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Branding in Graphic Design

Branding in Graphic Design

Branding is a creative process whereby a logo or brand identity is created for a specific product or service. It involves careful thought and planning. The first step in branding is to identify your target audience. Understanding their demographics and preferences will help you determine how to convey your identity and message to them.

Logo Production

Logo production is an important part of graphic design. It should be memorable, distinctive and simple. The process of logo production starts with the discovery phase, where the designer gets to know the client’s business and develop a brand strategy. Once the design team has a basic understanding of the client’s business, they can begin brainstorming ideas.


Before a logo is designed, it should be created in both CMYK and RGB color variations. This way, it can be used on billboards, magazines and business cards. It can also be used on computers and TV screens. Most browsers are compatible with SVG files. This format is also compatible with Adobe Illustrator, which lets designers store different color variations.



A design brief is essential for logo production. This document conveys the client’s goals and expectations. The client can outline, for example, that he wants to position his company as a market leader or that he wants the design to represent values such as dedication and commitment to the customer. The design brief is crucial for the designer to ensure the logo he or she creates meets the client’s needs.

The design process involves a series of phases: research, conceptualization, sketching ideas, testing, and production. Each phase has a specific goal, process, and deliverable.

Style Guide

Building a style guide for branding in graphic design can be a difficult process. While any designer can create a logo, developing a style guide requires a lot of experience and patience. The first step in creating a style guide is to figure out what is important to your brand. Each brand has different needs, so your style guide should evolve along with it. The style guide should be flexible enough to accommodate changes, and old versions should be kept for reference.


A style guide can be a public or internal document. Both options have their pros and cons. Public style guides are available to anyone, but they also have the potential to be ripped off. An internal style guide, on the other hand, is easier to update and doesn’t need to be as professional.


A style guide should include the types of imagery that the brand uses. It’s important to include examples of how logos and images should be used. Having examples will make it easier to add images to your design. Additionally, you should include examples of how not to use a brand’s logo.


Apart from these visual elements, a style guide should also include information on color schemes. The color palette should be consistent throughout, and you should add some complementary colors to make your design unique. Another important aspect of a style guide is typography. If you want to use specific fonts for your brand, then make sure you include a section on how to access them.

Color Palette

Colours are an important part of branding your brand. Yellow, for instance, can convey cheer and youthful energy, but caution is advised, especially when it’s used next to black. Green, on the other hand, is an excellent choice, conveying wealth and naturalism. It’s also a great addition to the colour palette for branding any business. Blue is a neutral, professional colour and conveys a feeling of trustworthiness.


Analogous colour schemes are best suited for creating a sense of harmony and balance. These palettes are usually derived from nature, where similar hues are used together to support the depth of a single color. A three-colour palette, on the other hand, is considered dynamic.


There are two basic types of color scheme: the primary and secondary. The primary colors are red and blue and the secondary ones are yellow, orange and green. In this way, they communicate the same message. But if you want a more feminine look, go for the secondary colors. For example, if you want to create a logo for an online store, you can use the primary color for the logo.


Another type of color scheme is the complementary color scheme. This scheme works well in a corporate branding. It helps to instill trust in your audience. This style works well in the banking and technology sectors. It also makes your brand flexible across industries.


Typography is an integral part of branding in graphic design, serving four major purposes. These purposes are distinction, consistency, coherence, and communication. A successful brand starts with a mission rooted in love and empathy, and then a typographer creates a system that fits the brand’s communication needs. This unique type style sets the tone, draws attention, and spurs action.


Typography involves a range of techniques. Among other things, it focuses on font personality, appearance, and layout. Good typographers read the content carefully and make sure that it’s presented in an appealing and accessible manner. They also consider the audience’s needs and preferences to choose an appropriate font. This way, they create a tailored experience for reading.


Typography is an important part of branding because it can influence a person’s emotions. A font’s size, colour, and contrast can all have an impact. In addition, it can convey a brand’s tone and values. Each typeface has a different personality, so choosing the right font for your brand is important.


