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Types of Designers: Brand Designer vs. UI designer — what do they have in common?

This article takes a look at Brand Designers and UI designers and what they have in common. Before you decide to hire a UI designer or a Brand Designer, check out the article below to find out if one should be a higher priority for your startup.

Mikenzi RossMay 12, 2022

Types of Designers: Brand Designer vs. UI designer — what do they have in common?

There exist many types of designers in this crazy world of ours. Some use their expertise to create eye-catching marketing visuals, while others focus on the back-end processes that bring a product to life (like UX designers.)

This article takes a look at Brand Designers and UI designers, and describes their similarities and differences. So before you decide to hire a UI designer or a Brand Designer, check out the article below to find out if one should take higher priority for your startup.

What is a Brand Designer?

Brand Designers (sometimes called “Marketing Designers”) don’t necessarily make up a large chunk of the design community because most folks choose a career in Product design. However, it’s an excellent path for those who are excited by the visually creative aspect of design.

These types of designers are a valuable asset because they conceptualize, develop, and maintain the visual brand identity of a company. The main application of their skillset revolves around marketing and consistency.

A Brand Designer’s superpowers include:

  • Using their design skills to create or enhance marketing efforts
  • Managing and revolutionizing a company’s visual representation across all platforms and funnels
  • Working on digital platforms, product launches, conferences, publications, etc
  • Managing branded product conception and development (swag)
  • Developing, recording, and maintaining visual consistency through fonts (sometimes even designing specific fonts), illustrations, graphic elements, etc.
  • Can assist in the UI process by providing visual standards (which belong in a Design System)

What is a UI Designer?

UI designers use visual elements to strengthen the relationship between users and a product (usually referred to as micro-interactions.)

For example, UI designers enhance the user experience with psychology-based visual communication via color, font, and graphical elements.

UI design can even “reward” customers for interacting with the product (think how FB messenger shows you a little animation when sending a heart or confetti emoji.)

An effective user interface is critical to a product’s success because it connects with users emotionally and ensures visual consistency through a user flow.

A UI designer’s superpowers include:

  • Creating emotionally engaging micro-interactions that connect with users
  • Applying visual elements like fonts, colors, and animations to instill brand identity and strengthen user engagement
  • Understanding how to apply their UI design to enhance the underlying UX without distracting or overwhelming the user
  • Comprehending and transforming wireframes into polished user experiences
  • Understanding graphic design principles to ensure the product makes an effective impact on its intended audience
  • Helping users understand and navigate a product through visual elements

Brand Designer vs. UI Designer: What are the similarities between these types of designers

Let’s review some commonalities between these experts. Since both types of designers utilize visual cues and strategies to enhance the efficacy of a product, there are quite a few.

Please Note (seriously, don’t overlook this part): Even though they have similarities, a Brand Designer and a UI designer are not the same things—and both skill sets are applied in very different ways.

Both apply graphic design principles for psychological impact

Brand Designers and UI designers both understand and implement visual elements based on psychological principles around color, size, placement, etc. Their expertise in visual communication dramatically impacts the overall efficacy of a company’s website, app, etc.

Both use fonts, colors, and animation to instill brand identity and enhance the user experience

User experiences go beyond the efficacy of a button—but if you’ve spent any time with us, you already know that. Quite frankly, brand design can significantly impact the overall user experience. Again, design is all about psychology and ease of operation.

If the branding leaves people feeling confused, overwhelmed, or frustrated, it won’t matter how clean the user flow is. People just won’t engage.

Both UI and branding designers understand this—and thus—use visual elements strategically to ensure the most engaging, eye-catching, and consistent interaction between a product and its user.

Both encourage trust and recognition

Consistency and empathy are integral to trust. Great UI and Brand Designers know and prioritize that in every design decision. Ensuring the visual elements are consistent and reflect the user’s needs stands as the foundation of everything these types of designers create.

Where to hire UI Designers and Brand Designers

There are many online platforms where these types of designers congregate, but here are our favorite spots to find fantastic UI, Brand, and UX designers.

LinkedIn

We don’t need to explain why LinkedIn is amazing for bringing skilled professionals together. However, we do want to make sure you don’t overlook its effectiveness in finding creative professionals like Branding, UI, and UX designers.

A Brand/UI Designer’s LinkedIn offers an incredible one-stop platform with links to their social media, websites, portfolios, and background experience.

Upwork

If your budget isn’t the biggest, heading over to Upwork is an excellent option for finding great designers who may be professionally inexperienced but incredibly skilled.

Upwork allows talented designers to build a portfolio without having to work for free (which NO ONE should have to do, by the way) and brings the designers to YOU.

Social Media

While it’s called social media, platforms like Instagram and Twitter are a revolutionary opportunity for innovative designers to showcase their work.

Research some relevant hashtags or design trends, and look at the profiles that come up. You may stumble upon your dream designer while scrolling down your feed!

Does your startup need a Brand Designer?

Having a clear and recognizable brand identity is very important. As we said earlier, this makes your company look professional and increases the trust factor. When your branding is consistent, people are more likely to take you seriously, believe in your product, and stay loyal.

Brand Designers are much like the opposite side of the same coin as UI designers. They’re also incredibly valuable when creating Design Systems. All of these factors make them a precious asset to your team.

You need to evaluate your specific situation and economics—and we would suggest ensuring you have a UI expert on your team if you had to choose. However, we think Brand Designers are an excellent investment for the longevity of your company, as well.

Don’t miss out on the strangest UX/UI email club on the planet.

(Seriously… you won’t find UX emails like ours anywhere else—we made sure of it <>_<>)


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