Visuals are what make businesses stand out even more than their products and services. Think of any established company, and you will realize that you will easily recognize their logo anywhere. Take Coca-Cola as an example. How many people do you know who can’t recognize it by the logo?
Because of this simple fact, it is crucial to brainstorm your business’ visuals from day one. It is important to note, however, that visuals go way beyond just a logo, especially in the interconnected world of today.
What with social media and email marketing, the need to remain consistently recognizable at a glance is more paramount than ever.
Think of the Message to Get Across
Brand visuals need to reflect on the business story and promise. I.e., if you sell baby diapers, choosing the Halloween color scheme will simply not do.
To successfully build a visual brand identity, you’ll need to come up with the best solution for a number of feats, including:
- A logo
- Image styles
- Composition styles
- Memorable color patterns
Additional feats are also an option, as different businesses have different strategies, but the above-mentioned are an absolute must.
How to Make Brand Visuals Stand Out
Naturally, for any visuals to stand out, you will need to employ creative people with a vision. However, that is only the beginning. There are many artists, but the brand’s customers are unique.
It goes without saying that you need to know your audience (or potential audience, if you are just starting) in order to come up with the right visuals. Simply put, that means that even if you prefer one design over another if your audience likes the latter better, then that’s the one to choose.
It is also important to remember that brand visuals need to be consistent. Times and trends change all the time, but the visuals must be capable of enduring all changes and be flexible enough to allow for re-designing as needed.
It is a combination of memorability, consistency and business promise that make for the finest of brand visuals out there.
What About Startups?
Needless to say, established and large businesses can afford expensive visual experiments, unlike startups. However, creating a visual identity doesn’t have to be costly at all. All it takes is a couple of creative individuals — in some cases, even one will suffice — and imagination galore.
Let’s face it: with the wide availability of image editing apps and other professional tools, even brands with limited budgets can do wonders in terms of visual branding.
Let’s compare some examples of large and smaller businesses to illustrate the point.
Our favorite example has to be Oreo. Their color palette is nothing if not consistent, and they manage to present their products in just any kind of light, depending on the occasion. Pastel colors are just what you’d imagine when thinking of cookies, right?
Next on is Pixar. Admittedly, their team of stellar illustrators can do pretty much anything they desire, but that’s not the point. The point is that brand visual identity extends to all aspects of online visibility. Here’s an example of Pixar’s banner, telling a story of its own. The brand has established a tradition of changing banners when a new movie is afoot.
As for large brands, Coca-Cola is probably the greatest example of how a simple logo can evolve over time and yet remain widely recognizable. In fact, the Coca-Cola logo is the world’s most recognizable logo, by far.
Let Colors and Shapes Tell Their Story!
Human psychology is a marvel. In terms of marketing, it says that shapes and colors have a great impact on people. For example, a bright red color (just like the one Coca-Cola uses) triggers impulse purchases. A similar example can be found in Marvel’s logo, which is fairly simple, yet well recognizable.
As far as shapes go, let’s start with typography. Being consistent with the fonts you use is equally important to sticking to an established color palette.
This is well in line with the above-mentioned strategy that visuals should speak to your customers, not to you. In time, people will come to link your brand with a certain promise, which, if you’ve done things properly, should be the vision of your company.
By applying all of these principles, you should be able to come up with the optimum logo. Don’t be afraid to experiment! After all, your logo will be plastered on pretty much everything linked with your brand: your products, advertisements, on your website, on your social media profiles, in your emails, and so on.
Everything considered it is safe to conclude that a brand’s visual identity comprises a slew of factors and elements — from the logo to visual campaigns, consistent typography and color palette to advertising.
Let your imagination run free when coming up with new ideas, and remember to keep up with the trends. If in doubt, revisit the Coca-Cola logo history to get ideas.
Finally, creativity is what makes or breaks a brand’s visuals. Simply coming up with visuals that follow up on your business promise and have an eye-catching color palette and typography won’t do the trick. As is the case with all things marketing, you need to stand out from the competition.
Think about it in this way: do you want to be funny? Serious? Reliable but cracking jokes? Strictly professional? Of course, the answer depends on the type of customers your business serves. Brands selling exclusive products to people with deep pockets should not expect their customers to be jokesters and vice versa. If your target audience is teenagers, serious campaigns are likely to bore them to death.
Think about your customers’ expectations and how your brand can live up to them. Only in that way will you be able to nail your brand’s visual identity. Adapt to the changing trends, keep an eye on the competition and communicate away, and positive results are bound to follow!
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