What is Branding


This blog post is focusing on the visual impact of branding. The importance of a uniform look to clearly communicate who you are and what you have to say to the world. The two-sided coin consists of (one) a clear and consistent logo and (two) establishing “the feel”, the aesthetic of your work.

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Question: What is Branding?

Answer: A uniform look for how you will identify the brand (yourself) on all platforms (print & digital)

How: (Logo) displaying your logo with clarity and consistency + (Design) establishing “the feel”

1. Branding 101 - Part 1 | Logo: Clarity and Consistency

Adidas® - Logo Design: 3 leaves and 3 stripes

Adidas® - Logo Design: 3 leaves and 3 stripes

Your greatest responsibility when displaying your logo is clarity and consistency. You have something to say (your design) but you need to stamp it with your signature (your logo) so that others can see who you are and what you are saying. Be creative and always clearly stamp your work with your signature. You want to have an awesome design that is easily recognized as your awesome design.

In Part 1, we are going to focus on the significance of your logo. Even though your design, layout and color scheme may change who you are should not. Think about the host of ways we use digital or printed media on social media, websites, business cards, stationary, brochures, flyers, banners, ads, commercials, videos, etc. If you appear differently each time you use a different platform you would not be recognizable. Let’s be honest we are visual people and we need to clearly see what you are talking about. Your logo speaks for you and it can either draw people closer to you or work against you and push people away.

Consistency does not have to limit your creativity.

Who & How| Adidas® - Logo Design
When you see their logo you see three leaves and three stripes along side their clean typeface. Even the logo has different formats for horizontal or vertical design purposes. Clean and creative but overall memorable for consumers and designers like myself.

2. Branding 101 - Part 2 |Design: "The Feel"

In Part 1, we focused on understanding the importance of your logo (your signature). In Part 2, we are going to focus on the “the feel” (the visual aesthetic) of your designs. What is "The Feel?” I consider this your touch, the way you do what you do. It’s uniquely you.


Think of "The Feel" of your work as someone with a distinctive laugh or voice.

Think in practical terms of a distinct laugh someone has, you will recognize them in a crowded room even if you don't see them, you will find them because the laugh is distinctly theirs and it will draw you to them no matter how far away you are. Even in a crowd I know my mother's voice and it catches my ear and I will find her, this is how I think of branding.

Who & How| Adidas® - Three Stripes
Adidas® used their three stripes, an element from their logo (their signature) as a simple design attribute. Clean, memorable and simple and incorporated along the seams of clothing, on the side of their shoes and much more. They use these three stripes throughout their designs in very creative ways. I find their designs to be impactful when I find pieces with such subtle branding that is aesthetically pleasing yet clearly recognized.

You can do it too! You can establish who you are and create widely recognized designs, designs that have passed through your hands. It's your unique look that set's you apart and makes you clearly distinguished among many.

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Application & Thoughts

This blog is an informative tool to provide you information to apply and enhance your visual branding for more effective presentations and communication.

  • Whether you are a fashion designer, artist, or website designer you might think I am not looking to stamp my name all of the place. The great news is you don’t have too!

  • The examples provided are references to see how they did it, and although it’s a fashion company with a focus on branding you can’t deny that they are reaching their audiences well.

  • They are using the two-sided coin which consists of (one) a clear and consistent logo and (two) establishing “the feel”, the aesthetic of your work.

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A Designer’s Food for Thought

What is your role as a graphic designer? How do you contribute to establishing your clients branding?

Q: I would encourage you to really think about how you use visual branding to communicate for your clients. What can you revise and incorporate to better communicate with their audience? Is this message something you are passionate about or simply doing for the client (cough…the check)?

A: When I am tasked with a design project, my role as a graphic designer is to produce designs effectively and creatively. Creating clear visual and written communication about who they are (the client) and what they can do (for their target audience). Creating a lasting reference in the minds of their target audience so that they can become their future engaged consumers. I also consider the projects I work on so that I won’t be in a position where I am doing something just for the check or that conflicts with my standards morally or spiritually. It may seem like it’s not important but if I am not connected to what I am doing that is not work done well because I am not fully engaged.

Photographer Spotlight: Adidas® | © Image courtesy of Camilla Carvalho @cantoinette / Laughing African Girl © Image courtesy of Suad Kamardeen @skmuse_