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Full branding and brandbook guide

From strategy and legend to visual identity and launch. Checklist, tips, and formulas.

Contents of the manual
To move to a section - click on it
Who is this article for
Here's a complete guide for building a brand. The checklist of everything branding consists of. Each section is filled with tips, examples, and life hacks. You will not have any blind spots in your mind about branding after reading this article.

This article will be useful if:

  • you are a startup without a well-defined brand;
  • you are a medium-scale or small-scale business and you already have a brand, but it lacks the unity of ideas, and design;
  • you already have a fully functioning brand but you would like to rebrand it;
  • you are only thinking about creating a brand and do not know where to start

The purpose of this article is to give you a complete understanding of what a fully-fledged brand book of any business consists of. After reading the article, you will be able to work comfortably with a branding agency or designer's team. You will be able to speak the same language as them or even start developing your brand on your own.

What is Branding?

What is branding? Is this what your logo looks like? Or what type of font is our text typed on your site? Or maybe this is your social media copywriting style? Is this how your company name sounds in different languages? Is this what your employees' uniforms or colors look like in your presentation? Is it the emotions that people associate your brand with, or is it the material your business cards are made of? If you think branding is about all said above then you are right.

Here's the branding definition we've formed at Lime Queen:

Branding is a set of design, legends, and a company's strategies with the help of which it takes a unique position in the market, stands out favorably among competitors, and creates the desired image in the consumer's mind.

Jeff Bezos described branding in a very cool way.

What tasks does branding solve?

  • Awareness. Good branding increases awareness and loyalty of people to your brand, and it helps to increase your income at the same time;

  • Communication. Branding helps you communicate with your audience. Well-designed branding will non-verbally tell your company's vision, mission, and ideas;

  • Staff. Strong branding helps attract and retain the staff;

  • Loyalty. High brand loyalty allows you to painlessly increase the markup on goods;

  • Tracking. Scaling. It is easier for a developed brand to create additional products under its brand because they will immediately get attention and trust;

  • Brand value. A strong brand makes it easy to go out of business or sell it.
Explore Lime Queen portfolio
We lovingly create logos, brand identity, websites and design consulting .

What does branding consist of?

People often confuse branding with other terms. For example, calling branding only visual identity like logos, colors, fonts, and corporate graphics. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. The way a brand looks directly depends on what strategy it maintains and what its inner world is (the legend).
So, globally, the branding of any company consists of three parts: strategy, legend, and visual identity.

If we would compare these three parts with people, then the legend would be their character and inner world, the strategy would be their life plans, and visual identity would be their clothes and appearance. Further, we will find out in detail what the brand legend and identity consist of.

What is the difference between a brand book, a logo book, and a corporate identity guide

Several concepts are often confused - brand book, logo book, and corporate identity guide. Let's quickly get acquainted with them and move on.

The logo book is your logo in all possible variations.

Corporate Identity Guide is a document that contains a unique visual identity, designed specifically for your brand + rules for its use.

Brandbook is a set of all key brand information. It includes a logo book and a corporate identity guide, but equally importantly, it contains a detailed description of the brand's strategy and its legend.
This was the introduction, where we found out what branding is and what tasks it solves. Now let's move on to a detailed review of the main parts of branding - strategy, legend, and design.

Part 1. Brand strategy

Brand strategy is the foundation on which all communication of your brand with consumers is built. This is the basis that dictates all brand behavior. With which audience the brand will communicate, where and in what style this communication will take place, what values the brand will promote, and through what positioning it will stand out from competitors. But first things first.

Market and product

Before you start developing a brand strategy, you need to take a close look at your product or service, as well as the market in which you will be working.
— What problems do you solve?
— What features and characteristics does your product have and what benefits does it bring to your customers?
When talking about the market, try to determine what is trending, how full the market is, whether the geography of the region influences how customers interact with products and services like yours. When you understand the market, it will be easier for you to understand where your product should take place in that market.

It will be much easier for you to understand who will pay money for your product or service knowing the answers to these questions.

Target audience

Understanding who you offer your product or service to is one of the foundations of a successful brand. The correct definition of your target audience is a very extensive topic and we have devised a separate article for it.

