It is no wonder that startup fever has spread all over the world in the last few years. So the number of brand identity designers and branding agencies has risen in the same proportion. There are some clues that will help you to detect easily if you are wasting your money on branding design or not. Let’s have a look at the 5 most common mistakes of brand identity designers.
1. Your brand identity designer doesn’t ask you about your market and customers
Research is essential to define a successful brand identity strategy. Branding is not only a matter of design, but also a marketing war. Discussing about your company and its environment before starting any branding change is a must. There are some good graphic designers that can deliver well-looking logos, but if they don’t understand the essence of your company and its needs, all their talent is useless.
2. Your branding designer delivers a complex, colorful logo
The first tip for developing a winner brand is clear: the simpler the better. It makes no sense to tell the whole history and features of your company in a single logo. A logo is not a book, a logo is not a film, a logo is just a logo. So professional brand identity designers know that the best way to connect with your audience is to design a simple, clear shape to define the most important feature of your company. Just think about most famous brands in history, like those ones designed by the master of design, Mr. Saul Bass.
3. Your designer wants to tell the NeverEnding Story in your logo
Never forget this simple concept: people are people, data are data. It is quite easy but most of designers still believe that logos design is a sort of addition process where you put all together all elements that you can find in the briefing document. Give them a brief telling that your new orange juice brand must be dynamic, young, bold and positive and they will give you back a smiling, teenage, ninja, rapper orange as your new brand identity. Don’t get me wrong, perhaps it could be the most amazing smiling, teenage, ninja, rapper orange in the world; but in the end brand empathy requires much more than good photoshop skills.
4. Not thinking about formats, platforms or scenarios where your logo will be placed
Brands live in the real world but it seems that most of brand identity designers don’t. No matter the size of company, the goal is pretty simple: growing. Therefore, any successful brand identity must be ready to adapt to all different cases that the winds of change might bring.
5. Your brand identity designer wants to go too far throughout unknown territories
Although some freelance designers will offer you the “full-services pack” you must be aware that they are just designers. They have no idea about writing texts or claims, and what is more, they are not going to take any risk. That’s the reason why 99% of company slogans sounds like: “Making our customers happy since…”. This stuff doesn’t mean anything to anyone.
There are millions of pseudo-design professionals out there, selling their “high-quality” logos and telling fancy tales about art concepts and business growth expectations. But you just need a simple division to realize that their hourly wage should be around half a buck per hour to deliver a 40-hour logo… So it seems we are missing something in the equation… There are no golden rules in brand identity design, however, there is one that is usually right: in branding, as in any other field, you get what you pay for.