5 Ways to Re-energise your Brand using Design in 2020

Everyone can certainly agree that the start of 2020 has been tough for a lot of individuals and companies alike, with Coronavirus. Here in Australia, we’ve also had to battle bushfires over the New Year, resulting in a large downturn in business for a prolonged period of time.

However, with every dip comes a rise, and the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel is gaining momentum. With the release of the COVIDSafe app, many people in Australia are hopeful of a return to normality, and for businesses this means reopening. It’s important to reopen safely, so customers can regain trust in your business. Graphic Design is a great way to demonstrate trust, along with well written articles and collateral to assist your design.

To spark interest in your product or service, it’s important to jump the competition, and knowing when that would be can be tricky, but to be ahead of the eight ball is certainly an advantage. We’ve already seen how some companies are already doing this.

The design may be slightly different to your usual, strict brand guidelines, but by having a slightly different design shows versatility in your company too. Customers will love to see you being more approachable that usual, if your companies design doesn’t lend that way.

In my ten years of professional design experience, I’ve had the opportunity to refresh many brands and these five methods are a great way to re-energise your brand through design marketing in the upcoming months:

 

Using design in social media to promote your business as a whole

By using social media to promote your business as a whole is a great idea at the best of times. It can also be used to target a specific service or product, and that’s certainly fine too. However, with some clever graphics and design, using social media to promote your business as a whole is very important. In a time like this, creating a design visual that is friendly and approachable is what people really need. Businesses want to allow customers to feel as though their brand is trustworthy, so using certain colours, imagery, cues and typography can allow that to be the case.

Reminding customers through the use of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn or any other social media platforms that your company utilises, that you still exist, is important. To demonstrate that you’re looking out for them, and supporting them through this period of time (even without trying to sell a certain product or service) can be great messaging for them. The design used to do this can be different to your usual style, but doesn’t have to be too separate from your brand.

Zac Speed Ride the World Graphic Design motorbike

Future-proof your business through design

We know that, when COVID-19 ‘finishes’ that the world will be a different place. Designing collateral, such as print and web advertising knowing what will be different in the future gives you a jump-start on the competition. Will people be outside more? Have people taken up new hobbies, such as cycling, running and walking? Maybe people are reading more books, or using LEGO more (I know I am!). What this means, is if you have an in-demand product or service, which allows the freedom and escape that people are after, your business could thrive using design to communicate that message.

I know if I had a business that allowed people to be outdoors, have fun and use their product or service, that now would be a great time to design based around that. Using design, along with well thought out marketing and text, can certainly get that message across.

 

Designing promotional material for a product or service

We know plenty of businesses and individuals are struggling financially, so having a marketing campaign designed around having a sale for a product or service could be a good idea. Through the use of design, this can have surprising effects too, and whether it’s a print or online focused sale, the design can still be eye-catching and engaging for your customers. It should also be considered that if you have a product or service which is in demand, that helps a customer through this period of time, that a customer will love to reach out to you if you offer a product or service to them.

Designing for a sale should be tasteful and respectful to the customer your targeting. Showing value or worth through design, through the use of colour and type can help. Designing a campaign with different variations of the one product can also allow the campaign to market towards different customers.

Using an engaging website design to sell and market products

You don’t necessarily need an online store to sell your product or service. It is, of course, and option for many, but not critical. A website design that is informative, visually interesting, accurate and usable also, in fact, sells a product or service. Many website designs used for marketing result in a contact form, phone number or email address (much like my own), but to visually communicate the right message to customers is one of the most important messages to get across. This, of course, is done through the use of graphic design and visual imagery.

Having your website reflect the current situation of the world, and having a calm, understand tone and visual imagery not only allows your business to show that you care, but speaks to your customers and notifies them that you’re still in business.

Wordpress website design comparison

Design for your customers and make them feel wanted

I stress, in most of the material I write, that designing specifically for your customers is so important. When your customers are unsure about what to do to begin 2020, showing that your business is calm and stable through the use of design reinforces what they already know. However, as I said earlier, to perhaps alter the colour palette in a smart, concise way or altering the typography and products and services you specifically market can be exactly what your customers are looking for. If, by promoting to help them through isolation, and your product or service will help them achieve that, then design collateral with that at the forefront of your mind. Designing marketing material which soothes them, and relaxes them for the now, but also can re-energise them (and your brand) in the future, is reassuring.

