6 Visual Identity Design Elements Your Brand Must Have
A brand is a word or symbol which gives a product a unique identity, it’s also a promise to consistently deliver a certain experience to the consumer.
Two key factors that help make your brand phenomenal are uniqueness and consistency — take a minute to think of all the brands you love, none will be found lacking these factors.
In this blog post I will focus mainly on the visual identity of your brand and how visual consistency can make brand recognition easy and helps position your brand as both professional and credible.
Most people think that the logo = visual identity, but your logo design, although it is very essential and important is only a small piece of a brands’ visual identity. A visual identity system comprises several design elements that help create a brands’ uniqueness and consistency when used together.
If you want your brand to become unique and coherent visually, here are six design elements your brand must possess.
1. Your Logo
The first element every brand must-have is a logo, which is the primary identifier of any brand. Your logo sets the tone for other design elements of your visual identity. A logo can just be the name of your brand in particular font style or a combination of a font style and an icon.
A logo doesn’t have to be complex, as a matter of fact, it is better to keep your logo as simple as possible. The primary aim of a logo is for identification and not for storytelling. A logo design is also not all about aesthetics, it must be strategically designed for the specific industry you play in. For more details on effective logo design click here.
2. Your Colour Palette
Colour is a strong driver of emotional reaction, so this is also key when designing a brands’ visual identity. Your colours should be the ones on your logo and can include additional colours used across your brand collateral.
In choosing a colour palette for your brand, spend time researching on what resonates with both your industry and target audience. There is really no benchmark as to the number of colours to use, but having a primary colour that will be easily be associated with your brand and maybe two or three other colours (including neutral colours) to compliment your colour scheme are the norm for most brands.
3. Your Typeface
Defining the typeface(s) for your brand helps your visual consistency. Some brands have their logos in a wordmark and use the same typeface in their marketing communication materials, presentations, etc. which in turn reinforces the brands’ visual identity. For brands with logo icons, they just simply use the typeface associated with the icon to reinforce the brands’ presence.
In choosing a font (typeface) for your brand, it is key to define the typeface weights, header and body copy typefaces. A header typeface should mostly be the particular font from your logo.
Most design professionals including myself will advise a maximum of four typefaces. A primary typeface, a secondary one for body copy and a complimentary typeface for display purposes.
4. Your Pattern
In a brands’ visual identity, designing a pattern helps to complement the logo. At a glance without your logo in view, one should be able to identify your brand by the pattern designs associated with it. These patterns also help improve the quality of your design and bring about the richness in your aesthetics.
Brand patterns come in handy in brand merchandise, communication materials, social media cover banners, web & app design, prints and display designs.
5. Your Photography Style
This is one design element that makes your brand stand out. The photography style you use for your communication can easily bring about instant recognition of your brand.
You don’t have to blow out the bank to have a unique photography style. Even with the reliance on stock images, you can set guidelines that define the specific images to use for your communication. It can just be as simple as the colour grading style of the image, the brightness or contrast depths. You can decide to use monochromatic images or abstract figures for your communication. The goal here is telling your unique brand story with a set of defined images.
6. Your Iconography and Illustration
Defining the iconography and illustration styles for brands is as essential as every other design element listed so far. Every aspect of your brand must align and communicate a single idea. Every time your brand is encountered, it must have that uniqueness.
If your brand is built around safety, it must as well be reflected down to as little as an icon associated with your brand. For instance, circles are associated with safety and it’s been scientifically proven that people are more relaxed around curved shapes, but are more agitated around shapes with sharp edges.
So if you have a brand associated with safety, you already have an idea of how your icons and illustrations would look — little or no sharp edges and alot of smooth and rounded edges.
If after going through these elements listed and you still can’t piece the visual bits of your brand together for effective communication, then leave a comment below with your details. My colleagues and I at Futuresoft will be excited to help you out.