The purpose of typography is to make the text readable and leave a lasting impression on the consumer. It can help brands communicate with their target audience, and it is an essential element of graphic design. Today’s consumers have shorter attention spans than they did in the past. In fact, the average person’s attention span is less than 10 seconds, so brands must grab their audience’s attention quickly to remain relevant in the market.


Using animation as part of your branding strategy is a great way to engage consumers. People are more likely to engage with animated visuals because they’re entertaining. In addition to drawing attention to your brand, animation also improves your SEO. People are more likely to stay on your website when you use an animated logo, which helps you gain more page views and improve your rank in search results. Animation can also help your brand stand out in presentations, especially if you use it on a digital display.


If you’re planning to use an animated logo in your marketing campaign, you’ll need to make sure it has the right kind of motion. People love fresh ideas, and an animated logo is sure to impress. A well-executed animation can trigger the right emotions for your brand, which will help it stick in the minds of consumers.


Another way to use animation is to create a short video that teaches visitors how to use a website. You can use a motion designer to create a quick animation that demonstrates where to click and what information to enter. You can also use a motion graphic to break up boring corporate presentations.


An animated video can help you capture the attention of your audience by providing a narrative. An animated video can also be effective at demonstrating complicated concepts and ideas. Motion graphics are the perfect tool for explaining hard-to-understand concepts, like how a certain product works. Moreover, they can help you convey a sensitive side of your company to a wider audience.


Motion is an integral part of branding. It can be used in many ways to make your brand more recognizable, from an animated cursor in Word to a sliding notification that appears when you enter the wrong access code on your iPhone. In the right hands, motion can make your website look more dynamic and inviting. But, if used improperly, it can also annoy users.

Moving images are catching the attention of consumers more than static images, which is why brands have recognized the importance of motion in branding. Animated logos, animated videos, and dynamic typography are essential in motion-based branding. These elements not only catch the attention of the audience, but also position the brand in their minds.

The use of motion in branding graphics can help a brand tell its story. Netflix’s N logo, for instance, uses motion graphics to create a buzzing sound and animated letters that move through the letter. This motion-based logo creates a sense of curiosity in the audience and entices them to visit the official website of the company. It’s a great way to reinforce your brand message and set your brand apart from competitors.
The use of motion in branding and graphic design is important to the success of your branding efforts. It can be used in television commercials and on the Internet. Moreover, it can be used in the design of apps, explainer videos, social media, and advertising.

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Creating and Maintaining Your Brand


Your business’s brand is what makes you unique. With so many products and businesses out in the world, you need to set yourself apart and stand out from the crowd by utilizing your brand.

Many business owners fail to adequately brand their business which leads to an inconsistent online presence. When your online presence is inconsistent, customers will struggle remembering you and fail to come back to make purchases in the future.

On the other end, some business owners brand their business but make too many changes to their brand. By changing your branding regularly, you also make the mistake of showing an inconsistent online presence. This is why planning and sticking to your brand is so important.

You can achieve consistency by sticking to your branding guidelines. Full-service agencies like CAST Design Team can also contribute to your business’s consistency by branding, designing, and maintaining your brand across all online and print publications. Having your online and offline presence matchup means more customers!

Let’s learn more!

The Importance of Sticking to Your Brand

Customers won’t remember you just because your product or business is amazing. If they can’t remember your business name, logo, story, or have a way to find you, they will find somewhere else to purchase the thing they need, and you will miss out on a sale, and possibly a loyal customer.  

By branding your business and sticking to your branding guidelines, you provide yourself with an invaluable opportunity to not only attract new customers but to keep existing customers coming back for your products. By changing the name, colors, logo, and messaging of your business too regularly you miss out on those returning customers (not to mention you waste a lot of time in the process).

On top of the fact that not having consistent branding may cause you to lose customers, it just looks all around unprofessional.