In that article, we have examined in detail such topics.

  • the needs and pains of your target audience;
  • person's profile creation;
  • demography;
  • psychography;
  • audience tag cloud;
  • points of contact between the audience and your brand;
  • what's going on inside your TA heads;
  • a selection of tips when working out the TA;
Be sure to read this article. Because understanding your target audience is a must for successful branding.

    Competitor analysis

    Knowing who you will be competing with for customer's attention and money is vital. Compiling a list of competitors and their features will help you to find your place in the market and choose a positioning, pricing, and advertising strategy.

    What do you need to know about your competitors?

    • What do they offer?
    • What is their business model?
    • How do they position themselves in the market?
    • What do they look like?
    • What are their prices and are their customers ready to pay that much?
    • Can you offer something extra for the same price?
    • What marketing steps do they use and which of these do you find most effective?
    • Why would people prefer you over them and vice versa?
    • What do they do badly?
    • Do they offer anything you don't have?
    • How and what does their audience react to?
    • Is there something about them that touches you?

    Competition within a niche and competition between niches.

    It often happens that you fight for the people's choice not only with direct competitors but also with other types of goods and services.

    For example, your business is brewing beer. So, you are competing not only with other brands of beer, but also with other types of alcoholic beverages such as wine, low alcohol drinks, and even with strong alcohol.

    Or if you have a karaoke bar, then people who decided to sing on Thursday night will choose between you and other karaoke in the city, but shouting to the microphone is not the only leisure option. Sometimes they can choose bowling, a pub or sing karaoke on a large plasma at home.

    Therefore, in your communication, show not only the advantages over direct competitors but also the superiority of your niche over the alternative.

    Does the world revolve around your brand?

    Looking around and seeing competitors is important, but building your brand strategy entirely around other market players is probably not the best idea.
    Looking around and seeing competitors is important, but building your brand strategy entirely around other market players is probably not the best idea.

    This is the same as choosing a Halloween costume based not on your mood and inner feelings, but focusing on what other guests will wear.

    Such a strategy will not reveal your personality, it will not delight you for a long time, and when asked why you have such a costume, it will be embarrassing for you to tell the truth. In addition, new competitors may appear around you every month, you will not adapt to them every time.

    That is why, your brand strategy should take the market and competitors into account, but most importantly, it should be based on your inner feelings, values and, of course, on the real benefits that you can give to the people.

    Such a brand strategy will work as a perpetual motion machine. Now is the time to talk in detail about what is under the hood of a strong brand.
    Happy New Year
    Unicorn website
    An example from our portfolio

    Positioning

    Positioning is the place your brand has in the marketplace among the competitors.

    It sounds pretty easy. You just have to find this exact place.

    Positioning should be short, concise, and instantly understandable. If you over-complicate your positioning description or use too vague wording, your audience may simply not understand what reasons to buy your goods.

    How to formulate positioning?

    Five fundamental advantages are most often used in positioning - price, service, speed, quality, originality.

    You can create profiles of your competitors by evaluating them for each of these characteristics, and then doing the same with your brand. Understanding your strong sides and points of superiority over competitors is the first step to successful positioning.

    "We are cheaper and do not use the expensive branding that our competitors have, but we offer cost-effective solutions for low-income families."

    "We are more expensive than our competitors and we don't want to compete on price because we offer a much better service.""Our products are of normal quality, but the price is quite high due to the unique presentation and personalized service."

    "We do not surprise anyone with our product, it has the simplest packing, but in half an hour it will be in your hands"

    Advice: If there are many competitors in the market that you cannot compete with in terms of price and other characteristics, the specialization narrowing method may help you. For example, you are developing websites. Websites are developed by a lot of companies around the world. That is why, if you choose one type of site (for example, it will be positioned as absolute experts in online stores) your position on the market will be immediately clear.

    For example, we are at LQ and specialize in creative design. We do not create template sites and we have a special approach to each project. Therefore, we position ourselves as ideal partners for brave brands whose goal is to make something unforgettable.

    Proofs

    Your positioning in the market must be supported by facts.

    If you offer super quality and service, the reviews on your profile should be talking about that. If the prices in your restaurant are twice higher the average, then the food, presentation, and decor should match this.

