Most people don’t need to think much about logos or the visual aspects of branding. That’s precisely what makes them so powerful.
The most recognizable company logos—and brand identities generally—can evoke a chain of associations and emotions in only a moment. But creating these instant brand associations involves a lot of work for a lot of people.
Think of a favorite brand, and it’s a safe bet that every color, every typeface, every shape, and every line of the branding has been sweated over by both branding agency and client.
Brands do this because they know impressions count—whether you’re a multi-billion dollar colossus or scrappy startup. They understand that brands win by presenting as relevant, trusted, and memorable (and then following through on that presentation).
At BFM Brand Lab, our design heritage, especially in logo design, runs deep. We’re strategists, creators, experimenters, and collaborators. When you work with us, we paint the big strategic picture of how to reach your target audience with exceptional branding, and then pursue the details with a down-to-the-pixel obsession.
In a world where consumers—your audience—are bombarded with marketing messages, attention is precious. Audience engagement isn’t given, it’s won, through hard-earned organic efforts or paid advertising spend. And with a plethora of emerging startups and niche brands, it’s harder and harder for brands to be all things to all people. When you have a specific audience, generic branding is a bad fit.
So when you succeed in driving engagement, it’s never been more important to maximize the value of your audience’s attention. And that, in turn, requires you to make a clear, consistent, positive brand impression. Since people process images faster than they process text, your visual identity does a great deal of the work in creating that impression (good or bad).
Starting with a Story
A corporate logo can be created as a one-off project. You can spin up a quick style guide in the same way. We’ve done it ourselves for many clients (and we’ve become pretty well-drilled at doing so). So why invest in a deeper, more strategic process with a specific brief?
The answer is that your visual identity should help tell your brand story. You need to be able to express your brand story not only clearly, but specifically—the more specific the details, the more memorable the story.
Developing a powerful brand story not only enriches the work of creating a visual identity, it leads to a better-defined buy-in and feedback process. It’s much easier to get feedback when the question is: “does this typeface communicate professionalism, warmth, and friendliness?” than when the question is: “do you like it?”
Developing this kind of brand story requires a strong brand strategy, which addresses what we call the four Cs. These are your Core (your essential strengths), Customers (your main audience), Competition (the competitive landscape), and Context (the social trends that shape your business or industry).
Working with BFM Brand Lab
Hopefully we’ve persuaded you that brand strategy, and the telling of a brand story, is an all-important first step for brand identity design. But what happens next is just as important—and more exciting, because you start to see everything coming together.
The logo and visual identity process begins with an exploratory phase. We curate a range of design and logo inspiration so we can start a dialogue about what you like, and what you feel best reflects your brand.
We take a staged approach to logo design, working in black and white first so you can focus on typeface and shape, before trying out a range of color possibilities. As our name suggests, BFM Brand Lab favors bold experimentation, testing, and tinkering, so you can expect to see a wide range of options at every stage of the process. As we gradually refine the options presented, we gradually close in on the ultimate winner.
Developing a visual identity is about taking a brand story and translating it into design elements—a process that’s equal parts creative expression and attention to detail. When all of your brand’s design elements are repeatable in style and tell your story powerfully, you’re well on your way to a compelling brand that’s a perfect fit for both business and audience.