Interesting insights about brands’ visual identity from our partner, Logojoy.
The idea of a business brand has become increasingly important as businesses are able to interact with their customers on so many different platforms. A brand is representative of you, your business, your mission, your products, and your services. The first impression your business gives off is usually visual; whether it’s through a website, a logo, or a product, people will pay attention to design first and learn more later. This means your brand has to be visually gripping, while still embodying your business’ values.
Your brand should be a combination of factors: your business values, its voice, the product or service, and the demographic. The brand also extends further to include company culture and social media presence. It’s necessary to be consistent with your visual brand on every platform so that it becomes recognizable; whether it’s the packaging, your logo, your website, or your Facebook profile, the visual brand should be the same everywhere. Follow these steps to establish your brand’s visual identity.
You should begin the process of building your brand identity by figuring out what you want and what your brand is. What’s your business’ name? Do you have a slogan? Do you have a symbol you want to be associated with? What words come to mind when describing your business and brand? Is your brand to be fun and silly or professional and serious?
You need to be sure of your brand as an entirety before you can build your visual brand identity. Write down all the words and images you want associated with your brand. This is a good place to start because it will help you decide on colors, symbols, and fonts further down the line. Once you know how you would like to define your brand, building the visual brand identity is much easier.
The use of color is more important than you might think. Colors have a variety of psychological associations which affect how others interpret your brand. Doing market research is key here; what colors are others in your industry using? Why? What emotions do those colors elicit?
Some of the most easily recognizable brands are identifiable immediately by color alone. For example, Coca-Cola’s red is easy to identify upon a shelf of other beverages, but it’s also notable throughout all of their other branding. The can is red, sure, but that red appears consistently through their other branding. The red is noticeable everywhere: lids on bottles, advertisements, their website. As mentioned earlier, consistency is necessary in building brand identity. Equally as important as consistency is saturation. Not only is Coca-Cola red recognizable because of its consistent use, but the fact that it’s everywhere. While Coca-cola is a huge business with international recognition, you can use similar tactics. Make sure you choose brand colors you like, because they should be everywhere.
It’s worthwhile to look at the color palettes your competitors have used, but choosing a unique shade will help with your brand’s recognition. The fewer brands there are associated with your brand’s color already, the easier it will be for your brand to be the first consumers think of when they see the color.
Font choice is imperative to both design and defining your visual brand. Often, marketers focus on the copy within ads and on the website. Graphic designers, however, know the importance of choosing the perfect font. Although the copy itself is incredibly important, choosing the right logo design font can help cement the message you are trying to convey to your target audience.
Fonts that really successfully embody your brand can be hard to find and there is a ton of variety. Would your brand best be represented by a futuristic font that expresses innovation and tech? Or by something minimalist and simple? Serif fonts convey authority and historical significance, while sans serif fonts communicate modernity. Handwritten fonts indicate originality and art.
A unique font is a great way to set yourself apart and establish a visual brand identity, depending on your industry. If your business exists within a creative industry, a custom font is a must. Fonts, like colors, have the ability to bring certain brands to mind. For example, you can see anything written in the Disney font and immediately think of Disney.
If you choose a unique font, be sure to use it sparingly. As a logo and in advertisements, an interesting font is great. However, when using a visually complex font, it can be overwhelming in areas with a lot of text. Using the font consistently, when appropriate, is a great way to define your visual brand identity.
Your fonts and colors should work to create something different entirely: a style. Your visual style can be expressed through packaging, videos, photos, social profiles, logos, and websites. The style should embody your brand as the rest of your visual elements do. What message do your photos and videos send? Are they hand-drawn, illustrated videos which remind us of education? Maybe you feature videos of people, advocating for community and social lifestyles.
Colors play an important role in photos and videos as well. Are they dark and edgy, appealing to counter cultures? If you choose images which are soft and bright, you might be giving off a feminine, ethereal vibe. There are some brands which have done an excellent job of establishing a visual style, making their visual content instantly recognizable. Nike, for example, tends to feature images and ads that are dark and high-contrast, giving a gritty, intense feeling. Alongside their slogan, “Just Do It,” Nike uses their visual brand to promote power, training, energy, and excellence.
First and foremost, the key to establishing your brand’s visual identity is consistency. If your font is bright and exciting, your font should communicate the same thing in order to communicate your style. Consider how each design element and visual component of your brand work together to determine its identity. With market research, design practice, and media sharing, you’ll find defining your visual brand easier than you expected.