Designing for the Brand Story


Creating a unique design is a vital step in building a brand.  Careful consideration of form, colors and typography must be taken to ensure the design resonates with your audience.  This requires a deliberate process and goes much deeper than a logo.

Brand Strategy

This is the first step.  Brand strategy is a defined plan for the development of a successful brand.  This is what your development stands for, what personality it conveys and how it resonates with your audience


Brand Story:  Define the Brand

Know your audience and build the Brand Story to speak directly to them – build a voice for the brand.  Your audience trusts people and organizations that share their values and belief systems.  When a new development embodies these values and belief systems, it will attract and inspire them.


A quality design stands the test of time, while speaking directly to your audience the moment it is presented.  Forming a consistent visual identity requires experience and a clear process.  A quality design contributes to the overall brand, ensuring a consistency that encourages exploration and helps to build a positive, memorable experience for your audience.

For the complete Branding for Real Estate Development please visit our blog post here:


Design Process

01 Discovery

Each project begins with a discovery session to uncover the goals and aspirations of the project. This process brings clarity and understanding and ensures that there is a shared vision amongst all parties involved. In addition, it will uncover the advantageous approaches, including production elements such as print, renderings, video, etc., and avoid unnecessary elements while focusing on the most important.

02 Strategy + Collaboration

Picking up from the discovery session, the strategy moving forward will be efficient and clear. Collaboration will play a vital role throughout the process and formulate an effective system for communication and feedback.

03 Design + Execute

Once the foundation has been built with 01 + 02, we put our designer’s hats on and get to work. Throughout this step there will be several points for discussion, feedback, and approvals. We keep the communication channels open and efficient and welcome input throughout the project. Our follow-through is consistent and thorough. We aim to execute with the same momentum we established in the previous steps.

04 Elements + Touchpoints

The conclusion of the previous 3 steps brings us to the elements and touchpoints. These are the tangible parts – renderings, branding and identity creation, website, video, etc. – of the project that will bring the vision to life.


Stylescapes are a carefully collected combination of images, textures, typography, and colors to communicate a certain look and feel of a brand, website, interior space, or any other design project. Think of them as moodboards taken to the next level.

Inspiration + Vision – A stylescape bridges the gap between a project and an idea.  Utilizing images and designs found online, a clear and unique set of ideas can be presented.  

Clarity + Alignment – By creating this collage of images, typography, etc., a clear vision is created without actually diving into the specific logo or identity design.  This facilitates an easy discussion about direction, look and feel, and design ideas.

Entasis Stylescapes
Read more about the Story: Entasis

Brand Style Guide

A Brand Style Guide is a Visual Identity that includes the logo, usage guides, colors, typography, and graphics/patterns.  

Logo –
A logo is the most memorable element of a brand’s collateral.  Ensuring that the logo is used correctly, in the right format, the right size, etc., is crucial for the overall identity.

Colors –
A quality color scheme will add depth and meaning to not only the logo, but the overall identity of the brand.  Providing a clear outline for these colors, how and where they should be used, is essential.

Fonts/Typography – Similar to colors, utilizing the correct fonts with clear guidelines, weights and sizes, will be a vital piece of the visual identity.

An effective brand style guide:

  • Enables staff to represent the brand consistently
  • Tells partners and other external stakeholders how to treat your brand
  • Saves your organization time
  • Strengthens brand cohesion and builds brand recognition
  • Protects your company’s most important assets
  • Enables you to update your brand efficiently and effectively

5 Types of Logos

01 Lettermark + Monograms

A lettermark is a typography-based logo, or a combination of letters, typically an abbreviation for a company name.  The lettermark is about simplicity and clarity.

Examples (clockwise from top left):  Home Box Office (HBO), International Business Machines (IBM), Hewlet Packard (HP), Calvin Klein (ck), McDonald’s (M)

02 Wordmark

Examples (clockwise from top left):  Google, FedEx, Prada, Ray-Ban)

03 Symbol/Icon + Brand mark

Similar to a lettermark, a wordmark is a font-based logo that focuses on a business’ name alone.  The careful selection of typography and colors can add emotion and depth to the design.

Illustrative, graphic-based logo. These types of logos can be particularly powerful for established companies.  The symbol alone is recognizable and conveys what the company’s messaging is clearly.

Examples (clockwise from top left):  Girl Scouts, Apple, Starbucks, Target

04 Combination Mark

Examples (clockwise from top left): Lacoste, Polo, Rolex, The North Face, MontBlanc

05 Emblem + Abstract

An abstract mark is a version of the Symbol/Icon/Brand Mark logo that does not represent a recognizable image, such as the Apple mark, but rather is a unique graphic element.  

The benefit of these types of logos is you are able to capture what the company does symbolically.  Through color and form, you can attribute meaning and cultivate emotion around your brand. (As an example, think about how the Nike swoosh implies movement and freedom). 

Examples (clockwise from top left):  Amazon, Microsoft, Adidas, UPS, BMW, Red Cross,

Brand Identity System

A Brand Identity System is defined as a collection of elements which work together to create unified and consistent brand assets that communicate the brand story in a clear and effective manner. These elements begin with the logo and can include a variety of pieces, including print collateral, signage, website, photography and video.  Each element can stand on its own and, together with the other elements, reinforces the overall brand story, adding depth and a visually engaging system where the total is far more than the sum of the pieces.

  1. A logo is a mark that defines the brand

  2. Identity is the visual representation and dictates the way the brand appears.  This will include fonts + typography, color systems, messaging and positioning.  This can include print collateral, such as stationery, business cards and brochures.  It can also include photography + video as well as signage + wayfinding systems.

  3. Brand, or Brand Story, is the ‘gut feeling’ and a set of expectations, stories and relationships.


A Few of Our Favorite Stories:

Orlando, Florida

Winner of the Silver Medal for the 2022 National Association of Home Builders national awards, The Nationals, for BEST LOGO DESIGN


Peregrine Villas
Beaver Creek, Colorado


The Palm Orchard
Baja, Mexico


Denver, Colorado


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