There is not only a good product that gives value to your brand ! Indeed, having a good visual identity is equally important for the growth of a company.
What exactly is a visual brand identity? What is the purpose of having a good graphic identity? How to create a powerful visual identity?
In this article, we will:
- Describe what a brand's visual identity is
- Learn how to create a powerful graphic identity and the elements that make it up
- See the benefits of quality branding
We will also see why companies too often overlook visual identity and how damaging it can be to a business to not have professional branding.
Ready to learn about all the tools and elements needed to create a good visual identity?
What is visual brand identity?
As its name suggests, thevisual identity represents the essence of the brand from a visual point of view. It allows a brand to be recognized at first glance by customers and potential partners. A good visual identity is unique, timeless, easy to remember and made of a set of key elements.
Composition of the visual identity of a brand
There are several elements in a visual brand identitynamely :
- The typography of the brand
- The logo of the brand
- The colors specific to the brand
- The visuals pictograms, icons and images
If you want to learn more about the color psychology in the web to choose colors that suit your values, your core business and your industry 😉.
What is the purpose of a visual brand identity?
Some may doubt the need to implement a visual brand identity and yet its importance is paramount.
- At first, the target identity is a means of rapid recognition, which allows you to identify a brand and its sector of activity in the blink of an eye. This wink is not without importance, you have 3 seconds to be recognized... not much, is it? (and yet it takes you twice less to know who this big yellow M on a red background or this small apple crunched correspond to, right? )
- Secondly, a good brand identity allows you to establish itself effectively andto be present in the minds. (Admit it, you now want a McDonald's French fry)
In general, the majority of customers have their first experience with a brand through its visual identity. It is this identity that creates the first impression for customers and can bring them closer or further apart. Indeed, the consistency of a brand is felt through its visual identity.
A sloppy or neglected visual identity instantly conveys a negative image. The same is true for the reflection of the brand's values.
Quick version... Are you convinced?
Some brands with unchanging branding in action:
Details on the composition of a visual brand identity
A visual identity is, as explained above, a set of elements that will allow identification of your company. It is very important to understand each element that makes up a brand's visual identity so as not to overlook or forget anything. We advise you to codify all these elements on a dedicated document, to always have an overview, and easily communicate it to potential graphic designers.
The brand's typography
In broad terms, this means the chosen font on the media used by the brand. We are talking about communication media: emails, advertising banners, flyers, website, etc.. The key to good typography is simply that it aligns with the brand. Thus, it must be in line with what the brand offers, whether it is products or services. In short, the typeface should match the nature or type of service offered in every way.
Our advice: don't mix too many typefaces, keep it simple. The right mix? One typeface for the title, one for the body text. Then, play with the weights (thicknesses) and the size of your text!
The logo of the brand
It is undoubtedly the neuralgic point of the visual identity of a brand. The brand's logo is omnipresent on every communication medium, we see it everywhere! Although significant and striking, a logo will be judged by its simplicity and memorability.
Indeed, your logo must be able to stay in people's minds. Note also that a good logo must be able to adapt to a multitude of media. Thus, it must remain striking on a physical paper support as well as on the website of the brand. The creation ofa logo requires a series of steps that we have listed.
It is wise to take your time on the choice of the colors, because they play a major role in the memory of the customer and the impression that he will have of your brand.
Brand specific colors
Still as in the logo part, the question of the colors that will represent a brand deserves a long reflection. You probably already know this, but the colors have a great symbolism and can play alone on the emotions. This is what we call the psychology of colors. It is an essential element in the creation of a good visual identity, if you want to know more about this marketing element essential to any good visual identity, feel free to take a look at our article dedicated to the color psychology.
The most concrete example is the color black which conveys an image full of elegance. It is for this reason that many major brands have made it their dada, their favorite color. Another example, for a brand image all in softness, we will turn more to the pink under all its tones.
Pictograms and icons
Pictograms and icons are optional in a brand's visual identity. However, if you choose to use them, we advise you to research their meaning at length. Keep in mind that it is very important to establish a harmony between the pictograms and icons and the brand's colors.
It is always interesting to think about pictos and icons from the beginning to avoid having to ask the question later (and thus having disparate styles that do not conform to the chosen visual identity).
The different visuals
The visual aspect of a brand includes photos, videos, etc. This aspect has the power to bring a non-negligible strength to the visual identity. For example, don't you have in mind commercials or promotional photos that stand out?
For entrepreneurs who are in the launch phase of their brand, it is quite possible to have royalty-free visuals to reduce expenses as much as possible. It is also relevant to build up a collection, or bank ofroyalty-free images to be able to easily pick from it and illustrate your different print and web media in a simple and aligned way.
Organization and layout
It's all well and good to have a nice logo, breathtaking visuals, beautiful typography or beautiful colors, but these elements are useless if their organization is not well elaborated. The layout is of paramount importance, and requires frequent revisions in order to adapt to the changing seasons!
How to create a visual brand identity?
Before you get into the nitty-gritty, it's important to note that creating a visual brand identity is not just about creativity. In fact, you need to be patient and think harder as you go along. To get actively involved in the adventure, don't hesitate to read up on the branding.
Internal analysis of your company
As is often the case, before embarking on a project, it is necessary to take stock of the situation. Launching into the creation of a visual identity without being aware of who you are will be a big waste of time, money and energy.
