Graphic Designers and Branding for Businesses

A successful brand requires consistency

Graphic Design Home Business

Cultura RM/Robin James/Getty Images

Every business builds a brand. It is their corporate identity that allows them to stand out from their competitors and relate to their customer base. Graphic designers may wish to specialize in branding or work for a firm that does so.

What does this type of design work entail and what do you need to know about it? Let's look at the basics of branding work.

How Graphic Designers Work in Branding

To create a brand for a company is to create their image and to promote that image with campaigns and visuals. Working in branding allows a graphic designer or design firm to get involved with many aspects of the industry, from logo design to advertising to copywriting and slogans.

The goal of a brand is to make a company unique and recognizable and to project the desired image that the company wishes to portray. Over time, a brand can make a company a household name and identifiable by a simple shape or color.

To create a brand for a company, a designer needs to fully understand the goals of the organization and the industry as a whole. This research and base knowledge can be used to work with designs to create the appropriate materials to represent that company.

Type of Work

As a graphic designer working in branding, the work you will do may be different than that of other designers. It is a specialty within this field that requires a broader focus as you may not simply be designing websites or brochures, but instead working on an entire campaign and ensuring the consistent message reaches the various media.

You may be asked to work on any of the following elements of a branding campaign:

  • Logo design
  • Business card design
  • Letterhead design
  • Packaging
  • Copywriting
  • Writing slogans
  • 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 is crucial that you understand each aspect in order to effectively communicate and build the cohesive brand with your co-workers.

Examples of Branding

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

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 everywhere and familiar. We know exactly which website we're going to, even in the absence of text.

Apple is another perfect 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 lower case 'i' in front of almost every Apple product (e.g., iPhone, iPad, iPod) is a branding technique that has set these apart from their competitors.

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 instantly resonates with consumers.