Luxury Brand Identity Tips - How to Design Luxurious Brands | Jason Miller | Skillshare

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Luxury Brand Identity Tips - How to Design Luxurious Brands

teacher avatar Jason Miller, Freelance Graphic Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. What Does Luxury Really Mean?

    • 3. Trends to be aware of: Simplicity

    • 4. Trends to be aware of: Deliberate & Confident

    • 5. Trends to be aware of: Negative Space

    • 6. Trends to be aware of: Colour

    • 7. Supporting Elements

    • 8. Bringing the System Together

    • 9. Conclusion

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About This Class

What makes brand identity look ‘luxurious’? How do you quantify it, can you quantify it??

For example look at the overall style of the Channel Logo, vs Versace. Or Fortnum & Mason. Very different in almost every conceivable way, yet both successful Luxury Brands! Why?

Well we’re going to look at some key elements that contribute to our perception of Luxury.

I wanted to create this class because I’ve spent a lot of time creating identity for brands luxury sectors… Some designers would love to break into this sector, but feel daunted at the prospect. Well  this class will guide you through some of the key areas that transport a logo or identity system from feeling ‘mainstream’, to feeling ‘exclusive’ – from basic to high end.

The goals are very different; these brands are all about creating expectation – the expectation of an experience, a product, a service that’s going to impress and excite. Rather than shouting, they often need to emit an elegant, calm confidence – to draw attention.

Meet Your Teacher

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Jason Miller

Freelance Graphic Designer


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Hi I’m Jason Miller – a freelance Graphic Designer based in London. 11 years and counting!

How do you start building your professional portfolio? Or do you still struggle to consistently produce great results within a reasonable timeframe? Wonder how to scale the entire identity design process down to meet your clients needs/budgets?

The courses, tutorials and resources I’m sharing here are designed to help you answer these, and many other questions students and designers face.

Brand Identity Design, including the logo design process, running a business, and surpasing clients expectations – find it all here.

