Branding and design.


1st February, 2018

Branding and design

Understanding branding and design in the time it takes to read a comic book.

Just like a good comic book, good branding and design helps engage customers with your business.

In the next six minutes, we’ll take you through why design matters, how to figure out your brand and how to develop your brand’s look.

One of the first impressions customers will have with your business is related to your branding and design.

Good branding and design help potential customers understand your business and build a connection with it. Understanding how to make your branding and design work for you will help you shape the impression your business makes on them.

What is branding, anyway?

Branding is about the impression you want to give to your customers about your business.

Your branding tells customers who you are, what you do and how you do it. It also reflects on your business’ mission, goals and values.

Your branding comes to life through your brand personality, tone of voice and visual style.

Why are branding and design important?

Having clear and consistent branding helps your customers understand and recognise your business more easily.

Other benefits include:

  • Helping customers get to know your business
  • Encouraging customers to feel a certain why about your business
  • Helping your business stand out from the crowd
  • Getting your customers to trust you

Figuring out your branding

Three key components of branding are the brand personality, the tone of voice and the visual style.

1. Brand personality

Who would your brand be if it were a person? Your brand personality is the characteristics and traits that your business has.

Having an idea of your brand’s personality will help you imagine how your business might talk if it was a person. This will guide you on how to communicate with your customers.

2. Tone of voice

Tone of voice (TOV) is one way you can express your brand’s personality. It’s the way you ‘speak’, in written, spoken and visual language, to your customers.

For example, if your business’ personality is wise and serious, it would make sense to use plain English written language, and simple, minimalistic design for your visual language. Many legal and financial businesses have this brand personality and tone of voice.

But if your brand’s personality is playful and creative, you could use more colloquial written language and more flamboyant designs. A creative business might use this type of brand personality and tone of voice.

3. Visual style guide

A visual style guide is a document that gives an overview of the style or look of your brand. It outlines how your brand will appear across different points of communication.

When developing your brand’s look, consider elements such as your logo, colour scheme and meaning of other visual elements.

a. Logo

A logo is a visual symbol that represents your business and branding. When designing your logo, decide on what kind of message you want to communicate about your brand and what symbols could represent that. Also think about what other people in your industry are using.

b. Colour scheme

Colours are very successful in making people feel a certain way, so your colour scheme could help potential customers forge an emotional connection with your brand.

For example, warm colours such as yellow bring happiness and joy, and cool blues or greens could make you feel calm. Read more about the psychology of colour and design here.

Considering which colours your competitors are using will also help you choose a colour scheme that will help you stand out from the crowd. Napisan, for example, has done a great job of dominating the laundry detergent category by owning the colour pink, as their packaging helps their brand stand out on supermarket shelves.

c. Other visuals

Depending on the nature of your business and your marketing mix, you might need to use other visuals across your different communications.

If your business has physical assets that could double as marketing opportunities, such as a delivery van that drives around the city, consider how you can use the exterior of the van to advertise your brand.

If you are creating a blog or TV commercial, you’ll have to consider how the graphics of your content or the people you use in your advertisements will fit in with your brand’s overall visual style.

Top three takeaways

  1. Good design is important because it helps convey your business and branding clearly, helps your customers remember who you are and helps them trust you.
  2. Branding is all about bringing your business’ personality to life to help customers understand and connect with your business.
  3. Important elements of branding and design to consider for your business include your brand personality, your tone of voice and your visual style.


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