HOW TO make your brand stand OUT

Fol­low our guide to cre­at­ing a strong vis­ual iden­tity for your prod­uct

Country Homes & Interiors - - MY COUNTRY BUSINESS -

A brand’s iden­tity isn’t just about a cer­tain logo or colour pal­ette; it’s about all the in­gre­di­ents that go to­gether to make it stand out from its com­peti­tors. ‘A strong vis­ual brand iden­tity is im­por­tant be­cause you need to be able to com­mu­ni­cate with your cus­tomer,’ says Chris de Ver­teuil. ‘By set­ting the look, you are talk­ing to a cer­tain set of peo­ple, and you can be­gin to build a com­mu­nity who will re­late to your style. It builds loy­alty and trust.’

Be in­spired. ‘You need to start by cre­at­ing the look you want,’ says Chris. ‘Be very clear about who you are and the mes­sage you want to con­vey. The Priddy Es­sen­tials look, for in­stance, is cre­at­ing a ro­man­tic view of a by­gone era. We draw from dif­fer­ent influences when we cre­ate a new range – it could be an 18th-cen­tury news­pa­per or a 20th-cen­tury print de­sign. We con­stantly visit an­tiques cen­tres so, for ex­am­ple, we might find a Ge­or­gian tea chest in­spir­ing and, in terms of pack­ag­ing, we would try and work out how to bring the feel­ing of that item into to­day’s ma­te­ri­als.’ A good way of work­ing out your brand iden­tity is by cre­at­ing a mood board (or a Pin­ter­est board) of what’s caught your eye. ‘Don’t be in­tim­i­dated by the enor­mity of what is on of­fer on the in­ter­net,’ says Chris. ‘We find that it’s best to set a time limit for surf­ing and then print off a hard copy of the images to re­assess their im­por­tance.’

Pre­pare the key vis­ual el­e­ments. Part of hav­ing an iden­tity in­volves hav­ing a logo, so work out what’s most ef­fec­tive.

•Logo: make sure you come up with one that is flex­i­ble. It should work with var­i­ous back­ground colours and in dif­fer­ent shaped for­mats. Is it sim­ple enough for some­one to un­der­stand it at a glance? Is it in line with your brand per­son­al­ity? Is it web-friendly? Are you able to scale it up or down?

•Fonts: con­sider us­ing a web-safe font, such as Arial, Hel­vetica or Times Ro­man.

•Colour: think care­fully about which ones you will use so that you can be con­sis­tent. ‘We don’t use sharp colours,’ says Chris. ‘We use ter­tiary level colours so that the prod­uct feels com­fort­able in the shop.’ The colours that Priddy Es­sen­tials use also link through to those used in the shop decor. ‘We opted for dark walls in the apothe­cary room – it cre­ates a moody feel which sets off the re­cy­cled pack­ag­ing.’

Trans­late your vi­sion into re­al­ity. If you don’t have a de­sign back­ground, you will need to brief a de­signer. Choose a de­signer whose work you like and who will lis­ten to you. ‘You need free­dom to ex­change ideas,’ says Chris. You also need to give the de­signer a proper brief­ing with all the back­ground in­for­ma­tion re­lated to your brand story.

Al­low your vis­ual iden­tity to grow with your brand. ‘Stick to your mes­sage but be flex­i­ble enough to play,’ says Chris.

En­sure your vis­ual iden­tity is co­he­sive. Each piece should com­ple­ment the brand iden­tity so that the look flows. An im­por­tant as­pect of Priddy Es­sen­tials’ pack­ag­ing is the re­cy­cled el­e­ment. It in­cor­po­rates vintage pa­pers in the pack­ag­ing of its prod­ucts and it has fol­lowed the same re­source strat­egy through­out the shop – for ex­am­ple the ceil­ings are dec­o­rated with old pages torn from a re­dun­dant di­rec­tory.

Cu­rate your prod­uct dis­plays. In the at­mo­spheric apothe­cary room, for in­stance, the shelv­ing dis­play of bot­tles is or­gan­ised and clear. ‘Be­cause the stock was dif­fer­ent shapes and sizes we knew that it was im­por­tant to avoid a clut­tered look,’ says Chris. ‘There is a light and bright room for cloth­ing, while down­stairs mainly con­sists of home­ware and works from the va­ri­ety of artists we’re in col­lab­o­ra­tion with. We ar­range our col­lab­o­ra­tors’ work around our shop as we would in our home.’

The one les­son we have learnt... ‘a Trend is al­ways a Trap. Just do WHAT you like most, it’s al­ways much more Hon­est’

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