    If you offer something creative and bold, and your site is made on a ready-made template, then something does not add up.

    Positioning check.

    Once you have formulated your positioning, test it out by asking yourself these five questions:

    1. Are we being honest with ourselves when we position ourselves in that way?

    2. What are the risks of not holding on to this position?

    3. Do we have the resources to honor our pledge?

    4. How viable is our positioning in the coming years, given the market changes and technological advances?

    5. How close are our competitors to this positioning?

    The answers will help or confirm your positioning or help you adjust it.

    USP (Unique Selling Proposition)

    In principle, everything is clear from the definition. When developing a USP you need to take a close look at your product, the service level that you provide, your prices, your audience, and your competitors.

    And then, after weighing your greatest strengths, articulate why the potential client should pay you.

    USP is something that makes people choose you over your competitors.

    • Landing page with a conversion guarantee of 8% for $ 1000 and 5 days.
    • Eco-products jam with a unique taste.
    • This product is guaranteed for 5 years longer than our competitors.
    • Fastest pizza delivery in town.
    • Free third coffee is always.
    Closing the USP topic, here is the formula for its creation:

    We offer (your service), guaranteeing you (customer benefit) and exceed competitors through (unique benefits).

    Section 2. Brand Legend

    Brand values

    Brand Values is a list of what is dear and primary mount to your brand.
    Why does a brand need values?
    • For making reasonable decisions. Any strategic decision should be made with an eye to the company's values. If the decision does not contradict them, and even better when it corresponds, then you are on the right track;

    • For hiring employees and partnerships. When you're talking to new people or negotiating a partnership with another company, try to find out what the other party's values are. If the priority is an immediate benefit for them, and they do not care about the high level of service and reputation in the long term, then you may be out of the way;

    • To create a connection with your customers. When your customers know your values, you become a more holistic brand for them. And if your values coincide with the values of your target audience, then communication with the audience will be especially effective.

    Correct values criteria

    Values must meet several criteria to be not just words, but a useful tool. Brand values have to:

    • Be concise, clear, and unforgettable;
    • Unique;
    • Meaningful to you and your audience;
    • Inspiring for you and your team;
    • Honest.

    For example, let's take our Lime Queen Studio and three things that we value and rely on when starting any project:

    1) Cooperation. Both sides must get benefits from the cooperation equally, otherwise, the facility will not work.

    2) Creative design. We know how to create classic designs, this is our foundation. But we try to bring something new into each project, something that does not fit into the standard frames, something that can touch the hearts of people.

    3) The validity of each action. Any UX solution, any color in the design, and every word in the text should be there for a reason. They should be dictated by experience, research, or rational sense.
    In this way, we conduct negotiations on each new project, thinking about whether we can fully satisfy the client's requests with financial and ideological benefits for us. Whether we can show creativity in the project and do something outstanding, and also whether we have enough experience in this niche and project information to make well-founded decisions.

    When you or a member of your company is asked about your brand values, the answer should be immediate. If you are thinking and trying to remember something, it means that these are not values, but just words in your brand book.

    Remember, values can be found in everything from your logo to the style of the text on your blog.
    Do you have any questions?
    We can advise you in detail, answer your questions and tell you what we can create for you.

    Brand mission

    Your brand can have any mission, but more often than not, a mission is born of the brand's values. If you collect all of your brand values into one big sentence, you get your brand's mission statement. If what comes out doesn't sound like a mission, do this: Connect the value you bring to people with why it matters to you. Another way to articulate a mission statement is to simply state what your brand is starving for.
    For example, Lime Quen's mission is to create impressive, effective designs.
    There is no space for empty words in the mission. Every word must carry the sense and be honest. Then you, your team, and your customers will believe in this mission.

    Basing on our mission, it follows that we are not interested in making ordinary sites and branding, but at the same time, the creativity that we put into the design must always be justified and effective.

    Brand archetype

    In 1919, the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung divided all existing personality types into 12 archetypes. Each personality has one or more dominant traits that determine the behavior, values, and motivation of people, according to Jung.

    By analogy with the personalities of people, each brand also refers to some of its archetypes. These archetypes are Creator, Sage, Guardian, Innocent, Jester, Wizard, Ruler, Hero, Common Guy, Rebel, Explorer, and Lover.

