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10 Characteristics of a Luxury Brand Aesthetic


A matte black Coca Cola can with a glossy logo
Would you pay more for this can of Coca Cola?

The word luxury is thrown around liberally these days. There is a luxury version of everything it seems. But just because you say it's luxury does not make it so.

Since I am a creative director of branding agency that focuses mostly on aspiring and established luxury brands, I want to focus on the luxury aesthetic as it pertains to graphic design and brand identity which includes logos, colors, packaging etc.

Here's a list of what characteristics I consider when designing a new brand identity for a luxury client. You can apply these to your new aspiring luxury brand as well.

  1. SIMPLICITY: Avoid clutter and excess. Keep the design clean and avoid intricacies that do not translate well in small applications.

  2. IMAGERY: Invest in beautiful photography of your product and incorporate shots to portray the lifestyle of your target audience. All visual elements should work together to achieve that desired polished and refined look.

  3. TYPOGRAPHY: One of the key elements you should pay close attention to. You can go with serif or sans serif, both work, it simply depends on what your product or service is. I would recommend looking at the classic cuts of both styles. They are commonly used and have become classics for a reason.

  4. COLOR: keep it limited. No more than 2 colors (if that). Black, white, navy blues and warm greys are my favorite.

  5. DETAILS: When it comes to your printing whether it's business cards, bags or pouches or boxes, consider utilizing negative space and using various printing techniques such as matte foils or blind embossing. Personally, nothing gets me more excited than beautifully designed packaging.

  6. EMOTION: Make sure you evoke emotion with every touchpoint your customer comes across. From the website user experience to the kind language of you use to communicate. Everything needs to make the client feel they are not only getting a premium product but also feel special throughout the process.

  7. LOGO DESIGN: Avoid trendy design that comes and goes. It feels like the design is not intelligently conceived and does not feel special or unique in any way.

  8. SHOW KNOW HOW: If you are a startup, show your client what makes your brand better. What latest technologies are utilized in manufacturing etc. If you are rebranding, focus on heritage, history and exclusivity.

  9. BE DIFFERENT: Without being different just for the sake of it.

  10. CONSISTENCY: None of the above matter unless you are consistent across all touchpoints. The visual identity should be cohesive whether it's on the website, product packaging, advertising materials or social media.

- Christos Joannides

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