Humans heavily depend on visual stimuli. This is due to the fact that the human brain receives visual information about 60,000 times faster than verbal information. As a result, we learn about 90 percent of all we know about the world visually. This is why it’s so important to build your business’ visual identity – it’s necessary to connect to the target demographic. This is not a simple task and it involves a lot of research, consideration and planning. So, here are the top eight tips to get you going.
Break Down Your Visual Identity into Elements
The first thing you have to do is define different visual elements that will come to define your brand. First, you have the logo. Next, you have the corporate colors (used in the design, uniforms, product design, etc.). Then, you have a unique package (or labeling) system that makes your products visually different from those of your competitors. Finally, you have your digital presence in the form of website design. Put together, these elements represent your brand’s visual identity.
Do the Visuals Introduce Your Brand?
When making your brand’s logo, you need to start by asking one vital question – is it clear what your company does? Sure, in a lot of situations this may not be a possibility, however, in some industries, you have standard symbols that are indicative of the field of activity that you engage in. For instance, a book symbolizes an educational institution, and a caduceus speaks about the fact that you work in healthcare. Some visual features (like product design and product package design) may even indicate the features of the brand.
The Psychology Behind It
One of the most important things you need to do is investigate the way in which your brand’s visuals speak to your customers. For instance, it’s a well-known fact that colors and shapes have a psychological effect on people observing them. You see, McDonald’s has deliberately chosen colors red and yellow, due to the fact that they are known to increase appetite. Coincidentally, these are the colors used by the majority of fast-food chains (at least major ones) out there. It’s quite easy to see how you could turn a similar trend to your advantage.
Variety of Formats
While still on the topic of logo and colors, you need to be aware of the fact that these elements are going to appear on a variety of formats. For starters, you need to incorporate them both into your website and your blog. Then, if you have a brick and mortar establishment, you may want to do a mural somewhere on the headquarters exterior. If you’re printing any promotional merchandise, you want this logo printed and you want your corporate colors used. In other words, it will appear in a digital environment, it will appear on walls, textile, paper and all different kinds of materials. You need to take this into consideration and make sure it (or its variants) translates well into different mediums.
Imagine Real-life Scenarios
One of the most important tips requires a bit of a role-play. Namely, you need to imagine your brand’s visuals in different sorts of real-life scenarios. First, you need to imagine your products and product packages. Next, you need to think about your promotional merchandise and business cards. The latter needs to be representative, efficient, and professional at the same time, which is why you should customize and order business cards online. Finally, you need to think about billboards, banners, and ads of all sorts. This way, you’ll cover all fronts.
Define Your Audience
The demographics of your audience may decide that their preferences are towards various visual styles. For instance, millennials and Gen Z may prefer a sleeker and innovative approach, while older demographics might rather go for a traditional (even nostalgia-inspired style). Perhaps the simplest way to figure this one out is to research other brands they like and figure out if you could perhaps apply the same or similar principles. Why change something that works?
Protect Your IP
Creating your visual identity is one thing, protecting your intellectual property is something completely different. First of all, your logo is a trademark and you need to file it as such. You don’t want others to abuse this similarity and make sales just because others associate their products with your good name. Keep in mind that they could just as easily damage your brand by using shady practices while other people associate them with your organization.
Consider the Future
Finally, you need to understand that in the future you might have to evolve. After all, there’s seldom a major brand out there that hasn’t revamped their logo in the past. Still, when making these choices, always prioritize the present. What comes next only counts if you manage to get through the initial rough patch.
Once you’re done with this task, your brand will finally have its visual identity and you can slowly start building your brand recognition. From there, you can improve your brand awareness and even start generating regular customers and brand ambassadors. Before you get to this part, however, you need to handle the above-listed eight-step plan. Fortunately, now you know how to do this efficiently.