Table of contents
- What is visual identity?
- What is the difference between brand identity and visual identity?
- What are the elements of the visual identity?
- How to design a unique visual identity?
- What is the significance of the visual identity?
There is always something that attracts us first towards a brand before even connecting with them. Have you ever thought what was that made you choose one brand over the other? Is it about the colors, or images or anything visually appealing in their representation of the brand? Well, a brand’s visual identity have the power in doing so.
What is visual identity?
Visual identity of a brand is all the visual information that express and define the identity of the brand. It includes everything from the logo of the brand to the interior of the shops. This visual identity plays a major role in creating a good impression for your brand. With good visual identity, it is easier to get customers by going for the creativity appeal.
Having a good visual identity serves many purposes like getting good impressions for you brand. Most of the time it is with looks we get our first impressions. How much ever we try to deny the fact, it is the truth.
We get tempted by the vibrant colors or the unique pastel patterns and so on. When we see a brand and see that they have used colors with no respect to each other and no care for the mood board and then we see a brand with minimal but creative mood board styles, we tend to think that the second brand is better than the first. The first brand might have higher quality of products or such, but since its visual identity stands second to the latter brand, our minds are tricked into thinking that it stands second in all terms.
Visual identity also conveys an idea about your brand. The type it belongs to and what it sells and so on. It informs the viewers about the nature of the brand. For example, when we see brands with blue or grey colors having plain designs, it is easier for us to assume that it could be an office logo and something to do with business like LinkedIn. The color green links with eco-friendly business and so on.
With visual identity, you can also bring together all your aspects of the business. The different branches or departments can be unified with visual identity. Make sure the visual identities are consistent and same, otherwise this purpose would not be served well.
Visual identity also creates a style guide for the brand. This style guide will then determine how the brand is represented at all times. It includes the colors, typography, and images you choose for your brand. While doing this, you should be very careful and be unique to give yourself a unique brand identity.
What is the difference between brand identity and visual identity?
Brand identity is the overall identity the brand creates whereas visual identity is the identity created by the brand using visual details. Often both the terms are used interchangeably, but it is not the same in all aspects.
The holistic expression of the brand is the brand identity. It includes visual as well as non-visual information to create its identity. Some of the non-visual elements used are mission statement, core values, the brand voice so on. There is a slight overlap of both the identities. Brand identity is taken care of by the marketing team and the visual identity is taken care of by the creative team. Visual identity is more about design.
It could be said that brand identity is about the internal expression and visual identity is about external expressions.
What are the elements of the visual identity?
Visual identity includes many visual elements to get that perfect visual impression for the viewers. To get that perfect look you need to assemble and arrange the elements of visual identity in a visually appealing way. Let us look at some of the main elements of the visual identity.
Graphics are the designed shapes or forms that can be used while you create a logo or a design. These shapes and forms can be drawn or designed. You can make it simple or complex as you wish.
Logo is the identification mark of your brand. It can be a mark, design, text, or a combination of everything. Simple logos are easier for the audience to remember. Simple but subtle logos look more professional.
Typography refers to the text styles and shapes you can use to enhance your visual identity. Typography is chosen based on the brand you have. It is a very basic thing to select the text font, but it can do magic to your visual identity.
Try to select a font which is legible and have a connection with the type of brand you have. Avoid outdated and overused fonts since it will not give a unique feel to your brand and may look like you have copied the font. If you have a wordmark logo, this element is very important.
Color schemes and color palettes can be employed to unify your brand. When you use the same color swatch across multiple platforms of yours, it could be easier for your audience to recognize you brand. Include less than three colors to your swatches. Otherwise, it would look unprofessional. Try to add colors that belong to the same shade, tint, or hues.
Do not try to mix and match between colors that do not go well with each other. Do not add too much distracting colors that your audience might get carried away by it. Try to refer to color wheel theory beforehand. Colors when represented well can generate emotional responses from the audience. Three colors should be opted, one as the primary color, which will be the main color of the brand, one as the secondary color, which can be the background color and one as an accent color.
