Brand Identity designers
What is brand identity? It’s much more than just your logo: it’s all of the elements that represent your brand.
Often called a Brand Identity, Brand Guidelines or a Corporate Identity Guide, having a set of clearly laid out controls for your brand is crucial.
What is a brand identity?
This can include your company name, logo, fonts, colours, images, illustrations and tone of voice.
Your brand identity controls every aspect of your design system and ensures that your communications and messaging are consistent across everything.
A strong corporate identity can help you to achieve business goals and targets and help position a brand ahead of its competition.
Creating a strong brand takes know-how, skill, effort and time, but a well-thought-out brand identity that is unique and bespoke to that particular brand will be effective, efficient and help the business to grow.
We help startups and established companies with brand identity design services.
Why do you need a brand identity?
If you want your creative and marketing materials to be consistent, a brand or corporate identity will help you achieve this.
All businesses have a logo, most have websites, social media channels and business stationery, and some also have vehicles, signage, annual events and so on.
If all your creative and marketing output is not controlled by a centralised and approved set of guidelines, everything can get messy. The brand identity design examples on this page are a way to avoid this.
Not so long ago, most design and creative work required the input of a design agency or freelancer, but now marketing teams have more options for creating collateral directly.
From managing a website with WordPress to designing a brochure in Canva, design is more accessible than ever, but this can mean that branding decisions are made on an ad-hoc basis, which is not good for consistency and brand equity.
How can we help with your brand identity?
Whether you engage a design agency or do it yourself, we can help to align your branding across all your marketing collateral.
If you are a small business, this might be a simple brand book that outlines your logo, its use, fonts and colours.
For larger businesses, this may also take in the design of printed material, digital materials, tone of voice, images and other elements.
We can help you to create a professional and approved set of corporate or brand guidelines that cover all aspects of your brand’s touchpoints to ensure everything looks and sounds exactly as it should.
Brand identity elements differ, but typically a brand identity design includes:
- Logo Design/Development
- Copy and Brand Messaging
- Marketing Materials
- Promotional Materials
- Signage (External and Internal)
- Staff Uniforms
- Staff Training Documents
- Vehicle Livery
- Websites and Social Media channels
These come together to form your brand identity system and help to keep all creativity in check.
What does a brand identity look like?
This depends on how far you want to take it.
Some brand identities are very top-level. They contain broad guidelines on how things should look and feel but don’t pin everything down, so there is some room for creative interpretation.
Others go into precise detail about how everything should look (take Google’s Material Design for an example).
The right option for you will depend largely on the size of your organisation and its marketing output.
Your brand identity will usually take the form of a brand book which outlines everything required in a very straightforward and understandable way.
The level of detail in your brand identity should be appropriate for your business and where it is on its journey.
If you are a disruptive startup, you may only need the basics as things may change and evolve rapidly, whereas if you are an established business, it might be time to bring everything into line and set it there for the foreseeable.
Brand book for Elton John’s Aids Foundation.
Creating a brand book for this amazing charity, taking the previously designed logo and applying it, together with additional design work, across various materials.
It doesn’t matter who designed your logo.
Most of the clients we work with on brand identities already have a logo and the basics.
Some clients already have a professionally designed logo and may have invested heavily in that. If this is you, we can work with you to roll out what you already have over new materials and create a brand book to match.
Other clients have DIY logos, so more help is required to develop the logo and create the brand guidelines; this is all part of the brand identity design process.
At Toast, we act as brand guardians for our client’s identities, and as a full-service agency, we’re able to deliver all the marketing collateral design work in-house.
Whoever designed your logo, we can pick it up and take your brand identity to the next level.
What does a brand identity cost?
Two things factor into the cost of developing a brand identity.
Firstly the design and creative charges, and secondly, the investment needed to roll everything out.
Suppose you are a large organisation with multiple offices, a fleet of vehicles and 250 staff in branded uniforms. In that case, it will cost significantly more to roll out your brand identity than design it.
For a small business, the investment required will be significantly less as there is simply less to do.
There is no such thing as a brand identity template – it should be unique to you and your business.
However small your brand identity requirements are, it’s going to take a few days of work to get things done properly, but this should be seen as an investment.
Brand identity design done properly saves time and money in the long run.
Solid brand identity makes a designer’s job easier, so investing in guidelines at the start means you should save budget on every piece of collateral that’s produced in line with your brand guides.
What sorts of identities do we work on?
