Branding

Aug 8, 2013 at 10:00 am

Branding provides a unique set of challenges in UX design. Most organizations have some very specific requirements for their brand. Colors, typography, and logo usage are the most common areas where there may be rules to follow, but these rules may extend into other areas as well. Designing for the web in the past has provided a lot of limitation in terms of what you could do to address these requirements. Not so long ago the solution was to build a design in a program like Photoshop that met all of the requirements and simply “slice-and-dice” the design into a series of images in a complicated table structure. Design is not so archaic any longer.

That is not to say it is easier. There are still challenges and the one I am facing at the moment is in regards to my brand; I do not have one yet. I have not been doing this long enough for myself to create the rules and requirements that I personally need to follow. I have some general guidelines in place, but those are strictly temporary decisions to get me started. The design of the site as it is currently will likely change dramatically over the next few weeks and months as I resolve some of these guidelines into more permanent rules. Even my logo is only temporary.

Some of the other projects I am working on already have branding guidelines in place, but they are going to be changing in the near future so I am looking ahead at what actions I can do this time to make a future transition easier. One of the best ways I have found so far in dealing with it has been to adopt dynamic stylesheet languages - LESS and/or SASS.

Both of these solutions are very similar so I am not going to get into their strengths and weaknesses at this time. Suffice it to say there are wonderful shortcuts in both. Defining variable for colors and then being able to apply those colors through out is a great timesaver as long as you think about it at to beginning of the project and not at the end.

I do enjoy the challenge that branding places on a project; I think all projects benefit from constraint. There are days when a blank canvas is inviting but when you have rules that the canvas must be lemon-yellow and use Comic Sans, that is when the challenge really begins.