Univers is a full-service graphic design studio focused on future-facing identities & websites. We simplify, clarify and strengthen brand communications.

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Your brand is not your logo

What is a brand, anyway?

Let's start with what a brand isn’t... It's not:

  1. your logo,

  2. your story/purpose,

  3. your typography,

  4. your product(s)/service(s),

  5. your people.

Rather, we believe a brand is best conceptualised as the sum total of products/services, behaviours, ideas and experiences your business manifests. Your brand is the intricate tapestry of ideas and experiences that connect your audience to your business.

Put more simply, your brand is how your audience feels about and connects with your business. In essence, brand = value.

Read on to explore a high-level breakdown of how great brands are implemented, practically.

Great Brands validate great businesses

Excellent brands do more than look good; they exude purpose. Aesthetics matter, but without a clear sense of purpose, even the most beautiful, well-formed visual identities remain limited in their effectiveness. Exceptional brands embody and communicate a business's core values, and are designed in response to thoughtful positioning, goals, and objectives.

Great brands present a unified experience — they're confident, self-assured, and present completely in alignment. They understand their purpose; they know their why, who they are, where they are going, and the unique value they have to offer to the world (and it shows). This knowledge radiates through every facet of their existence.

Designing systems, not outcomes

Consider this: Great Brands are conceptualised as systems, a brand-cosm if you will. They are dynamic, interconnected systems greater than the sum of its parts. By thinking in terms of flexibility and adaptability (rather than a static, prescribed set of rules), great brands evolve with consumers, adapt to different environments, and stay relevant.

Think in terms of non-negotiable principles and values to serve as a guide for brand communication and evolution, rather than focusing on a constrained set of visual rules to follow.

Consistency of communication

Every interaction with your audience is an opportunity to shape brand perception for better or worse. Your audience's perception of your brand is akin to a mosaic, shaped by the collective experiences they've had. Consistency of communication across touchpoints molds brand image, shapes the brand experience, and influences how your business and products are perceived. Small details over time add up to make huge impacts in the minds of consumers.

If you want your audience to connect with you, keep your communications consistent with your brand principles/values. It's the subtle details that, when woven together, craft the grand tapestry of brand perception.

Applied branding = excellent execution

Elaborate brand strategies can have their place, but we believe most smaller businesses are better served by simple strategies, with greater emphasis placed on execution. Strategy is important, but it's value is diminished without appropriate attention paid to the actual material implementation of your brand that your audience engages with.

We've seen this often in the digital realm — elaborate strategies are crafted by brand agencies, but the execution often falls short when passed on to web design studios, or farmed out to low-level designers to implement the actual real-world communications seen and experienced by audiences.

A final analogy: a great brand is analogous to a business as impeccable interior design is for great architecture.

Just as impeccable interior design complements and enhances great architectural spaces, a well-considered brand infuses vitality and character into a business; cohesively and sensitively completing it in a way that forms the cohesive whole, and represents it's essence to outsiders.

In both cases, it's the intricate details, thoughtful choices, and the consistent application of core elements that make all the difference. Conversely, when interiors are a poor fit for architecture the perceived value, and appreciation of great architectural spaces is diminished. Neglecting the importance of brand perception can have a detrimental impact on how your audience engages with and perceives your business in the long term if there is a similar misalignment between what your brand communicates, and the who, what, and why of your business.

In the realm of business, your brand is the North Star guiding your success. It's the intangible connection that transforms transactions into relationships — in a competitive market consumers buy brands, not products.

So, in this fiercely competitive market, when you think of your brand, consider the totality of experiences and communications that shape customer perception of your organisation. If you need guidance in assessing, or already know your no longer serves your business we're here to help. We are dedicated to creating brands that resonate, and ultimately, brands that flourish. Great businesses need great brands. 🌟