Although brand design utilises similar skills to graphic design the goals and application are entirely different. Brand designs primary objectives are to differentiate a customer from their competition, create an internal focus, provide clear identification, enable an audience to form a personal relationship, create merchandising opportunities, create credibility, bring order to chaos and communicate the message.
Specific components such as logo design form a major part of a brands collateral. A logo can be simply defined as "a distinctive symbol of a company, object, publication, person, or idea". Beyond this however the specific needs of a client may make the solution more complex. The basic forms a logo may take can be broken down as a: mark; trademark; signature; wordmark; symbol or monogram. It is the designers' job to understand the disadvantages and uses for each and the impact this has on the client.
Remember: A logo is not a brand unless it's on a cow. The identity we create as a strategy for the client is a combination of the logo, visual system (typefaces, colours, imagery), and editorial tone work together to form a unique and cohesive message for the client. These may all assist with the perception of a business but still do not make the brand. A designer cannot "make" a brand, only and audience can do this. The designer can only form the foundation of the message with the logo and identity system.
It is important that the identity system functions as a cohesive group of visual and verbal elements that serve to continually identify the client to its target audience. Consistency is central to effective branding. This does not preclude creativity. An identity system will fail if it is predictable and lifeless. Power, clarity and freshness must accompany consistency.
Graphic and print design in essence is the understanding of visual language. Our primary goal is to convey complex messages in a way that they can be consumed and comprehended quickly and succinctly. We are trained to achieve this with many different forms of media, including print of all kinds and electronic or digital.
The basic process for good design no matter what media it appears in is essentially the same. We establish criteria, explore the options, refine the solution, identify application, produce and systematise the result.
The Skills at our disposal are typography, colour, balance, iconography and shape. The use and interaction of these skill sets is fluid and rarely between skilled designers ends in similar results.
Clarity of message is always the key goal of a client and return focussed designer. The more complex the message the more we relish the opportunity to inform. Graphic design solutions can be found in projects as diverse as wayfinding, marketing materials, point of sale, promotions, magazine and editorial design.
Good design takes into account future use, and the vanity of current and subsequent designers.