Design & UX
By Tara Hornor

Branding: Where Graphic Design Meets Marketing

By Tara Hornor

While all designers would love it if the pursuit of design could be for purely artistic purposes, well, we all have to pay the rent somehow. So applying design to commercial pursuits – specifically branding – is an excellent place where artistic pursuits and commercial application come together.

One example of applying design principles to branding is with Avivo. Denis Olenik was the lead designer, and he has graciously provided us a snapshot of his process in developing a brand from scratch. As you read through this article, notice how Denis uses various tools, design definitions, and fundamental design concepts – like repetition – to build a beautiful brand portfolio for Avivo.

Also, be sure to check out the impressive corporate identity collections at the end of this post to gather inspiration for your own brand projects.

Designing the logo

Of course, one of the keys to a successful brand will always be a logo. Notice how designing the company name and logo went hand in hand. Careful application of scale was applied and the result is a well-balanced look and feel.


Another key to a successful brand is careful and consistent use of typography. If at all possible, the font selection should be used throughout all mediums, unless mixing it up is appropriate.

Note how the typographical selection by Denis ties so well into the company name. Of equal importance is the fact that the font face has been defined and documented. This level of due diligence is necessary for a complete brand portfolio.

Color selection and definition

Denis then moves to color selection and definition. You can see the carefully selected palettes to be used in the first image below. Next, the colors are defined in CMYK, RGB, and Pantone colors. Finally, the colors are applied and defined, giving the company multiple but consistent options.

Application of the brand

Finally, we get to see the brand applied to some real world marketing collateral. Note how the brand works well in multiple media and formats, from business cards to smart phones.

More Corporate Identity Collections

The following are a collection of some corporate identity projects designed by some incredibly talented designers. Take a look, gather some inspiration, and use your newly refreshed creative juices to create some amazing designs!

Cocoro New York by Mark Brooks

This hair salon certainly has a “New York” look and feel with the right style and colors of brand.

Nonea by ChevyChase

The typography matches the graphics for this brand perfectly.

Eat by Ptarmak

The images within the negative space of this company’s logo is brilliant!

Cultivate by Thisisroot

Root developed the look for this design and build agency for environments by pushing Play-Doh through a stencil.

Luciano Moto by

The brand for this motorbike showroom in Europe beautifully portrays the feel of racing motorbikes with a bold font full of forward motion, yellow background, racing stripes, and tire marks.

Cow branding image by Steve Corey.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for the graphic design information very educational. Will bookmark and share this article to my friends.  

    • Tara Hornor

      Glad you enjoyed the post!

      • KSmythe

        did enjoy the post. I think the tire tread in luciano moto is actually carbon fiber. LOved being able to see these examples,

        • Tara Hornor

          Glad you enjoyed it! Wow, actually carbon fiber…nice touch.

  • beautiful design == better branding == better marketing

    • Tara Hornor

      Exactly! :)

  • Not Bad..

    • Tara Hornor


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  • Beautiful branding, really well done. This is a great example of how to design.

    • Tara Hornor

      I agree; this design is a favorite of mine.

  • Simple is always best

    • Tara Hornor

      Yes, it is! :)

  • PixInk Design

    The consistency in Cocoro New York’s typography and logo is a prime example of branding patterns. Thank you for sharing this talented designer’s branding process, Tara. 

    • Tara Hornor

      You’re welcome! I agree…I had a difficult time choosing which of Brooks’ brands to include since they were all this well-done. 

  • thanks for sharing .. really like it :)

  • branding will be marriage with marketing = happy family

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