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1. Introduction: So what makes brand identity look luxurious? How do you quantify it? Can you quantify it? For example, the curvy overall style of the Chanel logo. And then compare back to Versace or to Fort them in Mason. Although they're each very different in almost every conceivable way, they're all highly successful luxury brands. How is that possible? Well, in this class, we're going to look at some of the key elements that shape our perception of luxury. This class is designed to guide you through some of the key areas of transport and logo, from feeling mainstream to feeling exclusive, or a brand, from feeling quite basic to feeling high-end. Now if a goal is of very different, these brands are all about creating expectation. The expectation of an experience of product or service that's going to excite and go into impress rather than shouting, they often need to emit an elegant, calm confidence to draw our attention. Hey, I'm Jason Miller. I'm a freelance graphic designer based in London. I've had the privilege of creating the luxury brand identity for clients from Australia to Hong Kong, to New York. Like I'm sure many of you, I really enjoy working from home. I've created a quiet little studio space, which has become my zone. This is where design happens. I'm very proud to say I've been freelancing successfully ten years now. And free of those years with enough clients to make this my sole source of income. So over the course of this class, we're going to look first of all, at exactly what luxury is. How would we define it? And then we'll take a look at a number of different trends. And for anyone designing luxury branding really needs to be aware of. So that includes simplicity in design, deliberate, confidence, correct use of negative space and use of. We'll then also look at supporting identity elements because it's not all about the logo, although that's an important factor. And finally, we'll look at how we can bring this identity system together and empower our clients to use that system consistently and successfully for their luxury brand. So the class project aims to arm you with a luxury brand identity example that you'll be able to show off in your own portfolio. Try working on this as a case study. So no real clients. And that way you've got full creative freedom to experiment and to explore some of the factors we'll be looking at in this class. I would recommend creating perhaps a fashion brand. So the name is completely up to you and follow along and try to apply these lessons we learn as you create that brand. So I really hope you enjoy this class and please feel free to post any questions or comments you may have. 2. What Does Luxury Really Mean?: So what is luxury in the context of a brand identity system? Well, let's look at the dictionary definition. That's usually a good place to stop. So according to Wikipedia, if you look under luxury brands, it says brands considered luxury, connect with their customers by communicating that they are the top of their class or considered to be the best in their field. So this is a question of positioning. Furthermore, these brands must deliver in some meaningful way, measurably better performance. What consumers perceive as luxurious brands and products change over the years, but very appear to be free main drivers. And when it mentions price being higher than its competitors, limited supply. So a degree of exclusivity and possibly endorsement by celebrities. So that's quite an interesting definition about definitely relates to the kind of brands we want to create together. Another definition this time, this is the Oxford dictionary. It defines luxury as great comfort, especially as provided by expensive and beautiful things. So it gives me example to live in luxury, to go on a luxury cruise, to visit a luxury hotel. And finally, one more example, I'll share review. And this is the first thing that appears if you simply Google luxury, a state of great comfort or elegance, especially when involving great expense. And the example he lived a life of luxury. So as was alluded to in some of those definitions, for our purposes, this is all about positioning. Positioning of brand as well, luxury option. So you remember part of that definition was the best in its class or something that's measurably better than its competitors. So we're creating brands that have this expectation. Consumers will expect to spend a little more money, but they're going to get something that's claiming to be the best, better its competitors. So positioning brands effectively can actually provide a very useful service to consumers. And it helps them to meet day by day decisions if it's done correctly. For example, if we look at the traditional supermarket shelf, wherever it's coffee or it's other goods and items, supermarkets will often physically position higher-end luxury or premium goods towards the top of shelves. And this is actually where the expression top shelf comes from. And as we've mentioned, luxury goods, they indicate they offer something. Regular goods don't some advantage which you're prepared to pay more to get. So we've whiskey and perhaps something that's been aged longer, it's been matured in a smaller batch, is therefore appropriate as a gift, something you'd use on a special occasion. And so its target audience would be someone prepared to spend a little more. Or we could apply this to your search for a vacation. You could even be going on your honeymoon. And you want it to be the trip of a lifetime and you want to almost spare no expense and to enjoy luxury. Or you could be trying to backpack on a very tight budget. Now for waivers company's position their experiences is going to be very useful to quickly indicate to you whether they have a right fit or a wrong. 11. Last example we could consider is clothing. So let's say you needed to purchase some sports where to where casually around the home. No one will see you wearing it. And you want to obtain that for the lowest price possible. For brands you'd consider, even for stores you'd consider visiting, would be very different compared to the alternative. You were looking for a sports outfit to turn heads. You are prepared to spend a considerable amount of money and you were looking for something exclusive. So hopefully you can see it's our job as designers to help create the correct expectation. And really to do this effectively, it requires an awareness of trends of the kind of look and feel for its expected at these different points of positioning. And in this class we're focusing just on the luxury level of positioning. So we've established just what a luxury brand is. We know what we need to do as designers. Let's now see just how we can do this effectively. 