Branding & Visual LIteracy at General Assembly London by Tricia Okin


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This workshop bridges practical, research and theoretical methods as a way to approach branding. We'll take a look at what makes an effective brand, inconsistencies according to its target audience and what happens when a group who thinks it's part of your core audience turns away from you. Branding can range from a website, logo, to the way people answer the phone, customer service, emails, etc. We'll do some analysis of bigger brands and smaller ones to understand how their symbolism affect public perception.

We'll also look at the design costs of starting up your individual company and some steps you can take to help the the designers you hire. In total, we will cover:

- Understanding your target market
- Competitive research
- Keywords and phrases for your product or company
- An exercise in dissecting some brands – a semiotics of branding if you will
- Cost, online applications, etc

You'll walk away with a more analytical view of the world, some real world costs for launching your project and a creative brief you can give to designers to help the process along.

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Branding & Visual LIteracy at General Assembly London by Tricia Okin

  1. 1. Branding and!Visual Literacy
  2. 2. ABOUTTricia Okin!+ designer based in Brooklyn since 2001+ designs and builds web and mobile sites/applications for companies withinthe food, green and tech startup fields+ BFA in photography from University of Florida and an MFA in Design &Technology from Parsons The New School for Design.
  3. 3. Branding & Visual LiteracyLaunching a ground-breaking new web app? Branding iscrucial to the success of tech companies. A meaningful brand identity will help you:!• Express your brand attributes visually• Develop trust and credibility by creating a system• Stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace• Forge a lasting connection with your desired audience• Appeal to potential investors
  4. 4. Branding & Visual Literacy What is Branding?!•  Users and Audience: meeting their needs, solving theirproblems, their stories•  Purpose: focused and flexible in the long term•  Design: colour, typography, forms, logo, systems, images•  Writing: voice & style•  Customer Service: accessibility, helpfulness, guiding users
  5. 5. Branding & Visual Literacy Exercise 1: What is tech and start up (to you & others)?! !
  6. 6. Branding & Visual Literacy Name some keywords! and buzz words! •  scrappy •  self-sufficient •  local •  agile •  sustainable •  innovative •  home grown •  homemade •  authentic •  micro-business •  creative •  diy •  lean •  independent  
  7. 7. Branding & Visual Literacy What Problem Are You! Trying to Solve?!•  Is this is a problem “everyone” has? •  Who is “everyone”? •  Are you creating a need/desire but not really a problem? Ex: Foursquare•  Has your idea already been in the market for a while? •  How much are you improving on an existing idea? •  Can you easily create a following behind this and gain traction?  
  8. 8. Branding & Visual Literacy Who’s Your Target Audience?! (Income & Demographics)!•  Age, Urban or Sub-urban, Ethnicities?•  What Careers / Professions? •  Technology usage?•  What issues do they care about that would draw/force them to use your idea?•  Luxury product for a few or mass market? •  Government or institutions? •  Students or anyone on a budget? •  Early career folks making around £30.000 with small precious disposable income? •  Couples making £50k - £90k who are used to paying more for quality?•  Affluent / luxury – household income of £120k - £205k?
  9. 9. Branding & Visual LiteracyExercise 2: Brand Comparison ( 5 min )!•  Who do you think the target audiences for each of these brands? •  What expectations/perceptions do you have based on branding•  What do you expect to pay at each place?  vs.
  10. 10. Branding & Visual LiteracyExercise 3: Brand Story Comparison ( 2 min )!  vs.
  11. 11. Branding & Visual LiteracyExercise 3: Brand Story Comparison ( 2 min )!  vs.
  12. 12. Branding & Visual LiteracyExploring Brand Attributes:!What makes a brand distinct from existing brands on theweb and in the marketplace?•  The problem it solves•  Ease of use•  Mass market•  Specialty•  Only for beta testers / exclusivity•  Accessibility (customer service)•  User knowledge and data along with user cachet
  13. 13. Branding & Visual Literacy
  14. 14. Branding & Visual Literacy
  15. 15. Branding & Visual Literacy
  16. 16. Branding & Visual LiteracyVisual Elements ofBranding!•  Logo/Identity Design•  Wordmark vs. logo •  Typography•  Use of color•  Creating and Choosing an icon
  17. 17. Branding & Visual LiteracyProduct & Brand Environment:!Where will your product live? –  Web app –  Mobile phone app (which platform, if any?) –  HTML 5 app –  SaaS –  Lifestyle –  Business/Productivity –  Analytics –  Creative –  Luxury / Shopping
  18. 18. Branding & Visual LiteracyExercise 3: Name Your Favourite Appsand / or Brands •  Why do you like them? •  Name the price you’re willing to pay for it!Exercise 4: Your Competition & Aspiration •  Write down your competitors and aspirational brands •  Do a Brand survey
  19. 19. Branding & Visual LiteracyApplying Branding to Collateral:!•  Business cards•  Stationery•  One Sheets•  Digital or Printed Press Kits•  Address labels•  Stickers / promo items•  Banners/Signage
  20. 20. Branding & Visual LiteracyHiring a designer: !•  How to find a designer –  Students –  Graphic Designers •  independent vs. small shop vs. branding agency –  Crowdspring/99 Designs •  What to ask a designer –  Portfolio –  References –  Process
  21. 21. Branding & Visual LiteracyScope of Work: !!•  Logo/Identity•  Website (app/product vs. brochure), •  Icon system•  Mobile/Responsive•  Social media (Twitter, FB, Email newsletter, Foursquare, etc)•  Blog•  Collateral & Marketing (cards, stationery, one-sheets)•  Packaging
  22. 22. Branding & Visual LiteracyApplying Your Brand Identity:!•  Social Media – inhabiting your brand persona and bringing it to life via content-rich, platform appropriate posts on multiple channels•  Understand which platforms will help you most: blogging, Twitter, FB, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc
  23. 23. Branding & Visual Literacy Price Range!Logo/Identity £1600 - £2500Website (Brochure) £2000 - £4000 App/E-Commerce £5200 - £10000Social Media £650 - £1300Collateral £800 - £1800 £40 - £50 per hour would be a good estimate for quality & efficient work.* These would be some ranges for an individual designer vs. a student or a small studio** The prices above are only for design, not for printing costs
  24. 24. Branding & Visual LiteracyDIY It + Sweat Equity - £1200 - £3000!•  Logo - Wordmark & Colors vs. full logo•  Brochure Web site - WordPress •  E-Commerce Website - Shopify / Etsy / Big Cartel / PayPal check out•  Collateral - Business Cards & Postcards – •  Blog & Social Media - FB,, Twitter•  E-Mail – MailChimp (free plan is great)
  25. 25. Branding & Visual Literacy Examples
  26. 26. Runa by Mucca Design!Work:
  27. 27. Seedhouse Stationers by Stitch Design!Work:
  28. 28. Good Energy by Studio Makgill!Work:
  29. 29. CONTACTTricia Okin!tricia@papercutny.com me on Twitter @papercutnyI’ll put these slides up on Slide Share in the next 36 hours: !