It is therefore necessary to thoroughly analyze your company, your industry, your brand and your values. At this stage, you must have in mind the general image you want people to have of you. The visual identity of your company must be in adequacy with the habits, the beliefs, and the behaviors of your prospects and customers.
That's why the first step is to know who you are. Don't hesitate to take a look at your competitors to know what is well and not so well done, so that you can also stand out!
Study your clientele
Once you have gathered information about yourself, you need to look deeply into your customer base. First, you need to segment your market to extract your target. To do this, study the market and follow the principle of supply and demand. Then, once you have defined your typical customer, and visualized it accurately, refine things by setting up the "typical profile", otherwise known as the persona. Once the profile has been properly developed, it will be easier to establish the major components of your brand's visual identity.
The creation of a visual brand identity is done step by step. The first concrete step is brainstorming. In short, gather all your ideas on a support. The concept is to write down everything that comes to mind at first, the sorting will come later. In fact, you must keep in mind from the start that all options are possible.
We advise you to write down all the objectives that come to mind to describe your company, all your values as well as everything that differentiates you and makes you unique. Don't be stingy with your keywords, it's better to have too many than too few!
The idea of your brand
It's time to sort out, if you have done the previous steps well, it should be simple. Think deeply about your brand. What does it inspire you first, and then what does it inspire or could it inspire in your customers. You know which elements of your brainstorming are primary and which are secondary. Be careful, secondary does not mean useless!
As soon as the answers to these questions are clear, put the various references to your brand on paper. It is quite allowed to complete your inspiration wherever possible, especially on social networks. In this "idea of your brand" part, think about your competitors or the general atmosphere of your brand. Keeping these points in mind will be very helpful in case you run out of inspiration or are indecisive.
Opt for an atmosphere and a style that suits you
Your visual brand identity must certainly correspond to your clientele, but above all it must correspond to you. In short, you must be able to identify yourself at a glance.
Large, powerful and internationally known brands have very rarely had to revise their visual identity. A good visual identity not only stands the test of time, but also satisfies the brand owners, because it truly represents them.
If you implement a visual identity that has nothing to do with you, you will quickly get bored and not feel comfortable at all. We ourselves have evolved our visual identity to a result that fully reflects us.
Setting up the uniqueness
While it is advisable to look at other brands on the market and take inspiration from them, be very careful not to fall into copying or plagiarism. To do so, you need to find the right balance. The best advice we can give you, of course if you have the means at your disposal, is to call on the services of a creative specialist.
This quest for uniqueness will not only save you from legal troubles, but will also avoid confusion from your customers. Also, do not hesitate to go to the antipodes of your competitors of the market in the creation of your logo for example. You will make people talk about you, and will be greeted for your audacity and your originality.
Have a well-honed ability to anticipate
The visual identity is the showcase of your brand, and to set up an identity that gives desire, you need to sharpen your anticipation skills ! You literally have to think of everything, so that no design detail goes unnoticed.
Also, a visual identity is not composed of only one or two things, it is a set of several elements. For example, keep in mind how your brand's visual identity could look like on different media. It must be perfectly integrated, whether on your website, your social networks or other communication media.
For this, use a graphic charter to have a general idea of your visual creation.
Creation of a graphic charter
The creation of a graphic charter, then the integration of the whole visual identity within it is very important. Indeed, you must be able to find yourself in it. The same goes for your entire team. Remember that the graphic charter allows the brand itself to have control over its communication system.
What is in a graphic charter? Simply all the components of the different communication tools. We will speak in particular of format, but also of typography. We offer advice for your creative projects in the web domainDo not hesitate to contact us.
What does a quality visual identity ensure?
A well-developed and properly implemented visual brand identity ensures a lot of things:
- Unwavering customer recognition: Your customers are the main target that you want to reach with your visual brand identity. Quality plays a major role in the success of your customer relations.
- An assured position in the market: If your brand has a well-developed visual identity, it will easily find its place in the market. Your competitors might seriously fear you because you are now in the market.
- A safe, long-term value: It is very important to understand that the visual identity of a brand greatly forges its reputation with everyone. The values you transmit, or your global vision will make your brand last in time, provided that your visual identity respects the rules of art.
As previously explained, the creation of a brand's visual identity is a long process. It requires a time investment, but also often a financial one. We would like to tell you that it is quite possible to reduce the expenses as much as possible. However, it is important to avoid the all-too-common mistake of thinking that you can skimp on visual identity in favor of something else. If the visual identity isn't good, the rest won't follow and the money won't flow.
Think of the creation of your visual identity as a full-fledged investment and not a chore that you just have to do. Finally, surround yourself with competent and experienced professionals, you will not regret it.
A good visual identity is important!
You now know the importance of a good visual identity in the communication and marketing of brands and companies in general. You know the steps to follow to create your brand identity as well as the different elements that make it up.
We insist a lot on the importance of a good visual identity, because there are so many companies and start-ups with great projects that break their teeth, because they have neglected the importance of visual identity in the commercial success of their project. This is avoidable, but you have to take the time to create your visual identity.
Are you satisfied with your visual identity? Do you think it still corresponds to your values, and that it is up to date?
If you have any questions or would like professional help, please do not hesitate to contact us by email !