How to Stick to Your Brand

Sticking to your brand is easy! It’s as simple as making choices at the beginning that make your future decisions much easier. Keep these four things in mind when building and maintaining your brand:

Prepare in Advance

Before making any decisions, like building your website and creating social media accounts, sit down for a branding session. Decide on things like names, logos, colors, and messaging. Your future decisions regarding your business will come from this branding session.

Don’t Compare

Comparing your business to other businesses may cause you to want to change your branding. Stick to your guns and remember that your business and brand are unique to you! Don’t make branding changes because of other businesses. You decide what your business will be known for and your branding will go along with that!

High-Quality Consistency Across the Board

Be sure to use high-quality, professional photos for your website, social media, and other marketing assets. Use the same logo or profile photo on each platform to create continuity that your customers can expect and recognize. It’s easy to play with no fonts and colors but always make sure you’re using the same ones.

Build and Refer to a Style Guide

A style guide or branding guideline should be built at the conception of your business. This important document will help you make future marketing related decisions and ensure that your branding remains consistent across all platforms and in all marketing efforts, no matter who is doing it. A style guide houses the answer to any branding question that may arise.

Benefits of a Full-Service Agency

Don’t be afraid to ask for help during this process. Creating a brand and branding guidelines for your business is a big project, but luckily there are people out there who are poised to help you. CAST Design Team is a full-service agency that covers everything from branding to building your website to social media marketing, and more! While having a professional agency create your branding can add a ton of value on its own, continuing to work with the same design agency that created your branding on other projects can help ensure that your messaging is portrayed exactly how you would do it yourself and there are no inconsistencies in your branding.

Choosing a full-service agency to help with your business is the best decision a new business owner can make. CAST Design Team can handle any project you need covered while you focus on your business. Leave the creative problem solving up to the professionals and you will notice increased traffic and decreased stress. Contact our team today–we’d love to help you in the branding process!

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Factors of a Strong Brand Identity

Factors of a Strong Brand Identity 

The most successful brands are companies that have curated unique and memorable identities for themselves. Having a strong brand identity means carefully and intentionally creating an instantly recognizable personality that differentiates you from other businesses in your industry. It sets the tone of your brand and can be used to elicit an emotional response from your target audience. Your brand identity should also communicate the overall message, values, and goals of your business.

There are a number of factors that contribute to a strong brand identity. The following could be just what your brand needs to consider in order to take it to the next level:


To avoid confusion about your brand, you need to have a consistent theme across every level of your business. This means using the same basic voice and style in regards to the copy you create, your design themes, branded content and imagery, etc. Everything you do should reflect your brand and convey a single, consistent message of unity within that brand.


When creating your brand identity, you should consider how to increase the awareness of your brand. After all, no one will be able to know your brand if they can’t see you. People tend to gravitate towards brands they recognize and are familiar with, even if it’s not necessarily the best fit or highest quality. It’s up to you to be seen and recognized, so keep your brand at the forefront of all your marketing materials and stay active on social media to spread awareness of your brand and make it memorable to your target audience.


Your brand identity won’t mean anything if you don’t establish yourself as trustworthy and reliable. Get to know your customers in order to find out what they want and need so you can position yourself to offer just that, and keep directing them back toward your brand. Give them someone to count on and you’ll acquire loyal customers who will return to you time and time again.


Developing a professional, creative design for your brand identity helps you to stand out from your competition. It’s important to consider the appearance of the business you are presenting for the experience of your customers. Think about your website, social media channels, and overall business persona. Do they reflect your goals and stay consistent with your values? It’s very useful to use a style guide to clearly lay out visual guidelines for your brand and employees to follow.

Remember that when you create your brand identity, you are applying your brand values to any visual elements promoting your business. Your identity is directly proportional to the growth of your brand and should be carefully considered to ensure it reflects exactly who you want to portray.