Imagery is about the photographs or video contents that you include as a part of your brand. The designers select images that are directly representative of the brand. This element is the most empathized element. People relate easily with the faces and images they see rather than abstract things.
With images it is easier to create unique identity. High profile brands create their on image specifically for the brand. Try to add candid images to look more natural. While choosing stock images, avoid using images which you have seen repeatedly on other websites.
How to design a unique visual identity?
Designing a visual identity will be a difficult task if you do not know where to concentrate on. Here are some tips on where to keep your focus on and how to succeed in creating a unique and outstanding visual identity for your brand.
Define the brand identity: – You should make sure that you create your visual identity on the basis of your brand identity and not create brand identity on the basis of your visual identity. First figure out what your brand is, what it stands for, and what values it upholds. Then find a way to express it so the others can see what your brand is all about. You do not have to include every aspect about your brand but rather try to focus on what is important and basic about the brand.
- Be an expert of the design elements: – Ace your graphic design game to get this part well. If you are able to use the design elements to suit your game, you will be able to create your visual identity in a unique manner. This is because, in order to communicate visually about your brand, you need to first understand how visual communication functions. There are six elements of design, and you have to choose what is appropriate for your brand and its customers. Keep in mind that graphic design is a tool which can only be powerful as its user.
- Tell your compelling story: – The design you create through graphic designing should say a story to the audience. The story should be about your brand, and it should captivate the viewers. Visuals can capture the minds of people, but only stories have the power that make the people involve. The story about your brand should be shown and not said. Try to use visuals and not words for telling your story.
- Make it simple: – You might have a lot of messages, ideas, or stories to convey to your customers. But do not do it. Focus on one message at a time and make sure you do that right. Too much messages form clutter and create confusions. People won’t spend too much time on you. Within the short time, you should be able to impress them and draw them towards your brand.
Be consistent and bring contrast: – All the elements you use in your visual identity should be consistent. They should look like they all belong to one brand. With your brand’s style guide, it is easier to tick off this part. If you become consistent always, it will make your brand look boring and leads to redundancy. You should not make your brand look like it is predictable, and this is where the element of contrast comes into sight. Contrast is a design principle that separates the design elements from the background and sticks it out.
- Do not be up front always: – Visual identity is for you to be noticed by everyone at all times. But there are situations where you do not have to exert the design elements. For example, when you have to publish some content, and you give too much of design elements, this would distract the reader from reading the content. Even if your mood board color is a bright one try to avoid such colors when you put up text.
- Design specifically for the medium: – When its time for you to up your brand on a medium, you should make sure that the visual identity you have created is appropriate for that medium. Different media have different purposes and therefore, make sure to design your visual identity according to the medium you are planning to use. Each design element is shown differently with different media. For example, when you want to print some text on paper, it is advisable to go for serif fonts, but when you want to publish something online, it is better to go for sans serif fonts as they are easier to read on the device.
What is the significance of the visual identity?
Visual identity plays a major role in making your brand recognizable among your competitors. More than making it recognizable, it distinguishes your brand from other brands. With lots of companies out there in today’s world, it is necessary to mark yourself and to have a place of your own in the market and in the minds of people. Creating a unique visual identity for your brand is one way to do that.
People get confused with brands having similar looks or names. By creating a visual identity, you are making your brand stand out with its exclusivity. With brand identity, you are also manifesting your corporate values, and your brand as a whole. This will help your customers in getting familiar with your brand before they purchase from you.
Visual identity sets the tone of your brand and helps people feel connected to your brand through visual communication. When a customer feels emotionally connected to a brand, the more chances are that they would become loyal customers of that brand. So, try and make your brand’s identity more emotionally and creatively appealing to the public.
Since visual identity is so effective, if you make a wrong move, it can also ruin your reputation. Therefore, make sure to hire professionals or somebody who is really good at it, to create the visual identity for your brand.
Still have doubts on how to create appealing visual identity for your brand? Feel free to ask us through the comments below.