 

So, those are my 5 pieces of design advice to you, and your business, to get you through this difficult time. I know 2020 has been a difficult start for many businesses not only in Australia, but around the world, but by designing material that can get you (and your customers) through this phase and also assist your business when everything goes back to ‘normal’ is critical in the success of your business and customer retention.


Chris Koch Business Card Melbourne 2020

Business Card Design - Updated 2020

Think print is dead? Think again! I've updated my business cards for 2020, and I thought I'd show you what I've come up with. The aim, for me, is to hand these out locally to friends, family and prospective clients in and around Melbourne. And, just to make things interesting, I've done them a little differently this time.

 

Business Cards of the past

I've had business cards in the past – many times. I've run out of them, had too many, changed the design (and size) of them, and so on. But, that's the great thing about business cards is that they're meant to be disposable. Hand them out, promote yourself, show your business or service off. They're designed to be a marketing tool and, yes, I still hand them out to this very day with some great feedback. I tend to opt for high quality, custom cards, because I think it's quality over quantity. However, that's more my way of marketing my business. Every business is different. I've decided to make a few changes to my cards for 2020 to further create a talking point yet, most importantly, be a great keepsake for potential clients. Should you leave with a point of contact, or just leave? I know what I'd rather!

So, what have I changed for 2020?

This year, what I've done is create my logo in silver foil. Why? I think it's a bit of brand evolution for me, a little bit more daring and playful. It's a great talking point too – people who've viewed them have already tilted the card to see the different light that it reflects. I'm not saying that a foil, whether it be silver or gold, is a must (I have matte black business cards too) but it certainly adds an extra interest to the card, especially considering that 9 of the 10 variations have abstract art that I've made featured on the card.

What I've retained is the heavy, high GSM stock of the card. They feel absolutely incredible. Soft, yet very strong and durable. And, to compliment (or contrast, I should say) the silver foil of my company logo, I've gone for a matte finish.

 

Why have I changed my business cards this year (2020)?

The reason why I've got so many variations for the cards, is because it's 2020 (new year, new me, etc) but secretly because the viewer will often get to choose the card they like the best. I think it's good to have choice, and it's also great to have feedback on your work all at the same time. But because my business cards are such a talking point, it encourages conversation. It allows me to explain what I've created on the card, why I've done it a certain way, and so on. Everyone is talking digital, and don't get me wrong, digital is great. However, print genuinely card get people talking. My new business cards are an example of that.

Business Card Design 2020 Print Design

 

I love the silver foil I've used on my new business cards. They always look different, they're unique and, because people aren't using business cards as much any more (why not?!), they're even more of a talking point than they were in the past.

Modern Business Card Design 2020 Silver Foil

 

So, if you've had business cards in the past and you think – yes! This year, 2020, I need new business cards, then lets hear from you and make it happen.

Feel free to add any feedback about the cards in the comment section below, because as always, I'd love to hear your feedback about them.


Business Card Design Modern Print

Personal Business Card Designs

I recently made some new, modern personal business cards featuring my new logo. I thought it would be nice to make a few variations (5 in total), with the background of the back being different artwork that I've created over the years. I wanted to keep the front – where my name, phone and email address is – nice and clean. Legibility and cleanliness are two big factors, for me, for this particular side of the card.

These cards are printed on a 300gsm substrate in a standard size for Australia. I went for a gloss finish, with a laminate over the top. It allows the colours to appear rich and vibrant, even though they're generally monotone looking for the most part.

A special thanks to Simprint Digital in Dingley, Victoria, Australia for getting these printed or me. They always do a fantastic job and I'd definitely recommend them.

Print Modern Business Card Design

Above: 'Day 7' business card design featuring artwork created in Adobe Illustrator.

Business Card Design Modern Print

Above: United business card design featuring the artwork created for Desktopography.

Modern, Clean Business Card Design

Above: Heights business card design featuring the artwork from the Depths / Heights series.

Abstract Business Card Design

Above: Inifinite business card design featuring artwork created in an isometric, 3D style in Illustrator.

Gloss Laminate Business Card Design

Above: Flow business card design featuring artwork created for EvokeOne Digital Art Group.