Does your brand have a strong brand identity? Do you think it does or do your customers actually agree with you? If you’re struggling to create a brand identity for your company, reach out to our team today.

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Color Psychology in Marketing

Color Psychology in Marketing

Color psychology is the study of how color influences our behavior and decision-making. In marketing, color can be used to impact the way customers perceive and experience your brand. Different colors have characteristics that can spark certain emotions and feelings, and even drive a customer’s purchasing decisions. Colors bring attention to your brand, give assurances about your company, and affect the brain’s emotional sensors even without your audience realizing. The colors that represent you differentiate your brand from other companies in your industry.

It’s important to choose the right color scheme in your marketing strategy so it tells your story in a positive and accurate way, otherwise you exude the wrong impression from the beginning.

Every color has positive and negative connotations depending on its specific shade, hue, or tone. What is the feeling, mood, or image that you want your brand to portray? Do the colors you’ve chosen represent your brand’s personality well? 

Some of the most common hues used in marketing and design, along with their general attributes, are as follows:

Red can be used to foster a sense of urgency and encourages appetite, hence being utilized often by fast food restaurants and sales. It is associated with power, passion, and energy but can also mean danger, aggression or pain. For those with a bold and energetic brand, you may consider incorporating shades of red into your style guide.

Orange combines red’s energy with yellow’s friendliness and fun. It also stimulates appetite and represents physical comfort and playfulness. Overall, orange embodies impulsiveness, enthusiasm, and a positive vibe.

Yellow is generally considered a joyful, warm, and happy hue, giving your brand a youthful vibrance and playfulness. Too much yellow can prompt anxiety, though, so use your best judgment.

Green can be used to encourage relaxation and tranquility, and is associated with health, the environment, harmony, nature, and even finance. It can also be used as a sign of growth and wellness.

Blue is used to spark a spectrum of emotions, but is mostly known for dependability, loyalty, trust, and is mentally soothing. It can be used for relaxation and to put minds at ease, but also signifies that your brand might be trustworthy and secure. Blue encourages productivity and suppressed the appetite, so if you’re in the food industry, you may want to think twice before incorporating it strongly into your brand.

Purple is the color of royalty and has been used to represent spirituality and holistic wellness as well. It can prompt problem solving, creativity, and imagination. It is generally considered a feminine or regal color so keep that in mind when using it for your brand.

Black, when used the right way, can represent sophistication, strength, and authority. Be careful, though, because it can also symbolize evil, sadness, or even death. It just goes to show that context and balance are important! It can be part of a clean looking layout and add high contrast in design, but can be seen negatively if used too much in visuals rather than text.

White can represent cleanliness and is used frequently in design aiming for a modern and sleek aesthetic. It is the symbol of purity, innocence, and simplicity. If used incorrectly in your designs, white can result in a brand that lacks personality or creativity.

As previously stated, different colors can be used by brands to conjure a variety of reactions and emotions for an audience, ultimately influencing them to trust your business or not. Make sure to thoughtfully consider how you’d best like your brand represented and use colors with characteristics that embody it.

Are you looking to create a new brand or rebrand an existing one? CAST Design Team specializes in Branding. We’ve worked with small and large enterprises around the world to perfect their brand. Reach out today for a free consult to learn more about how we can help you. 

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The Differences Between Brand Experience and User Experience

The Differences Between Brand Experience and User Experience

Brand experience and customer experience are two factors of a business with a singular focus: the customer. They work together to engage and draw in an audience, but they have inherently different characteristics and attributes. The brand experience helps cater to the consumer before they even become a customer, and the user experience, or UX, helps guide them through interactions within the brand. They have different approaches when it comes to the wants and desires of the customers, but are both firmly rooted in giving the best possible impression of your brand.

What is Brand Experience? 

