The Art & Science of Logo Design

In today’s visual world, your brand’s logo design can be all the difference between success and struggle of your brand. A logo is the face of your brand, if I ask you to imagine Nike what is the first thing that came to your mind? Their shoe? No, I’m sure for most of us, it's their iconic swoosh.
Such is the power of a logo!

Picture this. You are driving on a busy street and a series of cafés on either sides of the road are trying to steal your attention. How do you decide which one would you try? In addition to the logo, the larger brand identity - including facade design, café ambience, colours, use of materials, textures, lighting etc. - all should be narrating a unified story. You can make your choice in an instant, and wonder what drew you inside that café. Such is the power of branding. Logo is the face of the brand. But, it needs to be tied

to Brand’s Purpose and DNA. All of it needs to narrate a strong message about your brand. 

A logo is not only a graphical exercise.

There’s a lot of thought and research that goes into creating a logo for your brand with the right colour and your brand story. A logo needs to be simple yet elegant. It could be as small as a favicon or seen in half - it should be memorable and identifiable.

Did you know, in just 400 milliseconds, a logo can trigger emotional & behavioural responses? Neuroscience tells us that logos and brands behind them can activate parts of your brain in a much deeper manner that you may think.

A study conducted by researchers at the Amsterdam University found that logos start playing with your subconscious mind at a very early stage of life, they found that children of 2-3 years of age could easily recall a logo and the product it represents in 67% of cases. 

Have you heard of the golden ratio? The golden ratio is 1:1.16 derived by mathematical principles that is found in nature elements, space matter, and even sound waves. It has a pleasing nature and is used in art, paintings, music, architecture, and design for over thousands of years. Studies have shown that anything that contains the Golden ratio is perceived as beautiful, perfect and harmonious, even if we are unaware of it. 

Not all logos need to be designed as per “Golden Ratio”, but the logos that are, remain timeless and classic. Logo Design process is not as simple as having a team of graphic designers making some sketches or illustrating ideas. It needs to have a meaning, behind every stroke, every pixel, every curve. Meaningful brand identities can inspire trust and association. Let’s do it methodically.

Get help from a professional Branding Agency for your logo design.

Read more about Types of Logos & their uses here.

Article contributed by:

Riya Wadhwa, Brand Artisan - Marketing

4 Important Elements of Packaging Design

Packaging is known to be the identity of a product. It is extremely important for your product to get noticed amongst the hundreds of other products available on the shelf. Packaging is an integral part of any Branding Strategy to glamorise a product in a way that would not only catch the consumer’s attention, but also would be a great source of advertising. Packaging plays an important role educating the customer about the product; it’s also like having a direct interaction with the brand. As said by Martin Neumier “A retail package is the last and best chance to make a sale.”

The four main elements of packaging are Colours, Visuals, Typography and Format. These elements help the consumers to relate to the brand easily and tend to have a high recall.

Colours have great psychological impact and can draw attention to your product. In order to stand out, brands often choose colours that do not belong to their brand colour palette. This disruptive behaviour is good, but may not always work in favour of the brands. Colours are known to be the most important part of packaging because they subconsciously reflect the personality of a brand; also it is the first thing to be noticed and can be visible at a distance as well.

Visuals & Mascots help in associating with the brand and create high recall value. Visuals are graphical representations of the product inside, where one can easily understand what the product is without having to read.Mascots on the other hand are an additional element that may in some cases strengthen the identity of the brand. A mascot is easily relatable by every age group. Brands like Amul still extensively use’s their mascot named Amul girl for all their communication and branding. This over the years has become a part of their identity and is now very relatable by the consumers. Another Indian brand using a mascot is Air India using their mascot named Maharaja, for their communications.

Typography is another powerful part of Brand Identity. Just like colours have meaning; typography represents the values of your brand.  Every typeface has a different set of connotations and hence will create a unique representation of who you are and what you stand for, as a brand. Brands often use bold fonts and serifs to catch attention, as they’re clean, simple, and easily readable. As mentioned, fonts also have a different meaning. The font used for the IBM logo demonstrates power, while Coco-cola and Disney cue fun.

The format of Packaging is designed in such a way that it attracts the attention of the consumer and can be easily spotted on the shelf. Format of packages largely depend on the products, keeping in mind the requirements and convenience of a consumer. For instance, products like shampoos, oils, ketchup, etc come in various sizes as well as in sachets which encourage the consumer to try them.