    The brand archetype is directly related to marketing strategy, positioning, cost of services, communication style, visual style, promotional materials, and many other factors.

    Any brand can have one or two archetypes, rarely three, but no more. While adhering to its archetype, the brand helps its audience to read this archetype as easily and clearly as possible and associate the brand with it.

    We will soon have a separate article with a detailed description of each archetype, examples, comments and tips on determining your brand archetype.

    Message and Insight

    A message is an unspoken message that conveys a brand to its audience. This is not a slogan or text on the brand's website. This is a message that a brand conveys without words - with its design, product quality, style of communication.

    Insight is the feeling that a person experiences using the products of the brand. Insight can be both the feeling that remains in a person, and what the person himself transmits about your brand to others.Ideally, the message that the brand conveys and the insight that a person feels has to be the same.

    Examples:

    Apple's message is that you are using the most coveted technique with the best design. Ferrari's message is that by owning our car you find yourself in the circle of the elite.
    Brands send messages all the time. But what it is and how customers read this message depends on the correct communication. Anyway, you first need to formulate it for yourself, to convey the correct message. It is easier to move towards a goal when it is indicated, after all.

    Use this formula to create a brand message. "As a customer of our brand, you feel ..."

    Tone of voice

    Imagine that you are getting acquainted with someone. You need to greet the person and introduce yourself. How do you do it? What do you say and how do you pronounce it?

    "Hello"; "Hi, brother!"; "Hello Friend!"; "Glad to welcome you, Mr. Thompson"; "What's up, dude?". The options for how and what you will pronounce are almost endless, but you will choose one option. And that is exactly what will be your Tone of Voice.

    The same rule applies when a brand communicates with its customers. The tone of voice of a brand is as important as the communication style for a person. If your communication style is appropriate to the context and close to the audience you are addressing, you can effectively convey your message and cause the needed emotions.

    The tone of voice manifests itself at all points of contact with customers - ads, texts on your site, responses in comments on social networks, your staff communication style. But the tone of voice is not limited only to communicate with text and voice - your tone can also be seen in the design of the packaging, website, office, in the colors and fonts that you use.

    Stop words

    TOV is not only what you say, but also what you DO NOT say. Some words and phrases are categorically inappropriate for your brand, and their use is not appropriate. There may be several reasons for this, but the most common: these words do not correspond to your audience. The audience does not use, and sometimes even does not understand some words - because of the age, interests difference or status.

    It is worth creating a STOP list to work with things that you do not use in communication. It will contain either specific words or a description of prohibited communication styles.

    Another reason for getting on the STOP list is that words don't match your positioning and brand image. If you position yourself as a user-friendly service but answer people's questions in the comments in a very clever way and the terms that you use to confuse people even more, then you should rebuild your TOV into a simpler language that your audience can understand. Or vice-versa, you are a youth brand, but you answer dryly, using formal language and expressions, as if from the constitution - the changes are needed.

    Also, specific words may fall into this list - for example, the solidity of your audience does not allow you to prepare "Hello" for it, but only "Good morning/afternoon/evening". Also, emoticons, stickers, or gifs can get to the STOP list if they do not correspond to your brand image, as a type.

    The tone of Voice types

    There are a few classic brand voice tones. You can use one of them as a basis, or you can mix a couple. The main thing is not to mix everything, otherwise, the uniqueness of your voice will disappear.

    Here are some examples of tones:

    • Funny;
    • Impious;
    • Respectful;
    • Speaking only on business;
    • Formal;
    • Romantic;
    • Smart;
    • Gentle.

    There is a good trick for checking your TOV. Just imagine how you would like to be sold a similar product and service, what they said and how, and what they did not say on the contrary.