Brand experience can rely heavily on visuals or design in order to communicate the message of your brand and evoke certain emotions from your audience. Although visual content is a large part of this, it isn’t the only factor. A great brand experience needs a solid marketing and advertising strategy backing it up. This can include bringing in new sales leads, engaging on social media, and pointing potential customers back to your brand. This creates awareness of your brand and will bring the audience into the next step: User experience.

What is User Experience? 

User experience references the steps the consumer will have to take to reach their destination with your brand. UX has a huge responsibility to ensure a smooth and positive customer experience. Think about it; you’ll be frustrated and give up quickly if a company’s website isn’t intuitive and is frustrating to navigate. High customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal here, so customers should be able to find service and guidance effortlessly. They’re unlikely to recommend or return to you if they have to stumble through a clunky website.

The Difference Between the Two 

The timelines also vary between brand and user experience. Brand experience focuses highly on a long term strategy that grows and develops with the business over a period of time. Relationships are eventually formed between consumers and the brand by continuously engaging with it. The brand experience lets consumers see the business through a certain lens and encourages loyalty. Contrastly, the user experience is much more immediate. Reactions are formed from the very second customers encounter your website or social profiles and the result can be either a lost customer or loyal returner. It won’t matter how good the brand experience is if the customer experience is lacking.

You are also able to measure brand and user experiences in different ways. Brand experience can be measured with data points such as reports and surveys to see how well consumers are engaged with it. User experience is normally measured by customer satisfaction scores and metrics that communicate with a brand, such as feedback surveys or star ratings. 

Either way, both brand and user experiences are important to generating revenue and increasing brand loyalty. They will both determine whether a customer will want to return to your business and will work together to accomplish the goals of your company.

Do you have more questions about Brand or User Experience? Have you been told that your user experience isn’t good? Reach out to our team for a consult on how to improve! 

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How to Create a Brand Strategy

How to Create a Brand Strategy

You may have set colors, a gorgeous logo, and clever phrases that you use as taglines for your business–but branding does not stop with design. Successfully branding your business includes molding your messaging with the problems you plan to solve for your customer base. Simply put, the branding of your business needs to be done with a well thought out strategy. Here are some tips to get you started.

Define the Problem 

People have problems and they turn to businesses to solve them. The countertops are dirty, but a good Clorox wipe will solve the problem. Vacuuming takes too much time–hello, robot vacuums! 

What problem does a customer have that your product can solve? You won’t have much luck selling expensive baby toys for the sake of making a buck–you need to prove to your target audience that your handmade wooden toys for children have a lifetime of value, and in the more immediate future, will keep their kids busy and entertained long enough for them to hide in the pantry and eat licorice in peace. 

Uniquely Solve the Problem

Once you have defined your customer’s problem, you need to figure out how you can uniquely solve their problems with your product or service. Chances are there are many products that already exist that could solve their problem, so figure out why they need to choose you and clearly communicate that in your messaging. 

Sure, a recipe book will solve the problem of not knowing what to cook for dinner–but can you go one step further? Vegetarian recipes, slow cooker recipes, or under $5 recipes all solve the problem of what to cook for dinner, but they are far more unique than just a bunch of recipes and target a very specific group of people.

Get specific about what your product will do for your customers and you will see an increase in your loyal customer base! It is easy to click “add to cart” when you are sure that the product will fix the problem.  

Grab Customers Attention

In the early stages of business, consider offering a grand deal that will entice early customers. You need the cash flow–they love a deal! Offer lifetime support, discounts for subscribing to newsletters or following social media pages, free PDF guides, or anything else that serves your customers. No matter what stage of business you are in, always provide value to your customers. A good relationship is one of give and take, so don’t just take from them. 

Coming up with a great offer that grabs customer attention shouldn’t be difficult. Consider your goals and include a deal that helps both you and your target audience reach a goal or solve a problem. If your goal is to build up your email base, offer a discount for subscribing to newsletters. Your goal may be to get recurring business from loyal customers, so offering a free PDF guide that solves different problems, all with different solutions of yours, might be a good fit.