Read more here: 5 Golden Rules of Packaging Design

Article contributed by:

Riya Wadhwa, Brand Artisan - Marketing


Difference between Logo & Brand Identity

People often use Logo and Brand Identity loosely and interchangeably. Logo is not the same as Brand Identity, although they are very closely linked.

Let us first understand what do these terms mean:

LOGO
A trademark-able symbol, graphic, visual representation of an organisation that reflects beliefs and values of the organisation whilst enabling public recognition.

BRAND IDENTITY
Key identifiers of a brand that includes Word, Sign, Symbol, Colours, and Design Style that makes a rand recognisable. Logo is a subset of Brand Identity.


Building a Brand Identity is an exciting process. It’s a collection of tangibles like a logo, Brand Colours, Typography, Tone of Voice and Communication system. The more specific, distinct and cohesive these elements are, higher would be the likelihood of Brand Recall and Brand Association. And this would allow your customers to distinctly remember your brand differently from the crowd. A consumer is only able to do so when a brand is able to consistently communicate this through its service, packaging, use of media and quality of products.

Brand Identity is divided into Visual and Verbal identity. Visual elements make your brand stronger and have a positive recall. While elements like Tagline, Tone of Voice and the use of media form a brand’s Verbal Identity. For any brand to have an effective and robust Brand Identity, it is mandatory that both, Visual and Verbal Identity of the brand are in sync.

On the other hand, Logo is one of the key elements of Brand Identity.  A logo is known to be the face of the brand, the first impression of your brand. A Logo creates a visual impact and consumers instantly connect with the brand with the sight of a Logo.  For a brand to be successful it is essential to have a well designed, unique, memorable and aesthetically pleasing logo.

Logos can be classified in three types: Typographic logos, Symbolic logos and the Combination of the two. Typographic logos are stylised text of the Brand Name or its initials. For instance, brands like Google, Subway, Sony, Disney use it. Symbolic logos have a symbol representing their brand for instance Audi, Mercedes, Apple, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Most of the brands use a mix of both as their logo like Adidas, Pepsi, Doritos, Burger King. Read more about the types of logos here.

To conclude, a Strong Logo is the key to an effective Brand Identity. Though they are overlapping concepts and both are equally important for the success of a brand

Article contributed by:

Riya Wadhwa, Brand Artisan - Marketing

Evolution of Colours and their role in Brand Identity

Evolution of Colours and their role in Brand Identity

Colours are known to have effects on a person’s psychological, physiological and sociological behaviour. Thus, colour is an important aspect while considering the brand identity system.

Why is Tone of Voice important?

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A German Philosopher (Friedrich Nietzsche) once said ‘We often refuse to accept an idea merely because the tone of voice in which it has been expressed is unsympathetic to us’. It is not only the ‘what is said’ but also ‘how it is said’ that matters to us. Tone of Voice for a ‘brand’ is no different. It is an expression which tries to appeal to the Benefit Group, which thereby helps in creating an emotional connect with them.

Tone of Voice is the purest Verbal Expression of a brand. It helps in portraying a Brand’s Personality. Though it is an integral part of Brand Identity, it is the one of the most underrated aspect of it. The Tone of Voice for a brand not only defines what and how a brand should speak but it also defines what things it should ‘not’ speak. The choice of words, sentence length, humour or sarcasm, witty or outright clever - all of these form part of Tone of Voice.

Consistency in the tone helps in creating right image of the brand that is aligned with the Brand’s Personality. Well, if you doubted, how important is consistency, why just one philosopher, there was another German who iterated the importance of it. 'If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.' An entire German (Nazi) empire was built on this. Coming back to brands, consistency can only be achieved if their tone sticks to their Personality. While most efforts go toward visually manifesting the Brand Values through design, the Verbal Expression is as important and must not be ignored. As Simon Sinek says, ‘Trust is not an instruction, it’s a feeling’; only a consistent Tone of Voice helps in creating this feeling of trust amongst the Benefit Group.

Thus, Tone of Voice helps in creating an association in the minds of the Benefit Group regarding the personality of the brand; An association which they can empathize towards. The one that can help in creating lasting emotional connect with the brand.

- Article contributed by Aditya Deole, Marketing Team, Yellow Fishes

Why brands should narrow their focus?

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For ages, one question that has haunted entrepreneurs is ‘Should I improve my offerings (and not expand)?’ You must be thinking this is crazy or an invalid question. But it's not. It is quite an smart practice that most established brands have adopted. Yet it goes unnoticed. Let's take an example. We have at least one coffee shop in every neighborhood and it serves everything from coffees to buns to finger food to tempting desserts. But when we talk about great coffee experience why does a green circular logo pop into our head most often.

