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Your graphic profile is one of the most important assets of your brand. But, are you sure that it meets all the requirements of the new digital channels? Not so long ago, print, large ad format, and business cards were some of the most important placements for the company graphic profile, but this has changed radically, especially with smaller screens and more and more digital channels. The development has not stopped, on the contrary. Therefore, it is wise to regularly review and adapt your graphic profile to the new environments and where it is going to be displayed. Changing the graphic profile is a major intervention for the brand, but ongoing adjustments are necessary, and something we recommend that every company will do every 3-5 years.
In its purest form, a graphic profile contains a logo, color, and font. The logo is the symbol of your brand and should represent its personality and core values. The colors must be well adapted to both print and all the necessary digital formats, and have a clear hierarchy for different types of placements and areas of use. The fonts need to be clear, and whether they are licensed or specially designed are also available as web fonts. However, the logo is the most central, and also the product that is most demanded in digital channels. If your brand needs to develop a new logo or just update the existing one, here are some things to keep in mind.
To make the logo as adaptive as possible, approximately three different versions are needed. A smaller icon, an abbreviation of the brand name (if the logo is text-based), and one with the two in combination. All to create clear recognition but at the same time be adapted to the environment in which it is placed. Both as a tiny icon in a square or circle on a mobile phone among a number of other accounts and as a large logo on a billboard. The small formats, in particular, are new requirements that have primarily come with the advancement on social media, and here we often see customers struggling with a far too detailed logo that becomes unclear, for example, on, an Instagram Story.
Often the logo is placed on different backgrounds, which also makes it necessary to have more variants. Therefore, we always start from a primary color and a secondary color scale to be able to contrast the logo against the background.
A clear idea for different placements
Although the benefits of a digitally adapted logo in several different format versions are great, there are also some challenges to keep in mind. The main one is to keep a clear common thread in the use of different versions. When we work with our customers here at Advedro and we help them with the design in our design manuals, we always clearly specify which version of the logo is suitable for different surfaces, so that the right version is being used in the right way and in the right place. A graphic profile must above all be useful for both internal communicators and external agencies, and with increased use, there needs to be a clear framework.
The most important thing to remember in all this is that your graphic profile is the spearhead of your brand’s visual appearance, but it’s not everything. Behind a logo is a great deal of creative work, where many other components work together to build the brand, and each part plays an important role. Nothing that visualizes your brand should be there by chance, but everything must be created in harmony with your brand’s personality and your values. That this harmony is in place is the most important thing, then you are ready to also look at the digital adaptations we have talked about above.
We mentioned earlier that you should review your graphic profile on a 3-5 year basis. It sounds like a lot to many, but the important thing to understand here is that there is a big difference between an update and a remake. For example, the Burger King logo retains the same basic shape as it did in 1969, but it has been updated several times to suit new formats and trends in design language, and it is still being developed for new channels and sizes. The associated elements such as colors and fonts have also undergone several more frequent changes, so a graphic profile is something that is and should be constantly evolving.
The most important thing to take into account is how well your graphic profile represents your brand, and how well-established it is in your target group. It may be worth a big change if your target audience does not have a strong connection to your current logo, but perhaps not if your logo is strongly associated with you. Here we can take an example to show that the company logo is not always the most important, even though it is often instinctively based on it. BOSCH has a very well-established brand name that is often used as a logo in its typography, but they also have a logo in the form of a symbol. Despite the great knowledge of the brand, the symbol is unknown to most people. It is an example of when the awareness is in the brand name rather than the logo, and in these cases, the logo can be updated without much risk.
Finally, some questions that you as the owner or manager of your brand constantly need to ask yourself:
- Does my brand have a clear personality?
- Does my graphic profile represent that personality?
- Does my logo work on all digital platforms and sizes?
- Do I have all the visual assets such as imagery and other graphics in place to communicate my brand?
If you feel that there are doubts about any of these points, it is time to start thinking about what is an appropriate measure to visually secure your brand for the future. Maybe a new graphic profile is necessary? Or maybe an update? Maybe it’s even the case that you need to get ready for a major effort to define your brand’s personality and start building a new visual identity from the ground up. Whatever is right for you, it is well-invested time to review how your brand is perceived.
Keep in mind that there is one thing that unites all your customers, regardless of what the target audience is: They are people, and people are primarily visual.
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