In his book, Brand It, Leke Alder, Mastermind and Founder of Alder Consulting defined visual identity as a graphic visualization of the identity of a corporation.
Through this post, I’ll unpack five key constituent elements of visual Identity to help with your overall branding process and enable you deliver marketing messages that resonate with your target audience. These elements includes Market Research, Brand Name, Compelling Logo, Typography, and Color Palette. So let’s get started.
Research is one of the most important components in brand building and consumer engagement. It helps achieve competitive advantage through objective, insight based ideas and recommendations on products, service or customer service strategies. Before you begin working on a logo concept, ensure to research your industry thoroughly. Review the logo designs of your competitors. This will enable you know the branding conventions in your particular sector, who you are competing against, and how to position for the advantage. However, keep in mind, some of the best designs have been those that have eschewed trends.
One of the most essential parts of starting a new business is choosing the right brand name. Get that wrong, and it’s no exaggeration to say that your enterprise could be sunk before it ever began. A brand name is simply a name given to a brand to identify and differentiate it from others. Your name is an extension of your brand, and it can reinforce the value you provide or distance you from it. For example: When someone hears the word “Snapchat,” they can quickly realize that it involves something with snapshots/pictures sent in a chat form. The brand name is unique, catchy and delivering the essence. To understand this, let’s take a typical example. While buying a distilled bottled water, we ask for “Eva” and are alarmed when somebody hands over a “Ragolis” or “Aquafina”. Have you wondered what makes you identify, judge and opt for just the right products in the cluster of other unknown products? That is the importance of brand name, logo and visual identity. To set your brand up for long-term success, choose a name that’s remarkable, distinguishable, memorable and instantly recognizable.
Much more than an emblem, your logo is the face of your company. To begin with, understand that there are different kinds of logos. Be it font – based, abstract, illustrative or descriptive, crafting a logo that creates an impact and communicates the right message is a creative process that requires a combination of design brilliance, technical knowledge, artistic flair and branding ingenuity. A compelling logo is one that not only grabs attention, conveys a hidden, deeper meaning, but creates a professional image of a company, makes it stand out and piques the interest of the target audience. For example – Airbnb’s logo design conveys an idea of belonging. The design represents the idea that the business brings people together and makes them feel belonged wherever they may be in the world.
Typography simply means the way a text is stylized or arranged. It is an incredibly powerful design tool that marketers can use to enhance their communication. When discussing typography and its usage in different marketing environments I believe it’s imperative to first define two distinct but complementary concepts, which includes: visual language and verbal language. Visual language: is the meaning created by the visual appearance of the typeface. Verbal language: is the literal meaning of the words. Effective typography marries the use of both visual language and verbal language to stimulate a visceral response in the reader. To make this happen, we must first have a clear understanding of how typefaces are perceived by society. Typography falls into three overarching categories: serifs, san-serifs and scripts. Serif is a typeface that embodies a small line tailing from the edge of each one of the letters. Fonts like Times New Roman have short projections at the top and the bottom on each character; these short projections are the serifs, and denotes formality. The perceptions associated with these fonts are: delicate, expensive, warm and old. Sans-Serif refers to a font that is devoid of a serif, it has no line attached to the end of the character.
The perceptions associated with these fonts are: young, cool, modern and rugged. Script refers to fonts that are cursive or handwritten fonts. They produce an elegant feel and are appropriate for headlines and decorations. They are often associated with feminine, beautiful, expensive, soft, delicate, relaxed, quiet, happy, and warm.
Much more than just aesthetic appeal, colors help your brand connect with consumers on a deeper psychological level. When you choose your logo and brand’s color pallette, you’re also selecting the emotions and associations you’re seeking to evoke. The right palette can convey deep meaning about your values and elicit specific behaviors. By extension, the wrong choices can be harmful to your brand image. Science has shown repeatedly that our brains react in diverse ways to certain colors. By understanding how each color affects the mind and emotions it stirs up, you can create a more effective brand.