What Makes A Brand: Part 1
When you approach an Apple store, you know it will be brightly lit, with sleek, clean lines. There will be polished screens with colorful graphics on a black or white background. All of this speaks to their iconic electronics, but it’s more than that, it’s their brand. As the customer, you know the experience you can expect to have by walking through their front door. A true brand goes beyond the logo by establishing a consistency in the usage of their identity. The question is how do you go about building a brand from the ground up? We took a look at our own branding to give you a better idea on how this can be accomplished.
What’s in a Name?
The building blocks of a brand start with choosing a name for the company, one that communicates your company mission, this will be the basis of your identity. We like to think of it this way, if you do not have a vetted concept for who you are, you cannot even begin to define yourself with one or two words. If you want to be proactive as a company, you have to think about what you are and then become it, rather than be purely reactive to your climate and clients. As a result, when John Yarnell and Jason Keeble were looking for their name, they knew they wanted something that described their vision.
“The name ‘Trademark’ was chosen because it fits perfectly with our mission, the definition of the trademark is; a distinct mark or feature particularly characteristic of or identified with a person or thing.”
Here, John points out that the name Trademark is exactly what we do as a company, we give people the ability to speak succinctly to their audience, whether that is to their customers or employees.
When developing a logo mark or identity for your company it is important to understand that you are establishing the face of your company. It will be the imagery associated with your company and will give people something to rally behind. When creating Trademark’s logo there was a need for something that was not only unique, but demonstrated what we do. John and Jason began to develop a logo, a mark that was easy to read and would provide flexibility for multiple applications.
Bulk It Up
Clearly defining your colors, typography and secondary graphics is important to the future success of your established identity and will further support your name and logo. The fundamentals of the brand lies with the name and the logo but these building blocks need additional pieces in order to succeed. Trademark’s colors were carefully chosen to be black and grey with vibrant red and have been fully integrated into our branding efforts. Our typography consists of four fonts; two options for main bodies of text that are similar to each other, and two fonts that are used for our logo. The creation of secondary graphics allows us creativity in our branding options. These elements were built off our logo and brand colors to support our story and environment. An example of this would be our angular T and M, which plays directly off of our primary logo and includes our brand colors. Another example of secondary elements would be our thumbprint. A thumbprint by nature is a unique mark that identifies individuality and echoes the meaning behind our name. Additional graphics include illustrated versions of our building and some simplified geometric lines.
Show it off
Once you have your foundation for your identity and have established all the supporting elements, it only makes sense that you should share your branding with the world and in the process, make your company more easily recognizable. At this step in making your brand, you will want to apply your company graphics in the form of branded clothing, vehicle graphics, business cards, website and all other collateral.
Build your space
Not only should you be recognizable by your identity out in the world, but your space should represent your brand in a way that integrates both your customers and employees into a branded environment. This means physical branding in the form of exterior and interior signs and environmental graphic design that accents your physical or virtual spaces in line with your brand.
Applying your extended branding features to our location took some thought. John and Jason took the same approach as they would with a customer. They looked at our building from all angles and evaluated how individuals would approach the space. They then applied the company’s personality to both the exterior and interior of the building, utilizing our thumbprint, geometric lines, and color palette. From the red and grey building, to our portfolio prominently on displys in the entryway, to the thumprint graphic swirling along the side of office desks, we wear our brand to impress.