Branding Archives

Trade marks: making the right choice

Trade marks are what distinguish one business and its products from another.  In selecting a new trade mark, whether as the name for a business or just a new product, there are a number of important issues to consider.

Is it distinctive?

A trade mark should be distinctive.  It should not merely describe the products being offered.  Why is that?  Because other businesses in the same industry may have a legitimate need to use non-distinctive words and phrases, and the law recognises their right to do so.

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What is a Trade Mark?

Trade marks are what distinguish one business and its products from another.  They allow goods and services to be recognised and selected by the trade marks that they bear.

Good trade marks are memorable and distinctive.  They will be remembered by the consumer, who has either seen an advertisement or used the product.  They then allow that same consumer to look out for products bearing that same trade mark when shopping.  As such, it is important that businesses can protect their trade marks from competitors using something similar.

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User-Centred Graphic Design

User-centred Graphic Design is an approach to designing creative projects that focus on delivering information relevant to the end user that views the design. In its essence, it puts the needs and perceptions of the end user at the centre of the creative process.

Whilst this concept may seem apparent and be common sense, it is an often over-looked or under-valued component of the creative process. And the reasons why are usually the same regardless of the type of project – such as a website or a corporate brand.

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Being different gets noticed

Its short. Its quick. And its really cool. The next time you are making your way through the train transport system where you live, imagine that the scene below took place and you saw it. How intrigued would you be with it all? And, how many people would you tell about it?

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Graphic File Formats used by Designers

Have you ever had a design agency ask you for a graphic file format for your brand or logo, only for their request to sound like complete gibberish? It’s about time we helped clear the air and explain what the different graphic file formats are that can be used within the design industry.

When you have finished reading this article, you will know the difference between vector file formats and bitmap file formats, and how to determine the difference between the two.

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39 Questions You Should Ask Yourself and Your Designer

Selecting a design firm for your next creative project can be a challenge. It is important to spend some time in this stage of this process as you and your chosen supplier will be spending a fair bit of time together spending a lot of creative energy, so you will want to spend it wisely!

If you skip or short-change this part, you may wind up with a design firm that does not understand your business completely and may not be a good fit into your organisation.

It is important for you and the potential design business to know as much about the project and your business as possible before beginning any new project. In this way, clear expectations are set for the creative team and it helps clarify what you want to have as an outcome from the project.

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What is a Logo used for?

The process of developing a logo is about identifying the position of the business and creating a concept that encapsulates the ideal – the flavour – of what the business represents. And doing this is not as easy as saying it.

Great logos stand the test of time. They give a visual representation to a brand for a business, and can help identity a brand position in the mind of the buyer.

If your logo is not designed with an appreciation for how it will be used (i.e. what areas it will be marketed), who the target audience is and what the major competitors in your industry are doing, then it runs the risk of being lost in the clutter of bad logos and promotional material.

A logo, or graphical representation of your business, is part of how you present yourself to your customer. Some people can make the mistake that their logo must be designed with icons or images.

Not so.

There are some great logos used today that have no graphics in them at all, and are made of clever typeface use. For an example look at Coca Cola.

Another aspect of an effective logo is that is doesn’t have to be everything, all at once. Often, less is more. It may sound illogical, but allowing the consumer to get an idea of the business, and then dig deeper through a website or brochure to expand on this idea is a more successful approach.

The main point to remember is that whilst you may have a logo, a logo is not a brand. It is part of the story. Allow all your marketing material to tell the story, and not just one part of it.

The Brand Gap

If you haven’t looked at your Brand strategically yet, then now is the time to get started. A basic introduction into Brand development can be found in our Brand Plan guide. But…

This presentation outlines Brand and Brand development from a strategic perspective, and is based on the book The Brand Gap. It’s great. We highly recommend it.


How to live happily with a great designer

In the past few weeks, we have spent more time reading and crawling through so many websites we have lost count. This we do as part of our own marketing and for a source of inspiration and information.

In one such trip down the rabbit hole, we came across a simple list provided by Seth Godin, of Purple Cows fame and many other books (too many to name here). This list provides an insight into what a graphic design business would like you to know.

We have re-published Seth’s article here:

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