Have you ever tried to pull a door that needs to be pushed? Or struggled to locate a crucial button on a website or app? Most of us have felt the frustration of trying to leave a big car park but not quite being sure where the exit is, or whether the lanes are one-way or not. Or found ourselves in a hotel room, mystified as to which is the hot tap, how the shower works or even how to turn the light on.
Every time you have to stop and think during an everyday experience, you’re experiencing bad design.
At its core, design is the key to solving or preventing these obstacles. By giving careful thought and attention to design, we can address a range of issues, such as the style and placement of a door handle (or whether there’s one at all), the user experience when navigating a website, or the simple act of labelling a tap with ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ indicators. Even if these design choices don’t align perfectly with an exclusive aesthetic, they have the power to improve people’s lives in countless ways.
Why does good design matter?
Well, it has a profound impact on both your customers and your business. By implementing good design, you can create a better experience for your customers, even if they aren’t consciously aware of it. And when customers are happier, your business naturally thrives. Consider the following benefits:
Increased customer satisfaction — good design elicits positive emotions and improves the overall satisfaction customers derive from interacting with your brand. It shows that you care about their needs and have invested effort in creating a seamless experience.
Enhanced business success — when customers have a positive experience, they are more likely to become repeat buyers and recommend your business to others. This word-of-mouth marketing can significantly impact your bottom line and drive organic growth.
Higher sales — a well-designed product, website, or marketing collateral has the power to captivate and persuade customers, ultimately leading to increased sales. The visual appeal, intuitive navigation, and clear messaging provided by good design can make a world of difference in converting leads into loyal customers.
Reduced complaints — thoughtful design anticipates user needs and eliminates potential pain points. By minimising frustration and confusion, you can significantly reduce customer complaints and improve their overall perception of your brand.
Improved customer retention — customers who enjoy interacting with your brand are more likely to stay loyal over the long term. By consistently providing a positive user experience through good design, you can foster strong relationships and retain customers in an increasingly competitive world.
Lower costs and saved time — investing in design early on can save your business both time and money in the long run. By identifying and addressing design flaws or usability issues early in the process, you can avoid costly fixes or customer support interventions down the line.
It’s crucial to recognise that bad or non-existent design sends a message to your customers — one that implies they aren’t important, their custom doesn’t matter, and you aren’t committed to enhancing their experience. Unsurprisingly, this tends to yield unfavourable outcomes, including dissatisfied customers, lost sales, and damaged reputation.
A useful exercise, try being your customer, walk a mile in their shoes. How easy is it to contact your business, browse your website, purchase your product or service, complete an onboarding process, sign a contract, get support, or deal with an issue. How does your visual identity, the way you present your products or services stack up to your competitors, are you the obvious choice?
For most businesses this can uncover some obvious improvements, and remember design isn’t just visual, it’s also about process and user experience, every interaction your customers have with your business should be ‘by design’.
The Pantone Color Institute originally created the Pantone Color of the Year educational program in 1999 to engage the design community and color enthusiasts around the world in a conversation around color. We wanted to draw attention to the relationship between culture and color — to highlight to our audience how what is taking place in our global culture is expressed and reflected
through the language of color.
Through the years the Pantone Color of the Year program has become a globally iconic cultural touchstone, capturing the imagination of so many designers, brands, and consumers. As Pantone celebrates the 25th year of Pantone Color of the Year and the fundamental role color plays in our shared human experience, it is our hope that we have inspired you to look at color in
a different way — that color and its connection to emotion and the expression of human feelings will take on a new significance, causing your eye to linger a little longer throughout the day on the tints and tones that surround you, as history unfolds from moment to moment.
Meet Peach Fuzz 13-1023, the Pantone Color of the Year 2024
Peach Fuzz 13-1023 is a velvety gentle peach whose all-embracing spirit enriches heart, mind, and body.
Subtly sensual, PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz is a heartfelt peach hue bringing a feeling of kindness and tenderness, communicating a message of caring and sharing, community and collaboration. A warm and cozy shade highlighting our desire for togetherness with others or for enjoying a moment of stillness and the feeling of sanctuary this creates, PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz presents a fresh approach to a new softness. An appealing peach hue softly nestled between pink and orange, PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz inspires belonging, recalibration, and an opportunity for nurturing, conjuring up an air of calm, offering us a space to be, feel, and heal and to flourish from. Drawing comfort from PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz, we can find peace from within, impacting our wellbeing. An idea as much as a feeling, PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz awakens our senses to the comforting presence of tactility and cocooned warmth. Sensitive but sweet and airy, PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz evokes a new modernity. While centered in the human experience of enriching and nurturing the mind, body, and soul, it is also a quietly sophisticated and contemporary peach with depth whose gentle lightness is understated but impactful, bringing beauty to the digital world. Poetic and romantic, a clean peach tone with a vintage vibe, PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz reflects the past yet has been refashioned with a contemporary ambiance.
