The award-winning design team at ArtVersion is no stranger to tackling both new brand launches and brand refreshes. Working with a global client roster has taught our collaborative group many lessons on the best approach to turning out the best brands possible.

Foremost, the team has been struck by how many companies don’t realize that their branding needs to be updated. 

“Clients will approach us with a digital project, a new website or app, and give us the initial direction that isn’t in alignment with their existing branding. It’s here that the ‘aha’ moment happens and they realize their branding is in a needs to be reworked. To align with new branding standards and their own growth strategies,” discusses Erin Lentz, ArtVersion director of design.

Branding Identity Design
Photo by Patrik Michalicka on Unsplash

Here are their 5 top branding process takeaways:

Go Deep (But Keep It Simple)

Though you might be anxious to try out a new design trend or font. It’s so important to first understand the client and their needs, in relationship with the refined user experience as a goal. Don’t overthink the kick-off by getting too strategic at the outset. Identify the ‘who, what, where, when and why’ of the client from who they are, who is their customer, what do they sell, what are their goals, etc. Ask questions and most importantly, listen.

Be Agile

This applies not only to the process of working with a client but to the actual implementation of the design. Allowing for a flexible, even ambiguous process at times can open up the possibility for solutions that wouldn’t have been uncovered through a more rigid approach. For the brand itself, make room for the audience to be able to interpret the branding in a way that is adaptable for them – this will allow for greater connection to the brand and its messaging.

“Stories are universal to the human experience. They have the unique ability to capture the imagination; they can entertain and educate, while at the same time inspire vast numbers of people around the world from generation to generation.” says Goran Paun, Creative Director.

Identify Applications and Branding Environment

Imagine the brand out in the world, in its own context. How will be physically portrayed? On products, packaging, billboards, magazines, shelves, etc. Take it off the page and out into the landscape that it will live in. This might require mockups or sketching to make it come to simulated ‘life’. Often, the ArtVersion team uses contextual methods from the very get-go, offering visuals integrated with initial designs, allowing the client to really see how the brand might be applied.

Honor the Brand Differentiator

What is special about the product or service? What problems does it address, or better yet – what does it solve. Call these things out, don’t hide them. Differentiators are built-in value adds and the core of what the brand should exemplify.

Provide Structure

Developed brands provide multilayered opportunities to connect. Image, text and color combine to create a visual hierarchy that, if not presented in the right order, can confuse and misdirect the user.

“We like to design using elements that can stand alone, in different applications for the client,” says Lynn Doherty, director of Brand Strategy. “Each element is strong enough to live on its own and lend the brand multiple opportunities for consistent but varied messaging.

Branding Design
Photo by Balázs Kétyi on Unsplash