Do looks really matter? (Designing Brand Identities)

Who are you? Think about it. It’s a powerfully complex question.

When asked that question, most likely your immediate response is something along the lines of “I’m Stella”  or “I’m <insert name here>”. Maybe it’s followed by a brief explanation of your specific relationship, like “Dan’s friend” or “your sister-in-law”. But you are more than your name and the list of people you’re associated with. Every day you live you are subtly and creatively telling the world who you are with more than a name.


Now, when it comes to branding and identity design for your business, “who are we?” is still the critical question. Answering it question is not that different from when you ask person. In fact, it’s important to recognize that every person is really a brand regardless of whether or not they own a business or if they free-lance. By simply putting yourself out there, in any kind of social interaction, be it at your nephew’s birthday party, or a fancy networking dinner, or even as you stroll down the aisle at your local convenience store, how you present and express yourself really matters. If it didn’t matter you would not be bothered when you accidentally wore two different pairs of shoes or clashing patterns. And it’s not just clothing. Subconsciously, you’re mindful of what your facial expressions and body language is saying to the world around you. In many ways, you’re pay attention to the details of your appearance, and there’s nothing wrong with that. To be somewhat concerned about appearance is not vain, rather it’s very important in the initial, surface-level interactions that lead to more meaningful interactions in our social experiences.


If we pay attention to our physical appearances, it only makes sense that we should be even more intentional about the presentation and expression of our business brands. The term “brand”, as some would define it, is the “emotional corporate business” as a whole, where as “identity” is how this is manifested in visual pieces (like business cards, letterheads, typography, colors, signage, apparel, etc.)  In the grand scheme of the brand, the seemingly small attributes like the precise usage of simple icons, the subtle differences in colors of a printed and a digital letterhead, even the spacing in between the letters of a logo, are all elements (although they may seem subtle) that work together to create the beautiful expression of the brand. Branding your company or practice, isn’t something to be taken lightly, because it’s what starts the beginning of the relationship with your client, customer or audience. Don’t ever leave it up to Word Art. Your brand is your representation to the world. Invest in it intentionally.

Just recently, Partlow Interactions took to re-branding our image— take a look at our new look! Also, here are a few examples of other businesses I’ve encountered with some lovely brand identities.

  • Morris: (A Grilled Cheese Food-Truck) Note the different forms its logo can take, but the same overall feel of the brand remains very strong.
  • Sanrun Mining Co: (A Manganese Mining Company) Their visual research involved looking into geological formations inherently connected to the company. This was implemented in a beautiful, seamless fashion!
  • British Independent Film Festival: They’ve clearly mapped a great process and manifested in well in the “cheeky” feel to this very physical brand identity.

    It’s always great to discover new great designs. Leave a comment and tell us, what are some brand identities that you love to look at?

    Written By: Abhi Alwar

Posted on December 15, 2015 in Branding, Graphic Design, Marketing, News

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About the Author

Ailiana has seven years of experience working with clients to discover how strategic writing can form authentic interactions with their unique consumer bases. By leveraging her passion for crafting messages and digital media, she produces printed and digital content that speaks to each client’s audience in relevant and creative ways. She loves challenging clients to think outside the box when it comes to outbound messaging, even if the business is a startup or household name.

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