Brand Identity Systems

Brand Identity Systems

Project Description

Develop a brand identity system for a retail business concept and apply this visual language to the consumer’s experience of a modern business, then design a book to communicate the standards of your brand.

Often, the perception of brand is often limited to a logo applied to a business card and stationary. During this project, we are going to look at Brand Identity as a kit of parts: a collection of type, colors, patterns and other visual elements that represent the brand cohesively. We will also explore the many ways that consumers interact with a modern brand. A consumer’s experience with a brand is highly interactive. In store, we interact with the environment of the store, product displays, signage/wayfinding and informational graphics. Out of store, we interact with the brand via e-commerce websites, ad campaigns, social networking and even mobile apps.

A brand identity is not just a logo, rather a system of parts. It must have standards to appear consistently across a myriad of applications, applied by various “owners” of the brand. Often, a brand identity designer will provide a Brand Standards Manual that specifies how the logo can and cannot be used, as well as how to use other components of the brand. This manual can also be a guiding voice for the company, and often tells the story of the brand’s values, audience, positioning and more.


1. Research and Strategy:  

Before you design anything, your job will be to research industry trends and competitors, determine the positioning of the brand in the marketplace, and who your target audience is.

1.1  Industry Trends / Competitive Research

1.2  Opportunity Gap / Marketplace Positioning

1.3  Target Audience Demographics

1.4  Brand Concept Statement / Backstory

1.5  Brand Positioning Statement / Brand Attributes

2. Inspiration, Sketches and Rough Marks

As with any design project, you will begin by researching design inspiration that can help inform the direction of your ideas. From there, you will utilize the thumb nailing process to sketch ideas for four types of brand marks: 1) Logotype; 2) A symbol; 3) A letter mark; 4) A combination mark.  Having determined three business concepts, you are required to sketch 3 ideas for each type of mark per concept. That should total at least 36 thumbnails.

After the thumbnailing process, we will narrow down to one brand concept. You will then develop three rough brand boards with well developed marks. These Brand Concept Boards will include mood photos, design inspiration, color schemes type treatment samples, ideas for related graphic elements (patterns, icons, textures), etc.

2.1 Mark Design Inspirational Research

2.2 Thumbnailing of four types of marks

2.3 Brand Concept Boards with Rough Marks

3. Brand Board for One Chosen Direction

In order to extend your brand to the many touchpoints of the modern consumer, you will need to create a “kit of parts” for your brand. This overview will show your logotype, mark or symbol, primary and secondary color palettes, typefaces, patterns, icon systems, and other visual elements that represent your brand. You will find that the more parts you develop up front, the easier and quicker it will be to apply the brand to its extensions.

3.1  Logotype, Mark and Usage Variations

3.2  Color Palette with PMS, CMYK and Web Values

3.3  Patterns and/or Icon Systems

3.4 Typographic Standards for print and web.

3.5  Rough example key applications


4.1 Letterhead, Business Card, Envelope: this will include printing and paper specs. Limit to 2 or 3 colors or 2 colors and one special process (i.e., embossing, die cut , varnish).

4.2 Full Page Print Magazine Ad: the first piece of an advertising campaign that extends the client’s brand and communicates the product offerings to the target audience.

5.1 Digital Ads: extending off the magazine ad, develop ads for two sizes of digital ads (see Google Adwords)

5.2 Outdoor Advertising Format: at least one such as bus stop, billboard, side of bus or a guerrilla marketing idea.

6.1 Store Exterior: How the visual language of the brand is applied to the exterior of a retail store. Elements will be rendered onto a photo or illustration of a space that reflects the architectural feeling of your brand. Requirements: Branded Sign and at least one of the following: Awnings, Building Painting/Mural, Vinyl on Glass, etc.

6.2 Store Interior: product display and at least one of the following: Interior Graphics (wall painting or posters), Wayfinding Signage such as Bathroom or Order Counter Signs, etc.

7.1 Brand Extension of Your Choosing: this application should be selected based on fit for your brand and target audience. You may also consider need for your own portfolio. Consider the following options: e-commerce website, rewards app, package design, catalog,  email newsletter campaign.


8.1 Sketches of Grid and Layout Ideas

8.2 InDesign Templates of Key Spreads

8.3 Full Rough Digital Layout of Entire Manual

8.4 Functional Rough Mockup of Manual

8.5 Final Functional Mockup of Manual


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s