Building a reputable brand is important to instill trust in the consumer so they feel confident in their decision to use a product or service being offered. Quality, company values, customer support and public relations are all key players in achieving trust, but design plays a large role in a brand’s first impression.
People have an innate ability to understand design principles and it impacts the decisions they make. Elements in a design like shape and color tap into the subconscious emotions of the consumer and are incredibly important when making branding decisions. For example, green evokes a feeling of optimism, blue a feeling a security, while red can be a stress-inducer. It is important to understand the target market for a brand and make the appropriate design choices to appeal to them.
Examples of a brand utilizing a few key principles of design
Banks are brands that need to communicate trust, longevity and legitimacy. Chase is one of the most trusted banks in America and we can see the choices they have made to reinforce this visually. They chose blue for their primary color, which gives the customer a feeling a of security – very important in banking. Now let’s talk about longevity, something you hope for in a bank: their logo is a custom, bold sans serif font. This communicates that they are timeless. They have used a sans serif font for over 60 years, which tells us they aren’t a fading trend, but they are established and long-standing. What else can we feel when looking at their logo? The font and Chase symbol have a dynamic design that implies movement and activity, which translates to growth and forward thinking; two things that are very important in the longstanding of any company.
Brands build trust through a streamlined web-presence
Another huge factor in a consumer forming opinions of a brand is their website. Fun fact: it only takes 50 milliseconds for a consumer to form their opinion about a website. This is important information to have when you are trying to stand out in a highly saturated market. How can we make sure to have branding that subconsciously makes someone want to stay on your site and trust it? Make a great first impression with color, spacing, symmetry, amount of text and font choices. This is partially relying on aesthetics, but many of those design choices are also about making information easy to digest and not overwhelming.
Here are a few practical take-aways to optimize a website to feel trust-worthy and easy to absorb:
- Pictures speak a thousand words. Make sure to select a series of well thought out images that accurately represent your brand and what you’re trying to promote or sell.
- Don’t over-do it with text. Long line lengths will overwhelm people. Instead, break it down to important key information.
- Make sure all of your text and imagery is ADA compliant. This means ensuring there is enough contrast between your font and background colors throughout your site, as well as setting up the appropriate settings on your images (alt text, appropriate file naming, etc.). This will not only make the user experience easy, but it will show that your site is trustworthy and accessible for anyone that visits it.
- Use high contrasting colors, different sizes and a complementary font in your text to call out important information. This will draw the user’s attention to focus on your key points.
- One more tip to convey trust is consistency in branding and user experience across platforms and devices. Make sure you are creating that same effortless experience by making sure your site is mobile responsive and works seamlessly across browser types.
To start utilizing these concepts for your brand, you will want to start by understanding your customer, their needs and then speak to them through these strategic design principles.
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