“Everywhere we go, we get compliments on our design. Sibyl’s team invested time and effort to deeply understand our brand vision, so each new concept they deliver is on target.”
Ryan McGee, Hi-Fi Brewing
Sibyl Design has been the single most important component in improving our marketing campaigns at Crystal Mountain Hotels. Every piece of marketing material that they deliver exceeds expectations and is done at rate that you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else. They have been extremely agile in their ability to offer different levels of support to our marketing efforts which is important in managing a small business. In addition, the team has made sure to make themselves available for any last minute crunch problems that have arisen. I would enthusiastically recommend their design services to any business looking to create a stronger and smarter marketing campaign. HILLARY HARRISON, CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN HOTELS
“It would be hard for me to define my company or my brand without the inspiration and influence of Sibyl Design’s services. They have truly been a major player in my company for years. The best part about our relationship is their ability to translate my ideas quickly and with great devotion into my vision realized.” INEZ GREY, HABITUDE FOUNDER
“Starting a new brewery, we had a nearly overwhelming set of challenges to deal with each day. So it was a great relief to know that the team at Sibyl Design was building out all our branding and marketing materials—from logo to website to branded merchandise. The extensible branding system they developed for us works on everything from taphandles to t-shirts, labels to lighted signs. Everywhere we go, we get compliments on our design. And because the team invested time and effort up front to deeply understand our brand vision, each new concept they deliver is on target—which allows us to spend our time dealing with the other hundred or so challenges that crop up every day.” RYAN MCGEE, HI-FI BREWING
Label design for Habitude’s private label teas.
Twelve Bar Brews came to us with a tight budget and big hopes for a rejuvenated look. We took their music-based theme and put together a logo they loved. And they weren’t the only ones—the logo won a best logo award from the American Graphic Design Awards for 2013.
It’s not just about a logo…
Effective branding is not just a pretty logo slapped on a truck and a business card. Your brand is about the relationships you develop with your customers and how they remember you.
Yes, you do need a great logo and a professional image, but by themselves they’re not enough to get noticed in today’s saturated marketplace. Your brand image is part of your customer’s overall experience with your company and it needs to harmonize with your messaging.
“It would be hard for me to define my brand without the inspiration and influence of Sibyl Design’s services. They have been a major player in my company for years.”
Inez Grey, Habitude Spa & Salon
Identity Crisis Is your visual identity worth investing in?...
Is your visual identity worth investing in? What’s a good first impression worth to you? A first impression is a one-shot deal, but for a lot of businesses, design is an afterthought at best, a pain in the ass at worst. But what about when it’s neglected? You can make the argument that many successful businesses have a minimal marketing budget even less focus on design—you wouldn’t be wrong.
But don’t let that fool you into thinking that a well-designed brand identity doesn’t give you a big boost in the market—because it absolutely does.
Business owners have a million and one things on their plates—budgets to juggle, people to manage—and are constantly working on how to triage everything about growing their company. Logos and other visual elements are only important once they begin to see how well-designed brands can elevate them and effectively make them more money and improve their reputation.
Yes. A good logo, as part of a strong overall brand experience, can add to your bottom line. Even science proves it. Here’s how:
What our brains have to do with it
Logos, images and color reinforce memory by providing a visual “imprint” for customers—an idea that has been validated by science. Providing visual cues for memory has proven to be vital not only in branding and marketing, but in learning just about anything.
Dr. Paul Martin Lester’s study, “Syntactic Theory of Visual Communication” demonstrated that people only remember 10% of what they hear and 20% of what they read, but about 80% of what they see and do. “Vision trumps all other senses,” according to John Medina, author of “Brain Rules”. He says, “If you hear a piece of information, three days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you’ll remember 65%.”
The consensus among psychologists is that people like what they know. So reinforcing memory with visuals and helping customers create a positive correlation between a logo and a brand can go a long way toward building brand loyalty.
Why is this important? To demonstrate the value of brand names, New York University’s professor of finance Aswath Damodaran, compared companies making similar products: Apple and Dell, Honda and Ferrari, and notably Coca-Cola and Cott, makers of RC Cola. “Soda is water with a bunch of sugar and a lot of crap thrown in,” he said. “You can put whatever you want on the outside of the can, but there is really no difference between a cola and another cola. You may say that Coca-Cola tastes different — that’s what 100 years of playing with your mind does to you,” he stated.
The conclusion? Greater success in the cola business is about brand, not product. Damodaran valued Coca-Cola at $79.6 billion, compared to Cott, which was only $15.4 billion. The difference between the two is a whopping $64.2 billion—a serious brand name premium. If you think about it, that means that only something like 20% of Coca-Cola’s value is the product, while the balance is the equity—the premium price—garnered by their brand name and how it is viewed in the market.
What is a brand?
Your “brand” is what your customer thinks about when she hears your brand name. Brand is reputation. It’s how someone feels when he thinks about your products. Your visual identity is an important trigger to help customers remember and identify with your brand. Milton Glaser, the legendary graphic designer best known for the “I Love New York” logo, says that it has to do with simplicity. “You want to move the viewer in a perception so that when they first look at [the logo]…they get the idea, because that act between seeing and understanding is critical,” he said.
Characteristics of a strong visual identity
While there isn’t a set-in-stone rulebook for what makes the perfect logo or visual identity, there are a few things the best of them have in common. How does yours hold up?
