Brand Identity Systems

In previous entries, we’ve examined the ways that a brand extends beyond a logo. Your brand is the emotional response it creates in a person and the catalyst for this response is the elements within your brand’s identity system. The key to successful brands is clarity and cohesion. These are all achieved by having a strong system in which to implement your brand. Today we want to talk about what a brand identity system is and examine some of the elements that make up a system.

To boil it down, a brand identity system is a collection of assets that together support, reinforce and create a clear voice, speaking to the target audience. These assets consist of the logomark itself, colors, typography, additional visual elements and a brand tone. We often deliver these elements in the form of brand guidelines and a brand toolkit. These elements make up the different extensions of your brand including packaging, advertising, websites & social media just to name a few.


Probably the most important asset of any brand, your logo is often your audience’s first introduction to the brand. Your logo is designed to be a visual representation of your brand’s mission, values and voice. A well executed logo design should be instantly recognizable and synonymous with your brand.


We could write an entire essay on the use of color. Color is often used to signify meaning and acts as a supporting element to clearly communicate your brand’s values. In a brand identity system, color palettes often extend beyond what’s used in the logo. We often include additional supporting colors that may be used as well as color palettes for digital and print applications of your identity.


Much like color, typography signifies meaning based on the shapes of the letter forms and stylistic elements such as serifs create meaning and signify your brand’s identity. One could write an entire blog entry on the use of typography in branding and we actually did, so check it out if you want to learn more about typography. (link to “Font Matters” blog). In addition to the fonts used in your brand’s logo, we like to find fonts that pair well and represent your brand for use in a variety of different applications in print and digital media.


In addition to the visual identity present in the logo, we often create additional supporting visual elements. These take shape in the form of patterns, icon sets & approved photography.


Your brand tone is essentially your brand’s personality. Like the other elements this is established during strategy sessions that really hone in on your identity. Your tone often manifests in the form of copy writing. Things like your mission statement and values to your social media and other communications are all part of your brand’s tone. It makes your brand personal and relatable to your target audience.

A brand is a very intricate system that all works together to create a clear and cohesive identity. Without the elements of your brand’s system working together you cannot have a successful identity. If you feel like your brand is not working as a cohesive system we’d love to have a chat!