What Is Visual Identity?
Visual identity refers to a series of components that create your brand image. Specifically, it includes all of the imagery and graphical information that expresses your brand. Essentially, anything your customers can associate with your business forms your visual identity. This includes your logo, website, and email templates. Additionally, it describes everything customers can physically experience, from the packaging to the interior design of your office.
Ultimately, these components make your brand more recognizable, differentiate you from your competition, and help you build an emotional connection with your audience. Visual identity is most commonly outlined in a set of brand guidelines, or a brand style guide. The brand style guide includes detailed instructions on how your brand should be visually represented at all times and in any situation.
The Purpose Of Visual Identity Is To:
- Create an emotional link with clients
- Inform viewers about the purpose of your brand
- Highlight the services offered
- Convey the personality of the company
- Unify the marketing and branding assets of the organization.
- Convey the emotion you want your customers to feel when interacting with your services
- Help convince your customers that your services can solve their issues
Visual identity VS. Brand Identity
In short, brand identity describes who your brand is on the inside whereas visual identity expresses who your brand is on the outside. If brand identity is considered the personality of your business, visual identity is the visible expression of that personality.
While visual identity is a part of your brand identity, it focuses on how your brand is visually represented. Accordingly, it requires a separate approach from brand identity, yet it needs to complement the brand. Ultimately, to maintain an authentic presence, both concepts should be closely aligned.
The Elements Of Visual Identity
Visual identity is essentially your brand’s visual language. Thus, it’s important to know that these elements are at the core of your visual identity:
In short, graphics are picture assets. These can be drawn or designed. Essentially, they are used to enhance your company’s identity. For example, they can make your campaigns more visually compelling. They can be as simple as forms and shapes or more complex, such as a logo, icons, or even full-scale illustrations or animations.
When used correctly, colors can generate some of the most powerful emotional responses in the viewer. Essentially, your brand should have a primary color (the main color), a secondary color (for the background), and an accent color (for contrast). Most importantly, the color palette should fit the emotion and message the brand wishes to convey. Ultimately, color can:
- Differentiate your business. When choosing your brand color, check out the competition to see how can you alter from them.
- Identify your business. Your brand color will become associated with your business. According to one research, color enhances brand recognition by up to 80%.
- Guide your strategies. Colors affect people’s moods and attitudes. Thus, brand colors can influence people’s buying behavior.
Typography is the shape or styling of the text you use in your branding. Fonts play an important role in making an emotional impact on your audience. The font and the arrangement of your text affect your brand’s visual identity and the way it impacts consumers.
In terms of lawyer branding, it’s best to keep your typography simple. However, it’s also important to choose a typeface relevant to your brand personality. For the visual identity, consider the wordmark to your logo, a headline font, and a body copy font.
Additionally, when choosing your typography, remember to consider the basics of font psychology. Serif fonts are often seen as more professional and sophisticated, while sans-serif options are playful, modern, and youthful.
Imagery is similar to graphics, but it goes beyond basic shapes and icons. Specifically, it includes “captured” content, like photos and video content. Additionally, it represents the element most related to the target audience. Essentially, photography should fit with the rest of your brand identity, its colors, logos, and messaging.
For example, it can include photos of your services, team, workspace, and other things relevant to your business. Generally, your brand photography should be authentic, consistent, and unique to your company.
- Make your brand more relatable. Visual representation of your business can make consumers more likely to connect and engage with you, as well as relate to your business.
- Optimize the first impression. It takes only 50 milliseconds for people to form a first impression. Hence, use high-quality photography to position your business as detail-oriented.
- Increase engagement: Use your imagery to communicate your brand story. Facebook posts with images contributed to 87%of all engagements on brands’ pages. Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images.
Physical Brand Assets
Physical assets refer to the “offline” products which convey your image or identity. They can include the layout and design of a store, the uniforms, signage in offices, etc. However, they can also include printed leaflets, banners, and advertising tools for events and conferences. Ultimately, these material objects contribute to your brand’s visual identity.
A logo is a visual representation of branding. Additionally, it is a graphic symbol of your business and its identity. Thus, it should exist to identify your business. Ultimately, it ensures a professional visual presence that gives visual consistency and coherence to your business across all platforms.
Specifically, your logo should inform the graphics, color, and typography of the visual identity. Additionally, it should also include identifying materials such as business cards, letterheads, and cover images.
Technically, a logo is one of the visual identity components that can evolve as your business grows. Furthermore, it’s important to ensure your logo can work well across a range of assets, from your business cards to your email marketing.
Advertising assets include using visuals to actively reach out to customers. It can be in the form of flyers, brochures, billboards, tv, magazine or banner ads, and more. Ultimately, your advertising assets should create a consistent personality and image which helps to form relationships between you and your customers. Essentially, your visual identity should guide every promotional asset you design for your company. Whether you’re creating promo videos, or designing infographics for social media, your customers should be able to instantly recognize your brand essence.
Digital design involves the space where consumers get to directly interact with your brand’s visual identity. Visual identity elements are often expressed through website images, interface color schemes and layout, social media content, animations, icons, buttons, and much more. Your website is one of the most important visual branding tools impacting your online presence. It showcases brand colors and images, highlights your personality through typography, and shows off your logo too.
Ultimately, your visual identity is one of the most important ways to ensure you can capture the audience’s attention. Additionally, it is a powerful tool for telling your brand’s story and making sure you connect with customers on an emotional level. Consequently, it will help you stand out from the crowd and convey important messages.
Your brand identity is your business’s first interaction with consumers and it is, therefore, vital that it creates a positive and lasting impression. It can communicate a particular feeling or message without words if done effectively. Ultimately, it plays an essential role in branding, hence, it’s important to understand how to create a proper visual identity for your business.