The Value of Strong Visual Identity (And How to Create It)

Clients can decide on their preference for a brand with just one look. It’s no wonder top companies place emphasis on great visuals.

With the modern, fast-paced lifestyle, people rarely keep their attention for long. Many decisions get made on the go, and some of those happen purely based on visuals.

When a potential customer walks by, for example, a stand-out logo is likely to get their interest. More than that, a simple glance can often immediately create the customer’s opinion about a brand.

Strong visual brand identity will give you a better chance to attract new customers. Many benefits come from having an impressive, recognisable brand visual design. From emotional appeal to brand recognition, your visual identity will speak for itself.

In this article, we’ll show you how to create a distinct, memorable visual identity. But before that, let’s go through the reasons why doing so will be of immense value to your company.

The Benefits of a Unique Visual Identity

A visual identity, or company visual branding, is the basic level on which people perceive a company.

Think about a famous company. Chances are, their logo or colour palette is the first thing that pops into your mind. That’s where the true power of branding lies.

Creating a strong visual identity will differentiate your business from others. For start-ups, this is an essential benefit. Brand recognition is a big focus point in marketing for a reason – the sooner customers start identifying your company with specific branding ideas, the better.

But why is brand recognition important?

The answer lies in how people react to visual branding.

The vital aspect is, as we stated above, differentiation. People looking for a product will most likely find many similar companies. But if faced with a choice, they’ll go for the one that visually stands out in the crowd.

Good visual branding will also help customers identify what your company does immediately. But this doesn’t mean branding should boil down to superficial symbolism. Abstract or familiar shapes can make implications, rather than explicitly describe.

Everyone knows how much time and effort goes into the brand visual design. And that it’s unlikely that an unprofessional company would invest in something like that. That’s why people will associate quality visual branding with quality service.

Going past brand recognition, there are several reasons to aim for a strong visual identity.

The main reason is the emotional connection. Creating a visual brand that evokes positive emotions and a strong impression will make customers identify with it more. If you can get people to think about your brand visual design, you’ve made a connection.

Customers will remember the visual identity and the company behind it when they form an emotional connection. In the long run, impressive visual branding will both attract and keep customers.

With that said, here are our essential tips for creating a distinct and memorable visual identity.

Tips for Creating Your Brand’s Visual Identity

Don’t expect the process of building your brand identity to be quick and easy. It will require patience, effort, and time. There will also be many decisions to make and even some compromises. But, it’s a vital step to take that can become easier with these tips.

1. Have a Concise Brand Strategy

When designing your brand, you’ll need a thorough plan that should describe what you’re aiming for and the means to achieve it.

So before working on the visual identity, work out the foundation. Find your brand personality and message, and start designing around them. If you know the values, goals, and the central message of your company, ideas will come naturally.

Take the time to identify all of the underlying themes that your branding should represent. In the long run, it will make the rest of the process faster and straightforward.

 2. Start Small and Upgrade

You should come up with an outline of visual branding.

Start from the fundamental ideas that are at the core of your brand. Plan the initial visual branding and think about the details. Try to run a survey to get some feedback and dedicate time to analyse the information. This, along with personal insight, will help you determine how the design should develop.

Don’t shy away from hits and misses in the early stages. Upgrading and updating your brand is a natural process. The market’s always changing, so even established brands will change with it.

3. Consider Your Target Audience

Your company’s visual identity isn’t only illustrative of its goals and values. Remember that customers are the ones that will pass the final judgement on it. That’s why it’s best to take your target audience into consideration.

Research your audience and find out more about their needs, values, and habits. What you conclude from this will guide you to how your branding evolves.

But it doesn’t mean you need to conform to the customers’ tastes completely. You’ll simply be able to make the visual identity more effective.

4. Pay Attention to What the Competition’s Doing

When it comes to differentiation, you must be aware of your competition’s branding. Companies in similar fields can come up with similar branding. Try to avoid this every way possible, even when it seems unavoidable.

Naturally, certain brand elements might look alike or you might use the same colour. But if you notice your branding is too similar to someone else’s, make the change.

This is a point when you shouldn’t get too attached to an idea. If there’s an established company in your field whose logo is hard to tell apart from yours, you might have to give up some elements.

