Your brand’s visual identity is a fundamental and inextricable element of your overarching brand identity. Along with your unique messaging, tone of voice, and brand values, visuals influence the audience’s perception of your enterprise, shape your every marketing directive, and affect your customer acquisition and retention rate.
In essence, it pays off to invest effort and time into creating a powerful visual presence. Having a strong brand strategy is key for the long-term growth of your company, but it’s crucial to note that a strategy can only be efficient as its most inefficient element. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at the fundamental parts of your brand’s visual identity and how you can use them to build a brand that is prominent throughout the industry.
Brand positioning and purpose
The first element of establishing the brand’s visual identity is to consider what your position and purpose are. The first represents the naming of who your product or service is for and why your service/product is a better option when compared to the competition. The latter represents the main reason for your existence. Identifying these will direct your strategy as you create a log, decide on the color palette, typography, etc.
A classification system named Purpose, Position and Personality is useful for answering these kinds of questions. Your purpose is basically how you want to change the world for the better. On one hand, there is cultural tension that is occurring in the world and is relevant to your company. On the other, your brand’s best self. This is what your business delivers at its prime. In the middle of these two areas is – the great ideal or your purpose.
Brand positioning is the process of making that purpose into something actionable. When you decide who your target customer is and what differentiates your brand from its competitors, you lay the foundations for your brand to achieve its purpose.
Your logo or wordmark
A company’s logo is a graphic symbol, whereas a logotype or wordmark is just the words of your business or product name is a particular, fixed way. Your logo and logotype stand at the core of your brand’s visual identity. Determining whether or not you need a logo or just a logotype can be troublesome. Some corporations select only a wordmark since they represent easier design projects that usually cost less.
Other important factors that go into logo design are how much that symbol is memorable and how well it shows the uniqueness of your business. A well-designed wordmark can communicate a sense of expertise without trying to visualize your brand. Examples of brands with strong wordmarks include CNN, BBC, Coca-Cola, Netflix, etc. The words that make your brand name should be professionally designed and typeset – this is especially true if they stand alone or beside a symbol that is a part of the logo.
Although you should always render your logo consistently, some variation will be required based on usage and placements. For instance, you may require black and white and color variations, or versions for square and horizontal applications. However, all of them should have the same essential characteristics.
Consistency across offline and online realms
Before we discuss typography as an element on your visual identity, let’s take a moment to address the issue of brand consistency. In essence, one of the most important parts of a high-quality visual brand’s identity is not the visual elements themselves, but how your brand strategy ensures that they are consistent across the online and offline channels.
For example, what part of your brand’s visual identity do your business cards express? Are they simply scraps of paper containing your contact info or they encompass your corporate identity by engaging all of the senses? Only the latter is able to make live connections, even long after you’ve handed them over. Thankfully, nowadays you can even order business cards online.
The same visual experience must be present in online and offline realms. Even more, what original designs can be used to communicate your one-of-a-kind brand identity? There are numerous examples for this, including taped-together-rift business cards for divorce counselors and perforated movie ticket business cards. Use saturated colors, true to your corporate brand.
Now that you know why brand consistency matters, it is time to discuss letters. Typography often seems like something not worth considering – you just select a font and be over with it. However, this isn’t really the case. The font you opt for will influence your branding in a myriad of ways, so you have to ensure you aren’t driving the audience away. There is no denying that fonts are powerful. The best of them are recognizable even when there aren’t put in a particular context.
Minimally, your typography will impact the readability of all your website content and enhance your sales. But only if you do it right. Even more, the font selection will determine the kind of feeling your branding evokes. When your consumers are reading your content, you want them to be interested, positive, and to remember what they read. If the coloring and font of the letters aren’t optimized for reading purpose, you will produce a visual identity of a lower quality that will, in turn, generate fewer results.
Engaging color palette
Related to a logo and wordmark design is the color palette. Keep this simple, with only 1 to 3 primary colors. Although Google got away with four. Understanding the feelings conveyed by particular colors can help you choose the right ones. Most of the color psychology is intuitive, such as yellow conveying energy, red expressing passion, while blue does this for calm.
Depending on the shade or tint of color in question, that emotion can be optimized. A shade is a color combined with black, appearing darker, while a tint is a lighter version of the same color. A darker shade of blue represents trust, an effect used by many financial institutions, while a lighter tint of blue conveys tranquility (think of the representation of Heaven).
As we said, brands should only have a couple of primary colors, but you can also choose a secondary color that you can sometimes use alongside your primary ones in some of the materials. Opting for a couple of additional colors helps your brand remain exciting but still consistent.
Your brand’s visual identity is what sets you apart from the numberless crowd of competitors and shows your clients who you are and what they can expect from interacting with you. If you desire your brand to be perceived in a positive light, it’s fundamental that you nail your brand’s visual identity and build designs that precisely portray who you are to your consumers. Now that you know how to do this, it’s time to start designing.