In the past, horses and cattle were branded.
With the help of a fire-iron they were branded a sign on the skin. A proof of ownership or race was documented by these symbols or letters.
This brand should allow a clear assignment and recognition of the animals.
Nowadays, companies, but also self-employed and freelancers have a brand. And I do not mean tattoo. The logo is more of a brand. Other design elements such as colors, images and typography are also included. Together, they make the so-called branding .
And just as with horses, branding makes it possible to assign and recognize a company.
What exactly is the branding?
Translated into German, branding means “marking” .
Entrepreneurial labeling probably started in the consumer goods sector. Cars, cigarettes and beers were developed into so-called “brands”. The products should appear more attractive than the competition offers and should have a high recognition.
At some point not only products but also services were marked, such as insurance, postal services, consulting services, etc.
And then there was no stopping at the companies themselves. Siemens, AEG, VW have become their own brands. They are anchored in our memory. We recognize you quickly.
Branding is therefore closely related to the concept of “brand”. It goes beyond the pure trademark.
For in addition to the pure visual recognition, a branding ensures an emotional connection to the company and a concrete idea of a company in terms of content .
The popular concept of corporate identity also plays a role. This designates the identity of a company. This is quite comparable to the personality of a person.
The branding goes beyond the corporate identity, or could be described as a kind of development.
It does not matter if it’s called branding, corporate identity or brand. It is always a process that can not be created by just a few design elements. It goes beyond the visual. Also, the associations, ideas that people have of the products, services or companies shape the brand. You can not handle this branding, you can not create it directly.
In the end, it’s about emotions!
Branding provides even more emotional bonding by uniting the ideas of customers, employees, business partners and the interests and ideas of the company.
Branding wants to control this emotional process and try to influence it positively. This includes all aspects of the business card to telephone customer service.
“Branding helps differentiate products or services from competitors and keeps customers emotionally engaged.”
The branding of large companies has impressed (left side). If the colors are changed, the recognition is no longer given (right side).
Why do you need a branding?
No matter if big or small, whether global player or freelancer, service or product. Targeted, controlled branding pays off for everyone.
The visual aspect alone ensures a high recognition value for the target group through the consistent use of certain design elements and thus remains in memory. A uniform corporate design will leave a professional impression.
An individual appearance ensures sufficient differentiation from the competition and its offers. Especially in times when many products and services are interchangeable, branding is a success factor.
With a branding, the image can be determined, thus controlling the perception of others. So it’s also about the feeling that the target group is being conveyed, or the feeling that it feels in contact with the product or the service.
Transparent, authentic and personal communication can be achieved through branding. Consistently designed branding with well-planned communication therefore offers strategic advantages and opens up new opportunities in the competition.
A brand wants to convince, of a brand, a product or a service.
Four examples of comprehensive visual branding.
More examples can be found in the Branding Journal .
The visual branding elements
The corporate design is something like the visual component of branding.
The design should convey the core messages. First and foremost is the logo design, as the most striking design element.
But a corporate design goes far beyond the logo. This includes colors, images, typography and the design grid.
It is a bundle of different components, which can also be set differently, but are still recognizable by some striking features.
A corporate design manual defines the individual design elements.
The uniform visual appearance is the basis for a convincing brand perception and a duty for a professional branding.
The color as an emotional element
Without colors, we would not see anything. Only light and colors ensure that we can recognize visual stimuli.
So before we can interpret a logo and its statement, we have already perceived and interpreted the colors of the logo. Because without color contrasts, a logo would not be noticeable at all.
Without sufficient color contrast, texts would be unreadable.
Colors are perceived first! And colors are an aesthetic and emotional design element. They affect us, both physically and mentally.
It is said: pictures say more than a thousand words. If you like, an area with a color is already an image that creates countless associations. In this respect, this phrase applies above all to colors. (Achim Schaffrinna, diploma designer, designtagebuch.de )
Colors and their effect give us everywhere in everyday life. Even nature deliberately uses colors. Plants and animals attract loot, deter enemies, mark their territory, etc.
This color science of nature is also deep inside us humans. Your emotional impact on us is enormous.
Red always means caution or danger and is therefore used for example at stop signs or traffic lights.
Blue calms through the association with the sky and the sea and is therefore also an expression of freedom and space.
Colors generate strong emotions, even for a company.
To ensure that color recognition is high, many companies use one or a maximum of two main colors. In addition to these, other colors may individually set accents, but these main colors provide for emotionality, recognition and differentiation.
Not infrequently, that a company alone can be recognized by the color.
The use of color not only creates emotions, but also uses them specifically for branding. Colors give the company a certain personality, a feeling, an identity.
It’s less about classic stereotypes. Blue is not blue and red is not red.
The context matters!
Without it, a paint job does not make sense.
The color in web design
Colors also play an important role in web design.
Crucially, they shape the first impression of a website, because they are the first design element that is perceived.
In addition to the images used, colors also ensure the emotional impact and the mediated atmosphere of the website.
Due to their contrast and their use, colors ensure a weighting of the element. Which contents are more significant and which are less. They can generate attention, convey content, and visually group items.
Color is therefore a wonderful design tool that can convey the desired statement directly and unconsciously.
However, inappropriate colors can destroy content.
Color Branding – Best Cases
The importance of colors for branding, recognition, and the identity of a company can be strikingly demonstrated to large companies that attract media attention with a corresponding marketing budget.
brandcolors.net lists the color codes of major international companies.
But even with smaller medium-sized companies and even the self-employed, the use of color can ensure a high degree of recognition and differentiation. The following examples are particularly successful cases for a targeted use of color with a high recognition in web design:
The perceptual and emotional effects of colors make them so prominent as a branding element. Consistent use of the same colors in the various media ensures recognition. Ideally, the viewer alone recognizes the company based on the color (s). This also develops a kind of familiarity. What man (again) recognizes, he finds first pleasant. He knows what he is and I do not have to reorientate first.
The use of color must match the company, the product, the service and the desired statement. Their use should be carefully chosen. A website just with colors “freshen up” or because certain employees of the customer have special color preferences, pointlessly select shades, can backfire quickly.
Unity, recognition and differentiation are the three saints of color use.
These are achieved when an individual shade has been selected that appears appropriate. Because unlike the fonts or the pictures (which, of course, both also have great significance), colors shape the overall communication and thus the branding decisively and sustainably.
In upcoming articles I will discuss the successful color choice including the selection of suitable color combinations for screen designs.