THE BLOG
19/04/2012 12:51 BST | Updated 19/06/2012 06:12 BST

Start Ups Must Stand Out

It's important for start ups to look at the story they are telling through their visual identity and the way this connects with consumers online. The ubiquitous look and feel might be current, but will it make you memorable?

What do Pinterest, Wiremob, iWishfor, Spotver, tum.bz, Popup Weekly, New Me, Forgetful Chef, and Merchee all have in common? Click through and take at look at what they're offering if you're not familiar with them.

Great ideas and progressive solutions aside, did you notice the branding?

They've all got a variation of red handwritten thick font on a white or dark grey background as their logos.

Now, take a look at The Foodest and Flodeck. Again, interesting ideas, very similar branding.

Now, and this is the last one I promise, have a look at Fyndesters, Weddingmee, Expeerience, Countly, Hotel Haggle, Shopear, Invy and Bourbon and Boots . What's the similarity? It's that font again.

The use of a handwritten font implies a personal approach to an offering, perfect for the esteemed social media consumer.

This inference is derived from the explosion of socialisation of media and the desire of brands, big and small, to appear to be accessible to consumers: "We're in a social space, let's brand ourselves thusly."

It makes sense.

The problem here is that if you are looking for the next big thing in the digital space, be it a financial organiser, a recipe sharing app or a social shopping site, for consumers it may be difficult to tell your brand apart from the next if you are using a similar style to present yourself. And, if you're really on the ball, you'll have a mobile app.

The one problem with that lovely font is that it could be hard to read if viewed on a small screen, like a smartphone for example.

The growing association of the colour red with social is also at odds with the use of blue, which has by and large been the traditional colour of technology companies and social networks. Resonating strength, efficiency and prowess, blue is slowly being usurped as the colour online.

This is a fashion driven trend. It looks 'now' and personal, just like the behaviour of people online the look is designed to attract - It's a design zeitgeist that mirrors its audience.

The problem here is that if you are looking for the next big thing in the digital space, be it a financial organiser, a recipe sharing app or a social shopping site, for consumers it doesn't discern your brand from any other on first impressions.

It's important for start ups to look at the story they are telling through their visual identity and the way this connects with consumers online. The ubiquitous look and feel might be current, but will it make you memorable?