Tie it all together

Now that you know your audience, understand their problems, and have brainstormed ways that you can solve those problems, tie this all together in your brand strategy. Your mission and vision statement, taglines, brand voice, the overall messaging of your brand, and even your logo and color scheme should incorporate pieces of your research. 

Full Service Branding Agency

Does all of this sound a little too time consuming and confusing? No need to fret! CAST Design Team is a full-service branding agency that is ready to help you with every aspect of your business. When it comes to turning a business into a brand, there is no agency quite like CAST Design Team. We provide in-depth strategy and execution of branding, marketing, and social media management services that will help establish and grow your brand. Reach out today for more information. 

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How to Create a Powerful Brand Identity (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Create a Powerful Brand Identity (A Step-by-Step Guide)

When you think of your brand identity, you probably visualize your logo, what your website looks like, or even your mission statement and what you stand for. In reality, these are all small components that make up what your brand identity actually is – the entire picture and the whole of your business. 

A strong brand identity is important because it’s what sets you apart from competing businesses and makes it more likely that people will remember you. It should reflect what your brand says, your company values, how you communicate your product, and spark an emotion when people interact with it. You’re making a certain promise to your customers with your brand identity about the standards they should expect, and it’s up to you to deliver just that.

Building a brand identity can’t happen overnight and may continue to grow and evolve as your business does. But here are some basic steps in creating a powerful brand identity if you’re just starting out or just need to refresh an already established business.

Research Audience and Competition

What does your audience want or expect from other businesses in your industry? What is their age demographic? Their budget? What do they do? These are important market research questions that should be addressed as you build your brand’s identity. 

You also want to have something to offer your audience that other businesses can’t. How does your product or service compare to others around you, and what can convince customers to choose you instead?

Determine Core Values

Your principles and company philosophies should represent your business, so establish a clear and direct mission statement with goals that are attainable and realistic. This will drive you into the future and give customers a sense of your company’s purpose. You should also develop a brand voice and story at this stage and determine how you’d like to come across to your customers.

Develop Creative Elements

This is where the fun and creativity begins! You can start as basic as finding a company name, then move on to the logo, typeface, and color palette you’d like to adopt. Figure out what sort of visual elements you’d like to incorporate into your brand. Factors like photography, iconography, illustrations, shapes, taglines, and vocabulary are also important to consider.

At this point you can also make a style guide that lays out what visual rules you want the company to follow. Just make sure that everything you do moving forward reflects this guide in order to stay consistent and on brand.

Strategize, Analyze, and Refine

It takes time to establish a brand identity, and with that, remember that it will evolve and change over time. This is a good thing and usually means your business is growing! 

You should continuously evaluate what your core principles are and ensure your brand identity still reflects that. Are you still delivering on the promises you initially gave to your audience? Be ready to change any brand elements that no longer stand for your company.

Building a strong brand identity will pay off in positive customer relationships and experiences. Stay memorable, stay consistent, stay true to what your business stands for.

Need help creating your brand’s identity? 

Our team of creative brand specialists are ready to assist!

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Mini Brand Assessment: Is your Brand on Point?

Mini Brand Assessment: Is your Brand on Point?

Your brand plays a larger role than you might think when it comes to your organization’s overall appearance and presentation. Your brand is a part of your entire communication strategy. Because of this, you want to make sure your brand is on point! There are several questions you can ask yourself to see if your brand has it going on! For example, is my logo appropriate for the industry and niche we’re in? Or, do our company colors best represent the overall tone & vibe we want to portray? There are so many examples, with so little time, so today, let’s focus on just a few.

