Visual Branding: a step by step introduction

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Creating a brand might be easier said than done. There are multiple elements you will have to keep in mind when first setting up your brand. How your company visualises itself is as important, if not more, as to how it operates. Every visual, from the logo you use on your website to the pictures you use in your Instagram Story, helps to convey what your company stands for and helps you reach your target audience. Visualising your brand requires a well thought out strategy that you could evaluate with every decision you make. Ready to start creating a brand that strategically uses visualisation? Here’s a beginner’s guide with the basics:

Step 1. What do you stand for?

Visuals are a great way to show what your brand stands for. Before you start visualising your brand it’s important to know who the target audience is and what your company is all about. First, write down your target audience as specific as possible. It will help you with creating the right content.

For example, the target audience I chose for this article is “start-ups trying to set up their brand for the first time”. Now I use the information I have when creating my content. Assuming that my target audience is probably new to marketing I try to refrain from using any terms that might be hard to understand for people that probably aren’t in the marketing industry. This information is something you can use when creating text for your website, like I did, or even when you decide on your companies name! 

Next, you should decide on your mission statement, vision and goals. Your mission statement explains your company’s reason for existence. Your vision explains where your company is headed and tells your company’s ultimate goal. At last are your goals, short term objectives that take up to a year to achieve. This will help you thoughtfully make decisions based on what’s best for your brand. It will also help you by making sure you won’t implement visuals that won’t respond well with your brand’s identity and its targeted audience. 

Step 2. Designing the perfect brand

Fonts, colours, photography and illustrations. They’re all factors you need to visualise your brand. More importantly, they are all factors you need to think about before starting. What colour you use already says a lot about your brand. This article by medium might help you pick the right colours to use in your logo and/or on your website. Thinking about it is how you create a brand identity that fits, so make sure you do your research. Picking an appropriate font might not seem that important, however, a study from Wales University concluded that it most definitely is. On 75% of occasions, the consumer chose a box of chocolates that had an appropriate font rather than an inappropriate font. Find your type with the help of this article by Monotype. It’s also a good idea to test your visuals with your target audience to make sure it gives the right reaction. That’s how you design your brand in a strategic way.

Step 3. Consistency is key

Responsive logos from Heineken, Guinness and Kodak Film.  Via JUST™ Creative.
 

Once you’ve created a distinct visual brand identity it’s important you use it consistently. This is how you create brand familiarity. You should use your brand’s visual identity when making online visual content, like social media posts, your website, banner ads, and offline visual content, like business cards, packaging, and flyers. This consistency is important, especially if you want to try to reach your target audience at different touchpoints during their customer journey, read more about the customer journey here. It will also help to be recognizable and may give a sense of security when having had a positive interaction before. One design trend that seems to be getting more and more important in the future are responsive designs. Following the previous steps might have helped you make the perfect logo, but how you use it is where it gets tricky. Your logo needs to be able to fit into different settings. A great example is the responsive logos the brands Kodak and Heineken use. These brands visualise in such a way they’re always recognizable even though most of their logo is stripped. As long as one of the elements is consistent people will be able to recognize the brand. Responsive logos help to stay recognizable even in times it seems impossible to stay consistent with your designs.

Visual branding goes way past the creation of a logo and the importance of a visual branding strategy should be clear now. However, don’t hesitate to contact us if you need personal help! Our team of experts can help you every step of the way.

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