Last week we discussed the editorial calendar, an extremely important tool for consistency in content creation. Today we’re going to take a look at another extremely important facet that we’ve left out until now, the visual identity of your brand/community.
What is visual identity?
A visual identity is the set of graphic elements that reflect the image of your community/company/brand to your customers, partners, and employees. These graphic elements are the name of the brand, the logo, the typography used, the color, the shape, the slogan, etc. A successful visual identity must communicate the company’s values, mission, and vision.
If a good visual identity does not necessarily ensure professional success, a poorly defined visual identity can quickly be fatal, especially for new companies. A client will most often choose the company that looks the most professional at first glance. A modern logo, a professional-looking website, or successful business cards or brochures will be reassuring factors for the customer as well as proof of a healthy company is able to invest in an image that looks like it.
What is it for?
The visual identity is not only a photo identity. Already, it has a great interest in being much more attractive than the current clichés present on official documents! The visual identity will allow you to be immediately recognized, therefore to differentiate you from others but also to develop your notoriety. The more you share your image, the more your brand image will spread.
That’s why it’s important to be consistent on all your documents, from your business card to your profile picture on social networks. Your visual identity also aims to convey your values and the positioning you wish to adopt (family, professional, serious, festive…).
It is not only an image but a whole message that is conveyed through it. It is for this reason that companies that have been in existence for years do not hesitate to invest large sums of money to modify their graphic charter: the tone that is transmitted by their old presentation no longer corresponds to them.
The different stages of creating a visual identity
First of all, you need to take some time to think about what you really want: the atmosphere you want to convey, your values, but also the personality of your brand. Behind it, there is your personality of course, but not only! You must also manage to detach yourself from it to think about the identity of your business, according to its sector of activity, the persona it will address, the reason for it, and everything that makes its essence and uniqueness finally.
The research phase is essential for inspiration to come! So, don’t hesitate to browse the magazines you like, the Instagram accounts you follow, the Pinterest pins you have saved, etc…
Then ask yourself which of them you think are most in line with your brand? Don’t hesitate to group textures, materials, colors, objects… anything that fits you without giving yourself limits. Finally, don’t hesitate to take notes on your observations.
You can do it the old fashioned way, on a big cardboard box where you will paste all the images you have collected, or in a simpler and more efficient way by using an online tool like Canva or Figma. When you integrate the images into your board, remember that each one of them must have a meaning, give a tone, and translate an emotion that you want to convey to your target client.
4) The color palette
The choice of colors is a really essential step for your visual communication because each of them has the power to convey particular emotions. Emotions that are essential to touch your ideal client and clearly carry your message in his mind. Once you’re clearer on the meaning of colors, you’ll be better able to define the most appropriate ones to embody your brand.
5) Choose your font!
Like colors, they are very powerful in creating emotions, reflecting a universe and particular values. But when it comes to fonts, again, you can’t just rely on your taste. There is a real strategic look to adopt, on the feeling that your fonts will generate, but also on their function (what they will be used for in the layout) and their accessibility.
6) Your visual universe
This is where you define all your graphic elements, i.e. the types of icons, illustrations, photos, patterns, and even emojis that you will use in your visual identity. All these visual cues will allow you to personalize your brand universe a little more and stand out from the competition.
You know have everything in your hands to create a good visual identity for your blog/company/Youtube channel etc… Good luck Referrers!