  1. Does your brand reflect the experience?
    Sometimes we fall in love with the images and fonts that make up our logo, and sometimes we think our logo is the only thing that makes up our brand. What we don’t always think about is how other people see our brand. What would your clients say about your brand? Would they think that your brand reflects what you do? Furthermore, if you had to step into your own customer’s shoes, would you look back at your own brand as something easily identifiable and easy to remember?
  2. Does your vision match your brand promise?
    Your brand promise is what your customer come to expect every time they interact with your company. Your brand promise is the value and/or experience that your company is known for. Everything your business does should reflect this brand promise. Some of your customers or clients may work with you solely based on the experience they have every time they interact with you, what would happen if one day that changed? More likely than not that client wouldn’t stick around. So, now that you have a solid brand promise, what about your brand vision? What if your brand vision doesn’t match that promise? Since your vision is what guides you to the future, you need to make sure the two are aligned or it can cause serious problems in the future. 
  3. Does your brand stand out?
    There are a few easy ways to easily determine if your brand stands out or not. Start by doing a Google search of your industry. What do other brands in your industry look like? How does your brand look different or stand out in comparison to what you’re seeing online? Another great way to determine if your brand stands out is to go to a networking event and come back with a stack of business cards, add yours in to the stack at random, and shuffle through them. Does your pop out to you for any other reason than that it’s yours? We hope it does! 
  4. Are you being clear?
    Having a clear message is important. If people don’t know what you do, how are they going to know to work with you? Get some feedback from friends and strangers. Show people your website, or your business card, or any other collateral item you may have, and ask them if they know what you do. If they don’t know from a single look at one of those items, you might have a problem! 
  5. Is it Memorable?
    Catchy slogans and sayings can go along way, where many of the biggest brands today have perfected this art. But it’s more than that, where sometimes a brand and its identity stay burned into the memory banks of everyone who see’s it because it was just different. Want to know if your brand is memorable? Show someone your logo for 5 seconds and ask them to draw it. Tell someone your business name and ask them a minute later what it is. Tell your employees your core values and see if they can remember it the next day. The results of these tasks will be a good indicator of whether or not your brand is memorable. 

So, we challenge you to take 10 minutes out of your day to truly ask yourself, members of your team, friends, and strangers some of these questions. You may be surprised at some of the answers. Whether these surprises are good or bad, that’s entirely dependent on where your brand quality is today.

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5 things you can do right now to improve your brand

5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Improve Your Brand

  1. Check your logo on all platforms
    Does your logo look different on each platform? Do you have a branding guideline or logo family to help you remember what logo to use when? Creating this guide will help with consistency as well as knowing when to use what version. Stacked Version, Horizontal Version, and Icon are the typical three variations of a logo. Logo sizes and resolutions can appear differently on the type of device you are viewing it on so it’s important to know what works where. Make sure you have a variety of different logos for different content formats. Even with live print, your logo can look much different on paper than on a screen. Having a branding guideline and using the right logo file, fonts, and colors can help you save money and keep your branding consistent.
  1. Develop 3 avatars of your ideal client
    If you don’t know who your ideal client is, how do you market your business to them successfully? The key is taking current or ideal clients and creating a detailed profile of them, often called avatars or personas. Once you have at least 3 avatars you can start creating content and a brand that your ideal clients would actually want to read about, ask about, or get curious about.
  2. What is your competition doing?
    Research who you are competing against and study them. Look at their website, social media platforms, and even try out their product or service if you can. Now, how do you do it differently or better? Be sure to look at what they’re doing poorly and really well. By looking at what they do better you can emulate (not replicate!) the general strategy they are executing. You can put your own spin on an already effective strategy and not waste time on reinventing the wheel. Whatever you do though, don’t take this piece of advice as us saying you shouldn’t innovate, because you definitely should!
  3. Educate
    You are an expert in your field and you know the complexity of it. When talking to your ideal client, do not use jargon or industry words as you will lose them in a heartbeat. Instead, educate them on why they need you. You can do this in many ways such as blogs, podcast, video, webinars, social media, and more. The way to gain new customers or clients isn’t through always selling. Instead educate first, and then sell later. Now, it depends on the client or customer on how much educating they need before you hit them with any kind of sales pitch, so be cognizant of this, and with the opportunity of meeting any new potential buyer always check their temperature first to see how interested and invested they presently are in your idea.
  4. Develop a unique Logo or tagline
    You have heard it before, be memorable, but how? It takes creativity to express what makes you different. Develop a logo that is not only unique, meaning it was designed for your brand, but also that can easily be recognized. A tagline should be around 4 – 8 words, that’s it! Any more and no one will remember it. Anything catchy will do because catchy slogans, songs, or jingles get stuck in our heads, even if its the local car dealership ad on the radio, and you don’t need a car, it can still get stuck in your subconscious if its good. Creating this type of brand awareness is ideal for customer loyalty and for staying top of mind of the individuals that don’t need your services yet but may in the future.
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There are a lot of things to think about when it comes to your brand identity. Businesses have to decide if their content should be professional or relaxed, academic or casual, use formal language or internet slang, etc. One tool that your brand might also benefit from is humor.