Merely following what successful brands are doing is not a good idea for an upcoming one. They have done something in the past to reach where they are now. So, we’ll have to look back in time - to their roots & their foundation. And when we do that, we’ll always find that all successful brands at have mastered their core offering.

Domino’s used to sell pizzas, sub sandwiches and everything possible. But then Tom Monaghan dropped the subs, narrowed the focus of brand and concentrated on pizzas. Domino’s innovated the insulated pizza delivery boxes, that can be easily stacked up without crushing the pizza inside, to target campuses. Same focus-narrowing strategy has been followed by Absolut, Hermes, Colgate, and Coca Cola to name a few. Had these brands rapidly expanded to other categories, they wouldn’t be the benchmark of their own category today.

So how does this happen? Why do some brands narrow the focus to strengthen itself? We live in an over-communicated world. We are exposed to thousands of marketing messages each day. In such circumstances, having an astute marketing strategy is hardly going to fetch any Brand Loyalty. Although the following factors, achieved by narrowing the focus, will:

 

1.           Innovation and creativity

Only when you are focused, will you be able to put in maximum effort in understanding and serving your benefit groups. This will help you build innovative and creative solutions in form of your product or service and change lives. Best example would be Adidas. Even though today you enjoy a myriad of merchandise by Adidas it all started from only sport shoes meant for athletes.

 

2.           Association

A brand, most importantly, has to create an association in the consumer's mind. Associating one brand to multiple aspects create a lot of confusion. Dolce and Gabbana, the high fashion brand, shut the cheaper D&G fashion label in order to disassociate Dolce and Gabbana with cheap apparels and to concentrate on their main collection. Because of D&G label the brand faced a slowdown as their benefit groups lost perception of exclusive products. Narrowing the focus aids association.

 

3.           Experience

Any successful brand creates a pleasant experience for its benefit groups at every interaction - before, after or during the purchase. If the brand's focus is not narrowed down and is trying to be jack of all trades, it will hardly be able to create an experience and evoke any aspiration. The best representation of this is Apple. Apple takes immense care that their benefit group must love the brand for every experience it creates.

 

These factors directly affect the brand awareness and loyalty. The narrower the focus of a brand's offering, the stronger it will be.

For the world’s best coffee, that Green Circular logo of ‘Starbucks Coffee’ pops because the brand once narrowed its focus to master in Coffee – of course it also sells great savories and desserts but it has become synonymous to coffee. Their commitment and focus on coffee is evident from their name, even till today.

 

- Article contributed by Himali Jangam, Marketing Team, Yellow Fishes

Types of Brand Architecture

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Brand Architecture, is an important Brand Strategy tool that studies and defines the relationship of parent brand with its various child brands. It is a very deliberate exercise that defines how closely each child brand should be linked to the Masterbrand. Associations or Dissociations are visually & verbally depicted in brand communication – though its name, logo, packaging, sales collaterals etc. Let’s have a look at the 3 most popular types of Brand Architecture.

 

BRANDED HOUSE

This Brand Architecture type has the parent brand, which is always closely associated with the child brand. The names of the sub-brands are attached to its parent brand. We can also see the relationship in the logo, packaging, and brand communication – all are aligned to the parent brand.

Virgin is an example of Branded House Architecture. Virgin airlines, Virgin café, Virgin digital etc.

Yellow Fishes Best Branding Agency in Mumbai India Blogpost Types of Brand Architecture - Branded House

Is this Strategy right for your brand? Branded House is built on fundamentals to gain great visibility for the Masterbrand. It broadens the perception of the organization's capabilities / business. It helps in leveraging brand investment most effectively.

 

HOUSE OF BRANDS

House of Brands is a Brand Architecture Strategy where a parent brand owns and manages various sub-brands, each of those is a unique brand. Those sub-brands don’t closely relate themselves to its parent brand. Their distinctive personalities are seen through Brand names, logos and communication style.

Chevrolet, Hummer, Chrysler, Cadillac, Jeep, Mazda, Opel, Buick etc. You’d be surprised to know that the age old General Motors is their parent brand.

Yellow Fishes Best Branding Agency in Mumbai India Blogpost Types of Brand Architecture - House of Brands

Is this Strategy right for your brand? House of Brands Architecture is slightly more flexible Architecture. Under this Architecture, each brand can address distinct market segmentation needs, with unique marketing and communication strategies.

