A bad first impression is hard to avoid, especially if you’re competing with millions of brands online. Recent findings suggest that within 0.1 seconds, people form judgments about the trustworthiness, likeability, competence, attractiveness and hostility of faces in photos shown to them.
With this reaction time, you need a clear and crisp visual representation of your brands. Otherwise, the modern consumer may associate your brand with being cheap, untrustworthy, and unreliable.
It is clear that a clean visual representation is important, but what exactly is a visual identity? And how to create one?
Understand the visual identity
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then your visual identity is worth a million.
Your brand’s visual identity is what makes it totally and instantly recognizable. Visual identity is an umbrella term that encompasses all the visual elements of a brand. It can be a combination of several visual and graphic elements that, when put together, create a cohesive and memorable brand story – a story that today’s customers will associate with your company’s values and offering. Brand.
To put it simply, it describes everything your audience can physically see, from your logo to that fancy new ad. At the heart of this visual identity are brand elements such as typography, creative design graphics, logo, color scheme, images and physical properties.
What makes a good visual identity?
- Tailored: All visuals are well-tailored to your target audience. A design to evoke the right emotion and associate your brand with a particular person, goal or situation.
- Distinct: A unique visual identity that sets you apart in the mind of the consumer and differentiates you from your competitors.
- Simple: A clear design should be less complicated and easy to understand. For the sake of your audience and internal designers, simplicity promotes clarity.
- Timeless: Visual identities must evolve with the brand to last and remain relevant over time.
- Functional: your visual resources must be easily reproducible on different digital and physical media.
How to create a visual identity for your brand?
In order to create a strong visual identity, you must first define several aspects of your business.
This will bring more clarity about the process, especially about the desired outcomes and the end result. Here are four factors that will help create your brand’s visual identity.
Know your audience
A brand’s visual identity speaks to its audience. Understanding your audience’s pain points, desires, and personality can help you create a visual identity they can relate to. These results will inform you of the factors that influence their decision to purchase your service or product. In order to better communicate your offers, you must first analyze:
- Education level and income
- job description
- Way of life
Know the purpose of your brand
Why did you create your brand? Or, better, what are your business roots?
Redefining your brand’s direction and long-term goals can give you valuable insight into the core qualities you’d like your brand’s visual identity to have. In order to identify your brand’s purpose, try to answer the following questions:
- Why do you offer your products/services?
- What are your brand’s short and long term goals?
- What vision, mission and statement does your brand adhere to?
- What visual elements, such as imagery, colors, and typography, reflect your purpose?
The brand story evokes emotions
A powerful brand story can help you produce emotional appeal with your audience and set the standard for your visuals and images.
The brand story allows you to connect with your audience in a way that is meaningful to them and beneficial to you. It conveys the values, history and development of your brand, which are related to your target consumers as something that feels close to their experience. Collaborating with branding leaders like creative agency San Francisco can help you deliver a unique and informative brand story that appeals to every class of audience.
Define the goals and roles of your brand identity
Before creating your brand’s visual identity, you must first understand that it covers a wide range of specific platforms that have varying requirements in terms of design approach.
Your brand visual identity applies to and includes, but is not limited to:
- corporate identity
- Digital projects
The thing is, different designers need to be on the same page in order to gain consistency in the visual design of the brand, regardless of the platform.
4 key elements of brand visual identity
The crux of any stellar brand identity is how you align your visuals with your business to convey its values and personality. Here are some of the key elements that contribute to your visual identity:
Applying colors, shapes, typography, and sometimes slogans helps your logo embody your brand and evoke a positive feeling. Whatever style you choose, it should help convey your brand identity.
- Brand colors
Understanding the importance of color psychology and the feelings associated with particular shades will inform your creative process. For example, your site’s social media posts, text, and print materials all need to be considered when imaging how color will appear on different brand assets.
Believe it or not, elements of typographic style can make or break your brand identity. Because typography gives human language a strong visual form, it is important to “set the tone” to cultivate true brand recognition.
- Graphics, illustrations and icons
Everything from icons to buttons on your website will impact your audience’s experience and interaction with your brand. Additionally, how you visually convey content on marketing materials, presentations, or social media can be influenced by your graphics.
Creating a visual identity for your brand takes a lot of work but has multiple benefits. Visual identity remains an essential part of your overall brand strategy and is the most immediate aspect that the public comes into contact with.