Over 25 years, we’ve worked with a really diverse range of clients, so we don’t restrict ourselves to a few verticals.
The Toast team have worked with startups and global corporates for over two decades, so when it comes to developing brand identities, we have experience across 100s of sectors.
We have experience across Finance, Corporate, B2B, B2C, Charities, NPFs, NGOs, Healthcare, Food, Fashion, Manufacturing, Telecoms, IT and retail.
The key importance in the creation of brand guidelines is knowing what needs to go in them, creativity and a sharp eye for detail.
With 15 staff, Toast has the broad range of skill sets needed to create effective, future-proof brand identities.
Exploring creative direction for your brand identity.
We use stylescapes to create initial big ideas around our client’s visual and brand identity. These allow us to define the potential creative directions for projects before concentrating on the finer details.
What is a stylescape?
Basically it’s like a mood board but is designed inline with your logo and other creative elements that you already have. Stylescapes are used at the top level to show you what things could like like before we get down to designing individual elements.
Brand identity FAQs.
Due to the fact that brand identity is often referred to as different things, there are often questions about exactly what it is and what it includes.
We’ve included some answers to common brand identity questions below. If you have a specific question, just drop us a line, we’ll be happy to help.
What do brand identity designers do?
They take an overview of your existing creative and marketing collateral, your vision, mission and values, your positioning and other things about your business and create a design system that delivers a consistent message.
This can be purely visual or include tone of voice and other tangible aspects of your business – even down to how you answer the phone.
What is the difference between brand identity, corporate identity and visual identity?
There’s not much difference here; often, different design agencies have their ways of describing the same thing. Most identities will cover similar deliverables.
These all describe things that cover-off corporate branding elements which form your identity.
What does a brand identity include?
As much as you need it to. Its most basic form will cover the logo and its use, fonts, colours and possible layouts for your business stationery.
More complex brand identities can take in brochure and print work, iconography, photography, website branding, tone of voice and more.
Does a brand identity deliver value?
Yes. If you do not have a solid brand identity, every time you have something designed, it’s got to be done from scratch.
A strong brand identity means that any designer can understand how your marketing collateral needs to look before they start work.
This saves time and money in the long run.
Does a brand identity design project include strategic aspects such as vision and positioning?
It can do, but this tends to be strategic rather than visual creative work.
Here at Toast, we help clients with both, but ideally, you should have the strategy in place before you work on the visual aspects of the brand identity design.
Can you do brand identity yourself?
In theory, anyone can read enough on the internet and try and put this knowledge to use in a DIY corporate identity, but it is really best left to the professionals.
We’ve been working with brands for over 25 years and have developed lots of brand identities, so we bring a lot of experience to the table.
What is brand image?
Brand image is another word for Brand Identity, Visual Identity or Corporate Identity (in part).
There are several ways to describe the same thing, but they all mean the same thing. Similar questions are what is branding identity? Or what is Brand identity vs brand image?
How to create a brand identity?
Start with the logo. Ensure every aspect of this is correct and its usage is locked down.
Choose your colours and fonts and include these in your branding document.
Then look at all the other marketing collateral elements and ensure they are all on-brand and designed to work with everything else.
It sounds simple, but we think it’s best left to the professionals to get the best results.
Why is brand identity important?
If you are a small business or a startup, you can be more agile and reactive with your marketing and branding materials.
As your business grows and your brand develops equity, you need to ensure that your visual identity is consistent or you can end up confusing customers and damaging your hard-won brand equity.
A brand identity helps you to do this by ensuring that there are solid guidelines in place.
Do you have branding design examples?
We certainly do. We’ve worked on 100s of branding and identity projects over the last 25 years.
Here are some examples:
There’s more on our branding portfolio website.
What is brand architecture?
Brand architecture is for larger businesses that have sub-brands, products and services.
If you have a large portfolio of brands (think Unilever), then this needs to be organised, usually visually, to manage the perception of the master brand.
If you are considering a rework of your existing or new brand identity, we’re more than happy to answer any specific questions you might have.
Just complete the form at the bottom of this page or give us a call.
Get started with your brand identity.
The way in which you deliver your brand identity across all materials that you produce makes all the difference.
Here at Toast, we have developed our own unique approach to delivering brand identities for products, services and organisations.
We create brand identities that work well, target the correct audiences and deliver noticeable results.
Not forgetting that once your new brand is created, you’ll need clear brand guidelines to manage and protect it, we can help you with that too.
Brand identity design examples.
Click the images to enlarge.