 

HYBRID ARCHITECTURE

This type of Brand Architecture Strategy uses merits of both – Branded House and House of Brands. This is a combination model where all kinds of parent-child relationships can co-exist. Some of the sub-brands are associated closely with the parent brand while some other sub-brands dissociate or have a distant relationship with its parent. 

The classic example of this architecture is that of Volkswagen. VW owns brands like Bugatti, Seat, Audi and Skoda. But it also carries a brand on its own name. 

Yellow Fishes Best Branding Agency in Mumbai India Blogpost Types of Brand Architecture - Hybrid Architecture

Is this Strategy right for your brand? Hybrid Brand Architecture is a combination of Branded House and House of Brands. This architecture has the most flexibility for acquisitions; spin-offs, leveraging brand equity, different products / brands that suit different marketing segments etc.

 - Article contributed by Aditya Deole, Marketing Team, Yellow Fishes


Read more on Brand Architecture here.

Types of Emotional Benefits

Let’s start with an experiment. Melt a Toblerone and mould it into a slab. Ask a friend to taste it and observe their reaction. Most probably your friend will throw it at you and will be disgusted for having such a terrible taste in chocolate. And you would agree with him after you taste it yourself. That pops a question in my mind.

Why is Brand Personality important?

To understand the importance of Brand Personality, we have to first understand the meaning of Brand Personality. Imagine a Brand to be a Person. How would that Person behave? How would s/he speak? Whether that Person is well travelled or s/he seldom travels? What kind of car s/he would be driving? And clothes… how would s/he dress up? Brand Personality is the Human traits/Personality attached to a Brand.

4 Questions that will make you rethink your brand strategy

Your brand promise is the singular strong idea that your customers and employees can relate to. In the most ideal scenario, your established brand promise should connect meaningfully to all your stakeholders. Brand promise needn’t be articulated in words; it should be your way of business, delivered at every brand touchpoint. ...

Difference between Brand Strategy & Marketing Strategy

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Many businesses often get confused about the difference between Brand Strategy & Marketing Strategy. And it is understandable because they are not mutually exclusive strategic concepts, but heavily intertwined. They are very interdependent, so much so that they define and inform the extent to which the other could go. Brand Strategy defines what the business stands for and how will it be relevant to its Customers. It takes care of Customer expectations and Brand Promise made to them. It also informs how the brand will communicate - its Tone of Voice. Marketing Strategy, on the other hand, defines how the Promise will be communicated and what mediums will the Brand use. It also determines how to make the business profitable by increasing Brand Awareness and Customer Conversions.

Brand Strategy pivots around Emotions of Customers. It defines softer attributes - like Brand Values that are fundamentally imperative to business success. Marketing Strategy is more tangible, quantifiable and measurable.

Brand Strategy is manifested for both - internal and external stakeholders. It helps Customers to create an Emotional Bond with the Brand while also giving employees a purpose and clear goal to work towards. It helps the business understand who they truly are, and adds sense of purpose within the organisation. Marketing Strategy is targeted for external audience, specifically to garner more Customers.

Conclusion:

So what is the difference between Brand Strategy and Marketing Strategy?

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Brand Strategy is the key to effective Marketing Strategy. They have always been, and will always be interdependent strategic concepts. They both go hand-in-hand. One cannot replace the other. Each strategy needs to be developed with utmost care and focus. There is no either / or between the two. But, a friendly shake-hand that multiplies the strength of your Brand.

Write to us and we'll be glad to help you with these specialised disciplines.

The 5 Golden Rules of Packaging Design

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Packaging Design, also known as Package Design is very important element in your Brand Identity. A good Packaging can easily inspire trust and enable you to command premium for your products. Whether you're looking at creating a new Packaging Design or refreshing an existing one, here are 5 Golden Rules you should take into consideration.

 

Rule No. 1: Your Packaging Design should be true reflection of your brand/product

Neither over-promise, nor under-deliver. Packaging should be mirror image of your Brand/Product. It is quite human to form expectations looking at the package. Your Brand should not disappoint customers, or trick them into something they don't expect. Use the Front of Pack (customer facing side) to clearly express what the Brand stands for. Use both Visual + Verbal methods to do so.

 

Rule No. 2: Your Packaging Design should be consistent

Your product may have multiple variants, Packaging formats, or may be sold in varied sizes. It is important to have all of them look consistent. Own a Visual and Verbal style and know that your customers will recognise you with it. Consistency always inspires trust.

