Design is an important part of any brand. It’s what catches people’s attention and helps them understand what a company represents. But designing a good logo or website isn’t enough—you also need to create a design ecosystem that supports your brand. In this blog post, we’ll explain what goes into creating a design ecosystem and how it can help your business grow!
When most people think about brands, they think about logos, colors, and maybe a tagline. But your brand is so much more than that. Your brand is an ecosystem made up of all the different elements that come together to create a unique experience for your customers. In this blog post, we will discuss what goes into creating a design ecosystem for your brand, and some of the benefits you can expect to see!
Step One: Take Inventory of What You Currently Have
The first step in creating a design ecosystem is taking inventory of what you currently have and knowing where it lives. This means examining all your branding materials—including logos, websites, social media pages, and marketing materials—and identifying any inconsistencies. Once you’ve identified the inconsistencies, you can start to create new standards that will help unify your brand.
Step Two: Define Your Brand’s Values and Mission
Before you can create a design ecosystem that supports your brand, you need to define its values and mission. These are the guiding principles that will help you make decisions about what designs to pursue and what to avoid. Having a clear understanding of your brand’s values and mission will help you make decisions that are true to your company and will resonate with your customers.
Most companies spend alot of time on this (Forge & Spark is THE place to go to help you with this) and there is a bigger strategy document but it’s a good idea to have a quick version (along with your personas) that you can refernce adn use.
Step Three: Create a Style Guide (this is your Brand Visual Ecosystem)
Once you have defined your brand’s values and mission, the next step is creating a style guide. A style guide is a key component of any design ecosystem. It’s a document that outlines all the rules for how your brand should be designed, from the fonts you can use to the colors you should avoid. A style guide helps keep your branding consistent across all channels and prevents designers from making decisions that could negatively affect your brand.
You need to establish design standards that everyone who works on your branding will follow. This includes not just designers, but also developers, copywriters, and anyone else who might be involved in creating or touching
We Have a simple style guide that we use as a great starting point and hub for your brand.
- Brand Overview
- Brand Elements
Gathering all your branding material into one place is an important step in creating a design ecosystem. Not only will it make it easier for team members to create new materials , but it will also help to create a consistent look and feel for the brand across all channels. By having an easy reference point, team members can make sure their posts on social media or other sites are in line with the overall branding strategy.
This is your brand’s living document that will evolve as your brand does.
Step Four: Design Missing Brand Elements
At this point you will know what you have and what you will need to create. This is where the design process begins. Do you need a logo refresh, an icon system, a family of illustrations that you can use for your presentations. You want a place to add you brand assets so that you can cut and paste them into your other brand collateral.
Start by designing the elements that are missing from your brand ecosystem. This might include a new logo, illustrations, or patterns. If you’re starting from scratch, it’s helpful to create mood boards and style tiles to help you capture the look and feel you’re going for.
Once you have designed these new elements, add them to your style. Remember that your Brand Visual Ecosystem is meant to grow and evolve.
Step Five: Make Systems for your Team
Now that you have all of the content, it’s time to design a style guide. This document will outline your brand’s fonts, colors, and graphics standards. It should be easy for team members to follow and will help keep your branding consistent across all marketing materials.
Your brand needs a design ecosystem to
- Scale: A well-designed ecosystem will easily scale with your business as it grows.
- Cohesion: A unified design language will help customers understand your brand better.
- Consistency: Ensuring all branding materials are designed in line with your style guide will create a consistent experience for customers.
Once you have a solid foundation in place, it’s easy to keep your branding consistent and grow your business!
If you’re looking for more information on creating a design ecosystem, be sure to check out our ebook, The Ecosystem Guide to Design. In this ebook, we discuss the importance of ecosystems and provide tips on how to create one for your brand. You can download it for
Step 6 — Evaluate and Iterate
Keep in mind that your ecosystem is a living document and it will need to be evaluated and iterated as your brand does. Make sure you have a system in place for updating it regularly. This could be anything from quarterly reviews to yearly check-ins.
No design ecosystem is perfect, so it’s important to be flexible and willing to make changes as needed as your company grows and changes.