Get a good name. Get good logo. Get good letterheads and nice business cards. Get the rest of the stationary (corporate identity) design. But first of all, get yourself a professional design team.
HOW TO TIE BUSINESS AND CREATIVE TOGETHER? YOU TALK TO YOUR DESIGNER.
Now you are thinking, I know what I want and I know what is my company about. We worked so hard in getting that perfect business plan and how do I explain all this to the designer?
Well, frankly, designers are right brainers (intuitive and emotional part of the brain) and most of the time they do not know much about (your) business at all. So, instead of trying to speak their language (providing them with sketches and telling them the exact colors, shapes you want to use) better explain your strategy as if your company is a person. Words before visuals. Say:
- who you are as a company?
- what is your goal?
- what do you want to achieve/ where do you want to be?
- what makes you special, what is that unique characteristic of you and your product?
- who is the company for (target market), etc.?
And then, let designers do their work. If your company is to be more people oriented, more contemporary or traditional the designer will make sure to communicate this message through the use of shapes, colors and other design elements.
Do not worry, you will supervise and at the end of the day it is you who will approve of it. The more feedback your give the better.
VISUAL BRAND IDENTITY. DESIGNER TALKS TO YOU.
Surely, a key element in a good brand identity is a logo. But then follow the other marketing pieces and visual elements. The truth is all need to come under one umbrella. The visuals need to flow from one marketing material to another in a neat and harmonious ways. It is sort of like crossing a bridge (but not leaving the town!) from your logo to the business cards to your site and products/services back to the flayers and promo cards. All this have to be recognizable and linked in visual and/or content related style:
- brand colors,
- repetition of graphical elements (not literal copy paste, there should be some variation to the visual approach, some room for the expansion and visual evolution over time - strict consistency is a no-no even for a law firm )
- distinctive use of chosen fonts,
- materials, finishes,
- tag lines/slogans,
- same feel
- message ..
These points above are called Visual Brand Language and as such should relay on authentic qualities. This language, if properly designed will result in emotional connection between your brand and the consumers. Your visual brand identity is your (company) personality.
We can share identity with others, being from the same country, same race, religion, be in the same business, etc., yet what makes us different from the others is the personality. That unique visual representation of who we are (our company) is the image-message we send to the world.
And especially nowadays with all the eyes watching (internet!) there is a chance you get yourself recognized easily. For example, I remember number of times when I accidentally stumbled upon a web site of a fellow design colleague, right there and at the very first glance at the site I knew the designer is for real A GOOD DESIGNER. The site is unique. There is a certain feel to it. A humor maybe, but different than with the others, or a simple graphic that talks to me. Simply put I see they care and they love their stuff. Now, you cannot go wrong in hiring such individual/company. There, all said.
Let's take a logo for example.
You will see and use it in many different places and will need to accommodate many different applications - from web to print. On the web, again, there are tons of special logo uses. For example, your logo as a favicon ('also known as a shortcut icon, Web site icon, URL icon, or bookmark icon' >> Wikipedia), then it is in your header, perhaps in your footer, on a product label, etc. You do not want to copy and paste the same shape and color logo in all of these places. You do want a bit of variety so that logo can breathe and perform well. Somewhere you will have the 'shorten' version of your logo, someplace you will only use a part of a logo and on another there will be a full logo and even added tag line.