#AskBlackTie What’s in a Brand?
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#AskBlackTie What’s in a Brand?

Over here at Black Tie our dedicated graphic designers have been hard at work creating new brands. So busy in fact that the only time we’ve seen Amelia Crane, our creative director, has been at the Keurig. At one of those rare sightings I was able to ask her what goes into making a brand, and why this type of design is an should never be left to your daughter’s college roommate who’s used Photoshop in a few of her classes this semester.

According to the majestic Ms. Crane, branding is the most important decision any business makes. A logo package goes on everything from business cards to the front door of your business, to a billboard – should you decide that to be an effective strategy. Creating a brand is more than just choosing some colors you like and the font trend of the day. You really need to think about what your business stands for and how you want people to think about it.

“Believe it or not, fonts say what you’re not.” Amelia insists. “Every font evokes an emotional response from the people who read it. You have masculine fonts, feminine fonts, fonts that work really well for children, millennials, and older generations.” When you talk to a graphic designer about what you’d like to see in your logo, they can boil down what you say into what you mean and translate that into two or three fonts that exemplify your business. If you’re bored one day and wondering how many types of fonts there are, Google it. Make sure you’re holding onto your head though, because it’s going to spin.

The next part about branding is the graphics that accompany the font. You need to nail down what your business is about in one graphic that won’t become dated and can be put on letterhead, t-shirts, those cute, squishy fish-shaped stress balls, or anything else you’d like to use a promotional material. This is certainly where a graphic designer comes in.

A seasoned artist will be able to help get you going in the right direction. They’ve taken the time to study logos past and can create something that represents your business in a timeless fashion. Case and point, something simple like a black tie most likely will never go out of style. Had we gone with a desktop computer in our logo, our brand would be dated as soon as tablets and mobile devices became ubiquitous. No doubt tablet-infused logos will be things of the past as soon as Google Glass becomes a thing. The lesson here is you never know what’s coming next so keep your brand clean, classic and adaptable.

Finally, there is color. Color, like different styles of fonts mean a lot in a logo. They evoke emotional responses from people, and raise a lot of logistical questions as well. Will you be able to get that color printed, embroidered, in vinyl? Will it look the same? Is it the same color your competitor uses? Graphic artists/designers certainly have all the answers to these questions and can help create the perfect color – font – graphic combination for your business.

So what can you do as a brand owning individual to help a graphic designer create the perfect brand for you? Come to them with these questions answered.

  • Why is your business in existence?
  • How do you do business?
  • What feelings do you want your brand to inspire?
  • What colors do you feel align with your brand?
  • Where do you intend on putting this branding?
  • What do you want to feel when you see your branding?

Branding is super important, take it from us. We do this all day. If you have any questions about branding and how you’re supposed to reduce your whole entire business into a few words and a graphic while retaining everything your business stands for, don’t hesitate to #AskBlackTie.