We scroll mindlessly past hundreds of messages every single day and only remember a fraction of what we see. Your customers are the same. They’re speed reading articles, scanning emails, and making their way through their favourite apps fast, often without thinking about who is feeding them the content they see.
The effect of the fast-paced online world is most prevalent on social media. Even if your post is memorable, only 43% of social media users will recall that your brand was the one behind the post.
So how do you stop users in their tracks and get them to truly listen? A great brand guide can be your red light. Here’s what you need to know to create your own.
What are brand guidelines?
Brand guidelines are clearly defined rules and standards that communicate how your brand should be represented to the world. Brand guidelines help businesses ensure brand consistency and demonstrate what the company is, what it does, and what it stands for. Think of it like a brand ‘rulebook’ that centralizes the overall look and feel of your brand identity.
These specifications enable everyone involved in promoting your business to communicate consistently about its mission, principles, and personality. Your branding guidelines consolidate the elements that you want all of your stakeholders to use in representing your brand’s image.
What should brand guidelines include?
There are common elements that brand guidelines should include to help you and your team ensure consistency throughout your marketing efforts. Here are some of the most important pieces of information to highlight in your brand guidelines:
Company information: Details of your brand’s history, mission, values, and vision.
Imagery: Icons, image design elements, and photo types that are to be used.
Logo design and use: Guidelines on logo usage, including color palette, file format(s), minimum and maximum sizes, contexts, spacing, and usage permissions, such as where images should and shouldn’t appear.
Tone and grammar: Instructions on tone of voice and grammar rules.
Cards and letterheads: Template for business card and letterhead designs.
Fonts: Font styles and text sizes for both print and digital media.
Color palette: Color palette information, including CMYK and RGB codes.
Effective brand guidelines are those that can be shared and understood easily by anyone involved in communicating your brand—both internally and externally.
That’s why it’s advisable that they should be concise, easy to read, and digitally accessible.
Getting the post in the morning? You’re probably seeing dozens of messages from all sorts of businesses. Brochures, direct mail, coupons — you name it.
Commuting to work? Yep, you guessed it — billboards, radio ads, people handing out flyers.
At your desk, reading your emails? You can’t escape them.
Consumers are bombarded with messages all day, every day. They flick past, half noticed, the memories of them stored away for later acknowledgement — soon to be forgotten. We simply don’t pay them much attention.
As designers, we’re especially aware of this thanks to a phenomenon called banner blindness. Lots of bits of content fight for people’s attention online. Anything that looks even vaguely like an ad often gets glossed over in favour of other elements users think are more important.
If you’re trying to convert prospects or get your audience to take some kind of action, you’re facing an uphill battle getting a response from them. A lone email, no matter how good, simply won’t cut it.
Overcoming lazy and forgetful consumer behaviour
From the burgeoning movie studios of the 1930s to those click-bait ‘news’ sites that just won’t go away, savvy organisations know that, in marketing, persistence is key. If you want to engage people, you need to make sure they come across your brand not once, not twice, but six, seven, or eight times.
The first time, people might notice you, then soon forget you exist. Next time there may be a vague sense of familiarity. Much later, when they’re finally ready to take action, you need to be there, front and centre. If you gave up contacting them months ago, another brand will swoop in.
Some call it the rule of seven. Others think nine might be the magic number. Hubspot say eight. Salesforce say six to eight. The Online Marketing Institute say it could be more than 13.
Whatever the number of touchpoints you need to turn your prospects into customers, it’s a lot more than the couple of emails many marketers have in their campaign plans.
At Integral, we’ve often been asked to develop an isolated email or a postal mailer. But a single piece, no matter how well designed, often isn’t the answer. You can optimise it as much as you like, but it simply won’t have the impact it would have as part of a longer multi-touchpoint campaign.
How many touchpoints is enough?
The rule of seven might be the most common figure thrown out there. But there are lots of factors involved.