    Naming

    This section situates is in our article middle for good reason. Very often the name is the result of a well-thought-out strategy and a created brand legend. But not always. Anyway, here are some criteria for a good brand name:

    • Uniqueness. Any name will need to be checked not only on the Internet but also in the patent bureau to make sure that you have a right to use it;
    • It should sound good. Simple but very important recommendation. Use the future name in different contexts to test the sound;
    • The name should not be in tune with already well-known brands such as Jamazon and Papple;
    • The name should be short and clear. This is a guarantee that the brand name can easily arise in people's memory. Often, names use 1 word, 2-3 ones are less often. If more, then this is either a very conceptual brand, which is based on the desire to stand out, including the name, or it is an unsuccessful name;
    • Free domain name. If the name is taken in the .com zone, then pay attention to other domain zones like .pro.;
    • Meaningfulness. If the name meets all the previous criteria, it is important to make sure that it carries meaning for you and for those who are around you.

    An example of creating a name for the creative design studio Lime Queen. We used all the criteria listed above - a short, unique name with a free domain in the .com zone. But this is half the battle because we wanted the name to reveal our ideas and be associated with what we do for our clients. On the one hand, we wanted to reflect the uncompromisingly high quality of service and results, and we wanted to express creativity and freshness of ideas, on the other hand.

    We started generating a tag cloud around these images. We realized that the word Queen evokes the needed emotions in us - elegance, self-confidence and a charming look. But this word alone was not enough for the brand name. We started to think, what kind of Queen is this? After going through many options, we realized that Lime perfectly revives the status of the queen and brings the balance that we wanted.

    The visualization was another technique we used. We imagined our portfolio with project covers and realized that they perfectly associate with this name. Finally, we imagined whether our customers would be comfortable and pleasant to associate themselves with such a studio?

    It would be good to finish our short excursion into Naming with the following phrase: When you have the right name, you can feel it. It's like a new soft sweater that fits perfectly.

    Section 3. Design

    Everything written above in this article, from name and positioning to brand archetype and tone of voice, has to be embodied in the design. There is no place for randomness in the work on brand design - everything is subordinated to the ideas that are embedded in the brand legend.

    Now let's take a closer look at what a brand design consists of.
    Explore Lime Queen portfolio
    We lovingly create logos, brand identity, websites and design consulting .

    Moodboard

    At the beginning of the design work, our studio develops a mood board. It is a set of images and visions that have similar characteristics to the brand of our clients. From the created mood board, we select key features and push away from them in further work.

    Sometimes our clients have a vision and an example of a mood board and this speeds up our work. In addition, the mood board is an excellent tool that allows the studio and clients to immediately be on the same wave.

    The mood board can be referenced during work to make sure we are moving in the right direction, as well as after the completion of the project, comparing the mood board to the result.Ideally, the mood board can fit on a conventional A4 sheet, considering the main visual characteristics.

    Logo

    For starters, the logo is the first thing that customers see when they get to know the brand.

    High-quality logos solve the three things:

    • Allocate the brand from competitors;
    • Visually convey the essence of the brand;
    • Give rise to confidence.

    Cool logo criteria

    1. Memorability. The logo should be both unique and such that, if someone has a desire, it can be presented with closed eyes;

    2. Simplicity. Your logo should look good in any size - printed on a pencil, on a social media post, and a billboard. There is a theory that any person can duplicate a cool logo on paper. There are exceptions, but there is some sense in it;

    3. Versatility. Your logo should work great on any surface, in any size and shape, on the web and in print;

    4. Idealism. The logo should reveal the brand's emotional essence and match its image;

    5. Not becoming obsolete. A cool logo is not created in the spirit of trends and should not be outdated in a couple of years.
      For full use, you should have the following logo variations:

      • The main version of the logo;
      • Light option for dark backgrounds and dark for light ones;
      • The logo text version without a sign and only a sign without text;
      • Vertical and horizontal arrangement (if it does not contradict the idea);
      • Raster version on a transparent background;
      • Vector version.

      Brand identity

      Your brand is a set of vision, philosophy, and positioning, and your identity is the visual embodiment of all these entities.

      Brand identity is a meaningful collection of visual elements collected into a unique combination. Also, an identity mandatory attribute is a clear list of rules and recommendations for its use.

      Branding works on two levels. Internal and external.

      • Inner is what lies at the heart of your business. What you and your team believe in. This is the story you want to tell and the emotions you want to convey.
      • External is what your customers see and feel.

      Externally communicating a message is available in many ways, but design plays a key role in this.
      What is the difference between the logo and identity?