3. Trends to be aware of: Simplicity: So first of all, obviously, a luxury brand or its logo doesn't have to be simple. There are exceptions to this and using or name intricate details sometimes that can indicate level of craftsmanship. And it's very appropriate for a luxury brands. But with that caveat, there is a definite trend of a moment towards simplicity in luxury branding. And if you look at this collection of well-known luxury brands, while some might be ultramodern, our office are traditional. Some have been written using scripts. Some Assyria summer sans serif. So it's very difficult for someone coming into luxury branding to figure out exactly what those choices have been made and find that common threads that make these all effective luxury brands. Now one common thread, but many of these are extremely simple. They use only logo type. Now that's not to say that across different platforms and forms of media, they don't pull in other rich elements. In fact, many of their websites feature complex patterns and background elements. Heavy use of stock photography, sometimes even strong colors. But for core of the identity, particularly the logo itself tends to be very simple. Now along the top, these examples, very few standalone brand marks or sub marks for the used by these brands. Some of these are actually quite detailed. And as I said, but it works for some brands and not for others. But interestingly, even this trend has been changing in recent years. And to give you an example of that, in 2018, Burberry unveiled a new modernized version of their iconic logo, which was very detailed. And quite a few people were fans of that original logo. Which meant this change was met with a very mixed reception. However, this is the direction many luxury brands are now taking. A simple logo, which can then be used in a very versatile way and later paired with additional brand elements, patterns, images, etc. So one thing I'd like to clarify straight away is that simple doesn't equate to it being easy. In fact, with all of the attention on just one element, if it's the logo type, it really does have to be perfect, perfectly balanced, spaced. And that type really has to speak to the company's values. 4. Trends to be aware of: Deliberate & Confident: Now perhaps when we looked in a previous lesson about range of mostly simple, successful, luxurious logos, you may have been thinking, what on earth is the link between these different logos in terms of style. Now really for font selected or developed and created for a brand should be dictated by its personality, its values, its key brand messages. And really that's quite a large topic that you could watch. I'm sure, several courses to become an expert on. So there are really no right or wrong there some styles will be appropriate for some brands for different reasons. But once decided, these factors, these brand values, the brand's personality. It should be conveyed in a very clear, deliberate way. For example, if a logo type is to be light and elegant, it should be noticeably light and elegant. If it's to be bold, needs to be noticeably bold. If it uses a high contrast. If it's IV are very modern or traditional. If it's spacing is quite tight or it's deliberately loose, whatever the case. And luxury brands shouldn't really sit on the fence as if it's unsure of itself. This should be clear, deliberate decisions in terms of its style. And this in turn gives off a sort of a sense of confidence. And perhaps we could illustrate that if you think of a handshake, a weak, unsure handshake versus very firm, confident handshake. Or between someone who speaks very confidently without yelling and someone who mumbles and almost whispers because we're not sure of themselves, or between someone who confidently holds eye contact with you. Someone who bascially tends to look at their feet and just glances up as if they don't have the confidence to hold icon set to review, I believe as something a logo conveys, but comes across in a similar way. Once you've established for tone, a logo needs to convey it proudly own that space. It doesn't try to sit on the fence or to please everyone in boldly says exactly what it is. So again, another illustration to me. Certain brands, sometimes economy brands, they want to please everyone. And so if you've ever opened a Microsoft Word document and you just leave a default font. You don't change your font weight, you don't adjust the spacing. It really just makes no statement about itself. It's completely bland. And to me, this sort of deliberate confidence we want to convey is one of the keys to luxury branding and something I've seen many designers miss. It's the complete opposite of keeping all the defaults is deliberately boldly customizing something so that it does exactly what you intended to. And if you look at successful luxury brands, they tend to do this very well. 5. Trends to be aware of: Negative Space: So negative space is an element that's long been associated with premium or luxury brands. But how have these clean, clear, minimalist, spacious designs and styles become linked to luxury? Could it be to do with modern life, that living in a cramped, busy, perhaps messy apartment is the opposite. Or living somewhere that you have space to spare. Could having spare space BC as a kind of luxury? Or could it be the difference between riding in a spacious luxury car versus cramming into a crowd, the train carriage. Well, if anybody out there, and those were reasons for this, for sure, I'd love to learn more about it. But one thing's for certain, a generous and deliberate use of space has become intrinsically linked with luxury. So how does this translate into identity design? Well, you could certainly instruct your client to try to use generous amounts of negative space wherever they display their logo. But to really tap into is most effectively, is likely something that will come into play when you are later composing the various elements of a brand identity system. So we'll touch on this later in a little more detail how exactly we bring the identity system together. But really whether it's a website, some business, stationery, jane, whatever the case, may be, allowing plenty of negative space rather than cramming the elements or the information in really lends to design piece having a luxurious feel. And to illustrate this, if you think of a Chinese takeaway menu where almost every item on that menu is usually crammed into a smaller space as it can physically fit. And you contrast that with a kind of menu you'd expect to receive at a high-end French restaurant. While they're welds apart, they are complete opposites of a high-end menu. Tends to allow as much space as needed. Almost give more prominence of a sense of importance to the menu and the items on the menu they're presenting. So try to bear that principle in mind as you're designing elements that contribute to the overall brand identity. And certainly when you're designing the items, but a