If you’re selling a low-value product, you can probably get away with fewer touchpoints. People don’t need to think for very long if something isn’t going to cost them much. On the other hand, prospects will need a lot of convincing before committing to a high value ask. Double digits is a safer bet for a complicated proposition.
The number of asks also depends on how engaged your audience is. With a campaign targeted at people you know are interested in your brand you might just get away with a couple of emails and a landing page as a minimum.
Increasing the number of touchpoints
Thanks to social media, it’s easier than ever to reach people multiple times across different channels. Anyone with an account can post updates. Anyone with a credit card can buy ads. Of course, we’d always recommend finessing your approach with help from external experts, but the important thing is to keep the momentum going.
Social media is useful for maintaining a presence, but don’t forget the tried and true channels. If you’re running an email campaign, think about adding in a direct mail element. Follow up with phone calls. Buy some bus stop ad space. The more opportunities you give people, the more likely it is they’ll remember you.
Word of mouth is still one of the most effective ways of guaranteeing a new conversion, and a direct endorsement is worth a lot more than a cold email. That’s one of the main reasons for the rise of social media influencers. Although they’re being paid, the message can be very powerful if it has the feel of a personal recommendation.
Although you can’t make people talk about your brand, you can maximise your chances of it happening. A clear message, a well-thought out website, a strong visual identity — all these elements make sure that when your moment comes, you’ll be ready to make the most of it.
Think quality over quantity
While more touchpoints is usually a good thing, they shouldn’t come at the expense of quality communication. Don’t compromise your brand just for the sake of getting someone’s attention. What sort of message are you putting out there once you’ve got their attention?
If all you ever do is the hard sell, you’re going to put off a lot of your potential customers. For many businesses, a content marketing approach works best — give people something valuable to read, watch or listen to and they’ll warm to your brand. Keep doing that and you’ll have lifelong fans.
And don’t forget to mix things up a bit! Email after email might be the cheapest option for you, but people will quickly get bored. Why not create a campaign video? Or write a how-to guide on something you know a lot about. You could even start your own magazine on a topic related to your industry.
We’ve only lightly touched on some big topics. People have written entire books on how to perfect the sales funnel. But it all boils down to one point: keep trying new ideas until you stop seeing profitable returns.
Next time you’re in the planning stages for your campaign, push things a bit further. Can you add in a mailer or another few emails? Until you’re well into double digits for your number of touchpoints, anything more you can do to extend and join up your campaign will make it all the more effective.
A custom logo design agency plays a pivotal role in shaping a brand’s visual identity, and leveraging the resulting logo strategically is crucial for establishing a strong and lasting brand presence.
A well-designed logo is a crucial element in building a strong brand identity. Your logo serves as a visual representation of your brand, conveying its personality, values, and essence to your target audience. In this article, we’ll explore key strategies and tips on how to effectively use your logo to establish and strengthen your brand identity.
KNOW YOUR BRAND
Gaining a thorough grasp of your brand is crucial before implementing logo usage. Which values apply to your brand? Who is the intended audience for you? What distinguishes you from rivals? Your logo’s design and subsequent use will be guided by this clarity.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY
A key component of a successful brand is consistency. Make sure that your website, social media profiles, business cards, packaging, and marketing materials all use the same version of your logo. Your audience will recognize and trust you more if you are consistent.
Colors are important for establishing associations and expressing feelings. Select colors for your logo that appeal to your target market and are consistent with the personality of your business. Keep in mind color psychology and the way that different hues elicit different emotions.
Your logo should be clear and powerful across a range of sizes and media. Make sure your brand appears as well on a tiny social media profile photo as it does on a massive billboard by testing it on various platforms.
Make sure your logo is responsive in this day and age when having an online presence is crucial. It ought to appear just as amazing on tablets, smartphones, and desktop computers. Your brand will appear smooth and professional on a variety of digital platforms thanks to responsive design.
A logo ought to convey a narrative about your company. Include aspects that convey the story of your brand, whether through font, color, or symbolism. Your audience and your brand can connect through this storytelling element.
Select a typeface for any text included in your logo that goes well with your brand. It is important that the typeface be readable and consistent with the tone of your brand, be it smart, modern, traditional, or whimsical.
The placement of your logo is just as crucial as the logo itself. Think about where you want it to appear on your packaging, website, or marketing materials. Make sure it stays visible without taking over the entire design and that it doesn’t interfere with other design aspects.
ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE
Use your branding to entice viewers to engage. For particular occasions or times of year, think about producing variants or limited editions. This innovative strategy piques the curiosity of your audience and keeps your brand new.