      A logo is one symbol to identify your business.

      Identity is a whole system, the application of which distinguishes your brand from others and can reveal your look to the maximum.

      What does the identity consist of?

      We distinguish 10 components of the identity, each of which complements the visual image of your brand. Some of them are required, and some are applicable in a case-by-case way.

      1. Color
      2. Font
      3. Branded graphics
      4. Illustrations
      5. Icons
      6. Stickers
      7. Brand character
      8. Animation
      9. Photo style
      10. Signature sound

      Now let's take a closer look at each of these components.

      Colour

      100% of brands have their brand colors. They are present, even if they were chosen unconsciously. But let's hope that most people choose colors based on some kind of logic.

      There are 4 main methods for choosing a color for a brand:

      1. Color psychology. This method is based on stereotyped and sometimes scientifically and statistically proven data. Different colors call different emotions, respectively, using the right colors in branding, you can convey the desired message to your audience. You should not blindly trust this system, but we still recommend that you have to pay attention to it. Also, remember that the same color in different cultures can have different and sometimes even opposite meanings;

      2. Competitors' colors. When creating a brand palette, it is worth looking back at the colors that competitors use. This is especially true for large businesses, where there are several well-known companies on the market and their colors are widely known. A competitor's color wheel can help you. Take a classic color wheel and layout your competitors on it. This will help you to understand which colors are popular, which are free, and make some conclusions;

      3. Compliance with the brand character. You don't have to think about competitors and the psychology of color, but just think about which colors are associated with your business and will convey your message to the audience. It has to be suitable for beginners, but not for global or big brands;

      4. You just like these colors. If it's not a big business and you don't need to compete with companies with millions of customers, then you can rely on personal taste when it comes to choosing a color. You feel the color of your brand very often. Do not forget that you are not the only one to look at these colors, and the opinion of the audience can also matter.

      Как вы уже догадались, идеальная ситуация — когда эти четыре метода выбора цвета работают вместе.
      Complementary colors

      At Lime Queen, we offer our customers not only the main colors of the brand but also a set of complementary colors that are combined with the main ones as well as with each other. This extends the possibilities of applying color depending on the task.
      Remember that web and print colors are different and some of the colors you see on the screen may not be printable. Therefore, you should have color codes in all formats at your disposal: RGB, CMYK, HEX, and sometimes Pantone.
      Questions about identity?
      We can advise you in detail, answer your questions and tell you what we can create for you.

      Font

      The typeface sets the mood for all branding. Your branded fonts are used in all communication. From the inscription on your business card to social networks advertising.

      An important point. It is not necessary to use the same font in the logo and other branding materials. In addition, the text in the logo is often created manually.

      Font mood

      The typeface solves an important task - to convey the mood of your brand in communication with people. It is very important that the font you choose is appropriate for your business and speaks immediately to customers in the correct language.

      How many branded fonts does a brand need?

      One or two font families are sufficient. These fonts must meet two requirements: they have enough weights (thin, normal, bold) and they differ from each other in their style. It is pretty often when one brand font is enough for a brand.

      Please note that in a well-thought-out identity, not only the font is thought out, but also its parameters for different layouts and the site. For example, the sizes ratio, line and letter spacing, semi-boldness, and text tilt for different situations.

      Brand graphics

      Brand graphics have the biggest impact on brand awareness and visual uniqueness. While the colors and fonts can theoretically be similar to the colors and fonts of another brand, then good branded graphics create a unique visual style.

      Branded graphics options:

      • Unique pattern;
      • А unique graphic element, after the application of which a unique style is being formed;
      • Whole graphic elements set, the use of which can be combined to create more complicated compositions;
      • Generative graphics is a system of rules and restrictions, which is thought out at the beginning and allows the brand to independently create an unlimited number of graphics in one style;
      • Illustrations. It can be like a pre-prepared fixed set of illustrations that are used in communication on the site or social networks advertising. Or a certain style assigned to the brand, in which illustrations will be created in the future;
      • Abstract graphics. It may not carry a specific meaning, but convey an imperceptible idea, and mood;
      • 3D renders. It is rather not a style, but a method of creating graphics, which allows you to create both photorealistic elements and more visually free images;
      • Animation. Graphics can be not only static but also live - often it is the style and presentation of animated content that create uniqueness.
      There are many more other branded graphics types. It is also possible to combine them, but it is worth remembering that the balance between uniqueness and a very vague image is important in identity. In other words, it is better to use one simple yet confident graphic element across all materials than to use many different unique "your" elements that will blur your overall style and create graphic chaos.

