Branding and Graphic Design: Is there a difference? Even though they both work towards the same goal, they are definitely different. And this difference will help you build your business. Let’s walk through them.
What is a brand?
Branding, according to Harvard Business, is your strategy. In other words, it is what your company stands for. Above all, it is your visual identity which should be established well before your logo is conceptualised. Branding makes your business unique. Your brand is like a melody that even performed by different voices and styles still communicates to the target audience you stand for.
The branding process involves management, product quality, analytics, customer support and design focusing on users – and not on buyers. This restricted focusing is essential. In addition, several surveys have proved that people’s perception, usage, preference and advocacy for the brands rely on the statement, “It makes my life easier”. Therefore, during the branding development, those discernments should be formed and reinforced.
So, what are the benefits a graphic designer can offer your company?
Graphic design is the art of visual communication where images, words and concepts are combined to convey information to the audience with the view of producing a specific effect. Summing-up, the most important question to have in mind when producing graphic or web designs is to make sure they are not just consistent with the brand, but that they offer effective ways to empower the brand both on digital and in traditional ways.
In other words, high-quality visuals increase viewer interaction to a much higher rate in the purchasing decisions. They also strengthen your brand with a quick identifiable face that helps to differentiate and promote your business.
How graphic designers work in branding
To help in the creation or development of a brand, the graphic designer will need to get involved with many aspects of the industry, from logo designs and advertising to copywriting and slogans. Namely, those elements are the ones who will make a company unique and recognisable to the audience and project the image it desires to portray. Therefore, fully understanding the goals of the company and the industry is a crucial aspect. Speaking personally, research and dialogue are my source elements. They are a basic starting point to design effective websites, brochures as well as logos, business cards designs, letterhead designs, packaging, slogans, ads, and several other kinds of marketing strategies.
Branding and Graphic Design working hand-in-hand
As mentioned before, the main focus of brand development and related graphic design is the user. Above all, the enhancing strategic process should have a cohesive message in visual forms with a focus on:
- creating demand for the use of the product or service. Sephora is a great example where they emphasise their products are perfect for any customer through the use of tester makeup, fragrances and accessories.
- Emphasising advocacy and not promotion. Melbourne Metro Trains used a mix of some cute cartoons characters with catchy music that turned out into a cult. Serious message delivered in a sing-along melody that you catch yourself singing unconsciously.
- Being concerned about what customers say to each other, customer communication, and not what your business will say to the customer. Airbnb where the emphasis is on the content generated and shared by their customers with their friends.
- Influencing how customers experience all aspects of your brand. Apple Stores removes the customer from the checkout area and allows them to have an experience.
As a conclusion, you can see that branding and graphic design professionals are essential for
- the communication of strong, and clearly stated message to your customers;
- to transfer concepts that will appeal to the audience;
- and add depth to your brand.
The most important question to have in mind when producing graphic or web designs is to make sure they are not just consistent with the brand, but that they offer effective ways to empower the brand both on digital and in traditional ways.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2019 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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