If you’ve ever thought: “I’ve got a GREAT idea for a new brand!” Well, that’s awesome! Follow your intuition, and start growing that brand.
I’ve just spent the last week attempting to develop the brand I’ve been wanting to for some time now, and let me tell you – it is NOT easy! It’s not just the brand, it’s the entire brand identity. You know, the market audience (who are you selling/providing for?), the products or service, company and values, the colors, the type, and so on.
Before I even had the chance to think about the visual identity of my brand, I spent some time making a list of essential need-to-knows about the brand itself. In order to design a brand identity you need first: a purpose, core values, goals, and strategies, said Robin Landa in Graphic Design Solutions.
Here’s what I came up with:
What is the brand going to sell?
Practical, stylish home products and accessories.
Exclusive products with matching pet items.
Goals for the Brand:
To sell soft home products that are [mostly] practical; that can be used to both style the home but have use. With the benefit of matching items back to their pet family members.
Words to describe the brand: Fun, unique, colorful, happy, modern, stylish, inclusive.
The fun colors, patterns, sayings on some of the products help to make the brand distinctive against competitors; one of the main goals for visual identity; described in Graphic Design Solutions.
Goals for the Target Market:
Those who are looking for practical items that can also be used to style their home. Also, having the benefit of having access to items for their pets!
Young families [typically] whether it’s just a young couple, a young family with children, or pets.
Some of the products (like fun rugs, or pillows) could be ideal for children, so the age range for the target audience may be broad as well.
Why I Came Up with this Brand:
I bought my home with hand-me-down furniture and no decor. I got my first dog during this time, and I found it necessary to think of her when I decided on new furniture, decor, and overall products.
As a product designer at heart, I thought about customers having the access to find useful and ‘pretty’ home items, that also have matching items for their beloved pets – that maybe don’t need to be practical, but a great benefit!
Pets are part of the home; they’re family.
After understanding the brand identity without visuals, of course, visual identity was next on the list. Before I could start brainstorming logos, I needed a name. This took more time to develop than what I had so far!!
I did a lot of word brainstorming – writing down words similar to the brand, finding synonyms of those words, highlighting what I liked, researching other similar brands, etc. The brand name needed to communicate the products as stylish, fun, and inclusive of pet family members.
After almost endless thinking and crossing out discarded names, I finally found it!
“Stitched & Sable Living”
“Stitched” for softgoods; “sable” as in the color; and “living” to represent that the products are for your livelihood at home.
Because my dog was part of my inspiration in the products, I thought it would be great to include her in my brand development – hence, the color sable.
She is mostly black with a white chest, but in the sunlight, you can see a brown tint coming from her undercoat. This is called sable – it’s a warm brown color that’s can often be found on different dogs!
Due to the meaning behind the brand, I thought it would be appropriate to have animals as “mascots” for the brand.
Similar to Moomah Cafe (branding designed by Apartment One) – instead of having one mascot, I wanted to include many. What makes them recognizable towards the brand is the style of the illustration and the colors. Having a brand be identifiable is another main goal towards visual identity, from Graphic Design Solutions.
At first, I was wary of having a dog as a mascot, because the main products sold with Stitched & Sable Living are meant for people, and I didn’t want the logo to confuse anyone that it’s meant for dogs only. So, I illustrated a few different options before finding my main logo. One of the discarded logos doesn’t include any animals; instead, a hand sewing needle to represent the “stitched” aspect of the logo. While I enjoy the logo, I couldn’t move forward with it because I knew I needed those mascots to best communicate the inclusivity of the home brand!
So, I designed my main logo with an outlined illustration of a dog – which looks very similar to mine, I have to add – and I don’t feel that it will be confusing for the audience because of the title and overall design. The logo is balanced between image and text; but the text is centered around the image – making it a combination of a logomark and logotype, however, more influenced as the mark (dog).
In addition to the main logo, I decided to design a secondary logo. This logo is a bit more simple; its text is the main focus, making it, again, a combination of both a logomark and logotype, but this time, more influenced by the type (title).
As for the type, I used an all capital Sans Serif for the “Stitched & Sable” to add to the modern, styled feel of the brand; where the word “Living” is a script to add to the casual, fun side of the products.
The colors were chosen as such:
While not all of the colors are in the logos, I would ideally like to find ways to incorporate them into the website (which is non-existent at this point). The iconic color of the brand is, of course, sable – so I chose complimentary warm colors to go along with the rich brown. Orange means adventurous, where yellow means happy, so those are two important colors incorporated into the brand as well. To balance the warm colors, I added one soft cool color – malachite green. All of these colors, while definitely colorful, are natural, and inviting.
To come up with a logo you first need to come up with your brand identity; and as you can tell after reading this blog post, there’s a lot that goes into it! However, it’s worth it. Just because this wasn’t easy, doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t have done this work. I feel great about having a way to visually communicate the brand, Stitched & Sable Living. If you still have that A+ idea for a brand – start by doing as much research as possible so you can begin working on a brand direction, your brand colors, and arguably one of the most important visual aspects of a brand – your logo.
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