A Design Language is a collection of design attributes that ensure the consistent look and feel over time and across all touch points of a brand including: products, graphics, packaging, colors, finishes, haptics, digital and retail experiences, etc. This consistency provides high recognizability of the brand.
Companies should strive to develop a design language based on internal surveys on brand and visual preference, strategy and culture while considering the commercial context in which they compete. Once the intent is recorded, a proper design language definition ensues, which aims to apply its design principles over the various aspects comprising the complete design language set and applied over the various touch points. Communicating the results so they are effectively understood and applied by all departments.
Design language systems are only as good as the level of scrutiny applied over time. Companies need to determine a service period length that suits their needs yet keeps the products and services fresh and relevant.
Recording, publishing, communicating and measuring the effectiveness of design language helps companies in a few different ways:
- improves brand recognition and loyalty
- decreases development time and cost
- facilitates objective assessment of design work
- can support specific business strategies