1) Does it convey the right message and differentiate you from your peers? Is it serious when it should be fun, haphazard when it should be polished or does it reach that target perfectly? Use your visual identity to reinforce your brand promise. It needs to harmonize with all of your messaging.
2) Does it convey professionalism and trust? Is it appropriate? Does it make sense to your target audience? Most folks are unlikely to bank with a financial institution called “Fred’s Bank” with a logo of a cartoon dollar sign and a tagline of “Give us your money—we like money!” That’s not exactly trust-inspiring. But parents might like that exact same whimsical approach for a kid’s game for learning about money. Know your market and make sure you’re speaking directly to their needs, wants and concerns.
3) Is it unique and memorable? Does it stand out in the crowd and have impact? This is probably the single biggest element of an effective visual identity. If it’s overly trendy, lacking in conceptual qualities or simply not different enough, nobody will remember it a few minutes after seeing it. Logos that can be remembered are the ones that have wit, character, surprise, or some other kind of “aha moment” that will delight the customer and imprint it in their minds.
4) Is it consistent? When you’re not consistent with your message, customers will be confused about who you are. They will be much less likely to remember you compared to another brand who is consistent.
5) Can it be easily misinterpreted? We’ve seen some doozies of horror stories on this topic. Do you really want your logo to become a Facebook meme? These images should illustrate what I mean:
6) Is it adaptable and scalable? Overly complex logos become problematic not just because they create brain overload with customers, but also as soon as you need to fax, embroider, or print them in black and white.
8) Is it timeless? A well-designed visual identity is not like a Paris runway model’s dress and should not go out of fashion after a single season. Some of the best logos have remained virtually unchanged for decades.
So ask yourself, what does your brand currently say about your company and is it working hard to earn you that coveted “brand name premium?”
Sibyl Perkins serves as Brand Strategist and Chief Cat Herder at Sibyl Design. Sibyl espouses the philosophy that the best ideas come from building brain trusts of great people and cross-pollinating wherever possible. What she knows about design and brand strategy is a lot, and what she doesn’t, she will find out, always asking the right questions along the way. Sibyl has had a strong focus on developing great brands for craft brewers —allowing them to pay attention to the business of brewing quality beer while she brings her expertise to bear, giving them the brand tools needed to build a name and sell their products well.
We just won the Silver “M” in The Marketing...
We just won the Silver “M” in The Marketing Awards for the labels we designed for Narrows Brewing. Congrats to Tori King!
Our latest label design is about to hit the...
Our latest label design is about to hit the shelves—any day now you’ll be able to get “Poop Deck Pale Ale” at a store near you!
MUKILTEO, WA – We know what you’re thinking. Go ahead and make all the punny jokes you want. We have. Of course that was after everyone was informed that the Poop Deck is simply a deck above the Captain’s Quarters in the aft of a ship.
Don’t judge this beer by its name. It’s our brand-new Pale Ale release, a first from Diamond Knot! Your basic Pale recipe consisting of 2-row pale malt, Cara-pils® Malt, Crystal malt and just a touch of flaked barley for some body. Galena hops provide the body of the bitterness and super-alpha Apollo hops in the finish and dry-hop add a bright, citrusy hop flavor and aroma that’ll keep you coming back for more. O.G. 12° Plato; 23 IBUs; 5.3% ABV.
The first pints of Poop Deck Pale Ale will flow at the Brewery & Alehouse, Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 6:30 p.m., just before glasses are raised in celebration of Diamond Knot’s 19th anniversary. Everyone is invited.
Just got the news we won three awards in...
Sibyl Design just won a “Best Corporate Logo” award...
Sibyl Design just won a “Best Corporate Logo” award from the Seattle-based Marketing Awards for our Hi-Fi Brewing logo design. Go team!
It was a labor of love. Sibyl Design has...
It was a labor of love. Sibyl Design has just completed the brand new Pink Boots Society website to support the organization whose mission is to promote and educate women in the craft brewing industry. Pink Boots Society boasts over 1,000 members around the world and the new site will allow members to collaborate with each other in ways not possible before. The site is a fully social site, so members can meet, “friend”, and message each other, as well as participate in groups and forums, and learn about upcoming PBS events. The site utilizes BuddyPress, a plugin that transforms WordPress into a social networking platform.
We got a nice little mention in this article...
We got a nice little mention in this article about the Washington Beer Commission:
Washington’s beer industry is uniting to remind you of the state’s brewing prowess
When volunteers gathered at Paradise Creek Brewery in Pullman last December to help put the growing brewery’s beer into bottles, the caps pressed onto each container were intended to do more than just keep the brew inside fresh. While most larger breweries use specialized caps marked with their logo, and some smaller breweries opt for a generic black or gold crown, these caps sealing Paradise Creek’s latest brews are something new — a golden “W” in a pint glass with the the words “Washington Beer.”
“The team at Sibyl Design has accomplished unbelievable things while meeting a fast-paced schedule and staying within budget. I’d be happy to recommend them to anyone.”
Scott Wagner, Narrows Brewing
Strategic Director and Boss Lady
Designer, Illustrator & Strategy Junkie
Graphic Designer and Big Brainiac
Programmer and Code Jedi
Ambassadors of Joyful Dogness
Our team is a dedicated little band of artists, pixel jockeys, code wranglers and big-brained thinkers. We’re ready to do what it takes to help you reach the right people and get them in your doors.
We’re always looking for great talent and we'd love to see your work. Check out our current openings.