A Beginner’s Guide To Visual Identity
When you picture your favorite brand, their logo, color scheme, or eye-catching website are probably the first things that come to mind. Every brand is tied to its visual identity, whether or not they put the effort to make it appealing. However, if you want your brand to reach its potential, creating a strong visual identity is a must.
What Is A Visual Identity?
Visual identity encompasses any visual elements of a brand. This covers a huge range- logos, graphic design, animations, color pallets, images, packaging, advertisements, and anything else that you can see. Building a strong visual identity helps your audience recognize you, and builds an emotional connection with them. Keeping a consistent visual identity across all of your platforms is crucial to maintaining a cohesive look, and assure your audience that they are in the right place.
Visual Identity Vs Brand Identity:
Although these terms can get mixed up, there is a notable difference between the two. Think of brand identity as the personality of your brand- your values, mission, tone, visual assets, and anything else that is important to you and makes you stand out. Visual identity is part of your brand identity but focuses on how you are represented visually. Take yourself for example. All of the things that make you unique (your personality, speech, values, passions, interests) would be your “brand identity”. How you choose to present yourself- your clothing choices, hairstyle, makeup looks, etc, would be your “visual identity”. How you choose to portray yourself is an important form of expression that can tell people about you with just a glance, but is just a part of your overall identity.
How To Build Visual Identity:
Before you start on your visual identity, review your brand identity, as well as your target audience. Once you have a solid understanding of that, you can begin to work on your visual identity!
Creating a logo and a color pallet is a good place to start. Your logo is an important part of your brand, as is your color pallet, as they help set the tone for your brand. Take into consideration your industry and audience when creating your logos and establishing your colors, and consider hiring a graphic designer if you are unsure of where to start. Think of famous logos- McDonald’s, Nike, Barbie, Google. Can you imagine if they were in a different color or font? It would completely change their visual image! If you feel as though your current logo does not reflect the direction in which your company has grown, you can always re-brand. Well-known companies such as Apple, Starbucks, Instagram, and Nike have all progressed their logos over the years as their brands continued to evolve.
Stay consistent with your visuals. If you decide to use red and white as your main colors, make sure you use those colors across all of your platforms! If your website is bold with fun fonts and colors, your Instagram is neutral, and your audience is going to get confused. Glossier, Califia Farms, and Delta Airlines are all great examples of how to keep a consistent visual identity. Finding editing apps that you like is a great way to keep everything cohesive without getting repetitive.
Creating a visual identity is a big task, but an important one! Do your research, and reach out to professional graphic designers if you need some help. With some consistency and upkeep, your audience will be able to recognize your brand at first glance.