Humor is a bit tricky to master – in the marketing world, it’s kind of like playing with fire. When used right, humor can draw in lots of new views and interest to your company, and with the right content on your page, you can sell them on your product or service. When done wrong, however, humor can alienate your ideal customer base and drive away clients.

So, how do you use humor in branding, and what makes funny content so volatile? Let’s get to the punchline.

What good humor looks like

Like any other piece of content you put out, good humor depends on your brand, your core demographics, where the content is published, and the purpose of using humor. A positive example of effective humor is Old Spice. Just mentioning the name, you probably thought of Terry Crews satirically yelling into the camera while the background changes from scene to outlandish scene. What do you think happens when customers see Old Spice in the store? Not only does humor make the product memorable, but it also tells potential customers what the product is, even though the marketing itself is satirical.

Humor works for Old Spice because it’s part of the brand itself. However, humor can be dangerous, especially for brands that aren’t based on funny marketing. A great example of this is when American fashion company Kenneth Cole joked that “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo” because they just saw KC’s “new spring collection.” Aside from being ridiculously insensitive to the Arab Spring, this tweet also demonstrates what not to do with humor:

  1. Don’t hijack something that isn’t relevant to you – in this case, the #Cairo tag
  2. Don’t use humor without substance – emphasize the product, not the joke
  3. Don’t pander – trying to gain sales from an audience by “speaking their language” will always backfire
  4. Don’t be controversial or insensitive

Why (good) humor works

Assuming you’ve landed the joke, good humor works because it draws positive attention to your brand! Humor increases interest and attracts more consumers, which is especially important if you are entering the industry and trying to gain more customers. The downside to this is that there’s a tradeoff between humor and substance: in order to actually gain sales, you need your humorous content to draw customers in while also having enough marketing material to actually sell your product. 

The drawbacks of being funny

Humor without substance is just empty advertising. You might get thousands of retweets or a Buzzfeed mention, but if your content doesn’t also list the benefits of your product or the reason customers should prefer your business, then you’ll only go down as a short-lived meme.

Companies must also be wary of the Vampire Effect. The Vampire Effect is when funny advertisements are a distraction to the audience. A great example of this is during the 2016 Super Bowl, when Mountain Dew aired that really bizarre commercial of the “Puppy Monkey Baby.” Years later, Super Bowl fans probably remember the odd creature with no recollection of the business that made it. (This ad is also a great example of pandering and substanceless humor). Your humor must be intertwined with your brand, like with Old Spice, not just an afterthought to your brand identity.

Humor is a risk

Even jokes that are funny, relevant, and germane to your brand don’t always stick. Everyone has a different sense of humor, and you never know what will latch on, but the key is to make sure your content doesn’t alienate your potential customers or make them cringe at your products.

Thinking of incorporating humor into your brand? Need help with branding and marketing materials? CAST Design can help! We’re experts in branding and visual storytelling, and we know how to create brands that draw customers in and make them laugh. Contact us for a free assessment and we’ll get you started on crafting some funny business.