EVOLUTION AND ADAPTATION
Your logo may need to be updated as your brand develops and grows in order to appropriately represent these changes. Be willing to make adjustments to your logo or develop new iterations that stay true to the essence of your brand but also reflect its evolution.
Colours are powerful and emotional, and we all have unconscious connections to specific shades. Our individual affinities to distinct hues are based on experiences and memories that over time create positive or negative associations. So when it comes to branding and choosing your logo colours, there is certainly more than meets the eye.
Recognising the importance of logo colours can make or break your brand. Here we will outline the influence of different colours and various combinations, plus how to choose a logo colour for your brand.
Logo colour meanings
Let’s break down what each logo colour means and can represent in your branding efforts:
Red is fire. Red is visceral. It is eye-catching and hard to miss, making it a popular choice for logo design. One of the primary colours, red is associated with energy, passion and power. Have you ever noticed that red is often used in food logos? This is because red is believed to be an appetite-stimulating colour. Red can often be seen in the entertainment industry in band logos and in fashion logos as well.
On the flip side, red may also be tied to anger and danger. If you are looking for a logo colour that is calm, peaceful and serene, red is likely not the colour for you.
Orange is bright, warm and welcoming, and also conveys happiness and trust. Since orange is light-hearted, it can be an excellent choice for industries that are fun, yet professional. Orange is common in tech logos, food logos and sports logos.
Friendly, approachable, cheerful and uplifting, yellow is a popular logo color for industries that want to express happiness and delight. At the same time, yellow is very noticeable and hard to miss (like yellow taxis in the street), so it can be a good choice to stand out in the crowd. On the same note, yellow can also be linked to warning signs and caution, so it might not be a good fit for every industry.
Green is most commonly used by eco-friendly brands or industries related to the environment like farming, horticulture, recycling and renewable energy. Since it is associated with nature, it is also a popular choice for organic and natural brands aiming to give a clean, holistic and fresh feeling.
Green logos are also popular among food and beverage brands, tech and communications companies and the pharmaceutical industry.
A strong, dependable colour that conveys trust, reliability and professionalism, blue is often used in financial, technological and medical logos. Blue is also tranquil and serene, making it a popular choice among health and wellness brands and those who want to convey a sense of calm.
Royal, luxurious and decadent, purple is often associated with wealth and wisdom. It is also a playful and inviting colour that is approachable. Purple can be seen in a myriad of industries but is common in cosmetic brands, candies and confectioneries, fashion and child-centric brands.
Pink is energetic, invigorating, playful and surprisingly versatile. It is a colour that conveys youthfulness, and a sense of happiness and calm in a relevant and modern way. A colour that was once stereotypically feminine by nature, pink has gained power and diversity, making it an attractive logo colour choice. Pink can be seen in the fashion industry, as well as food and beverage, technology and cosmetics.
Classic and unfettered, black and white logo design is always a timeless choice. Black exudes elegance and sophistication, and when paired with white it is minimalist and effective. In fact, when logos are first designed, it is recommended to always create them in black and white first before integrating any colours. By starting out with these simplified shades, you will focus your attention on the overall look and feel of your logo without considering colour. The addition of colour should enhance your logo design, not define it.
Black and white can be very versatile and lends itself well to letterforms and wordmark logos, but can be used in all shapes and sizes. Sticking to a refined black and white palette, many leading brands stand out from the crowd without any other bells and whistles, which helps shape their brand identity even further.
Made from black and white, gray is neutral and calming. Gray exudes professionalism, sophistication and modernity. It also pairs well with almost any colour, making it versatile and used in many industries and logo designs.
Brown is strong, earthy and often perceived as a masculine colour. It evokes dependability and trustworthiness and a sense of wholesomeness. Often used for all-natural products, this colour is organic and honest. Brown is also the colour of coffee, chocolate and beer and common in these industries, which evokes the comfort of these products.
While the general rule of thumb is to stick to a maximum of three logo colours, there are obviously instances where breaking the rules has its benefits. Often used by creative, multidisciplinary or child-centric brands, multicoloured logos are bold, attention grabbing and hard to forget.
The reason most designers and marketers will say not to use multiple colors is that it can become overwhelming, over-saturated and busy. If you look at the examples of successful multicoloured logos, they all use balance and refinement, often picking a focal colour and playing with brightness, saturation and the combination of complementary colours.