In today’s fast-paced world packed with pictures, videos and words, establishing a strong visual brand is paramount. Consider a company like Apple – they’ve certainly created groundbreaking products that many people enjoy, but their visual brand is one of simplicity and easy elegance. It’s a concept the company embodies in everything they release, from their website to their product reveals.
Your organization should have a similarly consistent visual brand. If you’re not sure what this means or you’ve never had to establish a visual brand before, consider this outline of some necessary steps.
Don’t agonize over specifics: be unique
It’s easy to spend hours on small details, like the right color, font, shapes, angles, etc. You could tweak the minor details of your logo forever, but it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever lose a big-ticket account because you used forest green instead of lime green. The details do matter, but each individual one is less important than the main point of your visual branding: conveying a story and a feeling.
As long as your fonts, colors, and other visual attributes are coherent with this vision, don’t pull your hair out trying to decide on one minor visual element: pick what you think is best and move forward.
Segment your branding
Consider a completely universal logo like the Nike Swoosh, considered one of the most recognizable and valuable pieces of branding in history. Part of the reason it was able to attain that status is because of its portability. The Swoosh can be placed on everything from a massive billboard to the sleeve of a jersey to a 4″ mobile screen – it carries over perfectly in any setting.
You also want to ensure that your logo can be applied on different mediums. Don’t feel like this means you have to force your brand into a small object or symbol; you can always take small parts of your bigger logo or visual and use them for smaller channels like apps and mobile pages.
Incorporate real photos
Once you’ve decided on the basic elements of your visual brand and what you want it to convey, consider how to use real-world images to support your brand. Abstract images and logos are fine, but you also want pictures that people can relate to. Pictures of people are always good, especially if you use their body language to subtly influence your audience.
Let your audience contribute
Of course you should base your initial visual branding on what your audience will respond best to. A company selling photography training should have lots of beautiful shots and a modern yet artistic font.
But there’s more you can do than just designing your logo, fonts, and visual content around what you think people want to see. You should also let people contribute to your visual brand. A simple hashtag is all it takes to connect user images to your company.
There’s much more to creating a visual brand: working with the right designer, organizing your website, adding images to social media, and so on. But with these high level ideas in mind, you’ll have a better chance at visual branding that resonates with the specific audience you’re looking to attract.