Written by Owen Moralee, Senior Designer
‘Cutting-edge’ or ‘traditional’, ‘on-trend’ and ‘of the moment’ or ‘classic’ and ‘built to last’, whatever your brand ethos and styling, 2019 is going to be about ensuring your brand is enabled to meet with the latest and ever-evolving digital landscape.
So, despite all the talk and predictions of the colour of the year (Pantone 16-1546 Living Coral in case you were wondering), metal effect logos, asymmetric layout, 3D lettering or fluid / liquid motion, you should put these to the back of your mind and concentrate on how your brand can become ‘mobile ready’.
As users are switching from laptops to more practical mobile devices for business, there is an increasing need for a brand to be aware of user experience and adapt accordingly. There is nothing more frustrating than viewing a ‘desktop only’ format where you can’t read or navigate the full content. The need to address this experience is further driven by Google now favouring mobile friendly sites with their SEO ‘mobile-first-indexing’: a baseline for how they determine website rankings.
As a result, your visual content needs to meet these requirements. For a brand, the starting point is the logo which needs to be fully responsive, have the ability to be used in a variety of contexts and be flexible to suit different products and/or services. An excellent example of this is SomeOne’s execution of the rebrand for the Houses of Parliament.
This could be developed to the point of being ‘generative’ or ‘living’ with a marque that is constantly changing, often based on an algorithm. Although we have seen these on occasion, the advances in technology mean they are set to become more common place.
As brands technically embrace mobile devices, so should content and messaging follow. In particular, this applies to social media and newsfeeds where audiences look to engage with content that is immediate, quick and clear in its delivery, as well as memorable!
This will increasingly be realised through overarching fully integrated and targeted campaigns for Facebook and Instagram. In creative terms, this means considering the visual delivery for all screen formats: widescreen, square and vertical, and how the messaging will be seen within each of these spaces. Consider the ‘Send in the Clowns’ advert from Audi late last year.
So, as we settle into the New Year, we should remind ourselves that, like the latest diet or get-fit-quick approach, technical fads and visual trends also come and go. Whilst it is good to be aware of them and understand the experiences they can help deliver, they are just tools. Underneath it all, we are still ‘ourselves’. Similarly, brands should not lose sight of what makes them tick. Clear strategy and vision will lay the foundation and opportunity for stand-out ideas to follow, helping to push organisations, and deliver their products and services.