First impressions count — and when it comes to your brand, the way you communicate visually can make or break that impression for your consumer. Yes, you heard that right. Scientifically speaking, our brains process visuals faster than text. What does this tell us? Great visuals are irreplaceable in brand communications, especially in the digital world we currently live in. So, if you are looking to build a visual identity for your brand, or just want to give it a quick revamp, here’s a guide that’ll help you get started:
Start with the base.
Before you pick up the brush to paint on a clean canvas, decide what you want to paint and for whom. You wouldn’t market to a pre-teen the same way you would to a millennial, right? Understand what your audience would need from a business like yours, and then drill down — what can you offer them that competition in the same space can’t? Once you have the answer, you have your value proposition. Then, look at your brand as a person — use colors, images, and type to represent who it is. Are you confident and sassy, masculine and tough, or sophisticated and professional? I think this is best explained with the help of cola brands — one, the iconic red with a ribbon-like typeface, second, blue and red with an ever-evolving style, third, the Indian variant, with a bold, masculine, ‘thumbs up’ logo. It’s safe to say many of us wouldn’t know the difference when drinking these — but each has its unique visual identity, because they’re communicating different messages to different people!
Give your brand a face.
Once you have determined your message, it’s time to begin with your logo. This is a stamp of recognition that separates your brand from its competitors and is a vital part of your identity. My biggest tip here? Start with black and white and work with a vector format, so you can resize when needed. Check scale throughout the design process to understand how it would look on anything and everything — be it a banner or a business card. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different approaches, such as abstract, typography, and mascot, depending on the message. See which one fits the best — and most importantly, iterate. After all, a great logo is a product of great feedback.
Express your brand voice with fonts.
Content is definitely king, however, the way it is depicted visually can make a world of difference. And that’s where typography, the art of arranging text in a legible, aesthetically appealing manner, comes into play. There are now millions of beautiful typefaces for you to choose from — but the tricky part is picking the right one. Serif fonts are popular because of their simplicity and readability, but the downside is that they may be too conservative for certain brands. And ‘fancy’ fonts that add aesthetic value are often incompatible with browsers across operating systems, resulting in low scalability and readability. So, I believe the best way to do this is to study the connotations behind the choice of your typeface, audit it across various platforms and touchpoints, and test it out on a sample audience before making the final decision. After all, you don’t want to go wrong — because fonts speak louder than words.
Now that I’ve given you these three tips, delve into them and let me know what you think! And if there’s anything you’d like to add, leave a comment below.
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