During the process of creating the brand's image, it is worth to put your personal preferences into your pocket.

1. Communication tools

Probably more than once you've talked with your clients - whether in person, by phone or using a messenger. All these methods are various forms of communication. The same thing applies to the logo and the visual identity system. These are another tools for talking with your clients.

Symbolically, they "tell" your recipients who you are (as a brand), what you offer and what are the biggest advantages of it. It is worth noting that this type of communication is mostly passive - someone sees your logo in the form in which it was designed and he interprets it in a specific way. You do not have much room for changing this point of view if it goes wrong.

That is why it is so important to create elements of a visual identity in a thoughtful way, so that they "send" the right message and have served the brand for years.

2. The tone and character of the brand, not your yours

Talking to different people, you probably adjust your language, tone, and form of expression. You would talk to someone your age differently, than to an elderly person, a client or family. There is nothing wrong with it, because the goal of this adapting practice is always to have good contact with each other and reach mutual understanding.

The logo and all the brand elements should be also tailored to your potential customers based on the same principle. Match the character and tone to your potential customers, not your personal preferences. You want to talk to them exactly, aren't you?

3. The values and features of what you offer, not your personal tastes

It happens that while working on the elements of a graphic image (especially on the logo) I face with the judgment of created solutions based on two criteria: "I like / I do not like it". This is the most common mistake in the design process. Again – it's not about your preferences.

Logo and visual identification do not represent you "directly" (unless we are talking about a personal brand). They tell you about the values on which you build your business. Although the difference between you as a person and the values you represent in business may seem subtle, but in practice it boils down to a simple relationship:

Example: If you love the red color, it does not mean that it should be automatically identifying your brand related to organic products.

Focus on the answers to these questions:

  • Does this logo/design project represent well what's behind your brand?
  • What will the target group think when they will see this logo/design project?

Graphic design is a tool to present your brand in such a way that it is attractive to your customers and encourages them to use services or buy products. It has to authenticate what you offer and represent everything that the customer can find "inside".

4. You know too much about your brand

Knowledge curse. You must have heard about this problem. Working "inside" your brand you will never be able to look at it "from the outside" because you simply can not erase what you already know about your products.

Of course, you can imagine that you are your own customer and try to figure out what you would expect from this perspective. You like it or not, these images will always be saturated with what you already know. This falsifies the imaginary client you've created. Therefore, relying on personal tastes often leads to a dead end. The "curse of knowledge" is one of the biggest barriers to overcome during creation. It can be overcome only with openness and empathy for other points of view.

A designer who will be able to look at the topic from the outside will be helpful here. However, the point is to ask the clients themselves for the opinion. Only when you have firsthand knowledge - about their expectations, desires, and problems (connected to the products or services you offer) you are able to approach the topic reliably. In this way, you create an opportunity to build with the designer visual identity that will meet the goals that you set previously and help you develop your business in the expected direction.

So what, total separation?

Is it necessary to completely separate your personal character, preferences, and expectations from the graphic image of your brand? Forget who you are and focus only on the brand? Certainly not.

The brand as a whole is not only the "external layer", but also the people who create it and everything that is important to them - in the context of business and what it does. Not in the context of favorite colors or shapes. And this is the subtle difference that I am trying to pay attention to.

It is possible that a part of your personal preferences can work effectively in the graphic image of your brand and overlap with the assumptions. Perhaps your favorite color will work perfectly in the project. However, it is important to consult and discuss entering "Your" elements (specific color, shapes, symbols) with the designer. This will help avoid misunderstanding that may follow your brand for years.

Remember that you don't order just "nice graphics" to satisfy your tastes, but the solutions that should help you reach your customers.


Lukas Ociepka

Brand Identity Designer. I'm not designing pretty graphics. I help your business to evolve because of understanding the customers. I help you to talk to them in their language. I will take care of attracting them and reaching their trust. 10 years of experience and over 30 created brands so far allow me to consult strategy & ideas for brand communication. And I love to do it.


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