Branding being one of the core services I offer, I am consistently asked by prospective clients about what the corporate branding process of creating or refreshing a corporate / organisational identity actually involves.
More than just creating a ‘logo’, branding needs to be a well informed, researched process that focuses as much on delivering a solution that is aesthetically pleasing as one that is both functional and durable. These are generally the three guiding principles that I always seek to employ when embarking on a corporate branding project, a further explanation of each below:
1. Aesthetically pleasing – Does the logo capture the eye? Is it contemporary and original? Do the typographic and colour components that comprise it adequately reflect the image the client is trying to convey and, if so, will it also resonate well with the clients target audience(s)? Does it make a statement and visually reflect the personality traits of the brand?
2. Functional – Can the logo be used in a variety of situations and contexts and will it create an equal impact in each of these situations and contexts? Is it legible? If it needs to attract and appeal to target audience(s) with special needs does it do so effectively?
3. Durable – Will the logo stand the test of time or is it going to appear outdated quickly? Will it stand strongly amongst the corporate identities of the clients competitors (and ultimately stand above them)?
In August, 2011, Dr.Kipling Walker, a Sydney based psychiatrist specialising in the provision of a host of services related to the workers compensation field, approached me with the task of creating a new identity and establishing a set of brand guidelines, followed by the development of a suite of corporate stationery and WordPress-driven website, for his new business National Health Group.
National Health Group has the core aim of assisting employers to prevent and manage workplace psychological injuries. The companies target audiences include government and non-government employers (eg: the ATO, Centrelink etc) and, longer term, workers’ compensation insurers (eg: Comcare, Allianz, QBE, GIO etc).
The main purpose of the branding task here was to create for NHG a corporate identity and, by implication, a suite of design solutions that effectively portrayed the client in the manner it wanted to be portrayed; simple, established, conservative, strong and positive.
Although its target demographic is expansive (after all, workplace injuries tend not to discriminate), many of NHG’s individual clients fit into a slightly older demographic (50+ years old, combination of male and female) and therefore the identity and all related materials had to be designed in such a way that would resonate well with this group. Typography had to be clear and legible, colours bold (but not too outrageous) and supporting design elements strong, crisp and pertinent to the nature of the business.
Below is a series of images accompanied by brief descriptions outlining the process that was undertaken to deliver a successful brand identity for National Health Group. I hope this helps make more transparent the iterative nature of the process and the steps that are typically taken before a solution is fully resolved and ready to be extended to other materials.
As always, I welcome your questions and comments about the process and look forward to your feedback.