So What Is This “Identity” Thing Anyway?
First of all, you want an overall “look” that is in keeping with who you are and what you have to offer. Finding that look is an important part of creating your identity. The colors, typefaces, images and words that go into creating your particular identity are a vital part of telling the world who you are. We live in a highly visual society and a culture where people have gotten accustomed to making choices very rapidly. There was a time when an ad in a newspaper or a commercial on television afforded business people the time and the space to sell their product. That's a luxury very few of us have these days. You have to attract attention fast and if the look you project doesn't grab attention, or sends the wrong message, you might want to rethink your visual image.
Second, once you have settled on a look and a visual image that works for what your product or service, it is important to be consistent in the use of those elements. You brand your business --- whether it is your paintings or your home-made dog biscuits --- by using the same set of identifiers (fonts, colors, images, etc.) over and over and over until the public gets so used to seeing them that they know in a flash who you are and what you offer. This takes time and a commitment to consistency but it does work.
Perhaps one of the most successful branding images in history is the Nike “swoosh”. The minute most people see that simple little image their brain registers “Nike”. We know you are not Nike but the same principle applies. Lots of artists have found an excellent brand identity by using their signature --- not just when they sign their paintings but by using a slightly stylized version of their signature on everything from business cards to ads in national art journals. The name of your business, whatever it is, should have its own unique and distinctive characteristics that you use as often as possible so people get used to seeing it. Business cards, invoices, brochures, letterhead, signs, ads, and especially web sites all need to be coordinated. Variations are possible but they should always keep to an established set of standards. (To see an example of extensive identity materials for book promotion, click here.)
This has two benefits. One is that it brands you and lets people know who you are in a quick glance. But, perhaps more importantly, over time it assures potential clients that you are an established entity or business --- something they can trust. Market study after market study proves that given a choice between two products and with all things being equal, people will pick a familiar name or brand over an unfamiliar one. You want to put yourself in the “familiar” category whenever possible.
Creating identity, and “branding”, doesn't happen instantly. It requires a good overall look and a commitment to using that look effectively to brand yourself, your services, your products, and what you have to offer. When we create a brand identity at Valentine-Design, we will include a list of the typefaces, colors (in CMYK and RGB), and logo images in any format you require as part of our service.
At Valentine-Design we're ready to help you create an identity unique to you --- elegantly and affordably.