Are you ready to make your brand stand out in a sea of boring logos and forgettable graphics? If so, you need to invest in building a visual brand.
It includes more than just choosing a color palette and picking out fonts. It requires creating a series of elements that tell the story of your business. These elements must attract attention. And, of course, you need to build brand recognition.
Remember, your customer holds on to the “you get what you see” mentality. They will make assumptions about your business’s credibility and aesthetics based on the visual elements you use to represent them.
We have some tips if you think your brand could use a visual makeover.
The Five Main Elements of Visual Branding
The five main elements of visual branding are like the Avengers – powerful on their own but unstoppable when they come together.
If you want to create a visual brand that catches the eye of your target audience, you’ll need to master each one:
A logo is the central figurehead of your brand and should appear on all of your materials. Think Coca-Cola and Nike. Every time you see their logo, it brings to mind their values and qualities.
You can combine wordmark and brand mark to create a memorable and meaningful logo. Throw in a tagline to add an extra layer of meaning.
Your online catalog and Instagram feed should have eye-catching, interesting, and engaging images. From stock photos to custom illustrations, the imagery speaks louder than words when conveying your message. So, think carefully about the pictures you use. Artfully use your font and color palette to create a visual narrative that will draw in your customers.
Fonts can convey different messages, so you must pick them carefully. Sleek and versatile fonts like Helvetica give an impression of modernity and sophistication, whereas traditional fonts like Times New Roman may appear reliable and trustworthy.
For a well-balanced look, graphic design professionals often suggest combining serif and sans-serif fonts.
Colors evoke emotions in people. Choosing the right ones for your brand can foster an emotional connection with your target audience. An extended color palette also helps to differentiate different parts of your brand. For instance, blue may give the impression of trustworthiness, while yellow may bring happiness and optimism. Plus, it gives you more options.
Layout & Design
You need additional elements to create a complete visual identity. Use them to create an aesthetic that conveys your business’s values and message. It includes linework, shapes, patterns, and textures. Think of it as the “icing on the cake.”
Also, ensure your website, social media pages, flyers, and business cards look consistent.
Tips to Build an Outstanding Visual Brand
1. Articulate Your Brand Personality
You don’t want to be seen as just one among the crowd, do you? It’s why letting your brand’s personality shine is so important.
Have you noticed how Disney puts forth its inner brand mantra, “fun family entertainment,” in every product and service? You need to do the same: decide on a theme that represents your values, culture, beliefs, and mission statement.
Are you fun and quirky like Taco Bell, or sophisticated and luxurious like Louis Vuitton? Once you figure out your brand’s personality, you can tailor your visual elements to match.
Maybe your color scheme is bright and playful to match your fun-loving brand, or your typography is sleek and modern to match your cutting-edge image. Whatever your brand personality is, make sure it’s authentic and aligns with your core values.
2. Use Your Market Research Well
Before you build your visual brand, you need to know your audience like the back of your hand. It is where market research comes in handy. Find out what your audience wants, needs, and loves. Then use that information to tailor your visual branding to their preferences.
Are they drawn to certain colors or typography styles? Do they respond well to playful imagery or sleek and professional visuals?
For example, Chipotle researched and found that its audience values fresh ingredients and sustainable practices. So, it built its visual branding around earthy colors and imagery of fresh produce.
3. Gather All the Inspiration
Before you start building your visual brand:
- Gather inspiration from all around you
- Take a stroll through your city or town and look at the logos and branding of other businesses
- See what catches your eye and sparks your creativity
Browse social media and create a visual mood board that aligns with your brand personality. Don’t be afraid to look outside of your industry, too. Sometimes, the best ideas come from unexpected places.
For example, Airbnb was inspired by the concept of belonging, which led to its “Bélo” logo, which represents a sense of community and inclusivity. So, let your imagination run wild and gather inspiration from every corner of the world – who knows where it might take you!
4. Develop a Brand Style Guide
Developing a brand style guide is like creating a cheat sheet for your visual branding. It outlines all the elements of your brand identity in one handy document, from your logo and color scheme to your typography and imagery. This guide ensures everyone on your team is on the same page when using your brand visuals.
Plus, it makes it easy to maintain consistency across all your marketing materials, no matter who creates them. Just look at Nike’s brand style guide – it’s a comprehensive document that outlines everything from the correct use of their iconic “swoosh” logo to their typography choices and even their brand tone of voice.
A good visual brand is simple yet memorable and meaningful. So, don’t try to incorporate too many elements into your branding – focus on a few key visuals that capture the essence of your brand. Take time to research and plan, work with professionals when necessary, and most importantly, let your unique personality shine through. With the right visual branding in place, you’ll be able to stand out from the crowd and create an unforgettable impression.