Designs that succeed have a method to their madness and work as brand faces. No matter the platform you implement a design system at, it looks great and conveys the brand’s identity if it’s coherent and strategic. Brand design systems are one of the key components to creating a successful business because that’s what your customers see and presume.
Since this is the age of visual attractiveness and you cannot do without a superb identity, you must undertake the crucial aspects of a brand design system. While many different aspects go into making a brand design system shine, we have shortlisted some of the top ones. Focusing on these vital areas will help you create a system that stands out from the competition and is instantly recognizable.
So if you’re in the process of building your unique identity, stick around while we dig deeper in brand design systems!
Let’s start with the basics: what comes to mind when you think about big brands like Pepsi, Google, or Microsoft? It’s most probably their logo, right? That’s what over 75% of people say. Your brand’s visual representation is your most powerful resource, and you must not overlook its significance. Your logo is more than a small graphic; it is the cornerstone of your brand identity and the foundation upon which everything else is built.
Your customers will associate your company with the logo they see on your products, marketing material, and social platforms, so it must convey the right message. It should be unique and memorable, and simple enough to be easily recognized. After all, you want people to remember your brand, not just the logo. Ultimately, a well-designed logo can build trust and credibility for your business and will continue to pay dividends for years. Consider the Nike swoosh, for example. It is one of the most recognizable logos in the world, and it has become synonymous with quality and success – a creative and strong logo can have that same impact on your brand.
A brand mark is a symbol that represents your company or product and is often used to differentiate your brand from its competitors. A well-designed brand mark can become one of a company’s most valuable assets, helping to build customer loyalty and recognition. Your brand mark should be immediately recognizable, encapsulating the essence of your brand in a single image.
Think about some of the most iconic brand marks in the world. The Nike swoosh, the McDonald’s arches, and the Coca-Cola script are instantly recognizable, no matter where they appear. They are simple yet effective visual representations of some of the most successful brands in history. And while a strong brand mark is vital for any size business, it’s especially critical for startups and small businesses still establishing themselves in the marketplace.
So what makes a strong brand mark? Here are some key factors to consider:
- Know your audience. What kind of impression do you want to make? Your brand mark should reflect your overall brand identity, which should be carefully crafted to appeal to your target customers.
- Keep it simple. As mentioned before, your brand mark will be used across multiple channels and contexts. It needs to be easy to understand and reproduce without losing its impact or effectiveness.
- Make sure it’s memorable. A good brand mark will stay with your customers long after they’ve seen it, helping to build recall and recognition for your business over time.
There are many examples of successful brand marks that illustrate these principles. Take Apple, for instance. The fruit symbol that represents the company is clean and minimalist, perfectly embodying Apple’s sleek and stylish product designs. Besides being a logo, this fruit symbol is also Apple’s brand mark.
Or look at FedEx – this company’s name is written in a unique font that is immediately recognizable, even when presented without any other context or branding cues. These are two examples of how a well-designed brand mark can give your business a competitive edge. So if you want your branding to succeed and be recognizable, start with your brand mark. It’s one of the most crucial aspects of brand design systems, and with good reason.
The font is another vital aspect of a brand’s design system because it sets its tone, eventually conveying its message and personality to its audience. For example, a playful brand might use a playful font, while a luxury brand might use a more formal font. A well-designed font can make a big difference in how a brand is perceived by its audience.
A well-choses font conveys the right message and creates an emotional connection with the audience. It can make a brand more memorable and credible. A bad font, on the other hand, can damage a brand’s reputation and make it difficult for customers to take the brand seriously. A brand can also use a font to create a sense of cohesion across all its touchpoints, from the website and social media posts to its marketing materials and product packaging.
Color psychology is an undeniable aspect of branding and marketing. If a brand leverages the power of shades and their placement, it’s already on the way to making an irreplaceable mark. Your color palette can create a distinctive look, convey a certain mood, and influence how consumers perceive your business. A well-designed color palette can be a powerful tool for setting a brand apart from its competitors.
Choosing colors that complement each other and work well together is good for brand design systems because they look cohesive. Likewise, the colors should be appropriate for the brand’s target audience and flexible enough to be used across multiple applications. If a brand succeeds in nailing these three aspects, its color palette becomes its identity.
Here are a few examples of brands that have created successful color palettes:
- Coca-Cola t uses red and white to create a classic look that is instantly identifiable.
- Microsoft’s color palette is clean and modern, using various shades of blue to convey trustworthiness and dependability.
- McDonald’s uses yellow and red to create an energetic and playful vibe.
Positioning of Visual Elements
A brand’s identity is its most valuable asset because it represents the business’s direction and purposes, along with differentiating it from its competitors. A well-designed brand identity system includes a clear positioning statement, which articulates the brand’s unique value proposition. The positioning statement should be reflected in the brand’s visual elements, including its logo, color palette, typography, and imagery. Compelling and color-coded positioning will help customers to understand what the brand stands for and why they should choose it over its rivals.
For example, Nike’s positioning is “Just Do It.” This simple but powerful statement has helped to make Nike one of the most recognizable brands in the world.” Just Do It” is more than a slogan; it is a rallying cry that inspires people to push themselves to their limits. When customers see Nike’s logo or hear its tagline, they are reminded of their aspirations and motivations. In short, a strong positioning can be the key to unlocking a brand’s true potential.
A brand’s design system isn’t all about its colors and typefaces. Imagery is also a powerful tool for creating a cohesive, recognizable aesthetic. Indeed, the right image can convey a brand’s personality and values in a way that words alone cannot.
Consider, for example, the logo of the cosmetics company Glossier. The soft, pink hue and playful font evoke a youthful, dreamy feeling – precisely the kind of products Glossier sells. In contrast, the stark black-and-white imagery used by Apple conveys a feeling of sophistication and reliability. Every element of Apple’s branding – from its ad campaigns to its product packaging – relies heavily on strong visuals to communicate its message.
In today’s visually-driven world, it’s clear that imagery is essential for any brand that wants to stand out from the crowd. Carefully crafting a visual identity lets brands create an instant connection with their audience – one that goes far beyond mere words on a page.
The layout is what allows a brand to communicate its message effectively. A well-designed layout can establish a brand’s identity, create a sense of coherence, and build a relationship with its audience. The layout can also highlight specific elements of the design system, such as the brand’s logo or color palette.
As an example, consider the layout of Nike’s website. The clean and simple design helps to communicate Nike’s brand message, while the grid-like structure creates a sense of order and hierarchy. As you can tell from our examples, Nike’s website is an excellent depiction of how the power of visuals and color psychology can create an effective design system.
We hope you found this guide helpful and that it motivates you to deploy excellent brand design systems of your own. Here’s a quick sum of the vital aspects of brand design systems:
- Visual hierarchy creates a clear and ordered interface
- Typography can add personality and professionalism
- Color psychology can influence emotion and user behavior
- Grid systems provide a framework for consistent spacing and alignment
With these aspects in mind, you’re well on your way to developing strong branding that will resonate with your audience. Thanks for reading!