are used in a room. Take notice of which color is used as just an accent color and which is most dominant. It can be quite helpful in your own branding design.
Interior Design Inspiration
Take a hint from interior design on using texture and pattern. Look at interior design magazines to get a sense of how these elements are used. The viewer moves around the room using all senses to explore the environment. Take notice of what the latest trends are. It could be fabrics on a sofa, bedspread, accent pillows, or carpeting. The repetition of an element can create a tactile sensation. Embossing an item can create and actual tactile feeling. The room can be busy with patterns and textures with various neutral spots to give the viewer a visual break. Or, it could be very sleek with focal points of texture or pattern. Another thing to observe is whether the current trend shows a tight pattern, loose pattern, or a combination of both. Additionally, note if the elements of the texture are large or small. For instance, does a fabric have large printed flowers or does it have several very small ones paired together?
Pattern and Texture
Pattern and texture are observed through many methods of design. The pattern could be made from the fabric itself. The material could be textured by the tightness of the weave or the product used, such as burlap, rattan, loops, shags, or die cuts. The pattern can also be created by what is printed. Textile fabrics are designed in a repeating pattern. It can be drawn to simulate texture or be drawn as flowers, stripes, polka dots, or various other illustrations. Another way to create pattern and texture is through tiles. Kitchen counters, bathtubs, and floors are laid with tile. Take notice if the trend is to have tile that is all alike or if a pattern is created with contrasting pieces. Natural elements are also common in creating texture. Wood has natural grains and is usually laid horizontal or vertical. Rocks are often used, such as in a stone fireplace or floor of a shower.
Mood and Tone
So, now that you have observed the latest styles and trends, apply it to your own design. Make sure to set the tone and mood of your company by adding texture or pattern. How will they be used to serve you best in creating a little spice to your overall branding experience?
Branding using Architectural Design
As a designer branding your own company, you may want to take a look at architectural design. To understand architecture, you look at both the inside and the outside of a structure. The design may not even stop there. An architectural designer has also studied the environment and location of the structure being built. How it is positioned on a lot is also considered.
Check out what is trending currently. It might be a historical revival period or maybe a sleek modern style gaining popularity. The structure may be extremely ornate and luxurious. Or it my have simple lines and stick to basics.
Look at the scale of the structure. It may be popular to go large or maybe conserve resources and go small.
Analyze the spatial relationships of the structure. It could be a pattern of small cubes or look more like a Piet Mondrian, Dutch artist, painting with various sized spaces. The volume of space may be large and encompass several floors or be small like a Frank Lloyd Wright, American architect, home with short ceilings.
Next, observe the use of of positive and negative space. Something may be breaking up a space like a centrally located staircase. Or, maybe you could consider well lit areas and those that are clouded in darkness as positive and negative areas. Even how a shadow is cast through a window is considered in the overall design.
Combine what you have observed and apply it to your branding project. Remember, branding is not just logo design. The design must reflect what is on the surface of your company and the heart within. Trade show booths, pamphlets, and company annual reports might be best used to demonstrate an overall architecture of a company.
Fashion Show Inspiration
Catch the latest fashion shows to see what look is new this year. This is a great place to see what colors, texture, and patterns are trending. Study the outfit and accessories. The clothing demonstrates the base and the accessories are the embellishments of the design. Apply what you see to your own branding design, whether it be the luscious designs of Oscar De La Renta to Calvin Klein’s sophisticated apparel. Notice what style of clothing is popular. It could be high society, fifties swing, modern goth, shabby chic, and so on. Apply this style to your own design.
Building your own Outfit
Creating your own brand is in essence building your own outfit. So, think about what is the main focus of your business and how it is assembled. The branding you create, like an outfit, is a reflection of your product or service. Make it current and sought after. You are looking for that magical something. It could be used for shock value or is thought provoking. It needs to be present in your branding design to send a message to your customer or client.
Apply Principles of Design
Be sure to include the principles of design in relation to color, texture, pattern. You can scream at your client in a big, bold, red color, with lots of texture. Or, you can speak softly in small patterns of muted colors with a splash of bold color to focus your attention on one item. Look at how a trendy outfit is put together. Use this arrangement in your own design. This outfit can be used as an example of negative and positive space. An outfit may be top heavy, swing to one side, or flow out the back. The look and feel of your business branding should reflect the feel and mood of the current fashion trend.