This should’ve been obvious to anyone who reads and/or knows me. I’ve been a designer for a long time and in that time I’ve developed into a creative director and designer that pays special attention to branding. It’s my thing.

You know the saying, “you don’t have a second chance to make a first impression.” Many think this only applies to a people. There are many startup companies that think they can just bypass the branding process and deal with ‘the logo’ later. Unfortunately many companies that think like this flounder in the water of ‘like products’ never really stand out on their own in a market flooded with options. Proper branding can set you apart and cement your company firmly in the marketplace.

But what is Branding, you may ask. Branding is actually a combination of things. The company brand is what you think of when you see a company logo. It’s the overall ‘big picture’ idea of the company condensed into a recognisable logo. However, that is not the end of branding. You should also have a good idea of your identity. Identity is the second part of a good branding plan. This includes your letterhead, business cards, collateral (anything tangible), as well as language you wish to use. And when I say language I don’t mean if it’s American, British, or Chinese. Language deals with the overall tone you wish to have your customers read. If you are an app developed for say finding equestrian related stables, the overall tone should be different than to say a website to track the latest Nascar standings. If you don’t develop a sense of these things first you how are you going to know what your app is going to look like? Or your website? If you truly wait until the end of development to start focusing on your brand, you’re going to have a bad time. You may have to rework an almost completed project to make it look more cohesive. And through the years, I’ve found this makes developers and engineers angry. Like hulk angry.

So if you’re starting a journey into a new project or business venture, seriously take time to think about how you want to be represented in this world. There are many designers that are more than happy to give you a consultation to help you on your journey. But remember; buy them a beer if you can’t afford a friend’s services. And when you can afford it, make sure that you pay them appropriately. After all they are crafting your company’s culture.

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