Three Keys to a Timeless Brand

One of the most important things I take into account when I am designing a new visual brand identity is making sure that the branding won’t look out-of-style in a few years.

I see so many brands (and specifically logos) that were probably super in-style a few years ago, but are now really outdated and in need of a serious overhaul.

Wondering how I design brand identities that are classic and timeless and won’t be out of style in the next few years? Here are a few tips and tricks I keep in mind!

Keep It Simple

Specifically when it comes to logo design, my rule of thumb is this: someone should be able to look at your logo for 10 seconds and then, given a piece of paper and a pencil, they should be able to recreate it from memory easily. 

While this may seem extreme, this is a really good test of whether your logo is simple and memorable! 

When it comes to other branding elements, it’s just as important to keep things simple. 

For example, when choosing your brand colors, I recommend choosing between four and six  colors to use consistently throughout all of your marketing materials, including social media, your website, print marketing, and anything else you may need.

Here’s the reason why: the simpler your color palette is, the more often you will be using each color, and then the more familiar your audience become with those colors and begin to associate them with your specific brand.

Steer Clear of Fads

When you stick to simple typography and little-to-no clip art or graphics within your logo, you are much closer to having a brand that will be able to travel through time (if you will) along with your business and will not go out of style anytime soon.

Think about the brand Coca-Cola. When you think of their brand and their logo, what do you think of? 

My guess is that you probably think of their signature script logo, along with the color red. Maybe you also think about polar bears and Christmas. Altogether, it evokes a very classical and nostalgic feel.

The style of the Coca-Cola logo is not something that’s really popular right now. But, the logo itself is so timeless that it is hardly needed any changes at all throughout all of the years that Coca-Cola has been in business.

Stay Consistent and Evolve

Before you come at me with this seeming contradiction, hear me out!

It is completely possible to evolve your branding over time while still staying consistent with what your audience has come to know and expect from you.

As an example, a few weeks ago I decided to introduce a new color into my branding color palette. I had noticed that my palate was missing a richer shade, and I knew that I wanted it to be pink. I didn’t have anything like that in my current color palette, so I digging and found a shade of mauve that fit in really well with my other colors.

I began slowly introducing that color into my marketing materials, while still keeping all of my older colors and fonts. Looking at my website or my social media pages, you might not even notice the change because it’s so subtle, but I can tell the difference and I can tell that that piece that was once missing is now there.

However, if I suddenly decided that I needed to add hot pink into my branding colors and used that for a few weeks before deciding that it actually was looking for a lime green that I was looking for, and then I used that for a few weeks before deciding that what I really needed was a dark burgundy color … that would be inconsistent, and so confusing for my audience!

Your visual brand is often the first impression a potential client will have of you and your business, and that impression will last, and it will affect how they relate to and view your brand.

If your brand is consistent and timeless, your audience will notice.

If your brand is cut-and-paste and inconsistent, your audience will notice.

Investing the time and money to have your branding done the right way is absolutely, 100% worth the effort and will help to set up your brand for long-term success.

Ready to work together for your own branding? 😉