Working in Branding as a Graphic Designer

A successful brand requires consistency

Every successful business builds a brand—the corporate identity that allows it to stand out from the competition and relate to its customer base. Many graphic designers specialize in branding. Here's a look at the type of design work this entails and what you need to know about it.

Branding and its Goals

Graphic designers who work in branding are tasked with promoting a company's image through campaigns and visuals, from logo design and advertising to copywriting and slogan development. The overarching goal is to make a company uniquely recognizable, memorable, and positively viewed. Over time, a successful branding effort can make a company a household name and identifiable by a simple shape or color.

To create a brand for a company, a designer must fully understand the goals of the organization and the motivations of its customers. Market research and base knowledge help designers target their projects appropriately and effectively.

Types of Work

As a graphic designer working in branding, your work may be different from that of other designers. This is a specialty that requires a broader focus than, say, website or brochure design does. Instead of producing a single one-off piece, you'll typically work on an entire campaign, ensuring consistency in the message and its presentation.

Compilation of Coca Cola and Diet Coke logo branding.
LA Wolfe Web Marketing

Some of the elements of a branding campaign you might work on include:

  • Logos
  • Business cards
  • Letterheads
  • Packaging
  • Copy
  • Slogans and taglines
  • Advertising design
  • Typeface design
  • Research
  • Marketing

If you are working with a design firm, you might handle only certain aspects of these branding projects. However, you will likely be part of a team, and it's crucial that you understand each aspect in order to effectively communicate and build the brand cohesively with your coworkers.

Examples of Branding

Examples of branding are all around us. The NBC peacock, the UPS brown truck, and Nike’s swoosh are some famous examples. They are so recognizable that we don’t need to hear a company name to know what they are referring to.

Roku Power Up Screen

Online brands such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are more recently developed but are now just as recognizable. Quite often, we know these websites from an icon alone because the colors and graphics are ubiquitous and familiar. We know exactly which website we're going to, even in the absence of text.

Collage of Facebook logos showing Facebook branding.
LA Wolfe Web Marketing

Apple is another outstanding example of great branding. When we see the company's signature apple logo, we know that it is referring to an Apple product. Also, the use of the lowercase i in Apple product names (e.g., iPhone, iPad, iPod) is a branding technique that has set these apart from their competitors.

Apple Logos
Apple Logos. Apple

Logos on your favorite products, the packaging they come in, and the slogans that represent them are all examples of branding. Through consistent use of each of these elements, the branding team can successfully develop a campaign that resonates with consumers and encourages action.

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