 

Rule No. 3: Your Packaging Design should be clear and precise

Use your Packaging as vehicle of your Advertisement. You can communicate a lot on your Packaging if you use the Real Estate smartly. Include the reasons to believe in your Brand.

 

Rule No. 4: Your Packaging Design should be different and own-able

A unique Packaging pops out on the shelf. Differentiate your Packaging by means of format, shape or Colour Palette. Today, we have great ease in recognising Tide with orange colour, or Cadbury Dairy Milk with purple. We instantly know it, without even reading Brand names. Pringles box and coke bottle does the same magic. That's the power of differentiation.

 

Rule No. 5: Your Packaging Design should be functional

Think about the environmental footprint of your Packaging. In international transits, cost of transportation is by cubic metres of space occupied, so keep the package moderately small. Deliberate over Packaging materials and shelf life of your products. Make it recyclable, if possible. And of course, adhere to all legal compliances.

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Bonus:

Try to raise the bar. Break at least one norm in the category you operate in. And delight your customers.

Typography: Classification & Uses

Typography is the study of typefaces, and the manner in which the type is laid out, to best achieve the desired visual effect and to convey the meaning most effectively. Typography is a lot more than selecting a few fonts and using them in design. It is important to understand the meaning behind each category of typeface and which typeface is right for the brand. Think of a famous logo. Okay, ready?...

Design needs Attention to Detail

The other day we stepped out for office lunch and went to our favourite pizza restaurant nearby. While devouring our pizzas and coke, we started casual conversation about this interesting wall backdrop (pictured above). We were completely baffled to notice numerous design mistakes coming from an international pizza brand. There are 9 things wrong with this backdrop and we'll list them all below...

Brand Architecture

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Brand Architecture is an important strategic process in Brand Development. Brand Architecture, simply put, is the relationship between various Brands in an Organisation. It defines how should two Brands be related or be completely unrelated. Brand Architecture informs how should each Brand behave, how should they talk, what should they believe in and how do they Visually Express themselves. It maximises Visibility of every Brand in the Portfolio.

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Whether you are establishing your first Brand, or you’re big enough to Merge/Acquire another company or have grown to be Multi-Million Dollar Business with several Brands, Brand Architecture is important to you.

Scenario 1: You are starting your first business

Consider you are a budding Entrepreneur and have plans to start a new fine-dine Restaurant in the coming months. Subsequently, you also have plans to start a Sports Bar and a Themed Cafe.

A. You decide that all these 3 businesses should run as ONE Brand. They should all be built on same Values, have same Brand Name, Logo and Visual Style. Great. You will save on Marketing Expenditure and can leverage the Equity of already existing Brand Name. But, if you deliberate a little more, you’ll realise that all the three businesses will cater to different set of customers.

B. Hence, you may want to consider option B, where you’ll give each business its own unique Identity, unique Brand Name, Logo and Visual Style. Well, there are demerits of doing so as well. You’ll have to establish each of the Brands from the beginning. Investing so much of time and money may not be worth it. Here is where a Branding Agency comes in. By systematically analysing multiple parameters, you’ll be recommended if all or none of the future businesses should carry existing legacy.

 

Scenario 2: Your existing business is successful. Now, time for a new business. Or perhaps, a merger or an acquisition.

In such situations, Brand Architecture Strategy can help you in three ways:

1. Avoids Cannibalisation:

BMW 3 series doesn’t cannibalise sales of 5 Series because they are meant for different Customer Profiles. If you’re sporty and young, you’d go for the 3; and if you’re more of an Executive Class who is mostly chauffeured around, you know the 5 Series is your choice. This takes us to our second point.

2. Clarifies offerings:

Brand Architecture bring order and clarity to the portfolio. It can help Customers differentiate between two products of the same company (House of Brands) or it can help them identify two Brands of the same company (Branded House). This also helps Customers choose what they want. It is easier to decide between MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, as compared to two windows computers from HP.

3. Optimises expenses:

A clear and easy to understand Brand Portfolio helps Brand Owners to optimise Marketing spends on each Brand and control Management expenses that otherwise would have been out of proportions.

 

About The Brand Meridian Model:

The Brand Meridian Model is our Proprietary Tool that solves most complex Portfolio issues to help maximise business resources. It irons our any anomalies in the Portfolio whilst also optimising and leveraging Brand Equity. You can learn more about The Brand Meridian Model by writing to us.