5. Create Engaging Visuals Through Associations

Whether you’re branding or rebranding, a great way to come up with excellent visuals is by creating associations.

Start by describing your brand in single words. Every word should be standalone and describe an important aspect of your business. Once you do that, take the words and find visual representations that you can associate with them.

When you find the most fitting visualisations, you can start making them into the design elements.

6. Design Elements and Stylisation

The elements you came up with will form your brand logo. However, it’s not enough to place them on a background and consider the job done.

The logo is usually more than an image, and designing it involves stylisation. This means the imagery should be somewhat abstract or idealised – successful logos are never photorealistic.

Create iterations of your design elements. Ideally, make them range from realistic to abstract. When you have the different stylised versions, choose carefully. Your logo needs to be aesthetically pleasing and communicate a message at the same time.

It’s also important to work with design elements in black and white. They should leave an impression without the aid of colours. When you accomplish this, the palette choice will only strengthen the logo’s impact.

7. Pick Your Colour Palette

Colours can produce a stronger emotional response than shapes. After all, different colours evoke different emotions. So it’s important to know how your palette will influence people.

Here’s a brief overview of the general impression some basic colours leave to people:

  • Red: intense, passionate, energetic, quick, decisive
  • Orange: cheerful, adventurous, stimulating, prone to risk
  • Yellow: warm, pleasant, comfortable
  • Green: peaceful, serene, healthy
  • Blue: deep, tranquil, stable, dependable
  • Black: powerful, sophisticated, intriguing, seductive
  • White: simple, delicate, clean

Of course, there can be other interpretations and impressions of these colours. But what should interest you the most is the usual impression they make. That’s what the majority of customers will see in your logo.

Colours are also the point where visual identities clash. Here, it’s important to pay attention to the competition. Even if you can’t avoid a certain colour other businesses use, remember you’ll most likely use more than one. It’s common to use one main and several secondary colours. So when the main one’s unavoidable, the right combination can still make a noticeable difference.

8. Font Choice

Once you have the logo and colour palette established, choosing the right font is next. The perfect font type should complement other elements of your brand design. The same goes for the font colour – it should fit the palette.

It’s best to go with only a couple of different font families. Assign fonts to different purposes and experiment with them to find the most appealing combinations. Pay equal attention to this step as you did the previous steps.

Fonts will often be in front of other design elements. If they lack quality or stick out from the branding, the overall impression will deteriorate.

9. Photographs and Illustration

Your advertising and brand presentation will benefit from well-chosen graphics.

First, it’s crucial to form guidelines on the image types that fit the visual identity. Know what images would be appropriate for your brand and utilise them to the best effect. Colours, filters, saturation, and other elements can make an image fit in seamlessly.

Consider how well shapes, styles, and colours combine with your brand’s visual identity. You should look at these as another design element, not just as visual cues.

10. Design Strategy and Step-by-Step Guides

When you have all of the elements thought out, make sure the visual identity gets implemented into the overall branding. Create guidelines for every element. Those guidelines must include the exact way to use them, as well as cover every piece of information that could come in handy.

A thorough and straightforward guide will help make the most of the design elements.

Give a copy to everyone involved with branding and make sure there are no issues with the guide. It’s because the final step in creating an effective visual identity is to keep it consistent. Every decision from now on should be deliberate and coordinated with other branding elements.

Attention to Details Makes for Powerful Visual Identity

Creating a strong visual identity requires a lot of attention and thorough work. Bear in mind that the design might be what makes or breaks a business. So you must devote your efforts to the visuals and take all the time you need to get them just right.

During this process, input and feedback from colleagues, customers, and friends can be invaluable. Experiment with different elements, compare new with existing ideas, and pay attention to the trends.

If you’d like professional assistance to alleviate the work, try Automation Agency. Our Concierge Service will gladly help you come up with the perfect design elements. The expertise of Automation Agency will give your brand a unique visual identity recognisable on sight.

Don’t just work on your branding – let it work for you.


About The Author

Carl Taylor

Carl Taylor is the Founder & CEO of Automation Agency. For the past 10 years Carl has been building businesses and marketing them online through the use of Sales Funnels, Email Marketing Automation, Landing Pages, and Wordpress Websites. Carl is also a #1 author and highly sought after speaker and consultant whose work has impacted thousands of businesses across various industries worldwide.