      Criteria for high-quality branded graphics

      1. Each element has its meaning and appeared in the identity, not for nothing;

      2. There is a system and rules for applying graphics for all possible layouts - from a website to a business card;

      3. Graphics reveal the essence of the brand and convey meaning through visual perception;

      4. Combines and works harmoniously with the logo, fonts, colors, and does not create visual noise and as well as does not distract the from the content;

      5. Encourages the audience to treat you more loyally.

      Illustrations

      We decided to put illustrations in a separate item since they increasingly play a decisive role in modern branding. Illustrations can be both the main graphic element of branding and support. They can be used not everywhere, but only in certain situations. For example, only on the site and in advertising, but can not be used in the office decoration.

      Illustrations sets are often created in the same style for different types of content. Massively detailed illustrations and less detailed icons to convey point ideas.
      Cocosam
      Brand identity, package design, illustrations
      An example from our portfolio

      Icons

      If illustrations can set the mood and not convey specifics, then icons are often used exclusively for solving problems and conveying information.

      Good icon:

      • simplifies and speeds up the information perception;
      • brings additional clarity;
      • sets the mood and promotes the visual uniqueness of the brand;
      • created in the same style with all the icons next to it;
      • blends in with all other brand graphics.

      Stickers

      It's a cool and modern way to communicate and even promote a brand's mood. Branded stickers can be used both online and offline. Often they have an entertainment and decorative function and can be a mini-present for clients, used in instant messengers, on a website, in advertising, and social networks. Some brands even use stickers as their main identity element.

      Corporate character

      One of the main branding elements often becomes a corporate character or even a group of characters.
      Creating your character can be of immense benefit if it is charismatic enough, reflects brand values, looks cool, and is full of life in all communication.

      However, this step can also have the opposite effect, if something of the above is missed. For example, its image does not fall into the audience, it will look out of date, or all its actions will seem artificial and strained.

      Good corporate character creation is like a cartoon. The character has to live, develop and surprise the audience with new events. That is why focus on creating a character in your brand only if you are ready to constantly develop it. One image will not be enough.

      Animation

      The way elements of your corporate identity move can also become a fully-fledged part of branding, create uniqueness and distinguish you from others at first glance. Of course, it is not how it moves that plays a big role, but what exactly moves, but even the animation style itself can be "yours".

      For example, is it slow motion of key elements, or warping/stretching, shrinking, or color changes within your palette, or just the angle of inclination along which objects move? Perhaps you would like to combine graphics and video by overlaying branding elements, such as illustrations, over the characters in the video? Or maybe you decide to use a minimum of animation - your style in the digital environment will be an almost static picture with barely noticeable movements of some elements?

      Photo style

      In upscale branding, the style of photographs used in advertising, social media, and on the website is rigorously thought out. These are not just photographs that convey the story.

      In a branding guide, there are always clear limits and criteria for a suitable photo style. For example.

      • a specific color palette. For example, muted, pastel, or cold;
      • a certain posture of people. For example, only people in action; one character per frame; only people not looking directly at the camera; people in full growth or vice versa - only portraits; and perhaps your chip will be people turned exactly in profile;
      • photographs form. For example, only a square or a rectangle;
      • composition. For example dynamics, statics, symmetry, asymmetry;
      • people's emotions. For example, always smiling or brooding;
      • статут героев через дресс код. Например кежуал, премиум, молодежь.
      • угол наклона камеры. Например только снизу.

      There can be plenty of such criteria. But they should all be dictated to the meaning and idea, and not just come up with it.

      It is obligatory, without any exceptions, the rule - not to use photographs of people from stocks with plastic emotions and incredibly happy unnatural people, frozen in one position, looking directly into the camera.

      In photographs, visual aesthetics certainly matter, but naturalness, even if it is imperfect, will often be much more effective in communication than the emotions radiant artificiality.

