HOW TO make your brand stand OUT
Follow our guide to creating a strong visual identity for your product
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’