First impressions really do matter. As one of the first touchpoints in a customer’s journey with your company a visual identity has the chance to invoke a sense of security and trust, the very thing that directly translates to sales. It is therefore of utmost importance that your organization presents itself in a way that directly correlates to its values and mission, while offering a visually pleasant experience at every interaction.
Some confuse brand identities with visual identities, however these terms refer to two widely different things. On the one hand they should be closely related to one another as a visual identity is a tangible byproduct of a brand identity and therefore they should share the very same message, however visual identities have an impact way beyond communicating a vision statement for the company.
A visual identity is a coherent representation of the nature of the brand, the industry it is a part of, as well as providing information about the goods and services provided by the company. It is a culmination of all graphical information and imagery that expresses the core values of the brand and what sets it apart from its competitors. It is made up of a consistent presentation strategy that includes the following elements:
A company’s logo is at the epicenter of creating a coherent visual identity. It is a symbol, a banner for a brand and it establishes a framework within which the rest of the branding should be built. It is the very first peek at the tone-of-voice that the company decided to take and the first opportunity to set an example of what is there to expect.
Without a doubt the choice of color holds high significance in a brand’s communication efforts. It directly translates to tone-of-voice and invokes many different feelings in their customers. It is therefore extremely important to be aware of the implications of color psychology and how that can affect the success of a visual identity.
As much as it is often overlooked, typography alongside colors can severely impact how a company is perceived by their clientele. There are definite trends among both areas each year that guide the general direction of the average visual identity, however the significance of typography is far greater than to be surrendered in the name of “keeping up with the times”.
Most everyone would assume that the list stops there, however one of the key elements of a good visual identity is coherent imagery. This, however, is not limited to photographs only, it also contains video and illustrations and even audio. Creating a coherent visual representation of the brand beyond the bounds of a logo is what truly creates a sense of unity in the eyes of the beholder.
Depending on the industry and the needs of the company, a visual identity may extend the horizons to tangible assets. These can take the form of packaging, merchandise and even down to the layout and design of a physical store location. Combined, these send a message to the customers about the consistency – or lack thereof – in how the brand presents itself.
Advertising is rarely sought after by customers, most often pay the premium to get rid of them altogether, therefore it becomes of utmost importance for a brand to create a marketing strategy that allows for easy identification of the brand, while also catching the attention of its intended audience and captivating them.
Most people will come in contact with a brand through their online presence, making it vital that all elements on a website or social media platform correspond to the visual identity, therefore clearly communicating the very essence of the brand. This is one of the best ways to gain paying customers for the time being, therefore commanding great attention to detail in the planning and execution phase.
Think about the problems that your company is trying to solve. Think about the values you as an executive instilled in your organisation. Think about what you can offer your customers, and what sets you apart from your competitors. Try your best to tell a compelling story that describes aspects of your brand while also being relatable to your target audience.
Either you want to create the identity in-house or work with an agency like us, take the above steps to help your journey toward clear communication of your goals and vision.