part of a brand's collateral, you could provide suggestions to your client in the brand guidelines you present. But really the best way will be for you to design a number of these items yourself and give your client a good example of a wave is should look and the impact negative space can make. 6. Trends to be aware of: Colour: So ironically, many luxury brands don't, in a sense really use color. Many of them gravitate towards black and white. But black and white is in itself a color choice. Now if I'm always be exceptions to the rule. And perhaps you think of famous brands that have very distinct colors and light, Tiffany and Co for example. But generally speaking, if you want people to perceive a brand you're creating as being luxurious, very few places you can start at when it comes to the color palette. So gold, platinum, copper, precious metals have often symbolized luxury, success, royalty. So using this sparingly can be a great way to position almost any brand for luxury. And combined with some of the other trends we've considered, such as simplicity or use of negative space. Bisschen work very powerfully indeed. But metallic colors won't always be the right fit. They weren't always be appropriate. But if that's the case, the next place to look is generally not bright, vivid colors. Again, there are exceptions to this. But as a rule of thumb, using more subtle, mature colors and using them, employing them in a wave. It's subtle. It is usually better aligned with luxury. And I like to think of it in a sense for exclusive brands. They don't need to show me whisper. They suggest it's the complete opposite to the kind of image that comes to mind. If you think of a market place vendor shouting out his offers and a subtle use of color can be a very effective way to set that kind of tone. I particularly liked to use dark movie backgrounds to set a sense of drama and to really draw attention to any subtle use of light or color of a, I will include in a design piece. That means I don't really need to shell with bold colors. I can whisper with some more subtle choices. Equally white or an off-white can provide a clean, elegant background for your brand. So do we think in terms of colors when we think about luxury brands? Well, personally, I think we do. Bright colors can be beautiful. There's no doubt about it. But they can also be messy if they come together in a wave is unchecked. So tap into these powerful connotations we have and align your brand accordingly. 7. Supporting Elements: So it's not all about for logo. And many of the tips and trends that we considered actually applied to the identity system as a whole. So really that's what we need to deliver to our client. Supporting identity elements can be a very powerful way to create a rich and look and feel for your luxury brand and use correctly, you can take just a few key elements and apply them in such a way that your brand gains real depth. We've already looked at color, which is itself a vital component of a brand identity and in a way, a supporting element, but very important complements to this can be textures and patterns. Now texture is widely used by luxury brands. Whether it's for touched it foil on the top of a bottle of mostly for tiled marble. You see as you walk into Harrods, it could be a quilted handbag that sets really is the backdrop behind the logo. It could be the pattern on a glass perfume bottle of a backdrop to a product shot. These can all be a great compliment to the simple but strong luxury logo. And now I quite like to explore the use of a simple step and repeat pattern in my design work for kinda thing you've probably seen hundreds of times on Louis Vuitton handbags, but it's so easy to do. Just taking part of your logo, your brand mark, or even something unrelated, and using it as a subtle background element that your client is unable to use for their packaging, wrapping paper, many different applications. And there are certainly many other supporting elements that create the overall brand identity. A very important one can be photography. And depending on the scope, the budget your client has, you may include a number of other supporting elements or you may not, you may leave that to other members of their design or their marketing team. But whatever the case and whichever elements you choose to include, use that to create a rich luxury brand with depth. 8. Bringing the System Together: It's not that we don't trust our clients, but we'll really, in some ways, we don't. Once you'll amazing ideas, this luxury brand identity leaves your hands, is that your clients mercy? And if you don't create clear guidelines for them, or perhaps examples, your clients could badly misapplied these various design elements, you provide it to them. So I'll share with you just one example where I've provided quite comprehensive brand guidelines to a client for their luxury brand. And this is something I cover in more detail on a different skill share class on brand identity and a brand identity process. And the example we'll look at together is rust Jackson photography. So woven level of detail and the time you spend here will usually depends on the scope, the scale of a budget the client has. And really the key is to provide a document that ensures that look and feel you've created can be replicated consistently. So while it's a key part of this, just sending the fonts and colors usually isn't enough. If those fonts would be applied with no fought to spacing or to VI, relationship in sizing between headings. Bad things could happen. So including just a few examples, even if he quickly mock something up for your client using placeholder text, it can really help them to understand this and it will establish the professional look and feel that you intend. 9. Conclusion: So I really hope that following this class has given you the confidence to at least try to at least consider designing For luxury brands. It really can be satisfying. Clients tend to place a higher value on the work you create for luxury brands as opposed to more economical ones. And they tend to have a larger budget to match that. So it's true you will need to stay quite updated when it comes to the trends. But developing a region that you're designing for. And it can feel daunting to design something that has so YOU elements, particularly with a logo. Because vary so much focus on them and they really do need to be perfect. But once you understand these principles with practice, you'll begin to get more and more consistent results. And no doubt, as your portfolio grows, you'll begin capturing the attention of a kind of clients who are looking for exactly the sort of luxurious work you are now able to produce. So it really has been a pleasure sharing this with you. Please leave a short review if you've enjoyed it, and make sure you follow me so that hopefully I can see you in the next class.