      Brand melody

      Branding is not only about what we see, but also about what we hear. Ask McDonald's, Netflix, Danone, or Nokia (if you find their brand tune). In general, people may associate your brand with a specific sound. It can be pleasant, and sometimes not very, but most importantly yours. It is immediately recognizable and makes it clear - this particular brand communicates with me.

      You can even have your track that is used in advertising. But it is difficult to make a branded song for a long time, because the advertising campaign will end, and it may not be very convenient to drag the song from one advertisement to another advertisement. Therefore, a short, 3-5 seconds sound often becomes truly branded. It is often the same length as your logo animation.

      Branded melodies or sounds can be used on the intros of your ads, educational materials, podcasts. In general, they can be used wherever there can be audio contact with the audience and this will be appropriate. The main thing is not to overdo it with the sounds.

      How and where does the brand apply its identity?

      The number of places where identity can be applied varies from business to business. But a well-thought-out identity can be applied to any host without losing recognition and without violating the rules laid down in it.

      The most common places for using identity:

      Online

      • Social networks profile design
      • Social networks posts design
      • Site
      • Advertising
      • Presentation
      • Blog
      • Stickers in messengers
      • Email
      • YouTube channel
      • Videos
      • Podcast

      Offline

      • Signboard
      • Packing
      • Merch
      • Advertising posters
      • Business cards
      • Business Documentation
      • Printed promotional contributions
      • Teaching contributions
      • Office things
      • Souvenir products
      • Offices and other spaces
      • Employee uniform
      • Transport

      Style guide

      After the identity has been created and approved, it turns into a style guide. This is a document that contains all the graphic elements that make up the identity. Also, there are convenient and detailed rules for using the identity. With examples of how it should be used and vice versa, as it is not recommended.

      This is an important document to refer to when working with identity. The style guide will be useful for both business owners and employees and in-house designers who will then work with this identity.
      The list of what is included in the style guide looks like this:

      • logo in all variations + rules for its use;
      • corporate colors in all required formats;
      • fonts and their parameters;
      • branded graphics and the formula for its application;
      • photo style;
      • examples of using graphics offline and online;
      • merch design.

      You can write to us and we will show you several style guides developed by our studio so that you probably understand what a style guide is.
      Con Trust Me
      Brand identity, Social Media, Icons.
      An example from our portfolio

      Brand book and launch

      Brand book

      The brand book contains everything we talked about in the brand legend + style guide, including the logo and identity. All statements, such as your mission, values, or insight, are short sentences and occupy no more than one page per definition in the brand book.

      A brand book is a document that is used both within the company. For example, to introduce the philosophy of the company to new employees, and outside it. For example, you want to send it to your partners, or contractors, or those who will create content for your social networks.

      Here we have schematically depicted everything that is included in the brand book. Keep it for yourself so as not to lose it.
      When your brand book is ready, the work on the brand does not end, but most likely only begins, because now you need to move from theory to practice.

      Launch

      Re-read everything that is written in your brand book, before launching. Read about your mission, your style, and your vision, and finally make sure that you agree with every word.

      Here's a short list of things to look out for before launching:

      • you have elaborated a strategy for working at all points of contact with the audience;
      • you have access to all design sources;
      • your social networks don't look empty;
      • you have a well-developed content plan for social networks with ready-to-publish materials, at least two weeks in advance;
      • your site is in working order, it loads quickly and you have all access to it;
      • your site has analytics.

      And here is a basic checklist of what to do after launch.

      • Be prepared to answer the questions;
      • Tell stories about your brand, your team, your goals, achievements, and failures;
      • Show your corporate culture and internal kitchen. This will bring you closer to your audience;
      • Admit your mistakes
      • Watch reviews and publish them (real ones only);
      • Keep your promises
        And the most important thing:

        Don't Say You Are a Brand - Be a Brand

        Order a logo, visual identity, brand book or website from Lime Queen studio

        What Lime Queen creates for brands:

        • Logo
        • Brandbook
        • Identity
        • Websites
        • Illustrations
        • Advertisements
        • Social content
        • Creatives
        Do you have questions?
        We can advise you in detail, answer your questions and tell you what we can create for you.